I write this post as a response to Trent Babb’s post, “Do we downplay race.” In his post, Trent discusses the concept of race and its impact on social environments. In doing so, he expresses his disapproval of racist jokes. In this regard, he makes it clear that his disapproval is uniform throughout the various contexts/environments they are said within—in other words, it doesn’t matter if racist jokes are made between good friends; no matter what the environment racism is not humorous. In essence, Trent’s post implies a connection between racist jokes and racism as a concept; an expulsion of racism from American society means an end to humor based on racial stereotypes.
In American society today, I think it is safe to say that jokes, based on racial stereotypes, can be found everywhere; whether it is within the daily conversations of friend groups to or the content of various television sitcoms, racist jokes are prevalent within our society., Furthermore, the perpetuation of racist jokes will continue to take place until society is no longer able to distinguish among the various racial groups (in other words, racial lines become blurred). Considering that this won’t happen for a very long time, I think it is unrealistic to think that this is something that we can stop from happening. With that being said, this is not my way of saying that I approve of racist jokes. There have been a number of times when I have been the subject of such humor. However, my exposure to such humor helps me realize that we as individuals can’t escape our racial identity. We are who we are and we should strive to embrace our race with pride, and in doing so, understand that there will be those who find it funny to make fun of our racial differences. And if we are successful in our efforts to embrace our identity with pride, such jokes will no longer have the power to belittle us. Do I think race is downplayed? No I do not think race is downplayed, but the direct opposite; race is overplayed to the extent to which people don’t ever want to actually talk about it. People are always conscious of not wanting to ‘step on anyone’s toes’ or offend anyone, because they fear they may say something that is not deemed as ‘politically correct’. This trend only serves to add to the silent dissatisfaction over racial identity and its impact on society.