In my group of friends, it seems like everyone is always competing to be the funniest. Someone is always trying to work the latest meme into our conversations or make the most relatable joke.
A lot of the time, the joke comes out racist or sexist and I’m caught between speaking out or letting it slide. I feel like it is my duty as a decent human being to shoot down behavior like that but nobody wants to be ‘that kid’, the one nobody wants to hang out with for fear of getting scolded.
I shouldn’t have to make that decision though. Insensitive jokes should never be made in the first place. I shouldn’t be put in that position.
Sometimes I choose to let it slide because I know the person behind the joke is a good person at heart. This does not, by any means, excuse the joke. It was still wrong to say.
People who make insensitive jokes should not be enabled. We should not laugh. We should not brush it off as though it won’t happen again. We need to stand up and make it stop. It’s the only way we’ll ever see real change.
Jokes about serious issues are not funny. Jokes lead to the devaluation of these issues. Society starts to believe that the problem isn’t as big as we make it seem. Rapists are let off the hook. Hate crimes are excused. People get hurt and nobody gives them justice.
Good people make bad decisions. A hurtful joke happens once or twice. If the person is educated on the issue and still continues to devalue it, maybe they’re not that good of a person.
I’ve started to speak up. I decided that I don’t care if people stop inviting me out. It’s more important for me to stand up to what’s wrong than to be part of the ‘cool group’.
I don’t want to be friends with someone who thinks it’s funny to make light of serious, pressing problems. I don’t want to associate with someone who thinks people’s pain makes a good subject for a joke, and you shouldn’t either.