Courtesy of Tribune News Service

Opinion: Edgy jokes aren't funny, you're just problematic

In today’s society it is easy to claim someone is being “too sensitive” or a “special snowflake” in response to them calling out your blatant discrimination that you have disguised as “jokes.” However, when it comes down to it, some folks just don't have a good sense of humor. 

I have met way too many people who claim they just “joke about everything,” and that's usually from the people who also claim they aren’t racist, homophobic or sexist — they “hate everyone equally.” So, wow! Props to you, you are so woke! I’m so glad you can disregard every minority struggle and make their pain laughable!

Your disregard for people’s struggle for equality goes way past the punchline of your joke. It establishes itself into every aspect of your life. Calling something “gay” translates into you thinking that LGBTQ+ identities are laughable. Using the n-word for shock value proves you don’t care about your country’s racist history. Mocking the stutter of someone’s voice makes it clear that you think people with disabilities are comical. 

I’ve had people explain to me that when they say something is “gay,” they don’t mean that it’s actually “gay-gay,” it's just "dumb" — which, in my opinion, makes even less sense. Maybe it’s just me, but if that's not what you're trying to say, use a different word. In fact, if the way you communicate with people involves just being blatantly offensive, maybe you need to pick up a dictionary and find out what exactly it is you mean. 

Even more commonly now, suicide and mental health jokes plague our society and generation. Even I’m guilty of this one. Every day when something is a minor inconvenience to me, I jump to the “wow, time to die” sort of mentality. We may all know I’m not actually going to kill myself, but that’s just the problem. With people like me joking about and making light of such a heavy subject like suicide, we completely disregard the people who actually need help. Same goes with jokes about OCD and being bipolar. In fact, all of these jokes downplay the actual seriousness of the situation.

There’s truth to the fact that after a certain amount of time jokes can help people heal, as Bo Burnham mentions in his song “Sad”: “Everything that once was sad is somehow funny now.” He even goes on to say that "tragedy will be exclusively joked about,” specifically mentioning the Holocaust and 9/11. However, this does not excuse the consequences of your edgy Nazi meme.

I promise you it is not hard to find jokes that are not problematic in nature. If you look around, some of the most popular memes are just silly in nature without using someone’s identity as a punch line. Even looking at the joke trends of 2019 so far (from "Bird Box" to the world record egg), it is easy to be funny without being offensive.

I know this article may lead you to believe that I myself am just an overly sensitive special snowflake, but I would take that over being unsympathetic any day.


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