No way in Hell could TV shows like “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons” and to a lesser extent “Sanford and Son” be on the air today.
Archie Bunker has frequently been referred to as a “lovable bigot,” George Jefferson often called Helen and Tom Willis zebra because she was black and he was white and he referred to Tom as honky. And, Fred Sanford always had some choice words for his neighbor Julio often telling him to go back to Puerto Rico when the guy was from New York.
Forget about Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd trying to make one of my favorite Christmas Season movies, “Trading Places,” today. That movie would offend everyone, even people who smoke Kools.
Fast forward to today, or yesterday, and it seems like the entire state of New Jersey is freaking out because talk radio co-hosts Dennis and Judi called Attorney General Gurbir Grewal “turban man.”
Here’s a newsflash: IT WAS A JOKE! Listen to it, they were laughing about it. You can listen here.
Was it a good joke? I didn’t laugh. Was it in poor taste? Probably. Lots of jokes are in poor taste.
For emphasis, I’ll say it again: IT WAS A JOKE!
It does not make Dennis and Judi guilty of being xenophobes as our governor suggested in a statement he issued on the topic. What it makes them guilty of is being politically incorrect. They are guilty of making a joke that really wasn’t funny.
I don’t write this in defense of Dennis and Judi, I don’t know them, never met them, I write because people are just too sensitive.
When I was growing up we were taught, “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” Archie Bunker, George Jefferson and Fred Sanford all talked trash about anyone they felt like talking trash about. The beloved television series MASH even had a cross dresser and a guy nicknamed “spearchucker.” And, every single one of these shows can be seen on late night cable TV to this day! No one has been caused physical pain by these shows. Why? Because they are funny. If any of these shows have caused you mental anguish then you need to grow a thicker skin.
Because my great grandfather on my dad’s side was a native of Poland I hear dumb Polack jokes to this day. My co-host, Bob Greco, being of Italian heritage hears a lot of jokes about his ethnicity. You don’t hear us crying, quite the opposite, we laugh at the funny jokes.
Why do Bob and I not get upset over jokes about our heritage? Because our mothers raised us not to be big babies. They raised us to have thick skins. They taught us that names will never hurt us. Given the number of people he and I pissed off over the years, and the even bigger number who dislike us, it’s probably a good thing our mothers raised us to be tough.
To all the mothers out there who raised their kids to be tough and have thick skins, we say “thank you.” To everyone else – grow up! And, finally, to Dennis and Judi, thanks for giving me something to post on the blog today.