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Can we joke about racism ?

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Par   •  25 Février 2024  •  Dissertation  •  605 Mots (3 Pages)  •  64 Vues

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Can I joke about racism?

Humor has always been used to make people laugh and distract them, it’s a necessity to our civilization, however, humor has changed a lot since the beginning of history and has now more functions such as denouncing society problems. Today, humor is used by everyone about everything but where is the limit? Can we really laugh about everything? Humor is not just entertaining, it can also be used to pass a message. Humor can make people think about society's problems; however it must have a good moral and come from the right person.

We need humor in our world, to make people laugh but also to point out societal problems and help us to face our personal problems. Joan Rivers said: “If you can laugh at it, you can deal with it,” (Qtd. Matloff 2). It means that humor can help some people to deal with their problems, laughing about them can make them lighter in our mind. Every human deals with their problems differently and gallows humor is one of those ways. Even if the joke might be rough for some people,the joke is not made to make fun of anyone, it’s to pass a message so it makes it okay. Joking about problems in society such as racism or sexism helps to denounce them, to make people aware of those problems, as well as find solutions and change people's mind about that subject.

However, humor can’t be used in every circumstance, it must come from the right person for the right audience. Antoine Kadja said: “However, with a critique, the joke can instead become subversive and, in effect, do anti-racist work.” (Katja 2). To have a beneficial effect, the joke needs to have a critique. It needs to have good moral intentions so the audience can understand that the situation is wrong. Not anyone can say anything. For example, Leslie Jones, a black woman, is making a joke about racism white-supremacy and sexism. She can make the jokes because she is concerned by this discrimination, if a white guy had made the same joke it would have been seen as racist. She is a comedian and her audience is used to this type of humor but it caused a problem for the press and social media. You have to be aware of your audience even if sometimes it’s good to push them out of their comfort zone.

The right person can make any jokes to pass a message. In his book Born a crime, Trevor Noah is joking about racism and South Africa education by telling us about his life. “But this so-called white country could not function without black labor to produce its wealth” (Noah 23) In the whole book Trevor Noah explains to us how he grew up with his mother in South Africa with a humorous touch. In this quote he’s talking about white supremacy and racism anti-black where he lives. Trevor Noah can talk about that because he lived in this situation. By talking about it, it’s educating the readers and teaching them to not repeat the same mistakes.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that humor is very important for our society to grow better but those examples show us that not anybody can say anything anyhow. The speaker matters as well as the audience. If the joke respects those rules, it can be really beneficial for our society, it shows the mistakes that humans have made and teaches us to not reproduce them. If it’s an actual subject, it shows us that the situation is not right and that we have to do something to change it.

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