Thursday, June 23, 2011
The Indian Way.
I got into a bit of a tiff with one of my Brother's friends recently.
It all took place over Face Book which should already tell you something, but I am not sure what exactly.
Things can escalate quickly let me tell you.
I will now try and sum it all up using as little punctuation as possible and with only one big breath.
My brother posted the most well known photo of the WWII Navajo Code Talkers in which one of my relatives is seen posing with a radio and Nathan is all like "That's my grandpa" and I was all like "No, it's not. It's an Uncle" and all his friends were commenting on how "cool" or "lame" it was and this one friend of his made a comment joking about HIS relatives being the "real Americans" that rode into the camps to give the Indians plague blankets.
I was like "Oh HELL NO!"
So I took issue with this.
As petty as an argument like this can get, I still think that it is one worth having since what he said crossed a line.
And that is what I tried to point out, that he crossed a line.
He responded, not with an apology, but by pointing out that it was okay for him to say this because he has a multicultural cast of friends! He even named all of their corresponding races and heritages!
Good for him.
But that wasn't the point.
And I tried to explain this to him.
But he still didn't get it.
He was making a joke about an atrocity.
It would have been the same as him making a joke about Slavery or the Holocaust and I wanted him to know that he needed to be careful about what he said.
But as I was typing out an all too long letter to him, I realized that the problem was that he is young, and he didn't grow up in the same world that I grew up in.
He grew up with shows like South Park making a mint off of being incredibly offensive with it's humor.
He doesn't get WHY that show is funny in the first place, he just accepted that it is.
And I guess that's the problem.
The bigger problem is that there are a whole shit load of people that think just like him and don't see the difference between a racist joke and a joke that uses racism against itself in order to laugh at all the racist people for thinking such racist things in the first place.
Sarah Silverman talked about this.
When she would use racism against itself for a joke.
She would tell her jokes, and it was like a racist litmus test, she could see the people that actually were agreeing with her and she could see the people that were laughing with her.
I think she called the laughter that she would get from these jokes "blood laughs".
Anyways, this kid doesn't get it.
He wasn't trying to be a jerk.
He probably wasn't trying to make a racist joke.
But for as long as he doesn't see the difference, chances are he's just going to keep making the same, tired, dumb jokes.
And I just can't let that happen.
Not on MY watch!
That's why I sent a good ol' fashioned Navajo Hex his way.
He'll have plenty of time to think about what's really funny when, from now on every boner he gets is accompanied by uncontrollable farting.
Only time will tell if the lesson has been learned.