Monday, July 27, 2009

A brief discussion on race

I was talking to a bunch of my 16 yr old son's friends last night about race. One of his best friends is half black, half Iranian. Another one is from Morocco. Both are often mistaken at school for Mexicans.

The thing that I have written about before, and detest in this younger generation is the common practice of making jokes about ethnicity. This generation grew up listening to Chris Rock and Dave Chapelle. Racial jokes are sooo funny to them. His black friends tell black jokes. They all tell what I see as inappropriate jokes, regarding just about anything, girls, race, and religion.

I always challenge them (and I don't let my son tell them) but it's common practice and I've seen it with my older two's friends as well.

So I asked them how they saw themselves in these jokes, and how they saw race in general. I did find it interesting that they reject the common definition of what is black and what is white. They didn't see mixed race kids as "black." They didn't see them as "white" either, but really didn't see a reason why they should be pigeoned holed one way or the other.

So, in one way I see this generation looking past color, but it's still disturbing to me that the racial jokes remain.