Ok, so the other day I was using facebook—the world's largest social networking Internet website—and I posted a status update of something I saw on my way to work—which is something I have been known to do. It's funny.
I am funny. Sort of.
On my way to work I passed a bus stop on Parsons Avenue, it was there I saw two black people sitting on the bus bench eating a busted watermelon off the ground. My jaw dropped. I love when I catch things like that. So, being the hilarious person I am, I posted my status update: "African Americans (didn't want to say black—people are still weird about it) at the bus stop eating busted watermelon off the ground. I swear I am not a racist, just merely reporting what I see."
I chuckled. I mean seriously, how often do you get to see such a ridiculously outdated stereotype being played out before your eyes? I thought for a minute, "Do I know any black people this would REALLY offend?" I honestly didn't want to hurt any one's feelings. I assumed everyone would know me well enough to know I was just out for a cheap laugh. I figured everyone would have laughed at it, too.
Sure enough, one of my facebook friends made a comment: "Why does it have to say African Americans and not some man or some woman??????????" (I hate when people use too much punctuation. Two question marks is more than sufficient, really.)
"Is this a rhetorical question?" I thought. She is black, so I was like "Dammit." and deleted the post.
From there I had to explain my situation: I make jokes about everybody. I am not just singling out one portion of the population. If it were two gay men raping a child at a bus stop I would have said: Two gay men raping a child at the fucking bus stop. The humor lies in the stereotype. Does this mean I don't like gays or blacks? No. Would it offend some people? Sure. But that's the funny part. Knock-knock jokes don't cut it anymore. People want something more in their face, like gays raping children or dirty black people eating watermelon off the ground.
After explaining to her about how sometimes making fun of stereotypes doesn't necessarily perpetuate them and how it can actually make them less threatening she calls and leaves me a voicemail: "You're are really great guy, I just think you made a bad decision... and of course this is perpetuating stereotypes, it's your original thought."
I'm not entirely sure what 'it's your original thought' meant. I saw what I saw and commented. It's not my fault she can't take a joke. So, I told her: "If you really think that I was serious and that I am a racist, like you are implying, maybe you should rethink our friendship"
I understand her point of view. No one likes to be discriminated against. I just don't think she sees it from both sides. This is the same woman who sits in my chair at the salon and makes fun of everyone, especially my gay coworkers (for being super gay). She thinks it's funny, but as soon as you say something about black people all of the sudden she's fucking Oprah. Well, listen Oprah: Welcome to the gay rights movement. Step aside black people—that's right—it's time for us gays to finally make a stand! Seriously, it's about fucking time. Gay people have been discriminated against for centuries. Long before Christianity, gays were a normal part of life and I'm sure way back when we were monkeys no one gave homosexuality a second monkey-brain-early-man thought. But, with the rise of religion came a set of hand-picked rules: no shellfish, no mixing fabrics and no lying with men. Ever since then we've been fucked (but only in private). Gays were singled out in the holocaust, you know, made to wear pink triangles on their clothes and then tortured with ass-stretching devices; but no one ever talks about that, it's gotta be all about the Jews. Today it is still acceptable to openly discriminate against gays. One could even go as far as to say it's the last great prejudice. And still, we live in a world where my college biology professor can say gay is a side effect of bad parenting and that's just fine? People can shout 'faggot' out their car windows while driving by and bystanders just laugh? People can murder gays and call it panic? Gay people can't give blood and can be fired from jobs or denied housing based solely on their sexuality and she's offended by watermelon-eaters? Get off your fucking high horse, Oprah, you condescending bitch. It is our fucking turn! Until you're little Ms. Mother Teresa yourself, keep your mouth shut. Because I think that until the world is a perfect place, the least we can do is laugh at it.
And you know what? I'm not sorry I posted that status update. She should just be thankful it wasn't her eating that watermelon.
And then you may ask: "Well, how would you feel if she posted something about gays raping children on Parsons Avenue?"
And to that I would say: "Shut up. Where? Let me grab my camera."