June 19, 2003 - 3:21 pm 5 Comments

Ever since George W. Bush became president, all the cool kids are telling redneck jokes. If a black man were elected to office, would black jokes be appropriate?

5 Responses to “Pondering”

  1. Kenneth G. Cavness Says:

    So you’re saying that redneck jokes are the exact same type of racial prejudice inherent in black jokes?

    And even if it weren’t appropriate, I’m sad to say that black jokes would definitely be out there.

  2. Addlepated Says:

    I’m not asking if the jokes would be out there. I’m asking if they would be appropriate. So what I’m getting from your response is that since redneck jokes make fun of a different subsection of people from black jokes, they’re ok. What if a Jew were elected president? Or a gay? Or a woman? Are jokes about their particular demographic ok? Since when did it become ok to pick on _any_ group of people, especially for something they can’t help being? Is it ok to pick on whites because they used to be the majority? (they’re not anymore)

  3. Kenneth G. Cavness Says:

    Well, first let me state that when you posted this, I thought “What redneck jokes? Is it the cowboy thing?” Since I frequent some pretty damn left-wing blogs and read news a lot, I figured I was just missing it or even going right past it. I decided, then, to give you the benefit of the doubt and act as if there were a sudden epidemic of redneck jokes regarding the President operating just under my radar.

    To answer your question: no, I don’t personally think they’re okay. I think they’re mean-spirited, and worse, I think that they tend to dismiss Bush as a naive man, which I don’t think is true. Bush has built an entire political career ensuring that his political opponents “misunderestimate” him.

    Perhaps you refer to the “terra” and “nukulur” jokes? I’m seriously reaching at this point to find this diabolical conspiracy of underhanded jokes you allude to.

    In the end, though, I don’t even know what really makes a redneck a redneck. Is it the Jeff Foxworthy definition? Or do you only have to be from a small town in the South?

    Finally, when did whites stop being the majority? They may stop being the majority soon, but I think they still are. And in certain areas, such as corporate boardrooms and politics, they’re the majority by far. Are you talking about specific areas of the country in which they’ve stopped being the minority?

    I guess what I’m saying is that your question simply begs a dozen other questions, and I’m not sure I understand it. If you had put it in a way such that “Why are people calling Bush an ignorant hick?” or something, I’d first have asked where, and then I’d have “shooken” my head sadly.

    It’s a nasty, vicious world we live in now, and that’s no truer than in politics. Sometimes I think someone should train a video camera in on the din and do a Rodney King. The worst thing is, nobody’s going to blink first and tone down the rhetoric, because neither side believes the other side would do the same.

  4. Raspil Says:

    You mean people haven’t been telling stereotypical ethnic/racial jokes for YEARS already? They only started when Jr took office? Someone ring hell and tell this to Lenny Bruce, I’m sure he needs to be informed. Everyone chill, we have a tough enough time being human, let alone the little details that make us different. And I think appropriateness is in the eye of the beholder. Is that an ugly thing to say? Sure, it is. But it’s the truth, and we all know what that’s like. As long as there are people in the world, things that you (no one specific here) don’t like will happen. And you can either live in a hole or deal with it, or don’t. But trying to control what others do and say is counterproductive to our evolution. Please don’t “misunderestimate” me. I speak the truth as I see it, and that doesn’t make it right, but it’s not necessarily wrong, and yes, we are all entitled to think the way we want to.

  5. wendy Says:

    what presents the problem for me is that the people that make these jokes advocate tolerance for all yet come across as intolerant of those who don’t agree with them. however, i’m a proponent of making fun of everyone and would hate to live in a world where the last people who can take a joke (redneck types) were off limits. we’ve already got too many of those thin-skinned individuals out there as it is. obnoxiousness is a democratic right. it should work both ways though as your observation keenly points out.