Got into a discussion with an acquaintance and they were lamenting how society looks down on people that tell racist, homophobic or sexual jokes nowadays. How back in the "good old days" we could joke about someone being a f-g or a n*****r or a dumb woman and "no one took it personally".
I asked him how he knew no one took it personally. His answer was a look of utter dumbfounded amazement that I knew he had no answer.
Did you ask everyone personally if they were offended?
Do you think that maybe someone might have been offended?
Do you think that maybe someone was struggling to come out of the closet and let their true selves shine and in that moment of telling them a homophobic joke that they decided it would be best to not come out? Maybe that person who is struggling finds it too much to bear and they kill themselves.
I told him that when we make a joke of someone's identity it just a step down the path to denying them their rights to be who they are. Red lining minorities so they pay higher car payments, insurance payments and mortgage payments is down that path...maybe even pushing a new car or a home out of their reach....forcing them into the losing game of paying rent instead of building equity in a home which for most middle class Americans is the single biggest source of wealth to be passed onto the next generation and locking their kids and grandkids into a cycle of poverty.
It may be a joke to him. But maybe to another person it is an excuse to treat them badly. To deny them their rights.
This is just another form racism that should have ended in 1865. We should have had to fight a war in our own nation to give freedom to people that live here. It should have never been allowed to flourish in this nation that is supposed to be founded on the idea that all people are created equal. How could that lie be held as a truth when people were being stolen from their families and sold as free labor in this nation. It was a myth then and it is still a myth now. Until every person matters as much as the next, it will never be true.
This nation has been built on a history of white people stealing from minorities their land, their money, their labor and to this day their lives. This nation should do better and can do better.