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[debate] racism in humor (was blonde jokes)

 
Trailboss
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So this started off as a list of blonde jokes. The jokes have been moved to a different thread so that the heavy debate can continue here.
[ July 23, 2003: Message edited by: Paul Wheaton ]
 
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Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:
[QB][/QB]


Listen, I'm the last person to be PC, but I think the line needs to be drawn at racist and sexist jokes. I know, life is no fun unless you can make fun of other people, but I'm a little surprised that people here tolerate such racist/sexist jokes.
 
paul wheaton
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Listen, I'm the last person to be PC, but I think the line needs to be drawn at racist and sexist jokes. I know, life is no fun unless you can make fun of other people, but I'm a little surprised that people here tolerate such racist/sexist jokes.
Sexist, maybe. Racist - definitely not. A lot of blone jokes have to do with the blonde coming from a bottle.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:
Listen, I'm the last person to be PC, but I think the line needs to be drawn at racist and sexist jokes. I know, life is no fun unless you can make fun of other people, but I'm a little surprised that people here tolerate such racist/sexist jokes.
Sexist, maybe. Racist - definitely not. A lot of blone jokes have to do with the blonde coming from a bottle.



Sexist, maybe? Come on, you know better. And you know it is racist since blonde hair is characteristic of only one racial group (the bottle part is not really evident nor relevant).
Where are all the PC people now? Strange how they go into hiding on these racist/sexist jokes, but then again, I always knew they were phonies.
 
buckaroo
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Q. You know what you call a blonde in a tree?
A. Branch Manager.

Those poor fair skinned, toe headed Europeans just can't handle a little good natured fun; is that it Herbie? Or are you just naturally a whinner?
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Donald R. Cossitt:
[list] Or are you just naturally a whinner?


Well, I have a much younger sister who recently graduated summa cum laude from FIU and is trying to enter the work force now and is a member of racial minority group unprotected by federal civil rights law. At the moment she is working menial labor minimum wage level jobs far beneath her. Not that it isn't hard for a lot of us here in these times, but as stupid as these jokes/stereotypes are, people are still influenced by them.
Perhaps you don't have a sister or mother or significant other who is blonde, or maybe you just can't relate to women at all to know what they go through, in any event would you be so supportive of jokes about blacks or asians? Isn't the principle the same, the perpetuation of destructive stereotypes?
Again, the phoniness of the PC crowd, in their noticeable silence, is what you would expect.
[ July 23, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
 
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And you know it is racist since blonde hair is characteristic of only one racial group
Well then, this just BEGS the question:
Is it politically incorrect to laugh at one's own group?
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by John Dunn:
And you know it is racist since blonde hair is characteristic of only one racial group
Well then, this just BEGS the question:
Is it politically incorrect to laugh at one's own group?


John, the jokes are racist AND sexist; so I guess this means you are a blonde Caucasion woman.
Perpetuating the jokes/stereotypes even by some blondes themselves would be suspect wouldn't it, if it damages/insults/offends other blondes (uh, oh, this could turn into joke...)
 
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
Again, the phoniness of the PC crowd, in their noticeable silence, is what you would expect.
Hmmm, I'd expect more of a reaction from the Mac crowd actually
 
(instanceof Sidekick)
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We had a manager who started every joke with "two ethnic minorities of your choice walk into a bar..."
 
Richard Hawkes
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Two blonde female friends (who happen to own their own design shop) find all the blonde jokes hilarious. Between me and a Nigerian friend, the old "Velcro" joke is harmless.
There are degrees to which you can make fun of people and use stereotypes. The "all or nothing attitude" is extreme (something the "PC" crowd can be blamed for). There's a world of difference between making jokes about bottle-blondes or rednecks as being a bit dumb and jokes implying a whole race is worthless; the cruel jokes about black people have come about through a history of racism and are based on hatred, fear and loathing.
Give us some credit for knowing the difference please!
[ July 23, 2003: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]
 
John Dunn
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[deleted by moderator --JM]
I must tell that one to my wife. That is hilarious!!! (She hates the black jelly beans too & thinks it funny that I like them!!)
Herb, you're perfectly legal in telling off-color jokes, (no pun intended). These are so damn silly I'm sure most black people would be doing this: :roll: :roll: I doubt Amnesty International is banning this site :roll: Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if the website was run by a black man with a love of satire.
Could you find me some Irish & American jokes of the same caliber before tomorrow, as I want to unleash them on the Paddies so we can all share a good laugh??
[ July 23, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
 
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Ya know, I hate when people yell "racism" at every perceived injustice. Just shouting "racism" doesn't make it so, and I doubt you will convince anyone that a blonde joke is racist. Stereotyping maybe, but not racist. Racism, in case you missed this one in college, is a bias against a particular race, not against a particular hair color. Nor would these jokes really seem to fit the definition of sexist. Let's invent a new -ism then... blondism.
However, since I firmly believe in the tenets of political correctness, I would ask people here to refrain from saying anything that can in any conceivable way upset/insult/disturb/annoy anyone else.
Btw, I married a blonde.
[ July 23, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
 
John Dunn
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Btw, tell your lil' Sis to dye her hair or wear a wig. :roll: I'll light a candle for her too... Life is REAL hard, then you die.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
Two blonde female friends (who happen to own their own design shop) find all the blonde jokes hilarious. Between me and a Nigerian friend, the old "Velcro" joke is harmless.
There are degrees to which you can make fun of people and use stereotypes. The "all or nothing attitude" is extreme (something the "PC" crowd can be blamed for). There's a world of difference between making jokes about bottle-blondes or rednecks as being a bit dumb and jokes implying a whole race is worthless; the cruel jokes about black people have come about through a history racism and are based on hatred and loathing.
Give us some credit for knowing the difference please!


Umm, whether its based on hatred or loathing or whatever, you don't believe that women actually have problems with stereotypes today??
Do know that people actually make snide (unjustified) comments about some women being "dumb blondes" ?
Do you actually know that certain people do see blondes as "dumber" and that blondes are given less management positions?
You say the issue is not "all or nothing", but
why would anyone want to contribute to the stigmatization of any group by perpetuating ANY stereotype in even a small way?
Do you feel better about yourself by insulting other groups?
 
Jason Menard
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Racist jokes and links deleted. Don't post that crap here, no matter how morally outraged you feel.
 
frank davis
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[edited by moderator --JM]
Well, I guess this tactic didn't work. I guess its my turn to be the sensitive one. I thought everybody found these things at least distasteful.
I do.
[ July 23, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
 
John Dunn
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I was in Barnes & Noble tonight and saw the following book out on one of the tables:
Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word by Randall Kennedy. It seems interesting. In the U.S. that word is a VERY powerful word - be it good or bad. It really has a wide range of meaning.
Herb, I can equate what you were doing above to a young child who comes up and sticks their tongue at me if they are upset. I won't get hurt, but I will get miffed at their attempt to hurt... Are you unable to get a point across without resorting to what you seem to be fighting?
ROTFLMFAO
(I'm thinking about an anti-gun group that then goes and shoots the leaders of a pro-gun group because they can't stand what the pro-gunners represent.)
 
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Where is my favorite quote... Here:
"The aim of a joke is not to degrade the human being but to remind him that he is already degraded."
George Orwell
 
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Where is my favorite quote... Here:
"The aim of a joke is not to degrade the human being but to remind him that he is already degraded."
George Orwell


As I live and breathe, 20 years ago I never thought I would hear (or read) a Russian quoting Orwell!
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Ya know, I hate when people yell "racism" at every perceived injustice. Just shouting "racism" doesn't make it so, and I doubt you will convince anyone that a blonde joke is racist. Stereotyping maybe, but not racist. Racism, in case you missed this one in college, is a bias against a particular race, not against a particular hair color. Nor would these jokes really seem to fit the definition of sexist. Let's invent a new -ism then... blondism.
However, since I firmly believe in the tenets of political correctness, I would ask people here to refrain from saying anything that can in any conceivable way upset/insult/disturb/annoy anyone else.
Btw, I married a blonde.
[ July 23, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]


There is a very high correlation/association between blondeness and race, both in the popular imagination and statisically. Blondes, natural or unnatural, are far less common amongst African Americans, Asians, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and most other racial groups that are non-Caucasian. When you pick out a feature that is a distinguishing feature amongst one racial group, then its not totally off base to say that there is racial component involved although it depends on the context. Just so happens my ethnic group is a minority in some cities in South Florida and I've heard other ethnic groups use the term "dumb blonde". I don't expect you to have the slighest idea what I'm talking about cause I'm sure your "college" discussions on racism never conceived of that possibility. Somehow your keen mind also missed the fact that all these jokes were about blonde "women" and hence sexist for that reason, not "blondist".
 
Michael Morris
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Why did this topic turn into a PC discussion? Can't we just joke and laugh sometimes. Hell I tell redneck jokes all the time and probably have some kin and friends that would be considered rednecks. Certainly if the joke is mean spirited then it shouldn't be told but most of us realize that just being blonde doesn't make you an idiot.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Btw, I married a blonde.
[ July 23, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]


Dear Jason,
Have your wife read the "Oh shit, not another breathalyzer!" joke and other such crudities.
Please report back to us how hard she laughed on a scale of 1-10 (10 as the loudest). Ask her if she feels better as a women, and as a blonde women, knowing that people enjoy such jokes about people (fictional or not) that share the same distinguishing feature she does. Oh, one more thing, be honest.
 
paul wheaton
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No doubt a blonde joke is less than PC.
PC is boring.
I suppose a blonde joke could be racist against white folks, it does seem to be that the jokes also target those folks that choose to change the color of their hair. So I think the racist card it a dud.
Blonde jokes are clearly sexist. While it does push a stereotype (namely, that of a woman with a lower than average IQ) it always makes it clear that many women are far more intelligent.
The bottom line is that this thread has too much substance and not enough jokes. If you wanna talk about this more, START YOUR OWN THREAD!
 
Donald R. Cossitt
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Well, I have a much younger sister who recently graduated summa cum laude from FIU and is trying to enter the work force now and is a member of racial minority group unprotected by federal civil rights law. At the moment she is working menial labor minimum wage level jobs far beneath her. Not that it isn't hard for a lot of us here in these times, but as stupid as these jokes/stereotypes are, people are still influenced by them.


When the dream is big enough the facts don't count! Maybe your sister needs a bigger dream and fewer excuses?


or maybe you just can't relate to women


Are women the only ones with blonde hair?


Btw, tell your lil' Sis to dye her hair


For some this would be called artificial intelligence.


I thought everybody found these things at least distasteful.
I do.


Don't read them, duh!


Have your wife read the "Oh shit, not another breathalyzer!" joke and other such crudities.
Please report back to us how hard she laughed on a scale of 1-10 (10 as the loudest).


Anyone that knows my wife would say she is unquestionably reserved and conservative. But when I told her the joke about the "joystick" her laugh was definitely a 10+
But then she is brunette (though of English descent - very European) and has a sense of humor
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Michael Morris:
Why did this topic turn into a PC discussion? Can't we just joke and laugh sometimes. Hell I tell redneck jokes all the time and probably have some kin and friends that would be considered rednecks. Certainly if the joke is mean spirited then it shouldn't be told but most of us realize that just being blonde doesn't make you an idiot.


I've joked around using a hillbilly accent myself at work once and got nailed really hard when an office of ours in West Virginnia heard about it and complained they felt insulted. The joke wasn't aimed at them and really wasn't insulting I thought, but I did realize after much reflection that these people's complaint was not totally unwarranted since they didn't know what the context/motivation was of my attempted jocularity.
I've had some relatives that could be called redneck as well and know that some joking amongst themselves and at themselvess can be good natured. BUT I've also seen people use the word "redneck" in a most hateful way having the same equivalence as the most bigoted Klansman would use the term "nigger". Guess I've heard people use the term "dumb blonde" in a more hateful way than most.
 
John Dunn
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Good quote, Map.
Here's some more:
[LIST="1"]
  • We must laugh before we are happy, for fear we die before we laugh at all.

  • - Jean de la Bruyere, The Characters or Manners of the Present Age
    (ch. IV)
  • How much lies in Laughter: the cipher-key, wherewith we decipher the whole man.

  • - Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus (bk. I, ch. IV)
  • Many a true word is spoken in jest...
  • A day without laughter is a day wasted.

  • - Charlie Chaplin
  • The human race has only one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.--Mark Twain
  • Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion . . . . I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.--Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  • You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything --even poverty--you can survive it.--Bill Cosby
  • All extremists should be taken out and shot.
  • Take your dying with some seriousness, however. Laughing on the way to your execution is not generally understood by less advanced life forms, and they'll call you crazy.

  • Messiah's Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul
  • Don't take life too serious. You'll never escape it alive anyway.

  • Elbert Hubbard
  • Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit. - Oscar Wilde
  • Perhaps I know best why it is man alone who laughs; he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter. - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • An optimist is someone who tells you to cheer up when things are going his way.
  •  
    Donald R. Cossitt
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    Herb; I have found that if you don't learn to laugh at yourself once in awhile, many will do it for you. Chill out, friend; let your hair down a little, have some fun. In all of the years I know of since blonde jokes, you are the only one I have ever heard take this vain - do you work for that freedom-inept group called the ACLU?
     
    Mapraputa Is
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    Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit. - Oscar Wilde
    That was a good one. Thanks, John, I really appreciate it.
     
    Cowgirl and Author
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    Geez -- you folks are just getting warmed up. Where's the good stuff?
    My birthday was June 19th. My sister Sherry, also very blonde, gave me a great card:
    At the top it said, "Surprise Birthday Party for a Blonde"
    Then it showed a man and a blonde woman sitting at a table. He says, "It's your birthday!" and she says, "It IS??!!" with a big surprised smile
    ==============================
    A blonde goes to the Dr. for a checkup.
    The Dr. comes out and says, "I have wonderful news... you're pregnant!"
    The blonde says, "Is it mine?"
    ==============================
    A blonde in a casino is standing in front of a coke machine with a long line of people behind her. She just keeps putting quarters in, pulling the cans out, setting them on the floor.
    Finally, the guy behind her gets extremely impatient and says, "Come on lady... there's a line here! Give someone else a chance."
    Annoyed, she turns and says, "Hold on... can't you see I'm winning?"
    =============================
    As a lifelong *very* blonde woman, I have truly struggled with my blondeness. Being follicly-challenged can be quite a handicap. But with effort, hard work, and a good stylist, I have been able to overcome my limitations
    What do you call the author of the number one selling Java book on Amazon?
    A blonde.
    What do you call the original founder of javaranch?
    A blonde.
    See? If you know how to work it, the whole blonde thing can be an asset.
    And yes we *do* have more fun

    But please, I'm not going to waste my time here unless there are more blonde jokes!
    =========================
    Why was the blonde staring at the orange juice bottle?
    Because it said 'concentrate'
    =========================
    How do you kill a blonde?
    Put a scratch and sniff sticker at the bottom of a pool.
    (my very blonde daughter's favorite )
    =========================
    What did the blonde say when she opened the box of cheerios?
    Look! Donut seeds!
    =========================
    How do you keep a blonde busy for hours?
    Write, "Please turn over" on both sides of a piece of paper.
    =========================
    Finally! A topic in MD I can really relate to.
    More more more!
    --Kathy
    differently hair-colored and damn proud of it
     
    High Plains Drifter
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    Someone besides me quoted Thomas Carlyle. Sartor Resartus, no less. That kicks ass.
     
    Ugly Redneck
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    I cant understand why people make fun of blondes in the first place? I love blondes.. I wish I were blonde!
     
    Michael Morris
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    Originally posted by Sriraj Rajaram:
    I cant understand why people make fun of blondes in the first place? I love blondes.. I wish I were blonde!



    I'd actually pay to see that!
     
    John Dunn
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    Laughter sets the spirit free to move through even the most tragic of circumstances. It helps us shake our heads clear, get our feet back under us, restoring our sense of balance and purpose. Humor is integral to our peace of mind and to our ability to go beyond survival.
    --Captain Gerald Coffee POW in Vietnam for seven years
    ...from his book:
    [http://search.barnesandnoble.com/OopBooks/UsedBook.asp?userid=33W59VM1IZ&ean=2781536113621]
    Beyond Survival[/URL]
    He talks about Gallows Humor and how it was so necessary for the American POWs in VietNam. I guess one could say that laughter is similar to crying, in that they both relieve stress. Unfortunately, we don't always remember that when we need to...
    BTW, This book is one of my all-time favorites!!
    It is a VERY spiritual account of his confinement. Especially poignant are the chapters where he discusses how he was reduced to his base elements when his captures took his wedding ring, his religious medal, navy uniform, cut his hair, gave him new food and housing, kept him from friends --> i.e. systematically and catagorically removed all traces of his identity and left him to be by himself for probably the first time in his life.
    IMO, many of you will find this story extremely thought provoking... (And ladies, a rare glimpse at a man being honest and open with his feelings.)
    [ July 23, 2003: Message edited by: John Dunn ]
     
    Richard Hawkes
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    Originally posted by herb slocomb:
    why would anyone want to contribute to the stigmatization of any group by perpetuating ANY stereotype in even a small way? Because its not ALL stigmatisation.
    There appears to be double-standard at work in the use of stereotypes. We all know what we can say to our friends and colleagues and always push the boundaries a little further with them. I can jest with my Scots colleague at Daewoo about the English and Scots but you wouldn't find me walking into a bar in Glasgow and start cracking jokes about tartan skirts (not unless I fancied a Glaswegian kiss - another stereotype).
    The double standard largely vanishes if we look at the context. Context is the key. If I hear a joke about gays for example it will become apparent to me if the joker is a closet gay-basher or is just trying to make a joke. If it is obvious they actually have a problem with gay people I'll will find the joke offensive, otherwise I will probably laugh. Admittedly this is a very subtle distinction and the confusion can cause offence much like your experience using the hillbilly accent. But if no malice is intended then its fair game otherwise we'll all go nuts! Everything is offensive to someone, somewhere. Causing occasional or unintended offence however is not the same as discrimination and bigotry, and is a fact of life although I never aim to offend anyone.
     
    Richard Hawkes
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    Originally posted by Sriraj Rajaram:
    I wish I were blonde!
    Why? Are you scared people take you too seriously
     
    Richard Hawkes
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    On another note: its been popular in UK comedy the past decade to feature characters with barely concealed racist or sexist sympathies (David Brent, Alan Partridge). In the context of these shows many stereotypical views are aired but we are (supposedly) laughing at the ignorance of the character and their outrageous statements rather than the actual sentiment. Some people find it uncomfortable to watch this kind of TV and there have been complaints that it is too close to the bone, yet the distinction, however subtle, is there. Its my view that this is a ploy by the writers to get past politically-correct writer's block. In this way we get to laugh at statements like (in the case of Alan Partridge) "Its a fact, all French people chomp on onions and say ee'hoh, ee'hoh, ee'hoh!" without feeling guilty.
     
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    IMDO, if you can replace chars of joke with anything else then its not a racist/sexiest/etc joke, its a simply a joke.
    AW please continue this higly intellectual discussion.
     
    frank davis
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    Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
    Where is my favorite quote... Here:
    "The aim of a joke is not to degrade the human being but to remind him that he is already degraded."
    George Orwell


    Obviously some jokes, perhaps subconsciously, are not for the purpose of promoting good will and feelings of equality, despite the fact that they may indeed be humorous. The degree of humor of a joke in no way measures what motivated the joke that degrades or insults a group. Socio-biologists would not have to strain very hard to see that jokes directed at groups, rather than individuals, could serve as way of maintaining/manipulating a social hierarchy or pecking order. Also, bonding may be encouraged amongst the members of one group as they degrade another group, again for socio-biological advantage. A point that people are missing is that not all humor needs to be insulting nor does it have to be directed at entire groups. The reasons/motivations for such types of humor may be unconscious, but that does not mean they should be excused.
     
    frank davis
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    Originally posted by Ravish Kumar:
    IMDO, if you can replace chars of joke with anything else then its not a racist/sexiest/etc joke, its a simply a joke.
    AW please continue this higly intellectual discussion.


    I think the context and motivation is more important. The same exact joke can be used for different purposes and have different motivations; clearly being more acceptable or less unaccpetable depending on the specifics of the circumstances.
     
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