Yes I know. Me, an LGBTQ+ person. Anti racist and anti all forms of bigotry person and I laughed at a racist joke told by Bernard Manning.
Bernard Manning was a popular mainstream T.V. stand up comedian in the 1970’s. Racism was common throughout society back in the day and racists and Homophobes telling racist/Homophobic jokes on T.V. passed as mass entertainment.
Anyway I will put this post in context. I was watching a documentary about racism and they showed a clip of Manning telling his joke about being mugged by a blow up sex doll. I wasn’t expecting the punch line, it took me by surprise and I let fly with a laugh.
It happened, I feel a sense of guilt and shame. My views have never changed, I didn’t think bigotry was funny or acceptable in the early 1970’s when seemingly everyone else did. So why did I find the punchline funny? Why do I find slapstick comedy where people are humiliated, made to look stupid and generally get slapped about funny?
I think the answer is I’m not sure why. It might be because Laurel and Hardy doing slapstick is hilarious whereas clips of real people caught on camera falling over etc. is not funny at all in any sense. Manning’s racist joke was about something impossible happening and he was a professional comedian so had the delivery and timing skill.
I don’t think he was any more racist than the general population and his racism didn’t come from true hate but rather rank stupidity and some kind of misguided populist patriotism. I think that’s true of a large number of people who just don’t think for themselves but adopt other peoples values. Cowards.
Bigotry is wrong and hurts people. Institutional bigotry built into the Establishment is intentional and is designed to attack Human Rights. An attack on anyone’s Human Rights is an attack on everyone’s Human Rights. Bernard Manning was part of the Establishment due to being part of MSM. That is why I feel ashamed for laughing at his stupid racist joke. He was re-enforcing the MSM/Establishment stereotype designed to keep all minorities in their place.
Now that I have analysed why I burst out laughing I think the way forward is to recognise that bigotry is probably something that is in all of us to some degree. It is not OK and it doesn’t matter how it got into us. We should be on our guard and think more deeply about how it might be effecting us I think.
Manning was a racist due to stupidity and his warped sense of what it is to be patriotic. Nazi’s find it easy to recruit such people, they just indoctrinate hate into them. It’s easier than people realise. Indoctrination by Nazi’s works by teaching what it is to be patriotic, how we should think and act, what values we should have, what the meaning of ‘decency ‘ is and they teach pride in being superior to those who do not agree with those teachings. Flags and symbolism are used to represent all of that.
Lesson learned. Life’s all about growing and evolving spiritually I think so I’m glad I heard the joke and glad it came from a professional comedian and not a hate fuelled Nazi or I wouldn’t have laughed and wouldn’t have stopped to think.