Sorry, but so-called “racist” jokes are funny, by Ariane Sherine.
There is a massive stench of hypocrisy in public life. We do and say things in private that we would castigate others for doing in public, possibly the best example of this being jokes about race. Nearly all of us will have told a so-called racist joke in private that we ‘wouldn’t get away with’ posting on social media. I’m not talking about Bernard Manning-type bigotry, but everyday one-liners like ‘Why are Asian people so rubbish at football? Because every time they get a corner, they build a shop.’
I’m an Asian person and this is not remotely offensive. On the contrary, it celebrates our entrepreneurial spirit, while accurately acknowledging our lack of prowess in soccer (cricket being another matter entirely). However, the well-meaning liberal brigade will slap a white person down for telling it at a dinner party with a disapproving ‘that’s a bit racist!’
Not making people other than white males the butt of jokes is racist — only white males are strong enough and able enough to be the butt of a joke?
Outraged lefties would argue that jokes about race are the gateway drug to worse bigotry. Not only is this untrue, it’s also counterproductive.
By treating black and Asian people with kid gloves and lobbying on our behalf for innocuous jokes to be outlawed, they are making us special cases and differentiating us from the rest of society. Comedy is a great leveller, and no section of the population should be immune from wit and humour, however marginalised a minority they may be.
hat-tip Stephen Neil