It’s hard to believe that some people don’t understand the difference being making a joke and just being offensive. There seems to be a trend in recent years, and by recent years I mean since Trump was elected, where people think that being civil is just being “politically correct” and that freedom of speech gives them the right to say whatever they want.
It’s true, people, except for cases of invoking violence, have the right to say whatever they want because of freedom of speech. That being said, people should accept the consequences of their words when what they say is extremely offensive and just completely fucking stupid. My rule of thumb is, if it’s something a person has no control over, it’s typically in poor taste to make fun of them over it.
An obvious example of this is making jokes about disabled people. And, when I say, making jokes, I don’t mean that all humor revolving the disabled is offensive, I just mean to be smart about it. For instance, if a person walked up to someone in a wheelchair and said something like, “hey! You can’t walk! Ha-ha”, that would just be offensive. People who say insulting things like that always tend to hide behind the loaded excuse, “it’s just a joke!”. Yeah, humor is subjective, and I’m pretty sure the only people who would find insulting a disabled person as a joke are most likely too ignorant to understand how stupid they are.
See, you would think all of this is common knowledge. Obviously, there’s a difference between a joke and an insult. Seriously, even little kids understand this basic concept. Unfortunately, as stupidity grows in our society, some people simply don’t understand that making a joke at another’s expense isn’t really a joke at all. Of course people have the right to say whatever dumb-ass thing they want, but that also means that other people can call them out on their foolishness. Freedom of speech does not equal to freedom of consequences.
I earned my M.A in English Lit from Gardner-Webb University in 2019. My writing mainly focuses on disability positivity. I enjoy sci-fi, fantasy and classic rock. Oh, and I’m also a part time phone sex operator. So, that’s a thing.