Can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding
February 29, 2012 1:46 PM Subscribe
Please help me explain why a racist joke is still racist. I have a (now ex-) friend who is still friends with some of my friends. He thinks it's okay to tell "jew jokes" because "jews are white like us so it's not racist". Never mind that I'm of mixed heritage (not "white like us"); though I don't believe I have any Jewish ancestry, I know quite a few of my friends do.
posted by _paegan_ to society & culture (35 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
He says he doesn't mean anything harmful by it and that he is against hate and bigotry. I think he sincerely doesn't see any harm in racist jokes. He does, however, now believe I'm reactionary, full of outrage and oversensitive and is telling our mutual friends that I am the problem, that he was just telling harmless jokes.
However, it is my understanding that racist jokes are a mild form of bigotry. Please help me explain to my friends why this is still harmful and still a part of what keeps that hatefulness in our culture.
FWIW, I didn't flame out or run around screaming "hater, hater". I just quietly left the friendship and said to a few (without mentioning his name or the incidents) that I will consider racist jokes to be racist and will not be around those who repeat them.