Here I go showing my age again by quoting Molly’s reaction to Fibber McGee’s attempt at humor on their 1930s and ’40s NBC radio program. There is a reason. It came to mind as I reflected on the absurd amount of coverage given to TV cooker Paula Deen because of her alleged joking use of the “n” word, which she is said to have done many years ago. Reporting it briefly would have been all right, but to give the amount of time it got on national news programs when there is a lot of really important news going on in the world seems to me a bit irresponsible.
The story also made me reflect on the nature of prejudiced humor and Sigmund Freud saying that hostile humor is veiled aggression, a way to attack an adversary. He said, “By making our enemy small, inferior, despicable or comic we achieve in a roundabout way the enjoyment of overcoming them. It’s an emotional catharsis for repressed aggression.”
There is an interesting article on why prejudiced jokes are not funny. You can read it at this LINK.