Saturday, February 02, 2008

Racist Joke

I don't tell racist jokes unless they are really really funny. Most are not and depend on stereotyping. I expect Bengalis have racist jokes about Punjabis, like the English do about the Welsh. I have made a public gay media stand about racist jokes, with some success.

At best, they should be shared in private among like minded and same skin coloured friends.

I suppose this is what this petrol station owning fool thought he was doing when he shared an aboriginal joke with ABC broadcaster Jon Faine when de Faino was on holidays in Queensland. He picked the wrong one there. Lucky the guy did not tell an anti Jewish joke.

Now that is an interesting point to ponder. I originally wrote Jewish joke, then changed it to anti Jewish joke. Is there a difference? I think there is. So there could be aboriginal jokes and anti aboriginal jokes perhaps?

A good point was made that it was outer suburban Brisbane and not inner Brisbane where this happened.

Not sure that there is a difference really. Wasn't when I was last there, but it was quite a while ago. The undesirables were all restricted to South Brisbane.

De Faino wishes he had made a scene, instead of just saying 'That is not funny'. I reckon he did ok anyway with his comment, and eventually via the airwaves giving some public humiliation to the petrol station owner.

But that is Brisbane. Inner or outer Melbourne, you would never hear anything like that at a petrol station. After all, the staff are all Indian or Sri Lankan nationals.

You could be paranoid when you hear a few of them chatting among themselves. What are they saying about me in their own language. More than likely nothing about you. They have the same preoccupations as we long time Aussies do.

After we dined in Caulfield last week and went for a walk in Caulfield Park, there was a group of young Indian men in the park chatting, way too loudly I might add. I asked our Indian friend what they were talking about, and alas it wasn't what six old poofs were doing in the park. They were talking about money and finances but in a different dialect to my friend, so he could not understand properly.

On a personal level, I might have some problem with an Indian friend and his cultural baggage, but the ones who staff our servos and 711s and travel on our public transport are very polite and friendly. And of course the Sri Lankan highrise building staff are marvellous. It is now hard to imagine how we survived without them.

2 comments:

  1. That's just the thing, isn't it? It's a joke, so it's not meant to be serious. If it was, then it's a problem...but if it's light humorous fun that nobody takes offense to, it's alright. Right?

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  2. Cannot agree Reuben. It can be very soul destroying hearing jokes about yourself or your race or anything else over a sustained period. It is just wrong.

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