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Racist Jokes
Posted: 09 February 2014 06:59 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Good evening everyone! ... I’m still level-headed, although rather scared as I’m at my last beer. And no, no, no… this is it. Can’t afford to miss another day at work. Got some hot-sauced food all ready to fly me through the night. But anyway.

Not sure how many of you are familiar with Zizek. I think I mentioned him before. Philosopher, psychoanalyst, and freakin’ entertaining. Ever wanted to have a teacher that’s worthwhile listening to, this is the man.

So, what’s the deal about “racist jokes”? And don’t freak now, racist thinking has a different flavor sometimes in the U.S., and rightly so, as racism is despicable and its history is a blemish. - But viewing individuals, yourself included, by “race” makes the world a funny place. Come on, certain politically incorrect jokes are funny as hell. We’re pretty stupid people, considered overall. Laugh a little. Tear yourself down. - Me, for my part, I’m originally Swabian. And you know what they say, right? Swabians were kicked out of Scotland for being too tight. There you have it. Never mind that each town of ours has at least one retarded person. Wonder why? I guess you understand. We keep things in the family wink

The video linked below is a short talk by Zizek on power, yes power. Don’t get all irritated by his nervous tics. It took me a while, too, to get used to the man. - But beneath all his jokes is quite an elaborate philosophy. Remember the word power and you’ll get this video, outside of laughing your ass off.

Nothing about this man’s philosophy is as it seems. I love it! - Any input on this will be appreciated. - So, here’s the link and peace and love to all of you… no, wait! A bunch of hugs and kisses and snuggly little somethings… yeah, I’m way deluded, but I’m still quite real and love you as hell…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ri0qiAita4s

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Posted: 09 February 2014 07:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Now that racist is no longer politically correct, I can’t play my little game.  Many years ago many questionnaires for various services such as library card, hospitalization, etc. would have a place for Race:_____ I always enjoyed writing “human”.  I could tell that it sometimes irritated the person reading the form, and only a few times was I challenged.  I would point out that, at best, their question was meaningless as it was presented, in the middle, of no value, and at worst it was insulting to all humans to ask.  I was never refused service, and it make me feel good that I had annoyed a jerk. smile

Oh yeah, in one hospital (Catholic), as I filled out the form for my wife, it asked:  Religion:____ I didn’t want to cause her problems by putting atheist, so I wrote: Eclectic.  As I sat by her bed as she was recovering, the Mother Superior came in with her sheet, looked at it, said, “Eclectic, indeed.  Hmmph!” and walked out of the room.  We both enjoyed that.

Occam

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Posted: 09 February 2014 09:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I have a friend who lives in an apartment building where a black couple lives. The man, who is well educated,  often rides in the same elevator as my friend but tells racist (anti-Black) jokes. My friend is not sure what to make of this. It happens nearly every time they meet. My friend, who is unbiased, is embarrassed to laugh but doesn’t quite know what to say or do. He’s said such things as , “Oh, you don’t really think that way, do you?”  But the Black man always says he does. He is apparently very down on Black people. What would you do in a situation like this?

Lois

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Posted: 10 February 2014 02:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Racist jokes have their place, like all nasty humor does. In the USA, “racial humor” is popular because it’s a multiracial society where racism is alive and well. Michelle D., your example of “Swabian jokes” doesn’t seem comparable at all to what is in the US.

Personally, sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t; but I can accept it. I don’t think anyone who is not American can really understand.

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Posted: 10 February 2014 02:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Occam. - 09 February 2014 07:14 PM

Now that racist is no longer politically correct, I can’t play my little game.  Many years ago many questionnaires for various services such as library card, hospitalization, etc. would have a place for Race:_____ I always enjoyed writing “human”.  I could tell that it sometimes irritated the person reading the form, and only a few times was I challenged.  I would point out that, at best, their question was meaningless as it was presented, in the middle, of no value, and at worst it was insulting to all humans to ask.  I was never refused service, and it make me feel good that I had annoyed a jerk. smile

Oh yeah, in one hospital (Catholic), as I filled out the form for my wife, it asked:  Religion:____ I didn’t want to cause her problems by putting atheist, so I wrote: Eclectic.  As I sat by her bed as she was recovering, the Mother Superior came in with her sheet, looked at it, said, “Eclectic, indeed.  Hmmph!” and walked out of the room.  We both enjoyed that.

Occam

Occam

I put human on the last census questionnaire if I remember correctly.  Although if recent genetic reports are accurate I may have to add Neanderthal on the next one.  vampire

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Posted: 10 February 2014 06:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Occam. - 09 February 2014 07:14 PM

Now that racist is no longer politically correct, I can’t play my little game.  Many years ago many questionnaires for various services such as library card, hospitalization, etc. would have a place for Race:_____ I always enjoyed writing “human”.  I could tell that it sometimes irritated the person reading the form, and only a few times was I challenged.  I would point out that, at best, their question was meaningless as it was presented, in the middle, of no value, and at worst it was insulting to all humans to ask.  I was never refused service, and it make me feel good that I had annoyed a jerk. smile

Oh yeah, in one hospital (Catholic), as I filled out the form for my wife, it asked:  Religion:____ I didn’t want to cause her problems by putting atheist, so I wrote: Eclectic.  As I sat by her bed as she was recovering, the Mother Superior came in with her sheet, looked at it, said, “Eclectic, indeed.  Hmmph!” and walked out of the room.  We both enjoyed that.

Occam

Occam

Hey Occam… you’re funny! But it’s certainly true, why divide people along “race lines”? Doesn’t make much sense these days anyway as there’s so many “mixed” individuals.

Eclectic religion? That’s a new one. I need to remember that. smile

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Posted: 10 February 2014 06:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hi Lois & Mid Atlantic,

My first response would be to Mid Atlantic: Yes, my portrayal of “Swabian jokes” or Zizek’s military metaphors don’t qualify as “racist” in the sense of anti-black or anti-Jewish. This are too different shoes, and they are different because of their history.

Zizek’s point is how obscenity keeps the brotherhood alive, and that includes especially derogatory jokes on someone’s race. (Whether “race” is an actual thing now, which it ain’t, or simply a social construct, which it is, it still serves as a sort of identity.) – I’ve never been to the military, neither in the U.S. nor in Germany, and sometimes I regret that for the simple reason of could having had that experience, but “shitting on each other”, as I’m sure is done much more in the military than in daily life, or my sort of “manly” work, is what does bond indeed. It’s a friendly “shitting” and has no bad heart behind it.

But I agree, some jokes are simply funny, others are mean-spirited and indeed racist. So the video, actually, is wrongly named. Should have been titled “Obscene Jokes” instead.

As to Lois: I have no idea what to make of that. Would make me feel quite awkward as well. – I work with black guys and it’s no big deal to them to call it “niggeritis” when they’re lazy or poke fun at themselves in all kinds of ways. Me, however, I still wouldn’t say it to them, as it might come over as racist, even though technically I’m not a “cracker” and they know I’m not a racist. There’s still a certain, hmm, awkwardness, like me, as a German, meeting Jews. And most of these meetings, 99% of them, go fairly well, as nobody associates me with Nazis. But I’ve had it before. And it makes you feel strange.

But aside from the video I posted, there is another point Zizek makes which is on racism, directly, not on obscenity. The point is this: Western Multiculturalism (in its idealized form) actually is a form of racism. In the attempt to “accept” and be “all so nice” you actually belittle the people you talk about. Instead of being “all so nice and accepting”, kind of like “having open arms and welcoming kisses into the ‘glorious Western ideology’”, we need to learn to accept “different races” (and the better word would be culture) as they are, because the spirit underneath is that of simple humanity and a universal idea of what it means to be human. – And I admit, reading this guy’s books requires an advanced degree in philosophy to even understand the very basics he talks about, but his videos are very enlightening. (Meaning: I have no clue what his books are saying.) – The point I just made can be found on his YouTube channel (no idea if it’s actually him or some fan posting that)… it’s nicely put forth in an interview he gave on Al Jazeera in response to the Arab Spring.

Anyway, yes, Mid Atlantic, there is a difference between stupid jokes on one’s heritage and racist jokes who are really not out to poke fun at all, at least not as far as genuine humor is concerned.

And Lois, hmm, what would I do? I don’t know. I guess it would depend on who that guy is. Do I know him? Is he just a “distant neighbor” who comes across me in the elevator? No idea really. Sorry. I guess it depends on the situation. Maybe your friend can ask a black friend for advice? That would probably help the situation the most.

[ Edited: 11 February 2014 07:08 AM by Michelle D. ]
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Posted: 11 February 2014 07:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Good morning!

Before I get going here let me clarify some things:

A) I’m sure there is racism in the U.S., but me personally I’ve not encountered it except for stupid jokes or discussions I saw on TV. It’s so diverse and mixed here (Florida) that it’s just non-existent. Which brings up the next point.

B) The more homogenous a place, the more ground there is for racism, which is kinda weird. Apparently there’s rampant anti-Semitism in Poland right now even though they hardly have any Jewish people.

C) The multiculturalism I mentioned referred to continental Europe, not the U.S. and not Britain. Since I’m from there I’m often confronted with paradoxical ideas and sentiments. – The U.S. is a melting pot. The cultures (and “races”) absorb each other, whereas in Europe they live next to each other but retain their separateness. On the one hand Europe likes to view this as “multiculturalism” while on the other hand refusing to “melt”. That’s what I meant.

D) The reason I did bring up this post is this: Sometimes political correctness, like not stepping on this or that toe, is subconsciously much more racist than a dumb racist joke. I think that was the main idea I had in the back of my head.

E) Should have thought more thoroughly before I started this discussion. Too many ill-defined ideas in one thread.

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Posted: 11 February 2014 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I think one problem is the attitude Lois pointed out of the woman being embarrassed and not saying anything.  I don’t care whether the person telling the joke is putting down another race or ethnicity or his/her own, it’s up to the listener to do what s/he can to inhibit further junk like that.  I haven’t heard any recently, but when I was younger and someone would tell such a joke, I’d always respond with something like, “Wow, that’s a really stupid joke.  Do you feel so inferior that you have to tell jokes that put down whole classes of people?” 

The funny thing was that while I may have lost the friendship of the teller, often afterwards two or three of the others would agree with me.  I’m sure I didn’t change the person, but if that prevented him/her from telling it in the future, it was worth me doing that.

Occam

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Posted: 11 February 2014 01:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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garythehuman - 10 February 2014 02:25 PM

I put human on the last census questionnaire if I remember correctly.  Although if recent genetic reports are accurate I may have to add Neanderthal on the next one.  vampire

Neanderthals are still humans.  wink

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Posted: 11 February 2014 03:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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George - 11 February 2014 01:11 PM
garythehuman - 10 February 2014 02:25 PM

I put human on the last census questionnaire if I remember correctly.  Although if recent genetic reports are accurate I may have to add Neanderthal on the next one.  vampire

Neanderthals are still humans.  wink

That’s controversial. Some say they are related to humans but the Neandertal strain died out, so they aren’t humans’ ancestors, we just had some ancestors in common.  Some creationists seem bent on claiming that Neanderthals were humans, but I don’t know what their rationale is. There has to be something behind it. To accept that they weren’t must interfere with their Adam and Eve story.

Lois

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Posted: 11 February 2014 04:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Lois - 11 February 2014 03:45 PM
George - 11 February 2014 01:11 PM
garythehuman - 10 February 2014 02:25 PM

I put human on the last census questionnaire if I remember correctly.  Although if recent genetic reports are accurate I may have to add Neanderthal on the next one.  vampire

Neanderthals are still humans.  wink

That’s controversial. Some say they are related to humans but the Neandertal strain died out, so they aren’t humans’ ancestors, we just had some ancestors in common.  Some creationists seem bent on claiming that Neanderthals were humans, but I don’t know what their rationale is. There has to be something behind it. To accept that they weren’t must interfere with their Adam and Eve story.

Lois

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Neanderthals are an extinct human species. There were many more. And they are more than just related us. I happen to share 3% of their DNA. You probably have some of their genes as well, unless you are black.

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Posted: 11 February 2014 07:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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That’s controversial. Some say they are related to humans but the Neandertal strain died out, so they aren’t humans’ ancestors, we just had some ancestors in common.  Some creationists seem bent on claiming that Neanderthals were humans, but I don’t know what their rationale is. There has to be something behind it. To accept that they weren’t must interfere with their Adam and Eve story.

That’s because they believe in the concept of the “Great chain of being” which paleoanthroplolgists have completely debunked. Homo Sapiens and Homo Neanderthalensis claim a common ancestor, Homo Heidelberginsis who overlapped both with Homo habilis, Denosivan Man, Homo Florensiensis, The Red Deer Cave people and Homo Ergastor (Erectus) the longest living Homo species by 900,000 years. And there may have been more. All of them as George points out would be considered human. we’re the survivors. Blame meat eating and language capacity. We could gossip.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 11 February 2014 08:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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George is correct, even without his 3% we as Homo sapiens are one of the species of the family Hominidae.  A closely related species is Homo neanderthalus.  And since we are in the same family, I suppose we could lump them all as humans.

Occam

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Posted: 12 February 2014 06:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 11 February 2014 07:11 PM

That’s controversial. Some say they are related to humans but the Neandertal strain died out, so they aren’t humans’ ancestors, we just had some ancestors in common.  Some creationists seem bent on claiming that Neanderthals were humans, but I don’t know what their rationale is. There has to be something behind it. To accept that they weren’t must interfere with their Adam and Eve story.

That’s because they believe in the concept of the “Great chain of being” which paleoanthroplolgists have completely debunked. Homo Sapiens and Homo Neanderthalensis claim a common ancestor, Homo Heidelberginsis who overlapped both with Homo habilis, Denosivan Man, Homo Florensiensis, The Red Deer Cave people and Homo Ergastor (Erectus) the longest living Homo species by 900,000 years. And there may have been more. All of them as George points out would be considered human. we’re the survivors. Blame meat eating and language capacity. We could gossip.


Cap’t Jack

Yet more family members to disown. Poor old Grandpa Heidelberginsis, from the German line. .  confused

Lois

[ Edited: 12 February 2014 06:25 PM by Lois ]
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Posted: 12 February 2014 07:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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You are almost as funny as the bishop Samuel Wilberforce, Lois.

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