When the Jokes Aren’t Funny Anymore

Posted: May 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

By Hanna Munin
    Whenever you are having a hard day and you need something to make you happier, a joke is something that can cheer you up. It can lighten up your day, it can make you smile. A joke can do all sorts of wonderful things for you. But what about when jokes start to become derogatory. Jokes about the LGBT community, about mental retardation, about beating your girlfriend: are those really funny? No! Why? These jokes are mocking communities in a way that they do not deserve to be. So when we are in a situation when someone says a derogatory joke, what are we supposed to do?
    First, let’s discuss what not to do. Yelling and getting in someone’s face about how the joke they made was wrong is not the way to go. It will probably just egg them on because they saw that it provoked you and their joke got a reaction, which was what their intent was. But on the other hand, we can’t be silent about it either. If we don’t speak up in some form, then they won’t know that what they did was offensive and they shouldn’t do it again.
    What needs to be done is a calm and simple explanation. You can simply tell your friend, “Hey, that’s not funny. I don’t think it’s funny to mock people like that. It’s not right for you to do that.” By saying this, you show your concern and compassion for the community your friend offended. Also, it is a simple response that everyone can grasp; it isn’t wordy, it isn’t harsh. However, we all know that sometimes people do not want to accept that others are right. So if the person who makes a derogatory joke does not accept or agree with your response, don’t get worked up about it. More likely than not, it did make an impression on them but they just do not want to admit it. Also, by advocating that it is not okay to make fun of people in this way, it shows other people that are around that you are a type of person that sticks up for others and they are sure to admire you. It also might provoke others to do the same thing you did the next time that they hear a derogatory joke.
    In conclusion, when the jokes aren’t funny anymore, it’s time to speak up in a way that is going to be effective in getting the point across. By standing up for what is right, you are setting an example and causing an uprise for kindness to prevail. Set an example for others and don’t be afraid to speak up. You never know how much someone might appreciate what you say.

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