Industrialized nations! Competitive places, never more so than when you work for a blog or in the media and need to figure out why Thing A is better than Thing B. In this case, the you-should-be-shocked-but-come-on-how-can-you-be great writing institution that is VICE and their English bureau tried to find out Who’s Funnier: Black People or White People? Is this wrong to ask?
Maybe if you’re offended easily, but, honestly, not really. In fact, there may be something to garner from VICE’s (somewhat idiot-savant-leaning but totally unscientific and generally inconclusive) study! How?
Well, seeing as they titled the blog post BLACK PEOPLE VS. WHITE PEOPLE: WHO’S FUNNIER? but neglected to actually produce a result:
Lesson One: Controversial blog post titles are generally misleading. Also see: “I Had a One-Night Stand With Christine O’Donnell.”
They did, however, come up with findings:
• White people dance “like this,” while Black people dance “like thiiiiiis.”
• Black people enjoy a laugh and a joke as much as the next man.
• Despite what TV leads you to believe, not all Black comedians are Stephen K. Amos.
• Statistically, the key areas of overlap in Black and White comedy are a) chicken shops, and b) Peckham. Therefore, the only way to bring about universal harmony is for BBC3 to launch a sitcom set in a chicken shop in Peckham.
• Black people aren’t really as perturbed by gun crime as you’d expect — in fact, they’re secretly delighted by it.
• White folk are just like you and me, except they went to more expensive schools.
• Britain is a nation divided by what unites it and united by what divides it.
• White people are actually some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Especially if you never leave North Wales.
• No one likes White South Africans.
Lesson Two: Everyone has something in common, and those things are often funny in the same ways to everyone. Even, often, latent-to-active racism.
But what of all of this? Why was VICE too afraid to make a conclusion?
Lesson Three: Conclusions generate controversy. So don’t make them unless you want to start some shit. On that note:
Lesson Four: Black People are actually funnier than White People, so just get over it. But really, look at the differences between the jokes that VICE gathered. Humor is often thought of as The Great Cure-All. Humor helps relieve pain at the worst of times! Haven’t you seen Patch Adams? Well, don’t, because it’s terrible. But you get the idea.
A group of people who have been generally oppressed throughout the majority of modern civilization have to find a way to keep spirits up throughout all of those generations of life dealing them a shit hand. They will inevitably find more to laugh at than those who haven’t, because necessity is invention’s mother, especially if geopolitical oppression and evil is the abusive father! This goes without mentioning that minorities are more often than not of a lower socioeconomic strata than the races and cultures of those oppressing them, who also have their own respective lower-classes, who can share the laughs about being on the shittier floors of the social pyramid/construct with another race (see Lesson Two). Blacks are funny! Jews are funny! Latinos are funny!
[Of course, in America, this theory doesn’t really support Native Americans, which we’ve tried to understand as a cause of there being barely any left because our shithead countrymen killed them all. Which is obviously a joke better suited for a Native American to tell.]
Meanwhile, those who are of the oppressive society but shun and have shame for its oppressive ways are generally struggling to laugh with or at the problems their heritage manifested — like African Americans and Poverty-at-Large in America — because they still feel bad about it (see: Guilt, White Man’s).
The point is that any attempt to create a “Master Race” will fail because once you’re the master race what is actually, objectively funny? Nothing. You have all that oppressing to do and you’re too goddamn busy to laugh, and if you do laugh, it’s only going to be funny to you, because nobody else can share the joy you derive from being an oppressive asshole. And you can’t be the Master Race is everyone else is going to undermine you with a great joke about what an asshole you are. In fact, your legacy will only be the butt of jokes for generations to come (see: The Downfall Parody).
Conclusion VICE Didn’t Make That They Should’ve: The larger and more historically oppressed your race is, the funnier you’re going to be. Unless you’re in India and at the bottom of the caste system but the fact of the matter is that this is race-on-race class oppression, and that shit isn’t that funny, which is why the funniest thing about India is Bollywood, unintentionally so.