I agree with you and I assumed that it was put to rest. I did look around and found a few jokes that were put on since we last spoke of this, but unfortunately I can not erase them or edit them if they are not mine. I will do my best to help keep this down to a minimum perhaps it would help if you posted your sensitivity request in the link that you saw that disturbed you.
I'm saddened that, again, I feel I have to address this issue of sensitivity on our team. As I said in a previous post, I joined this team, in the belief that my nationality would be respected, and that I wouldn't feel belittled because of where I was born. Having been absent from the forum for a while, I was doing a bit of catching up, and was disappointed when I came across posts that perpetuate old, degrading, Irish stereotypes. Perhaps my previous post was a little too diplomatic to portray what I really believe, so I'll try and be a bit more direct this time.
When I was growing up, it was common to hear jokes on international television, that were, to be honest, bigoted and denegrating towards Irish people. And, we, the people of Ireland, were great sports and laughed along with the rest of the world. But I think it was often a hollow laugh, and we weren't quite so amused on the inside.
Now, in the 21st century, I believe that those days are gone. It's no longer acceptable for comedians to make jokes based on national stereotypes. This is considered racist, or xenophobic, and the broadcasting agencies would be bombarded by complaints and demands for a public apology. Thankfully, Irish people no longer feel they have to laugh and pretend that it's all okay, great fun, just a bit of a joke.
So, before posting something that might seem funny, perhaps we should think, 'How would this seem if the people portrayed in the joke weren't Irish but, instead, Jewish, American, Mexican, Christian, African-American, or some other ethnic or religious group.' How would that joke go down if told on a Spark forum specific to one of those particular cross-sections of society? Or perhaps not even specific to them. I simply can't imagine telling some of these jokes on this Irish Members forum but referring to the subjects as, say, American.
I know that some of you will think that I am being picky and over-sensitive and that I have no sense of humour, but that is far from the truth. In common with most Irish people, I love to laugh and, in fact, have no problem laughing at myself, when the occasion arises. Also, in common with most Irish people, I am intelligent and industrious, and have a hard time both relating to, and accepting, the stereo-types of lazy, stupid, feckless Irish men and women portrayed in so much of what passes for humour.
I feel that, here, on this forum for Irish nationals and people of the Irish diaspora, we should be celebrating what is good and great in our common identity, not degrading ourselves and each other with these peurile, offensive stereotypes. When I joined this team, I expected it to be a safe place for me to declare my nationality, without fear of ridicule, mockery or contempt. I am hopeful that my expectations might still be realised.
Joanna, thank you for your kind and considered response to this sensitive subject. I know, of course, that anyone who posts on our forum always does so with the best of intentions. We've all become friends as we help each other on our weight-loss journey, with a little bit of light relief along the way. I am very happy about that, and wrote my post after weeks of thought and soul-searching. The last thing I wanted to do was offend anyone by giving the impression that I was offended - if that makes any sense. Knowing me, it probably doesn't:)
I just want us all, old members, new members, potential members, to be able to put our proverbial feet up here and relax. And I would love to have more Irish people join us and feel that this is their team too, without any hint that their culture or nationality is being mocked.
Irish people are pretty good at laughing at themselves. In fact, I have actually never come across another nationality that takes jokes about themselves quite so well. However, I hope we don't ever put that theory to the test:)
Slytherin and Proud!
Pounds lost: 7.0
Fitness Minutes: (9,703) Posts: 2,561 4/26/14 10:06 P
I am so sorry you experienced a hard time when in the US. I hope that I have not said or did something that might have contributed to anything being negative about the IRISH people or their background. I am not stereotyping anyone that I know of. After all I am Irish also. I have however added content to a link on our team forums where we are posting Irish sayings, blessings, and as of late a joke or two. I felt they are cute....not insulting but I am more than willing if you think the are in any way offensive to you or anyone else. I am not aware of all the stereotyping that might be considered offensive to real Irish folks. If this is what caused a ruffle please tell me for I will immediately remove it from the post section. I want only to be respectful to everyone especially the Irish Members that are on our team.
I think it's been mentioned before in our team that most countries and nationalities have their stereotypes. Having lived in the US for a number of years, I got to know the people and realise that you can't generalise on an entire nation, just because of something you've heard or read, or because of some people's actions.
There was one aspect of living in California that I found very difficult. A week couldn't pass without someone telling me a joke about Irish people, or making a stereotypical reference to my nationality. Mostly these were good, kind people from my church, who cared about me and didn't mean to cause offence. They thought they were being funny and that I would enjoy the joke. Because of this I would smile and pass it off, not wanting to offend anyone. But there were many, many times when I wanted to say to them, 'How would you feel if I told you a joke about _ _ _ _ _ _ Americans.' (I deliberately left the blank space because I don't want to perpetuate any stereotypes about people from the US, or anywhere else, for that matter.)
I would just like to ask everyone in our team to be careful of what you post. I would be very sad to find that something I, or anyone else said, had caused offence and denied someone the opportunity to join our little team, and get the help and support they need on their road to a healthy and happy life. People rarely mean to cause offense, but sometimes we can just be unaware. I certainly never mean to cause offence, and if I have ever posted anything that has upset anyone, I apologise profusely.
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