i told this joke at school today. I Have a friend named ##### and hes from russia. Why did ##### finish the math quiz so quickly? because he was Russian (rushing)!!!! My other friends said the joke was rasist. tell me what you think.
It's not racist! I feel like too many people are abusing the word.
There are three black balls and 2 white balls. What is the probability of choosing a white ball?
And my friends are all like, why it gotta be white balls? Why can't it be black balls? That's racist!
Race has two general definitions: one based in biology and the other in sociology. The biological traits for race determination in the human genome are nebulous and very subtle. One little-known fact is the genetic sequences used to determine race have never included skin color.
In sociology, it does include skin color.
In any case, attributing race to the color of a ball is an absurd extension of the anthropomorphic fallacy. I suppose explaining this to them may seem pointless, as it would fall on deaf ears, because such thinking processes had to have been instilled from an early age. Even so, a quick pointing out of the absurd nature of the comment may instill a logical seed that grows enough to persuade some to abandon this incongruous train of thought. Those who you persuade will also do the same. This may seem slow and cumbersome, but the fallacy probably started with this very method.
If you have the ear of your audience beyond a quick comment, you might try an absurd rejoinder. Something like this:
“Yes, many who teach statistics and combinatory counting methods are now using green and purple balls. That will have to change too, though; it seems the purple balls are accusing the green balls of being homophobes.”
Donut, your joke is simply a pun. It couldn’t be racist because Russians are not a race; it’s not an ethnic joke because it does not focus on the ethnicity of your friend. It simply focuses on the alliterative rhyming relation between the verb “rushin(g)” and the noun “Russian.”
Your friend may have responded as he did because he’s hypersensitive to the current social constructs in society. In this case, the social construct is race and ethnicity—often used interchangeably. He may have been “bully-ragged” over a “racist” remark, and he’s probably seen others so castigated for similar offenses. He then would feel compelled to pass it on to you, possibly as a type of catharsis, or believing this lessens his “offence” if he’s not the only one who is “guilty.”
There are physical laws of the universe that can destroy us if we violate them, such as trying to occupy the same space as a larger mass—like a train. I’ve seen this twice in my life, and I can say the result is gruesome and messy. Likewise, violating social or moral laws can destroy us too. Transgress either law, and you’re in for a world of misery and doom. For the physical laws there are precise and measurable limits that are repeatable every time; for the social laws the consequences are arbitrary and nebulous, and very as much as the individuals who exercise the judgment. These laws change from one generation to the next, and of course, from one culture to the next.
Late yesterday, or early this morning, someone posted an ethnic joke in the form of a riddle on the forum. It was a fusion of a “change a light bulb” and “in a bar” type of joke, with a diverse list of ethnicities and races. The joke was one paragraph and totally readable without clicking on it, with only 4 views until JB posted a reply indicating that the answer depended on whether the bartender was a (derogatory name: Italian) or (derogatory name: Irish). The view count started jumping noticeably after JB’s post.
JB is a troll and his interest is in humor, not racism. I figured he choose those two ethnicities because he’s of Italian heritage and I’m Irish. I thought his reply has to be funnier than the punch line of the joke. That remains to be seen, though, because I still don’t know the punch line, but I have a good guess.
Lancelot Link told me that during the initial re-sequencing processing for his genetic enhancement, he awoke one morning to notice he’d become black. He said during the first life-changing moments while he looked in the mirror, he heard Rod Sirling’s voice, “For your consideration, Mr. Lancelot Link, formerly a mutterer of racial slurs and ethnic jokes; now, an Ebony reader in the Twilight Zone.” OMG! LMAO! Is it racist of me to think that funny?
During a subsequent enhancement, Lancelot also became a woman. You can read about it here.
Chimp Roland, the principal ethics adviser to Lancelot’s A.P.E, advised that it would be easier and more natural in establishing egalitarian parity by hating everyone equally. He called it the “Dirty Harry” equality theory. The issue was tabled for more research.
Today’s assignment: Compare and contrast how a mathamation, an engineer, and a physicist would approach changing a light bulb. For extra credit, include how a banker would approach the problem.
I agree with GingerAle.
This joke isn't racist, it's a pun. These days, many people are trying to point out everything as racist. They're like, "That's so racist!" or "Are you being racist?" in a loud voice. As long as you are not insulting Russians just because they are Russians, you are fine. Your friends just want something to make fun of. Ignore their comments and they'll get over it (if they already haven't).