Q. "What do you call a Pakistani cloakroom attendant?"
A. "Me hat, me coat."
Did the above joke make you chuckle or did it offend you?
If you chuckled are you feeling you are racist or are you just amused by jokes that are a simple play on words?
If you happen to originate from Pakistan are you outraged or do you appreciate a little humour as being an acceptance of your origin?
Sir David Jason, much loved British actor and a man who has starred in many situation comedies where humour is the main foundation of the genre, thought it was amusing. I thought it was too!
Not because I thought it was derogatory to Pakistanis – in fact, I hardly registered the origin of the person referred to in the joke – but because it was a simple, silly bit of humour.
Sadly, the BBC did not see the funny side and the remark has now been removed from a recording of the radio programme in which Sir David uttered the controversial words.
If we cannot make light hearted and possibly affectionate, remarks about each other’s race we will never knock down the boundaries that separate us and we will never integrate as a society. The politically correct ‘police’ are not known for their sense of humour; they are a handicap, rather than a healing hand towards race relations.
We should not feel guilty for having a bit of banter with each other. Humour spoken without malice is a medicine and not an illness.
If I have any criticism of Sir David Jason, it is that he felt pressured to apologise, for something he had not even done!