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Friday, June 21
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

Stop laughing

Laughter is a wonderful thing, and life would seem quite empty without it.

We need our regular dose of endorphins to keep us happy and sane.

But laughing and making jokes about serious issues, such as racism or rape, does nothing to solve the actual problems.

In fact, it’s downright offensive and insensitive.

When done well, it’s hilarious. So many comedians’ stand-up routines are based on their experiences with racism and sexism.

But a crude, poor joke turns issues into farces, and laughing about them only works to make the issues seem smaller than what they are.

Laughter diminishes and dismisses the issue.

Laughter allows you to think that an issue really isn’t all that serious or important. But it is ?important.

People make jokes to avoid having to discuss an issue in a serious manner.

And we laugh because we also want to avoid talking about the issue.

We aren’t really fooled into thinking the joke is funny, but joking and laughing allows us to think that it’s OK to ?ignore the issue.

It’s all a big ruse to avoid the uncomfortable confrontation of our own faults or the faults of our fathers, mothers, brothers, best friends, teachers, neighbors and random passersby.

And the more we laugh, the more we encourage the avoidance.

Rape, racism and religious prejudices are not funny.

There are so many people who suffer each day at the hands of these issues.

People are hurt. People are killed.

Think of the number of African Americans harmed or killed for no reason other than the color of their skin.

Remember those who were terroized in the ?Holocaust.

And yet the jokes and laughter continue to come forth.

But it’s time we all stop laughing because the longer we avoid the discussion of an issue, the longer the issue will persist and more people will continue to suffer.

When you hear a joke that is making light of a serious issue, stop ?laughing.

Say, “That’s not funny.” Don’t just let the ?issue go unrecognized.

Think about why the issue isn’t funny, think about all the people that are suffering and will continue to suffer until something is done about the issue.

Stop avoiding the issue and confront the elephant in the room.

Everyone has their own opinions on issues, and we can only fully understand the issue at hand when we understand as many different ?perspectives as possible.

My own opinion is that things are only as uncomfortable as you make it, so stop worrying about what people will say or think when confronted with the fact that their joke is not funny.

Discuss and educate. Be aware of the harm joking and laughing does.

Ask yourself: Why am I still laughing?

Stop laughing.

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