Did you hear the one about a white heterosexual male who went to an anti-racism comedy night at Ryerson University only to find the show was NOT as advertised? There were race-based jokes aplenty but their punchlines tended to be straight white males.
The advertisement from my alma mater promoting a racism-free comedy night was intriguing. Surely, a comedy event that veered away from race would likely be boring, right?
But, a pattern emerged as the night wore on.
The comedians, all of whom were visible minorities, served up many race-based jokes. And a good thing, too, because those were the funniest jokes.
And, without ever once heckling, this straight white male was targeted for verbal abuse by all of them!
Not that I minded. Once you step foot in a comedy club everything's fair game. And if you don’t have a thick skin, go to the opera instead.
So what’s the takeaway from Ryerson’s Anti-Racism Comedy Night given that there were racial jokes galore?
Well, for one thing, apparently a joke isn’t racist if the joke is made at the expense of white people. And for another, it seems making a race-based joke doesn’t necessarily make someone a racist.
The fact is, we’re all equal but we’re all different too and often, there’s a wealth of humour to be found in racial and cultural stereotypes.
Maybe we can all agree after all, that a comedy club should be free from the free speech toxin that is political correctness.