Mid-Life Ramblings; Sanity Optional

Friday, June 02, 2006

Where does funny cross the line?

There’s a “joke” floating around inboxes everywhere. I’m sure most of you have seen it by now. It’s the one about solving the illegal immigration problem, the New Orleans levee problem, and the Florida alligator overpopulation problem in one fell swoop by digging a moat along the boarder, using the dirt to raise the levees, and filling the moat with the alligators. Oh ha, ha.

You see, I don’t find a bit of humor in this.

First of all, whoever came up with this apparently isn’t too familiar with the Mexican border because there’s already a huge “moat” called the Rio Grande River. Second, I just see this “joke” as veiled hate.

Of course, I also see the whole immigration hoopla as veiled hate as well. You don’t see the Chimp-in-Chief screaming about building a fence along the Canadian border, do you? Of course not because it’s white people who live up there, not brown ones. And, well, the Canadians aren’t exactly flocking here, are they?

Someone posted this “joke” on a board I frequent and a friend of mine and I objected to it. When we expressed our beliefs that this was just veiled hate we were met with ridiculous comments like “well then are blonde jokes hatred toward blondes?” and “most jokes make fun at some sort of group, wouldn’t that make most jokes veiled hatred?” I chose to bow out gracefully and not respond further to this rather than getting in a pissing contest with someone over it. But I’ve got to tell y’all that I cannot believe how little we have progressed as a society when we still find these sorts of things humorous.

I decided a long time ago that I wasn’t going to let someone tell an offensive “joke” in front of me without my calling him/her on it. I’ve stuck to that decision. I can appreciate a good joke along with the next person. But make a joke in front of me that has to do with the color of a person’s skin or their sexual orientation or anything else that is just veiled racism or hatred and I’ll call you on it. That’s just me.

I’m feeling the need for a good break from that board. It’ll be the first break for me in four years. Sometimes the crap just gets to be enough. Maybe I’m just too sensitive about all this immigration stuff. I come from a line of immigrants who have nearly lost their language because it was beaten out of them two generations ago. Cajun French was my grandparents’ first language but teachers and other school personnel were allowed to administrator beatings if they caught them speaking anything but English on school campuses. So my parents’ generation wasn’t taught French. Because my grandparents spoke it at home, my parents learned to understand it but can’t speak it. It was never taught to us or spoken in front of us except when our grandparents wanted to say something about us or something that was not for our ears. It is a language near death and a huge tragedy. Maybe that’s why my heart feels so connected to these immigrants.

*sigh* Maybe I'm just ready for the weekend. Y'all have a great one.