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Bluebelle 04 May 01 - 11:29 PM
CarolC 04 May 01 - 11:35 PM
ToneDeafDave 05 May 01 - 03:40 AM
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From: Bluebelle
Date: 04 May 01 - 11:29 PM

Whether you are Jewish, or African-American, or Polish, or whatever, should have no bearing on whether you find this thread offensive. Furthermore, please do not think that just because the person starting the thread claims Jewish ancestry, and some Jews even post to it, all other Jews are "okay" with the content. Bigotry is bigotry, anyway you slice it and prefacing it with "non-irritating" does not make it okay.

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From: CarolC
Date: 04 May 01 - 11:35 PM

You misunderstand my meaning. I found this thread disturbing. I did not post any jokes to it. I would not have considered doing so. I registered my concern.

However, it is unfair to put those of us who are not Jewish in the middle of what boils down to a squabble between people of the same group. Fight it out amongst yourselves and then tell the rest of us what kind of behavior you agree is appropriate. Until then, don't blame people for getting confused from time to time.

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From: ToneDeafDave
Date: 05 May 01 - 03:40 AM

Would the folks writing to this thread try to use the formulation "I find this offensive" rather than "This is offensive". The latter indicates either that the writer knows the views of the majority on the subject, or that there is some absolute and unchanging scale of offensiveness to which the writer has access, and of which others (no doubt members of some benighted minority not gifted with the writer's intellectual and moral superiority) are not aware.

The same applies to other words than 'offensive', of course, e.g. 'bigotry'.

I think the above will lead to a more rational view of the subject.

As a child, I was given 'The Book of Jewish Folklore'. A huge percentage of it was Jewish jokes. I still tell some of them. Some of them are in-jokes which a Jew would tell in a context where the teller could rely on a common cultural heritage with his audience (Shortest possible example - "Why is it, when you ask a Jew a question, he answers with another question?" "Nu, why shouldn't he answer with another question?"). Like the jokes and folklore of any culture, they helped me as a child to identify the elements of the culture of which I was a part.

I believe some Jewish jokes are, in fact, Jewish Folklore, even if some Jewish jokes are rubbish. I really don't know if other socio-ethnic communities have the same situation. Is it unique that Jews tell Jewish Jokes? I know Catholics who tell Catholic jokes but there my knowledge stops...

So, should Jews not tell Jewish jokes to each other? Should Jews not tell Jewish jokes to non-Jews? If they do, should non-Jews not repeat the jokes? Ah, but what if the non-Jews invent their own Jewish jokes? Does that mean the Jew shouldn't tell their own jokes?

You should excuse the expression (and I think it an extremely offensive one myself, but I can't resist it in the context, though no doubt I will be flamed for it) this tends to 'goyische kopf'.

Changing the subject a little - was this thread a mistake? Even though I was offended both by some of the jokes and by some of the opinions, anything that gets people thinking and gets their opinions out in the open is probably good.

And just maybe, offensive or not, some of the jokes were funny?

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Mudcat time: 7 July 3:28 AM EDT

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