Insensitive Jokes

Last weekend, my brother was wearing a smart, blue-striped shirt. One of his friends joked about it, saying he looked like the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

He’s been told this before and laughed it off. But it has put him off wearing the shirt in the past. 

These kinds of jokes are inappropriate. That goes without saying. But for a while, I was struggling with the words to describe them.

Are they racist?

Are they anti-semitic?

Are they just ignorant?

I’ve been guilty of making them in my life. I hold my hand up and admit that I was in the wrong in the past.

I would be interested to hear what you think. I think we need to be careful and conscious of our language. I don’t think (and hope) the joke was intended to offend. Like many things, people like to compare for the comedic element.

But put bluntly, the Holocaust is no laughing matter. I’ve not seen the film before, maybe I should. But I knew the reference.

When we hear inappropriate and insensitive “jokes” like this, we have the opportunity to speak up and to educate.

What do you think of “jokes” like this?

How do you react to them?