Insulting humor loses its educational effect
Dr. Artin June 1st, 2006 - Kurdish American Education Society
Dr. Artin is a member of Kurdish American Education Society; however, his views are not reflecting the views of all members.
Humor is the tool of many intellectuals not only to cheers people up but to make an educational contribution to their society. Reportedly an Iranian humorist, Mana Nayestani, had ridiculed the language of Azari minority to that of insects. In response another humorist, Elmira C, harshly has ridiculed Persian language to barking of dogs. I understand that such humor is reflective of anger and frustration related to discrimination and unresolved ethnic and nationality conflict in Iran. I believe the burden is primarily on dominant groups in a society to assure the minorities have their rights, so they can trust the majority. If this expectation is not met, reacting with anger is not unusual. However, using an insulting language would promote hate than justice, and I wish the above mentioned intellectuals could have avoided it, despite being humorous.
As partially informed humans we have a tendency to idealize or devaluate our unknowns. As an example humans have created two concepts for their mysterious unknowns, a noble supreme being and an unworthy evil being. People also might use insulting humor to explain other basic concepts that they do not understand fully in other people's culture! To name a few, many bright and hard working Azaris are notable for their financial contribution to the economy of Iran, yet their financial success is misinterpreted as stupidity. Many Arabs are notable for appreciation of their wealth or lack of it by relaxing and walking bare feet either in their hot deserts or cool beaches, yet they are misinterpreted as being lazy. Many Gilani women are notable for their social skills, hard working habit in their farms and offices, and their self esteem to be equal with men, yet they are labeled as promiscuous. Many Kurds are notable for their confidence, righteousness, and courage to oppose inequality, yet they are misinterpreted as aggressive. There are many other misinterpretations about the norms and values of other minorities that requires much understanding and investigation.
I believe in order to be more effective and end the culture of misinterpretation, discrimination, and hatred in a multiethnic society, we are obligated to use a language that promotes understanding and peace even in humor; otherwise the humor loses its educational effect!