Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Are Racial Jokes Ever OKAY?

Is it me? I tried explaining to my broadcast journalism students today (at length) that joking about race is NEVER okay. And I'm pleased to announce that MOST of them 'got it' but BOY there are some students I'm REALLY worried about. These FEW (and I mean few) STUDENTS actually believe that calling each other 'racial slurs' is COOL and it's me that doesn't 'get it'. I argued it and am still 'BLUE IN THE FACE' (no pun of course). But the best part of today was hearing from one of my more genteel and insightful students (and these kids forget that they become our children when they enter our class rooms). Anyway, he says, "My parents raised me to NOT think about race at all. We're all the same. I only learned about differences when I came to school."

How do we teach students about cultural sensitivity and/or inclusion if laughing about how someone speaks is OKAY?

I was in high school in the 80s and darn it, I thought we made strides. Or...maybe it's just a 'given immaturity' based on the age that rebellion is inherent no matter what.

BUT.... after proof-reading this post, I realize (with heavy heart) that it's not my students that don't get it; It's most likely...me.

Hello Amy, I enjoyed reading your thoughts about this topic. I actually just finnished writting my own on the same issue. However i think that my veiws are a little different and i tend to agree (to an extent) with your students that are less "genteel". about the student that said in your class "My parents raised me to NOT think about race at all. We're all the same. I only learned about differences when I came to school." i think that it may have actually been a negitive (perhaps not the best word) way of teaching your children about race. Perhaps because i was raised in a household that edjucated me about things such race religiong and culture. I learned and accepted the fact that people are different and we should be open in learning about those differences, instead of ignoring them. I also agree with your students that say in some cases "racial" jokes are not always bad or wrong. they can actually have positive effects if used and accepted properly. if people of differences are comfortable enough to joke about such a socialy sensitive topic then in a way it is a sign of great friendship. also People need to know how to laugh at there own expence even when it about there background. If you want to know a little more about my thoughts on this, you can check out my blog "racial and sexual jokes" by: "bigzizzo" but who knows maybe i am the one in the wrong?? i look forward to a responce Amy.

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