I want to share a story with you this evening.
I happened to be at a local bar this weekend. I was in a group of people that I know, but don’t know really well, so we usually don’t get into discussions about politics or religion or anything else very deep.
Anyway, I realized that one woman in the group was getting irritated at one of the guys because he was texting her jokes that she considered racist. I volunteered to make the call whether the jokes were truly racist. Why? Well, partly because I like to be annoying, but mainly to try and make a point to the jokester.
I started out by giving the guy some advice. “Imagine that everyone on that side of the bar is black (or African American). If you’re whispering the jokes to me, most likely you know yourself that they are racist.” The jokester came back with something I’d heard before, “I tell my black friends these jokes and they all laugh, so I can’t be a racist.”.
Well, needless to say, he let fly with about 10 jokes in a row, all centered around our new President-elect. Several involved laziness stereotypes, a few even mentioned lynching or swinging from trees. How this guy could possibly think his jokes were funny or non-racist, I can’t imagine. Yeah, he’s not a sheet-wearing cross-burner… he’s just a guy telling jokes that make a group of people feel like they aren’t wanted and don’t belong. Wait- isn’t that pretty close to the same thing?