Race and Humor

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I was going to link to this a while ago, but I never got around to it. Someone who goes by the online name "tstorm" has put together an excellent short documentrary on race and humor, which you can find at Racialicious. It's been broken up nicely into small components in case you don't have a lot of time at once to watch it. It explores what factors go into evaluating whether a particular instance of racial humor is morally acceptable or offensive. I don't agree with everything he says in evaluating the instances in popular culture that he picks out, and a philosopher might want a more systematic treatment of some of the theoretical issues about what constitutes racism, whether causing offense is automatically immoral, and so on, but I think it's largely an excellent effort that's worth watching and thinking about. He says a lot of things that you might not have thought of, and he's done a good job of sorting through a wide range of issues that come to bear on this question. It's the sort of thing I'd show my students in class or assign for them to watch on their own.

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