\”I shouldn\’t have laughed!\”

By Jean Mavrelis - 06.29.2009

Can we create a workplace that is safe for humor, where there is the ability to learn from our stupid jokes, and apologize for our ignorance?

WIS10 TV in Columbia, S.C., reported a Facebook post by an aide to state Attorney General Henry McMaster that described an escape by a gorilla on Friday from the zoo in Columbia. DePass, once a state Senate candidate, responded to the post with these words: \”I\’m sure it\’s just one of Michelle\’s ancestors – probably harmless.\” On this one, you really have to be clueless to not “get” that it is racist no matter who it comes from.

However, when you\’re not sure a joke is racist or sexist, you can apply the litmus test: would an insider of the group the joke is about think it was funny, or derogatory, as applied to their group. Ask yourself this question when you\’re not sure if you should be appalled or laugh when someone tells a joke at work and you\’re not sure how to react. Read more »