About political correctitude

Krister Kivi has written an article, where he claims that Estonian Literary Museum provokes racism, because on it´s website there is a folkloristic research which analyzes jokes from 1960s to 1990s (that means jokes from USSR period) oral tradition and in that research there are also jokes about afro-americans. So he says, that we should forbid that kind of activity. Since folklore study is part of my life, I would like to explain that situation a little.

First of all, oral tradition is almost never politically correct so there are really jokes about russians, germans, estonians, latvians, blonds and few of them are about niggers also. Yes, there´s the N-word – for a very simple reason – back then it was the only decent word about black people (word “afro-american” hadn´t reached here yet, “nigger” didn´t have any kind of negative meaning and other words – like “blackamoor” – weren´t very polite and not so popular). And nevertheless (and you can believe me, I´ve had an exam on this) jokes about black people make a very little percent of these jokes. Actually, I believe, that most of the jokes are about Chukchi men.

Why is that? That is because most of Estonians hadn´t ever seen a black man before, few gipsys, yes, but no afroamericans. That is also the reason, why jokes about blonds weren´t popular until 90s – in Estonia we didn´t even have decent haircolors and since we didn´t watch west television, we didn´t know that pink nails and blonde hair is symbol of a girl who is stupid and slutty. When we got soap operas (thank god), that acknowledge hit us and soon our streets were also filled with that kind of blonds and anecdotes about them gained fast popularity. Sure, we could say that we hadn´t seen Chukchys also, but we were very close to East culture, so that stereotype was very well established. So, jokes about afro-americans were mainly “import goods” and therefore there were not many of them. So there´s no reason to think that people of Soviet Estonia were racist.

Secondly, why can not scientist leave out that “unpolite” and “bad” part? That´s because the main basis of science is objectivity. Scientist must observe and analyze the situation objectively, otherwise he is not credible as scientist at all. We can´t close our eyes and pretend that there aren´t any ugly things in our folklore (and believe me, few jokes are the least of those), cause that´s not what scientist do – we have to analyze the real life just the way it is.

I´m afraid that this blog isn´t of much use, since all my readers already have brains and ignorants will never read this anyway, but at least I´ve made my point.

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1 kommentaar

  1. Nice.


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