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Mar. 10th, 2010

This was interesting.

Someone posts a joke. This joke concerns [nationality], [nationality], [culture], and a joke on that. Sure, whatever.

Then someone says:  "I'm sorry, but I don't think this is funny. I think in today's political context, this "joke" fuels prejudice in associating [culture] with terrorists. Maybe there's a cultural reference I don't "get", if that's the case would someone please explain? Sorry, I don't mean to offend anyone, but I am rather disturbed by this."

The correct response to this is: "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend, blah blah blah" or explaining, if there is a "cultural reference." I would love to tell the next poster this, because they obviously didn't understand a thing about the first commenter's thoughts.

The incorrect response is to say: "Oh please. Let's not get so politically correct that we can't even tell a joke around here. I've seen plenty of stuff on here that is probably offensive to some group or other. Just try to keep a sense of humor."

Um. The person just said that they felt uncomfortable and would someone explain, if they've got the wrong end of the stick? The correct response is not to jump on the person and make them feel unwelcome: "Oh, please get over yourself," is the message. And yes--jokes do make fun of some groups or people. If it's taken without offense and the said group is fine with it, then go with it. But when someone expressly tells you that it makes them feel uncomfortable, I'm afraid you, second-poster, come off as merely insensitive and catty.

It's what actually hits people, not the intention. An apology is three words--two if you use the contraction. Being a fool takes a lot more to correct.


Edit to remove the links. Oops.

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