Why Your Racist Jokes Aren’t Funny

Someone very close to me recently said “Stereotypes are fine as long as you realize that they’re just a generalization and don’t apply to everyone in that group.” It was incredibly disappointing to hear this come from someone I love because its so backwards. Stereotyping is wrong because it over generalizes an entire group of people based on the bad behavior of very few individuals in that group. They’re usually behaviors that can apply to any culture of people but because we’ve stereotyped just one specific group, they all have to live with the negative image. 

Lately I’ve also been asked “well if gay people can use the word faggot, why can’t I?” I think this applies to any negative word that a group of people have reclaimed. And the answer is obvious, we can use it because we’ve turned it into a positive and when you  use it, you’re using it to cut us down. Although I am not personally offended by gay slurs, many queer people are and its their right to be. Just as someone of a certain race has every right to be offended by a racial slur when its used to cut them down. That’s why if you aren’t a faggot, you should use the word faggot. Its not yours to use. 

The same should go for racial jokes or jokes about sexuality. A gay person can make gay jokes, a black person can make black jokes, an Asian person can make Asian jokes because its their culture to make fun of. It belongs to them. They live in it, they  have the perspective to make those jokes and you can laugh along with them but  its not your right to make a racist joke about a culture that isn’t yours. When you make jokes about a culture that isn’t yours, its offensive because you’re basing it off of negative stereotypes that society perpetuates. 

So stop preserving these negative images of cultures that don’t belong to you. Stick with the jokes that you can actually make. Women can make women jokes, gay people can make gay jokes, and straight, white, ciss, males can make straight, white, ciss jokes. 

Educate yourself first and you’ll realize that stereotypes aren’t based in reality. 

posted by Colette

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A blog about LGBTQ* life and LGBTQ* issues, to serve as a companion to the podcast by the same name: www.kalamaqueerzz.podbean.com

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