Opinions Expressed in "Rants," while informed by Catholic doctrine, are merely the opinions of the author.

Okay Racism?

Something new seems to have developed in recent times - a new kinds of racism, that seems to be okay. Or is it?

Maybe one of the best examples is from a guy names Russell Peters, a Canadian who's parents are Indian (that is, from Indian, otherwise I would have said Native). He makes fun of everybody, but somehow its not that offensive for some reason. Sometimes it IS offensive, don't get me wrong, but sometimes it isn't.

I saw this reflected in another form in a video called, "How to Act Around Filipinos." Its made by Filipinos, about Filipinos. I can't say that its offensive, not being Filipino myself, but friends of mine who have watched that are Filipino find it hilarious.

So what's the difference? Where is the line between offensive and inoffensive. Well, I think when a person makes fun of their own race, it can be okay. Can I make fun of Filipinos? I don't think so. But they can.

The second thing is that the thing that is being made fun can be a common characteristic among those who have that viewpoint. For example, Filipinos often joke about something called "Filipino time," which is apparently late. Many Filipinos aren't that hung up on time and schedules, so for the most part, maybe this is true, and even kind of funny at time.

It becomes a stereotype when we say that ALL Filipinos are governed by Filipino time - but if its a cultural characteristic, is it really racism? Is it racism to say that on average, people of African descent are stronger and faster than those of European descent, when this seem, on average, to be true?

But here is an important KEY to whether it is offensive or not, its whether that trait is demeaning to that race or not. Is there anything demeaning about not caring about the time? Not necessarily, in fact it could be argued that the western world is way TOO caught up with timing and scheduling, when it shouldn't really matter that much.

On the other hand, some of the things that Chris Rock says about members of his own race, I think, do go too far, in that they really put down the race as a whole. He differentiates good normal black people from people he would call the "n" word. Black people who make the black race look bad are "n"'s Chris Rock would say. But the "n" word is a word deliberately aimed at black people, not meant to apply to other races. It would be more accurate for Chris Rock to call such individuals "trash" or something more general, because EVERY race has individuals within it that demean not only their own culture, but humanity as a whole. So I would have to side with Bill Cosby on that one, and against Chris Rock.

Besides, quite often these forms of humor are intended to do NOTHING other than SHOCK. Shock humor is one of the lowest forms of humor, usually characteristic of a lazy mind. I have a lot more respect for Cosby, who finds humor in the universal, and never even has to approach the offensive to do so.