BUHeroes Inspiration: “I was just joking, get over it already!”

You hear it again and again, and again. Someone will make a offensive, insensitive, or belittling comment and try to disguise the intent as a joke. They are truly unaware of how they have made a comment that was not what they intended to be, funny. Then they make the next mistake with feeling they have the right to tell someone else what they should feel when they offended them.

This is a common issue we see both online and in person, and it has become so relevant that it is astonishing how many still fail to realize when they genuinely hurt someone else. It is also concerning how they feel their comment could not be inconsiderate, insensitive, and offensive. Their comfort level of arrogance to assume their comment is funny, and cannot possibly be a comment better unsaid is alarming as well.

Why do I feel many are unable to feel their comment could be offensive, insensitive, or inconsiderate? We have become a society where we feel power from social media to speak however we wish, and many use freedom of speech as a reason to why they are justified and warranted to offend. Our society has a developed mindset that we have the right to determine another’s response to emotion. Which could not be any further from the truth, we do NOT have the right to tell someone to “get over it” after we have offended them.

We do not need to justify our feelings to anyone, we have the right to feel however we wish to, and when someone offends you and embarrasses you, you have the right to feel how you wish, and it is up to THEM to apologize to you, and it is NOT up to you to get over it to appeal to them. We need more genuine consideration, compassion, and respect in our society. To be honest, people did not lose their lives for our freedom of speech for it to be used to cause pain, hurt, separation, belittlement, and verbal abuse. They lost their lives for our rights to freedom of speech when we need to use it for JUSTICE, and to have the power to stand up, not to use our speech as a means to knock one another down.

Our society has truly become one that is focused on individualistic gain, ego, and entitlement. It has become so serious that we have people being insensitive all the time and being encouraged for it, and it needs to stop immediately. They feel when the belittle someone else they garner respect and praise, and it should be they garner lost respect and garner consequence for their disrespect.

You can tell someone all you want that what you said was only a joke, however, the reality is what you did was disrespect, belittle, and embarrass someone else, and you honestly expected laughter from it? Despicable. A joke is something that has intent to bring laughter, and there are times where it crosses a line, and when this happens the person affected by it should be apologized to, not further embarrassed and belittled by having their feelings mocked. This is where our society needs to have a shift in mentality.

If you embarrass someone and belittle them, it is on YOU to apologize to them and to understand you were wrong. It is time people understand that there are times their “jokes” can be offensive, insensitive, and inconsiderate. This is where you need to be held accountable, and to also choose not to be hypocritical, as I promise you when this happens to you, you would expect an apology.

It happens, there are times where we all say something that was wrong, I am not trying to say we do not ever make this mistake, as it does happen. However, how we react after is where we either make it worse, or we rectify our wrong. The problem we have these days is people choose to make it worse, and when they do this they only belittle the person more. We need to address this issue and change it immediately, and it also begins with us supporting one another.

If you are in a situation where someone makes a joke and it clearly offended someone, and you see this person visibly offended and upset, you either choose to ignore it and allow the person to further offend them, or you can support the person who was offended and belittled. People tell these jokes with hopes to have the people around them agree and laugh, and when they see others around them laughing while the one offended isn’t, they feel they accomplished something. The key is to help them understand that they were disrespectful and you will not tolerate it anymore, you will stand up for the person offended. This could have various responses, such as the person just walking away still laughing, or the person taunting you saying it was funny and you should laugh as well, or they will understand they were wrong and apologize. We cannot control their reaction, however, how we respond can influence it, and it can surely influence this person to make the best choice.

Regardless of what this person chooses to do you did the right thing, and the person you supported will have a tremendous amount of respect for you. Stand up, speak out, support one another all the time. It truly is what is best for everyone involved.

Enough is enough of these statements being excused as jokes.