The Instigator
bluesteal27
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
petersaysstuff
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Making racist jokes means that you are a racist.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
bluesteal27
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/27/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,033 times Debate No: 15628
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (5)

 

bluesteal27

Con

Round 1: State your arguments.
Round 2: Refute your opponents arguments as well as rebuilding you own.
Round 3: Summary of arguments and rebuttals.

To help clarify this debate I would like to provide the definition of joke.
According to princeton.edu, a joke is defined as something that is said for humourous amusement, not to be taken seriously.

I stand in firm negation of the resolution for these two main reasons.

1. Racist jokes are derived from generalizations, and generalizations are based upon fact. Therefore, racist jokes have areas of factuality in them.
2. According to my definition of joke, making racist jokes is not to be taken seriously. Meaning that the person saying the joke does not believe in what he says, he merely says it to invoke laughter.
petersaysstuff

Pro

This should be fun.
I will define racist: "based on racial intolerance; "racist remarks""[1]

Cross apply my opponent's 1 to me and add

2. It is true that jokes are based of generalizations and ultimately facts yet regardless of whether or the not the joke is meant to be taken seriously has no bearing on whether the person believes what he is saying. You can still believe what you say yet have it not be taken seriously and thus they are racist AND if you look to my definition of racist, the joke is based on racial intolerance and is said by a person who has made a generalization which is also racial intolerance and thus the person is racist.

[1] http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
bluesteal27

Con

To start off i would like to say that my opponent makes a compelling argument and that I am thrilled that an intellectual accepted this debate and not some ignorant person.

However, I do not see how my first contention could also apply to my opponents argument. Partially because i do not fully understand what my opponent is trying to say underneath his definitions of a racist.

Anyways, my opponent agreed with me that jokes are based upon generalizations and ultimately facts. However, he also states that racist jokes are based upon racial interlerance which implies that the person making the joke is a racist. This is simply not true. Racist jokes are not based upon racial intolerance because of the fact that, as i stated previously, racist jokes are not to be taken seriously. According to msn.com the defintion of racial intolerance is a refusal to accept people who are different from you. In order for a racist joke to be based upon racial intolerance, a person must first "refuse to accept people that are different from them" which basically means that in order for the person saying the joke to be a racist they have to believe in what they say. And as i stated previously, a joke is not to be taken seriously. I am not saying that there aren't racists that tell racist jokes and they believe in what they are saying. I am merely trying to prove that telling a racist joke does not automatically make you a racist.
petersaysstuff

Pro

Why thank you :) You seem quite smart yourself.

I was agreeing with your first contention that racist jokes do have portions of fact in them.

I would first like to provide a counter definition to intolerance: "impatience with annoyances"[1] My definition is from Princeton and therefore we can assert that it is more credible than MSN.com. But moving on, a joke can be intended to not be taken seriously whist the person saying it still believes it. If you tell a racist joke and are annoyed by the race or the generalization, by definition you are racist. A key point that must be stressed is that the joke not meant to be taken seriously makes no claim about the person telling it. Since the person is telling a joke that is based on a generalization and ultimately fact, he/she is believing what is being said and is racist. Thus we can see that if you tell a racist joke you are agreeing with a generalization based on fact and intolerances are based upon this fact which you are joking about thus proving you are racist.

I await my opponent's response.

[1] http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
bluesteal27

Con

I would first like to point out that my opponents definition of intolerance from princeton does not apply to this debate because the important definition is Racial intolerance not intolerance. They may seem similar; however, their definitions are actually fairly different.

My opponent needs to prove that you are a racist because you made a racist joke. However, if I can disprove his claim, then logically the Con should win. He said that "since the person telling a joke that is based on generalizations and ultimately fact, then he/she is believing what is being said." I simply do not see the logic in this statement. Just because you say something that is based upon small amounts of fact that is meant for the purpose of amusing others doesn't mean you believe in it.
petersaysstuff

Pro

Regarding my definition. A) my opponent provided no link for his and thus we have no way to verify it what it says and b) the only thing on MSN for racial intolerance is this: "refusal to accept differences: unwillingness or refusal to accept people who are different from you, or views, beliefs, or lifestyles that differ from your own"[1] which is defining intolerance.

You are telling a joke based on fact. When you tell a joke you are making light on something humorous or annoying thus it fits in my definition of intolerance. Then we look to my definition of racist and we can see that when you tell a racist joke you making light of a generalization that causes you annoyance and/or you find funny and thus that fits in the definition of racist making you a racist. My opponent also dropped the argument that "it was not meant to be taken seriously" and thus that flows to my side and I urge a Pro ballot.

[1] http://encarta.msn.com...
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
Pro had the burden of proof. A "racist" is a person who judges others on the basis of race. Since Pro's case was semantic, Con should have given references to establish the definition more authoritatively, but Pro only provided a definition of the adjective, not the noun, so Pro didn't meet the burden of proof in the face of common sense.

I think racist jokes are often offensive, but that is difference from racist. They are offensive in that imply more truth to racism than facts warrant, which is to say the jokes endorse untrue generalities. If the audience knows the non-racist intent, then they pass as pure humor. Black comedians make jokes using Black stereotypes. Jeff Foxworthy makes fun of red-neck stereotypes. Lack of racist intent is clear is both cases.
Posted by phantom 6 years ago
phantom
My friend and I were swapping racist jokes one time, but the jokes were not serious, and I am absolutely not racist. I cannot abide racism. My best friend on my soccer team was black even.
Posted by Extremely-Far-Right 6 years ago
Extremely-Far-Right
Yea I agree with Con all the way here!

It is called a joke for a reason.
Posted by feverish 6 years ago
feverish
I'm confused by Con's opening claims. On the one hand he says such humour is based on fact, on the other hand it's not serious. I think if it's just jokes then it doesn't make you racist, but if you are regarding the racist content of the jokes as fact, then it probably does.
Posted by petersaysstuff 6 years ago
petersaysstuff
You provided no warrants.
Posted by petersaysstuff 6 years ago
petersaysstuff
How DMetal?
Posted by FREEDO 6 years ago
FREEDO
People who can joke about racism are less likely to be racist.
Posted by Dmetal 6 years ago
Dmetal
No one wins this because you both fail hard!
Posted by bluesteal27 6 years ago
bluesteal27
haha super tired when writing my last argument. I think i should have explained my reasoning a bit more.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 6 years ago
socialpinko
bluesteal27petersaysstuffTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con showed adequately that all who make racist jokes are not racists as they do not have to necessarily believe in what they are saying.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
bluesteal27petersaysstuffTied
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Reasons for voting decision: when you tell a racist joke you making light of a generalization that causes you annoyance and/or you find funny - satire anyone, as noted not all racist are founded n intolerance
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
bluesteal27petersaysstuffTied
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Reasons for voting decision: see comments
Vote Placed by Heathen 6 years ago
Heathen
bluesteal27petersaysstuffTied
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Reasons for voting decision: CON made a better argument to the subject of the debate.
Vote Placed by darkkermit 6 years ago
darkkermit
bluesteal27petersaysstuffTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not fulfill the BOP that you are a racist for making racist jokes. CON showed that you can say a joke and not believe it, PRO's arguments did not flow well and did not prove that those that make racist jokes are intolerant.