Do I lack humor?

The other day during lunch, we were discussing about those webcams that are capable of following your face when you move in front of your screen… but that don’t work if you are a black person. The stupidity of the designers is already quite disturbing, but what I wasn’t expecting was the “joke” that followed: “It’s (sic) doesn’t really matter since they don’t know how to use computers.”

I stayed pop-eyed for a while as I didn’t know if he was joking or not and the third person wasn’t reacting much. So I incredulously exclaimed that what he was saying was awful, to what he answered: “It’s just a joke!”.

I tried to explain him that 1. It was racist. 2. It was not funny. 3. Although he says he’s not racist, saying racist stuffs sounds pretty racist to me given that your first thought about black people is a prejudice about their intelligence. That was not okay at all. He tried to argue that he would not say that in front of a black person because he wouldn’t want to offend her; that since it was only us it was fine; that we should make fun of everything and since we make jokes about Jews, why not also about Blacks? BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT BLACK! But it was a joke!! But it’s not okay!!!

Little to say that I slightly lost my temper. There was nothing I could say to make him understand, and I actually knew it from the beginning. Israelis have the most twisted humor you can imagine. If you know me, you also know that I’m not the last one to make borderline jokes and dark humor. I’m telling you, I have been shocked more often here than during the rest of my life. They of course suffered a lot during wars, terror attacks and Quassam rains, and the souvenir of the Shoah as well is still very vivid, and joking about it is a way to cope with it. This is not new, Jewish humor is all about it and I love it. But they have no limit. They joke about absolutely every thing. So why not about Blacks since it’s okay to joke about Frenchies?

Maybe they are right, maybe we should be able to laugh about everything. But I have never been able to laugh at a joke about the Holocaust. Or harmed children. And prejudices are not jokes. So why is it okay if they are about Jews? I don’t like that they joke about money and the allegedly weird attraction we have for it. It’s funny of course because it makes fun of those saying such a thing, but what if by continually reinforcing prejudice we finished by living by them?

Israelis are like kids to whom no one told that although jumping into a pound might be fun for them, it could also spatter others who don’t like it. The debate will not end soon…
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