July 18, 2018 | ° F

Jokes not an excuse

Letter to the Editor

I am writing in response to the author of the Feb. 26 column titled, “Learn from the The Onion and take a joke.”

Frankly, I’m very disappointed that such a poorly considered — and poorly written — piece would make it into the Targum. I find it shocking that the author does not even begin to address the effect that The Onion’s tweet may have had on Quvenzhané Wallis herself. How would the author feel if such a vulgar insult were to be directed at her in such a public way? How would she have felt about such an assault when she was Wallis’s age? Has she thought about the ways in which such “jokes” make denigration of women seem normal?

Jokes that are racist are not funny. Nor are sexist ones. In this era when we constantly learn of more horrific cases of sexual child abuse, a joke that equates a 10-year-old girl with genitalia is contemptible.

Karen Alexander is the dean at the Office of Junior and Senior Year Programs.

By Karen Alexander

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