But sometimes I get myself into situations that aren’t funny, and people think I’m still laughing with them, not at them.
One instance, in the Pre-Pandemic times,, was when I brought up to a group of runners the revelation what Meat Loaf wouldn’t do for love. *it’s pegging for those who don’t know
We were finishing up dinner after our run and having ourselves a good laugh at Meat Loaf’s expense, picking apart and personally attesting disdain or condoning the decision. Someone asks if anyone at the table would do that for love. Then, I heard it. “Definitely not with a big Black dildo, maybe an Asian dildo though”.
So, there I am, already laughing at absurdity, and this stinky pile of joke turd gets flung on the table in front of everyone. You may not know this about me, but I grew up mostly in Oklahoma, where racial stereotypes against Asians were rampant due to a large influx of Vietnam War Refugees seeking shelter there.
I’ve been curious about denigrating terms ever since someone called me a “chink” in 7th grade. I didn’t know what it meant, but I knew they said it to hurt me. I laughed that my naivete annoyed them, they called me a stupid bitch instead. I didn’t end up in a fight that day, but there were other days I did in the years after.
Trying to understand discrimination in junior high was difficult but I managed to find all the epithets on the internet. I was obsessed with trying to figure out why over so many years, we’ve called people names to keep them down.
TRIGGER WARNING!! MANY RACIAL SLURS!!
Negroes became Niggers due to the darkness of their skin, Chinamen became Chinks because they insisted on being paid in coins since they couldn’t read the paper money, Koreans became Gooks which is the person-suffix identifier for ethnicity (I am half Hangook/Korean, but all Meegook/American).
I never really figured out why people say these things, all conclusive reasoning finding just hate and intolerance. I decided I wouldn’t just sit quietly when presented with that sort of hateful behavior. I adopted “kiss my half white ass” to really drive the point home and went on my merry way.
Over time, I realized that just let me visit their box, not showing them the view from mine. But, all grown up and sitting at the table with what appeared to be respectable folk, I was in awe of the shit pile found before me, I finally say: “That’s racist.”
Now, the guy who said it, I don’t believe he’s a racist, just a dude trying to make a joke. But that’s just it, isn’t it? How long can people who are the butt of these sorts of jokes sit by silently? My experience says years. Years and years.
This particular joke isn’t aimed at me, right? So, why should I care? Why should I care that my 3 brothers probably had to deal with that emasculating stereotypical bullshit? Why do I care? I personally have dealt with a metric fuckton of shame for being Asian, and for being white! That’s why. (Let’s not also add the gender confusion when people just assumed I was a boy for years…YEARS!)
People hear and see the things that are said about them. Maybe not who they are specifically, but what they identify with and relate to. Gay kids hear the slurs and the threats posed to hypothetical faggots. Brown folx here how others speak about the immigrants and the border jumpers. Asian folx here how some say they’d rather see them die than help save their home or ‘chink store’ business.
There are also many guys who believe they are not being given something they are entitled to, and can react violently when faced with the reality that they are the cause of their own abstinence or disrespect. Fear is strange and manifests in completely odd ways. People will behave strangely due to these manifestations, like shooting up 3 Atlanta Spas in Georgia (sexual addiction/fetishized Asian women) or a King Soopers supermarket in Boulder, Colorado (motive possibly retaliating against Islamophobia/racism).
But grow TF up and examine your own bullshit before you cock a rifle at other people. You’re making America look real bad and we already have dirt on our face we’re trying to wash off.