|Posted by Rujizzle on March 24, 2012 at 10:20 PM|
There's been something I've been wanting to write about for the longest, but just haven't had the time and focus to do so. BUT I can finally do it now! It has to do with people that find humor in certain topics but in return is offensive to others, also those that make silly remarks and not think about the repercussions of their comments. As one gets older, I believe that the mature thing to do is be wise about your comments and choose your words wisely. Yes, I support free speech, but is it really worth saying certain things that could potentially be hurtful to others?
In case you're confused of what these remarks could consist of, here are examples:
Whenever someone says any of the examples given above (and others not mentioned), it makes me wonder what the person says when you're actually not in their presence. They may be cautious when talking at the moment, but I feel that they have and do say worse things without boundaries in one's absence. The ones who say these "funny" things sometimes claim to not be racist/sexist/classist but it's really difficult to believe that with the way they present themselves while making these "jokes." In my opinion, I think one of the reasons why people dig awkward holes like this for themselves is their need for attention or to seem/sound cool. What's unfortunate is that they are doing the opposite.
What startles me is when people say these offensive things and fail to realize that not everyone is pleased with the joke or comment. I am guilty of making some jokes that may be considered racist or classist sometimes, I think it may be part of human nature, but I also know my limit and do my best not to ever cross it. People need to be more attentive of how others receive their statements or jokes. I am not saying that people should limit the things they say, but if you see that one does not find your remarks as funny or entertaining of any sort, just stop. Forcing it to be funny really just makes things worse and you really just push yourself into an awkward, uncomfortable trap.
The reason why I found it necessary to write this post is because I have been on both sides of this argument, the horrible joker and the one offended. When I was younger, I know my family tiredlessly worked on me being more attentive of the things I said to others, and to learn when to talk and shut up. I won't say I'm perfect at it now, because there are still some times I get myself into awkward word vomit traps, but I am very aware of the things I say to others and speak with utmost caution no matter how cool that person is with me. Like I said, I've been on the other end as well whereby people have made certain remarks, based on my race/sex/status, to me that I found to be insulting and offensive. What's interesting about this is that I feel badly for them sometimes for the silly thing they may have said. But in response, my upbringing has prepared me for situations like these and most of the time I handle it with poise, diplomacy, and intelligence.
The best advice I can give to those that are told remarks they find to be offensive is to address the "joker" about it and let them know how you really feel about the comment(s). Being silent results to more offensive comments coming your way. It's imperative that you speak up and not be put in uncomfortable situations. In no way do I recommend yelling or any physical contact, a calm conversation can get the job done. Another suggestion is ignoring the individual if they consistently do it. Remember, actions do speak louder than words certain times. By ignoring and not responding to them only leaves them looking stupidly awkward.
I don't know if there's really a specific advice I can give, but I've got a suggestion, educate yourself: There's nothing valuable about ignorance. No matter what your background may be, don't let it be an excuse for making silly comments. Ask questions, get the facts, and do more research when in doubt. Beware that certain things/jokes/comments may be okay to say with others that share similar backgrounds BUT could have negative connotations when it comes from someone different. This has nothing to do with double standards just mere respect and understanding, that is all. If no one is amused, shut it. When in doubt, shut it! When you're the only one laughing, shut it!
Jokes or comments with regards to race, sex, class, economic status, religion, gender identity, politics, sexual orientation, etc. are things that people need to be cautious about. If you do not know the person's story and/or experiences, do not let word-vomit get the best of you. Choose your words wisely, and beware of the comfort of others.
Thanks for reading, I appreciate your time!
Jill Scott - Hate on me