Can Someone Tell Me If I Should Be Offended?

It used to perplex me why it was ok for jews to tell jewish jokes and black people to use the “n-word”. If a word is forbidden, why isn’t it univerally forbidden?

It’s the presumption of innocents. It’s the benefit of the doubt. We assume good intentions which allows us to smile. If the intentions were ambiguous, or malicious, like if a stranger who’s african american and tells me a jew joke and I call him the “n-word”; suddenly it’s not so funny. It makes us extremely uncomfortable.

The problem is that we now have a global audience. There’s an asian-american rock band called “The Slants.” But the government wouldn’t allow them to trademark their own name! Because it would be offensive! Offensive to whom? Presumably people who have never heard of the band, but have heard the slur. I think at the end of the day, being offended has to be a personal choice.

What do you think? Right? Wrong? Pure poppycock?