It's just a joke

by Bayleaf42 on September 12, 2016 - 10:50am

As a child, I was raised in a relatively inclusive manner, by my parents. My neighbors vary greatly from Greek to native Quebecois to Native Congolese. In saying this, I am not insinuating that I have never been racist or had a racist thought, or been aware of the differences between people based on skin color.
I am not certain of when I started to know that racism was a thing that occurs, but it may have been somewhere by the end of elementary school, end of high school. My diverse background gave me one thing to boast for: a very inclusive, and open-minded set of values. I am of the firmest belief that, everyone is a little bit racist, at least at the age at which you really get deep-seated into society, and you begin to learn of the way things are and how people treat others. I'm a little racist too: I laugh at stereotypes, I make the occasional inappropriate joke, etc. I am also, however, completely and wholeheartedly against discrimination, racial bias, harmful behavior or violence. I believe that white privilege is a thing that exists, even though I know several people who believe otherwise, and that racial minorities are treated in a different manner than those of Caucasian classification, no matter if this means that a person has to think a little harder if what they're doing is racist, or if they see skin color as an indicator of trustworthiness. I wasn't born knowing that race was a thing, I wasn't born racist. I was made racist. I was introduced to stereotypes, and discrimination, by my surroundings and my parents and my peers. It was my choice to educate myself on the matter. I know that race does not have biological validity within the human species.
In Diamond's article on the nature of Race, he discusses how and why race could not exist due to several reasons: the criteria chosen to classify human races was entirely due to bias, and if any other completely valid qualities had been chosen to use as racial classification, these categories would be entirely different. With different perspectives comes different findings, but humans chose to go with a very broad, obvious physical difference: Skin, hair and eye color. As such, it is almost impossible for people to agree upon how and when to class people into different categories, how many races there should be, etc, as there are simply too many differences within human physiology to simply dumb it down to “this person is a darker color, they must belong to category A”, when to others based on other things such as country of origin would say said person belonged in category B. (Diamond, 1994, paragraph 5).
Scientists have searched through strand upon strand of DNA samples from varying “races”, and have come up with one hard to swallow conclusion: Race does not exist. Or, at least, it should exist, but it does, and it will continue to exist for quite some time, as it is a rooted concept within societies. A concept that we need to, over generations, fight to abolish. Until then, however, I do not believe in political correctness. A joke, is a joke, no matter how you look at it. If I can't make quip with my black friends about fried chicken or 'ratchetry', I don't see why anybody would be allowed to make fun of women belonging in the kitchen, or Mexicans mowing lawns, or white people being unfunny and terrible dancers. Either it's all funny, or none of it is.

 

 

 

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Diamond, J. (2016, Winter). Race Without Color. In A. Nouvet (Ed.), Anthropology 381-101-LA: The Myth of Race and the Reality of Racism. Saint-Lambert, QC: Champlain. 

 

Comments

I found your post very effective at pointing out the issues involving racism. I liked how you talked about your personal experience with racism in the first half of your post because I know through personal experience that many other people, including myself gone through the same experiences with race. I also liked how you ended your article by saying, “Either it's all funny or none of it is.” This opens a discussion for debate on whether racist and sexists’ jokes should be considered funny or harmful.

Through a gendered worldview, we examined how the media, (advertisements, music videos, and video games) sell sexual violence. Examples of these include Dolce and Gabbana advertisements, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred lines” music video, and GTA V. Because everyone is exposed to what the media is selling us, it not only compels us to say sexists comments, but it raises concern on whether or not we live in a Rape Culture. Rape Culture is a term in which our society normalize the sexually violent behavior caused by men and that there are no consequences when sexual violence is committed. It is evident that we do live in a Rape Culture because the media tells us this and thus young men who are exposed to sexual violence in the media are more likely to grow up to be sexual predators. I am not saying that this applies to all men, but it is still a trend.

There is no doubt that there are race and gendered issues in our society. But if we keep on normalizing it, whether it is through the media, or saying an offensively racist comment, these issues will never get resolved. We must be able to hold back from the racist and sexists comments or else we make these key issues a thing of the past.
Here is a link to sum up what I talked about. http://www.etfo.ca/Resources/ForTeachers/Documents/Gender%20Issues%20in%...