My Convertible Life

Thursday, June 11, 2009

An Apology and a Question

I'm writing to apologize for the joke I included in my please-leave-me-a-comment-so-I'll-feel-read-and-loved post last week.

I posted the joke, which I found in the comments on another blog, because I thought it was hilarious and unexpected. My husband, who also thought it was funny, emailed it to a few friends. One of them wrote back to ask why he was forwarding racist jokes.

Huh?

Then I read it again. And suddenly I remembered the controversy earlier this year surrounding a New York Post cartoon about the president's stimulus bill that showed two police officers and a dead chimp. Some critics, including Al Sharpton, were highly offended because they saw the cartoonist comparing Barack Obama with a rabid chimpanzee because the president is African-American.

So for the record, my associations with monkeys are generally of the Curious George variety. I thought the joke was an ugly-baby joke and it made me laugh. If I had thought it was intended to be racist, I never in a million years would have posted it. I sincerely apologize for offending anyone who saw the joke as a racist statement.

And for what it's worth, after my husband shared his story with me, I realized that when I had visualized the joke as I was reading it for the first time (because I'm a visual learner and that's what I do), I saw myself (or someone who looked like me) in the "mom" role in the joke.

What did you see or hear in the joke? Am I offensive or overly sensitive? Comment and let me know (and not just because I love to get comments, although I do, but seriously I want to know what you think on this one)...

8 comments:

  1. I totally did not see that. And my guess is that Karen (who left it) would NEVER have intended it that way.

    Wow. So sorry!

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  2. It was innocently meant and I don't think most people would be offended. I have sort of a radar when it comes to racism and racial issues, and I was not offended.

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  3. I would have never thought that was a racist joke at all. Just a joke, nothing more and nothing less.

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  4. What bothered me about the joke is that it is a joke that I had already heard!

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  5. I totally missed even the possibility of racist undertones in the joke until you brought it up, and even now I'm not convinced there are any. I think the NY Post cartoon was significantly different in that there was a clear racist association made there. At the same time, I can be pretty naive, and I'm sure I miss stuff that others see because I have the luxury of not having to constantly struggle against racism (I don't mean that to sound like I don't want to fight racism, just that it's not something society requires me to think about when I wake up in the morning sort of thing).

    Deep thoughts. :) Probably more than you wanted comment-wise, but a similar issue came up at work so this has been on my mind.

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  6. Oh, wow. I didn't think it was anything bad. I KNOW you wouldn't have posted it if you'd thought so either...

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  7. I think some of your husband's friends need to call the wahmbulance.

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  8. Call me naive, but I just don't get how that joke might be racist. But I also didn't understand why Sarah Palin got her panties in a wad over Letterman's jokes either. Maybe I am too oblivious.

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But enough about me, let's talk about you. What do you think about me?