ethnic jokes

Ittaob at AOL.COM Ittaob at AOL.COM
Tue Jul 3 17:45:08 UTC 2001

In a message dated 7/3/01 12:49:06 PM, flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU writes:

<< Let's not forget the acrimonious debates on this list a few years ago re.
Ebonics.  Telling ethnic jokes on one's own group to one who will
understand and accept is one thing; telling jokes in public to an anonymous
audience is quite another, and better avoided.  A local librarian told me a
"joke" about African Americans recently, and then hastened to add that "a
black friend" told it to him.  Sorry, not acceptable.  But let's extend
this prohibition to sex- and gender-based comments, which sneak in here
frequently and quite gratuitously, to wit:

I was last here a few months ago, and I'm relieved to find that the Little
Mermaid is not pregnant.


Hear, hear. My original objection to the tasteless Italian "joke" had nothing
to do with political correctness or lack of sense of humor. I love a good
Italian joke, in context, among a group of acquaintances and meant in good
fun, as much as anyone. But there's a difference between a joke meant in good
fun and a gratuitous, demeaning remark published to a large anonymous
audience.  As Prof. Rosa suggested, intent is all. While I cannot really
divine the intent of the original poster, a remark casting Italians as a
group as furniture movers, published with no discernable context in a
linguistics list, strikes me as demeaning and disparaging. I note the
original poster has yet to respond to this thread. Further, if such a "joke"
had been made on this list about say, Mexicans, I doubt there would've been
so many calls for those offended to "lighten up." Somehow, European ethnics
(Irish, Polish, Italians) seem to be the last acceptable butts of public
ethnic humor.

Steve Boatti (once known among his friends as the Italian Stallion)

More information about the Ads-l mailing list