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To be offended by BIL's joke?

(10 Posts)
kiki22 Fri 21-Oct-11 19:45:15

Firstly BIL is 12. He just told me a joke 'what do you call a black person with ginger hair - a crunchy' I really don't like racist jokes at all plus my niece happens to be half nigerian with auburn/ginger hair.

Have no idea what to say about it on one hand i can tell he genuinly didn't mean it in an offensive way and prob heard it at school but on the other hand he needs to know it's not ok to make those jokes especially infront of company it's highly likely to insult. I just pointed out to him that it's offensive to me but didn't make a big deal of it should i just let it go as a one off or explain to him why he shouldn't do it or just let MIL know??

FabbyChic Fri 21-Oct-11 19:50:37

Speak to his mother. My son is 18 he tells risky jokes if they make me laugh I laugh if they don't I don't laugh.

Im not about to police my kids. They know though not to tell certain jokes in public.

molepom Fri 21-Oct-11 19:52:07

I would ignore him. He got the punchline wrong anyway. It's a Duracell not a crunchie.

At 12 a little reminder wouldnt go amiss that certain jokes are offensive and to be VERY careful who you repeat them to. Ask MIL to have a word in a casual way too just to nail it home to him. DD has started coming home with jokes about disabled people, but is soon corrected when reminded that her own brother is disabled. A couple of rasist ones who which got quashed a few months back.

I tell her they can be offensive, explain why and hope that she remembers never to mention them again.

People send me jokes along those lines all the time, thinking that I would find them funny (EXp was a bugger for it although never twigged that I dont like them). I just ignore them, this a little less of them and delete the joke.

molepom Fri 21-Oct-11 19:52:45

racist ffs.

allhailtheaubergine Fri 21-Oct-11 19:56:13

If a 12 yr old told me that joke I would say "oh dear, I don't really like jokes about race or skin colour" and then moved breezily on. He would have been mortified, and he would have thought twice before repeating the next offensive joke he heard. If no one tells him he won't ever know.

I remember my brother at about that age telling a joke where the punch line was Mo Mowlam. He told it because he had heard it getting a laugh. He didn't actually get it or know who she was. When we explained why it was cruel, not funny he was mortified.

kiki22 Fri 21-Oct-11 19:59:12

Thanks it's a hard one because he's so young and has obviously just repeted it without thinking just don't want him saying similar jokes and offending people. He's a really good kid i'm just so not prepared for teenagers!

MillyR Fri 21-Oct-11 19:59:29

It depends how close to you are to your BIL. Telling somebody that something is offensive is what I would do to a stranger, because I am then only in a position to comment on how they should behave in a public space. What kind of person they are is nothing to do with me.

With a young person, like my own children, my first concern is what kind of person they are growing up to be. If I heard a racist joke from a young person in my family, as they all go to schools where they are taught about slavery and the Holocaust so no full well the wider context of their remarks, my primary remark would not be on the offensiveness of it. My remark would be about them as a human being.

So when I have heard a joke (actually worse than your example) from a young family member, my response is

Where is your humanity?

And I've walked away from them.

allhailtheaubergine Fri 21-Oct-11 20:18:08

If he is really a good kid then he deserves to know that racist jokes are not on. Do him a favour and tell him.

somewherewest Fri 21-Oct-11 20:24:31

It obviously isn't nice, but I think you did the right think in saying that you found it offensive without making a big deal of it. I can still remember all the insanely offensive jokes that circulated around my secondary school (seriously racist or sectarian jokes were out of bounds, but everything else was fair game). Its just an unpleasant phase that a fair few of teenagers go through before they get a bit of sense. If he does it regularly its worth making an issue of, but not otherwise.

kiki22 Fri 21-Oct-11 20:25:40

Think i'll let MIL know and leave it at that. She'll tell him it's not on without having a go and i've not over stepped. thanks

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