I am not saying for one minute that all racist jokes should be repurposed. I don’t think that it’s even possible for some jokes. The ones that I’m talking about are the straight up insults. The ones that have nothing to do with actual differences in peoples or even stereotypes of said peoples.
The first inkling that something could be done started with someone I know bemoaning the loss of culture with the onset of political correctness. I know for sure that this person knew a boatload of racist jokes that were even then no longer tolerated by society. My first instinct was ‘tough, deal with this loss and don’t come crying to me’. But many years later I realized that the straight up insult jokes could easily be repurposed.
But wait, you might say, insult jokes mean someone has to still be the butt of the joke. That’s right. Having spent some time doing political cartoons, the choice of the new butt of the jokes was easy for me. How about ‘the leader’?
So now we can ask, “What’s the difference between Stephen Harper and a pail of excrement?” If someone were to answer “The pail!” we would have no choice but to agree.
Or maybe for over the internet when everyone is not sure who everyone else’s leader is (Stephen Harper is Canada’s prime minister), we can just straight up say ‘the leader’.
“A plane is flying over the Atlantic but unfortunately the fuel is leaking and it can’t make it to shore with all aboard. On board are a French man, an American, a Canadian and the Canadian leader. Suddenly the Frenchman goes to the door and says “I do this for my country!” and jumps out the door.
“The others are relieved temporarily but with some recalculation they figure the plane is still too heavy. So the American (perhaps inspired by the French man) goes to the door and says “I do this for my country!” and jumps out.
“Recalculation says that one more person needs to jump to lighten the load. So the Canadian says “I do this for my country!” and pushes out the Canadian leader.”
Now some may question my timing, especially in the United States, because the leader of that country is black, so it might look like I’m trying to sully his name with insult humour that was formerly only associated with racists.
But Barack Obama is half white. In fact he is part of an unbroken string of white men that have ruled the United States since George Washington.
That’s right. We might eventually be in for “the first black president part II”. Just saying. It’s still a victory to get someone of mixed race into the highest offices of power.
Hate my repurposing of jokes? Approve of making ‘the leader’ the butt of jokes? Discuss.