Friday, July 16, 2010

A Blonde Rant

When I was young, Polish and Hispanic jokes were all the rage with the people in my neighborhood. Adults would tell them to each other and the kids would overhear them, clean up the language a little and pass them onto their friends. When anyone would object to one of these clearly racist jokes, the retort would be, “But (insert known Polish or Hispanic friend) is (Polish or Hispanic) and he loves these jokes!”

As I got older and the neighborhood increased its Latino population, Hispanic jokes died out. Polish jokes still thrived. I wish I could say that I never told a Polish or Hispanic joke, but I can’t. I told all the jokes that my friends told; I even told dirty jokes before I even knew *why* they were dirty.

I grew up and moved away. I don’t hear any Polish or Hispanic jokes unless the little old racist man comes into my store. No one laughs at his jokes nor do they repeat them.

Now there are blond(e) jokes. I’ve heard them all. I don’t find them funny. I have never found them funny. Yes, I have told them and I have been the blonde that others used to justify their telling of the jokes. “See, she thinks the joke is funny and she’s blonde.” I understand how easy it is to just pretend it’s not insulting to be classified as stupid and whorish simply because you are part of a group that has a common characteristic.

It is easy to make a joke about a group of people, such as blondes or Polish people. In fact, I recognized some of the blond(e) jokes as recycled Polish jokes. It’s easy to tell someone when they are offended by that joke, “relax, it’s just a joke. It doesn’t mean anything.” That is wrong. Jokes are propaganda and have been used as such. Look at World War II era cartoons and comics from the United States, take notice of how they portray the Axis Powers. Jokes show how people are truly viewed. Look at The Daily Show. The whole thing is a joke, yet a large percentage of people use it to stay up to date with current events.

Let me say once again that I am a blonde. I am proud to be a blonde. I do not like blond(e) jokes. I do not like racist jokes. I think telling a blond(e) joke is no better than a racist joke, even if *you* are a blonde. I apologize if this is not as succinct as it should be; I fear I may have rambled. I simply needed to vent my frustration.

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