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Blonde Racism?

A story last week led a reader to accuse me of being racist. I first rolled my eyes over the accusation and deleted the message, but I decided to pull it out of the trash and run it here. I still haven’t replied to the message; rather, I’d like you to, by posting a response below. I’d especially like to hear from people who are the victims of racism: do you see his objection as being valid — is it really akin to the racism you have suffered? How — or how is it not?

Let’s start with the story in question:

Legally Blonde

Two teen girls broke into a tattoo parlor in Fairfield, Maine. But first, they had to get past the alarm system. “They used hair spray” to do that, said Deputy Police Chief Steve Trahan. “They wanted to spray it so the fog would come out and they could see the beam from the alarm system, apparently so they could walk over it or avoid it or crawl under it.” They didn’t come up with the idea themselves. “They said they saw it on TV.” But it didn’t work: the hair spray is actually what set off the alarm, bringing officers in for the arrest. Brittany Blow, 18, and her unnamed juvenile accomplice were charged with burglary. (Waterville Morning Sentinel) …What they don’t tell you on TV: television shows are fiction.

Do you see the “racism”? I have no idea whether Brittany Blow (great name, eh?) is white, black, or other — and it doesn’t matter. But I’m still “racist” because of my slug (title) for the story: “Legally Blonde”. That’s right: joking that someone named Brittany might be blond after she does something stupid is “racist,” according to John in Florida, who writes:

Comments like this are just as racist as the word ‘nigger.’

I wonder if my readers agree — whether they’re black, white, Asian, Latino …or blond. You can comment via the form below.

If you’re particularly interested in the topic, I’ve written about racism in True before. Here’s one example.

17 September Update

Over 350 comments have been posted on this entry — and I have approved 199 of them. I think it’s all been said, so I’m turning Comments to this entry OFF so I don’t have to reject 150 more.

August 2010 Update

I noted above that I turned off the ability to comment since pretty much everything that could be said was said. Until now! I got a comment from a gal who says she’s the girl in the story. By the writing style, I think I believe it! Here you go — and, per my usual policy when I hear from people featured in the story, it’s presented here completely unedited:

sooo.im sure seeing as to how you felt it necessary to make fun of my last nme in the blog you wrote ABOUT ME…im sure you already know who i am.i was accualy looking for the picture of me getting arrested and found your blog.read it..and if i doo say so myself…i was pissed.yes it was dumb what happend..buuut neither me or tabitha colby the girl who was just a few months from being 18,and was the accualy one who went into C3 tattoo parlor..said that thats what the hair spray was used for to anyone.why would we.thats fucking ignorent.we were young girls..not to far fetched that we had hair products in our purses.aprently the fairfield police thought it would be funny to poke fun at two 18 year old girls lifes being turned upside down and going threw horrible things.hitting rock bottom at even that young of an age and ended up doing something as stupid as breaking into a bussiness.needless to sayyy…i was most upset when i realized IIII couldnt leave a comment…on a blog..writen about me…:) good job and i enjoy this site now that ive had a looksie at it..yes im blonde btw.and no i dont think that you are RACIST..a jerk yes.but no..not racist.

So, if I understand her definition, a “jerk” is someone who does a “good job” and writes an “enjoyable” site. Got it. Note she does confirm she’s a blonde.

Though I’m not sure how commenting that Blow is a “great name” is “mak(ing) fun of” her “last nme”.

September 2010 Update

After reading the August update above, a reader pointed me to another story in the same paper, dated simply “February 21” — no year given (but confusingly, a site search shows the date as October 23, 2009).

In summary, the story says that police and firefighters “scoured Head of Falls Thursday by land and water searching for Brittany Blow” after she reported she was assaulted. Then, “a few hours later, Blow was indeed being held against her will — but this time in Kennebec County Jail” after Blow, 20, admitted her report was not true. She was booked on a charge of filing a false report — plus a charge of “violation of conditions of release because she was out on bail for burglary and theft at the time.” Ah hah!

Blow’s boyfriend Robert White, 23, the report continued, “a transient,” was arrested and charged with violation of of his probation for domestic assault.

Yeah, she really knows how to pick her friends.

A later report in the same paper reported the conclusion (and confirms the October date): “Brittany A. Blow, 21, of Clinton, false public alarm or report Oct. 22 in Waterville, 30-day jail sentence, $500 restitution; violating condition of release Oct. 22 in Waterville, dismissed; violating condition of release and failing to give correct name, address or date of birth, both Oct. 30 in Oakland, combined 20-day jail sentence.”

So if I read that right, she was given 30 days in jail plus ordered to pay $500 in restitution for the “false public alarm.” The “violating condition of release” charge was dismissed, and an additional charge later of “failing to give correct name, address or date of birth” resulted in another (concurrent?) 20 days in jail.

Why do I get the feeling the world hasn’t heard the last of Brittany Blow?

At least a search of recent news stories found nothing — but still in an amusing way:

No, I didn't mean Brittany Blew

No, I didn’t mean “Brittany Blew” — but thank you, Google, for another laugh!

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199 Responses to Blonde Racism?

  1. Bob, Long Island, NY August 20, 2007 at 8:11 pm #

    Hey, at least you didn’t call them blonde-headed hos.

    You’re certainly not racist, just differentist. I’m glad that people are not all the same – how boring that would be! People are going to make jokes about other people’s differences for as long as the human race exists.

    For the record, here’s why blond(e)s are considered dumb and sexually easy – it goes back 2000 years: In ancient Rome, there was an influx of people from the north who tended to be blond(e). They were rather unsophisticated, sort of like people raised on farms still are. The men found work as laborers and soldiers, but many women could find work only as prostitutes. So many did that it got to be that any blonde woman was considered a prostitute. At one point, the law said that all prostitutes had to bleach their hair if they weren’t naturally blonde. Thus the stereotypes about blondes has existed for over 2000 years.

  2. Deby, Colorado August 20, 2007 at 8:26 pm #

    There was NOTHING “racist” about talking about STUPIDITY. It comes in many colors and different genders. Too bad there are those who have to be “politically correct” which in itself (in MY estimation) labels THEM as just as stupid. WHEN was politics EVER paired with the word CORRECT???? I’ve not seen ANYTHING even REMOTELY CORRECT about ANY of todays politicians!!!

    Keep up the great work Randy. It’s too bad that those who can’t do what you do have to knock it to feel better about themselves. If they would tend to their own business and stop hammering on everyone else they could probably have a much happier life!!!!

    I AM a blonde and there has NEVER been a blonde joke that couldn’t be turned into a brunette, red-head or even a guy joke….so GET OVER IT and stop with the looking for something to gripe about! What a PATHETIC person one has to be to come up with a gripe like this one!!
    Racist—-good grief!!! Stupid fits MUCH better and was the WHOLE gist of the story…Randy is SO NOT racist and by far the ONLY HONEST “journalist” I have EVER READ!!!

  3. Patty, Hewitt, TX August 20, 2007 at 9:10 pm #

    You called it already – the guy is a moron. There’s nothing racist about your comments, and his were totally unfounded. So what else is new?!

  4. Gerry, College Station, TX August 20, 2007 at 9:15 pm #

    Hmmm. You might be accused of profiling, but racism is a little harder to come by. One could study the semantics of name assignment across ethnic categories for teenaged females in the Continental United States, and see some correlation between “Brittany” and “Blonde”; I suspect, from anecdotal evidence that it’s correlated but not causal.

    I’m wondering if Reader John in Florida might be sensitive to this because he fears similar profiling?

  5. Jack/Georgia August 20, 2007 at 9:17 pm #

    Think the person writing the comment should first go back to school or at least to a dictionary to learn the definition of the word racist.

    I’ll save everyone the trouble. -rc

    Racism:
      n.
    1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
    2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

  6. Dave; Niceville, FL August 20, 2007 at 9:18 pm #

    I’m sorry to see that John is also from Florida. It gives me a bad name (like the people in south FL who aren’t as smart as an elementary student and fill out a ballot properly.)

    BTW, did you know that Florida is upside down? The farther south you go, the more north you get. (Not my original idea, but true anyway.)

    In my opinion, people who see racism everywhere are just racist themselves. Why can’t we take a joke any more?

  7. Denise, NC August 20, 2007 at 9:22 pm #

    That letter should have been left in the trash where it belongs, not dignified with a response like this.

    Next thing you know, this guy will get his undies in a knot, crying discrimination because toilets and customers of prostitutes are called “johns”.

    Sign me,
    Happily Blond (On Occasion)

    I know what you mean about leaving the letter in the trash, but there’s nothing more illuminating than shining a light on ignorance. It makes people think, and that’s a Good Thing. -rc

  8. Douglas, Albany, GA August 20, 2007 at 9:25 pm #

    We are quickly becoming the United States of the Offended. Have we no sense of humor left? Have we completely lost the ability to laugh at ourselves?

    What race is blond? I mean, I’m blond and I’m still not sure.

  9. Pete, Richmond VA August 20, 2007 at 9:36 pm #

    How can this even be considered even remotely racial? How can John consider referring to someone as “blonde” the same as referring to someone as a “nigger”? I’m just not getting the connection between being blonde and being a victim of racism…

    John, being blond(e) is NOT the same thing as being black, white, Hispanic, oriental, or whatever. There is NO country with exclusively blonde-haired people as far as I know and NO sort of “blonde culture” exists unless one wants to count the millions of blonde jokes floating about the net and in countless bars across the world. All you seem to have done here is prove the stereotype.

    Randy, I’m simply not seeing anything racist or for that matter even totally derogatory to someone who is blonde in your title, article, or comments- you borrowed a movie title, so what? I felt it was quite amusing and fitting.

  10. Meg in California August 20, 2007 at 9:39 pm #

    So blondes have their own race? I’ve been blonde my entire life (not including some flirtations with red hair dye in my early 20s, and the odd Halloween colored hair spray), and was caught unawares that I was a member of a separate race from my parents. [My parents started as a mixed-race couple; he was blonde, she was a red head. Now both are gray]. So, if I experience hair-color based racism, I can become a brunette and all will be solved!

    This reminds me of the Dr. Seuss book about Sneeches. When all the blondes become brunettes to escape oppression, will the natural brunettes turn the tables and then become blondes? Is this all a marketing ploy from L’Oreal?

    OK, I laughed out loud about your parents being a mixed-race couple, Meg. Priceless! -rc

  11. Jack, Bothell WA August 20, 2007 at 9:40 pm #

    I think John needs to grow up and get a life. Anyone that can read racist in your story is beyond repair.

  12. Earl, Yakima WA August 20, 2007 at 9:41 pm #

    I could accept John’s comment if he used the word “dehumanizing”. A stereotype is defined as “An over-generalized and preconceived idea or impression of what characterizes someone or something, especially one that does not allow for any individuality or variation”. Lumping all blondes together as dumb is similar to lumping all violators of zero tolerance policies as potential future hardened criminals.

  13. Danny in Florida August 20, 2007 at 9:41 pm #

    “John in Florida” is an idiot.

    On the other hand, I’d like to see some proper attribution of the source for the cockamamy story told by “Bob on Long Island”. “Unsophisticated” blondes “from the north” were prostitutes in ancient Rome? You’ve got to be kidding! Where’s the proof? Or are you *trying* to be funny?

    And why pick on people raised on farms? That’s not racist– but it’s just as bad: it’s some city-slicker being elitist! Without the “unsophisticated” farmers of this land — who run multimillion dollar businesses that just happen to be in the business of growing crops — you wouldn’t be eating most of the food you take for granted, bub. Remember that on your next visit to the grocery or produce stand, or when you take that carton of orange juice out of the fridge.

    So “Bob in Long Island” is an idiot, too. And a Yankee. Ooh… that’s two strikes. 😉

  14. Greg, Houston, TX August 20, 2007 at 9:45 pm #

    How interesting. Never mind that there is a “Legally Blonde” one and two, but apparently using that tag line makes you a racist on the same level as if you used n***er. I suppose you could make an argument for that if you were, in fact, blonde, and were using it as a term to indicate a common state. Conversely, to say that “Legally Blonde” implies a racist position ignores the movies and a long history of blonde jokes, and the fact that it is now possible to be blonde regardless of your ethnic origin. Blondness is now an entirely volitional condition, as opposed to race. You could legitimately be accused of representing the “stereotypes of hair color” but it would be a bit of a stretch in the modern world to relate hair color to race. Look at Univision.

  15. Kymberli, Tri-Cities, WA August 20, 2007 at 9:48 pm #

    Being an educated blonde myself, I take no offense to such statements. In fact, my friends (the majority of which are NOT blonde) can always count on me to tell them the latest blonde joke. Some of these could be racist if another word was put in, however being called blonde is not racist. A racist comment is usually a derogatory comment that is meant to hurt. If a person cannot laugh at a joke about themselves, then maybe s/he needs to get a dye job and stop taking offense!

    You mean, stoop to artificial intelligence? 🙂 -rc

  16. Bill, Ridfgewood, NJ August 20, 2007 at 9:49 pm #

    I don’t think Legally Blonde is racist. I think to some extent it is how it is perceived by the blonde. At worst it might be insensitive or demeaning depending on content. But that is still a far cry for the totally offensive ‘N’ use.

    I am multi generations Caucasian and what I don’t like and don’t understand why, is how the rap community and AfroAmericans keep using, popularizing, and spreading “N” in speech and music.

  17. Jim, GA August 20, 2007 at 9:49 pm #

    Last time I checked blonde was not a race, it was a condition, a great many of whom fall into the category of voluntary. I guess that when John spun the “buzzword spinner” it stopped on racism as opposed to Nazi or some other epithet.

    John, lighten up and get a life, blondes and caucasian males are the only folks left that can be the brunt of humor. I am a smart ass southern white boy myself and me and my daughter are blonde!

    Hey, that reminds me of a joke. This good ol’ Southern Boy went into a bar…. -rc

  18. JK, Sonora, CA August 20, 2007 at 9:53 pm #

    WOW, I love how we’re all so “sensitive to other’s feelings now”. Blonde has become to replace the “country hick” of my childhood. Remember that freedom of speech is as important for people who say things that offend you, as the people that you agree with.

    No it’s not — it’s more important. “Freedom of speech” is specifically encoded as a right only to protect speech we disagree with. We don’t need laws to protect speech we agree with. -rc

  19. Connie, Spokane August 20, 2007 at 10:06 pm #

    Racism? That the two girls assumed that something they saw on television represented the way such things actually work says more about the failure of our schools to teach critical thinking than it says about the girls’ natural intelligence – whether they were blondes, brunettes, redheads, or some combination of haircolors.

    However, far be it from me to criticize your choice of slug; although a natural blonde myself, blonde jokes are my very favorite form of humor. I have yet to meet anyone who thought blonde jokes were any sort of representation of reality, and every blonde I know enjoys them.

  20. Bob, WA August 20, 2007 at 10:13 pm #

    Racist! What next? Short, is that racism? Certainly, we could say, for example, that a large proportion of basketball players and football players are tall. Does that mean that if you call someone a short you are being racist? I don’t think so.

    Labelist, certainly, just as teachers in Idaho have been discriminated for a long time with the phrase, “Just a teacher” and a shipyard worker in Washington has been discriminated when called “Yard Birds.”

    Labelists are arguably not as serious a problem as racists unless you are the one being labeled.

    Does that mean, calling a African American or Latino “blond” because they dye their hair is the same as Nigger or Spic. No way!

    I used to teach my students that Blond and Ethnic jokes are just cruel. If a person has any doubt if it is, just substitute their ethnicity, or group they associate with into the joke. For example, “A miner, cowboy and logger, walk into a bar, etc.” It generally winds up being not funny being told the other way unless the person’s special group is not the brunt of the joke.

    Randy, I really did not notice the slug. Except, it was a slug. What I did notice is the shear stupidity of the incident. Maybe you could have / should have tagged it “Legally Stupid.” Surely, stupid knows no race.

  21. Andrew, TX August 20, 2007 at 10:16 pm #

    While no reference was made to race, the remark still stereotypes one group of people: blonds. Now I am a blond and don’t take offense to blond jokes, but then, I’m also male. Usually blond jokes imply “dumb, blond female”.

    Personally I think this writer was being overly “PC”.

    However, cracks about hair color, and peoples attitudes about hair color, are not always a laughing matter:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6725653.stm

    Actually, Andrew, you’re not a blond. You have blond hair, and that makes you “a” blonde. “Blond” is an adjective; “blonde” is a noun. At least, in common usage…. -rc

  22. Walt, Towaco, NJ August 20, 2007 at 10:17 pm #

    John in Florida has entirely too much time on his hands. He also has no sense of humor. I guess the style today is to be offensive by being offended at the slightest thing.

  23. Jennifer in BC August 20, 2007 at 10:21 pm #

    Bob, Long Island, NY: that “influx” of blond(e)s was in fact slavery … which persisted well into the Christian era, btw. It was a Pope (Gregory?) who remarked “non angli sed angeli” in reference to a group of Anglo-Saxon slaves.

    Fair skin* and blond hair has long been considered beautiful, to the extent that Christian artists depict angels as blond. I believe the prejudice against blond(e)s stems from the belief that a person can be beautiful or brainy, but not both. Also children are often blond(e) so there is an association with youthfulness (positive) and with naivete (negative). [*Even in countries where blond hair is unknown, fair skin is valued.]

    The reader who protested was wrong in using the word “racist”, but not wrong in that you do sometimes exhibit prejudice. I would even say sexism … vide your tagline about the need for a 99-cent divorce.

    Feel free to post your thoughts about why that tagline was sexist in the comments area of that post — I’m unclear why you would consider that tag sexist. -rc

  24. Dan, Fergus Ontario Canada August 20, 2007 at 10:23 pm #

    Not by any stretch of the imagination were you being racist – you were using a well established ‘stereotype’ as a titling device. I see nothing wrong with that

    Being Jewish, I have often run into discrimination – but in the most surprising places. For example, I ran into more hatred during a year in Florida than I did in 4 years in Germany. Most I dismiss because it is obvious that the person knows nothing of what he speaks – and I would say that of John as well.

  25. Steve, Houston, TX August 20, 2007 at 10:24 pm #

    I assumed I missed something obvious, and went back to read it again. Sorry, still don’t see any racism there. There’s plenty of real racism around without having to go making it up where it doesn’t exist. Oh well, I think some people are so determined to find something, they will no matter WHAT is actually on the page…

  26. Jordan; Los Angeles, CA August 20, 2007 at 10:29 pm #

    [ Background: I’m male. I was blonde as a kid and am now more of a redhead; most of my immediate family is blonde.]

    Racist? Yeah, I guess that technically I’d say that it is. Skin and hair color are certainly race-related, and the essence of the joke here is that there is a stereotype that blondes are, shall we say, sub-par. That seems to fit the definition of “racist” above.

    As racist as “nigger”? No, I don’t think “blonde” and its connotations have reached anywhere near the level of negativity that “nigger” has.

    Now, there’s also a decent argument that it’s *sexist*, because the canonical dumb blonde is a woman.

    As a blonde-oid, do I mind it? Nah, I make blonde and redhead jokes all the time. Nerd jokes too.

    In my experience, airheads come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and sexes. Blondes of either sex do not have a monopoly.

    Greg from Houston: there’s a long history of ethnic jokes of all flavors, and I think they’re all pretty much lumped under “racist” these days. As for movies, well, IMDB has a number of hits on “nigger”; does that make it OK?

  27. Mike, Concord, CA August 20, 2007 at 10:37 pm #

    Is this for real? Does this mean that I cannot tell brunette jokes? Or redheads? I think that I am as PC as anyone (I live in the San Francisco Bay Area) but this is ridiculous! We all need to lighten up a bit.

    Yes, it is real. But I have to disagree: if you think it’s ridiculous, you’re not as PC as anyone! -rc

  28. Danny, Austin, TX August 20, 2007 at 10:43 pm #

    Wow, that’s intense. Admittedly, natural blond(e)s are technically a race – one that is being quickly wiped out due to cross-breeding. But is “Blonde” really the next “Nigger”?

    “Nigger” was used by some to describe a person with a specific defect, only their defect was a slight genetic difference and lack of education (the difference in education was due to the social climate and the view that the humans were defective, a classic catch-22). “Blonde” today is sometimes used to describe a person with a defect, even if it’s temporary, usually due to a lack of making use of one’s education; we’ve thrown in a genetic predisposition, too, even though the term is rarely used to describe those with the actual genetic predisposition.

    So, would you potentially say the two are similar? Well, stated as simply as I just did (and I left out a lot there and slightly twisted it to fit my needs – hey, it works for Michael Moore so why not me?) then yes. I can see how both of them are racist. However, I can also see just about anyone getting their panties in a ruffle over just about anything these days. However, if I worried about offending people I wouldn’t be able live my life.

    As Carlos Mencia eloquently puts it, “If you’re not offended, you’re not paying attention.” How fitting is that?!!?!

    Isn’t it “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”? But hey: close enough. -rc

  29. "Biondino" (San Francisco) August 20, 2007 at 10:57 pm #

    Wow, Randy: I thought the rule in web forae was to try to keep the argument going as long as possible before someone called someone else “just like Hitler”, thus closing the argument. Apparently Brittney wants to go straight to the endgame. That’s no fun!

    I wonder what Brittney had to say about the movie? Did she send threatening email to Ms. Witherspoon? “You’re a traitor to your hair color, you, you … Aunt Tom!”

    For those who don’t “get” the Hitler comment, “Biondino” refers to Godwin’s Law -rc.

  30. ld, Ohio August 20, 2007 at 11:02 pm #

    I was born blond, and grew up blond in the era of Dagwood, MM and JM (both bottle blonds). I found that people who didn’t matter to me could say what they liked and it didn’t change anything, while a much greater number of people enjoyed conversation with me and thought I was pretty darned smart (for a girl).

    Was the tagline racist? No … since persons of any and every race can be blond if they so choose — any many do. Was the accusation made because of hair color, or from ignorance, or both? Either way, both can be cured with a bit of effort. Only the 7th+1 deadly sin remains incurably panracial: Stupidity.

  31. Greg, Washington August 20, 2007 at 11:18 pm #

    First, what you did was play into a stereotype, not use an epithet. The two aren’t comparable.

    It was, however, as bigoted as if you had assumed someone stealing watermelons was Black or assumed the guy who picked them was Mexican. You were reinforcing a stereotype.

    Think about all the Arabic actors who only get auditions for “Terrorist #3”, all the Latino actors who only get auditions to play gang members. Stereotypes hurt. If this keeps up, Brad Pitt will have to dye his hair to avoid getting typecast as a moron.

  32. Denise, NC August 20, 2007 at 11:20 pm #

    Danny in Florida: Do a little historical research before you angrily reply to someone’s statements.

    The Romans believed that anyone who wasn’t Roman was “unsophisticated”.

    A barbarian was anyone not from the city (especially Rome itself) or more generally, anyone who wasn’t (yet) a Roman citizen.

    The majority of prostitutes in Rome were slaves taken from northern raids. Why the North? ‘Cuz that’s where the Empire was spreading!

    And yes, there was a law passed at one point that said that licensed prostitutes needed to bleach their hair or wear blond wigs as a sign of their trade. This was mainly to protect proper Roman matrons from being accosted in the streets, since drunken citizens could be executed for rape if they tumbled the wrong woman.

    Before that, ancient Greek whores used white lead to whiten their hair (though I’m not sure that would produce a color that could properly be termed “blond”).

    This is all online either in the Encarta encyclopedia or on Wikipedia under “prostitution” and “ancient Greece” and “Rome”.

    BTW: I’m dieing over how fast the comments are rolling in on this one! 😀

  33. Bruce, Honolulu August 21, 2007 at 12:36 am #

    Obviously, the reader sending the comment is Blonde…

    …and a humorless one at that. The blondes that I know love telling “blonde jokes” and have a great sense of humor. They understand that the “dumb blonde” stereotype is meant as humor – not hate – and, since the stereotype is generally defined by a beautiful/sexy blonde it’s often taken as a left handed compliment.

    My former blonde secretary used to refer to her little mistakes as “blonde moments” and, even though she moved thousands of miles away over 5 years ago, she STILL sends me blonde jokes every few months.

  34. Scott, Killeen, TX August 21, 2007 at 12:40 am #

    I know that this has little or nothing to do with the original subject…

    > “panties in a ruffle”

    Whoops, there’s another “racist” phrase!

    Some readers may be interested in Wikipedia’s entry on the subject, which notes “In the United States, the word nigger was not always considered derogatory.”

    I think “African-American” is just plain silly, promulgated by people who are too busy being “politically correct” to realize that it’s often incorrect, and therefore insulting the listener or embarrassing to the speaker. For example, when actually IN Africa, one does not address a crowd as “African-Americans”, as I hear that someone did. What are you going to call them, “Africans”? “African-Africans”? There’s plenty of pasty-skinned (now it’s my turn to be jumped upon) people in Africa.

    FYI, I’m “pasty-skinned”, and I think there’s plenty of other “pasty-skinned” people who are making me feel ashamed to share a planet with them. “Scott has pasty skin, so he must be a feeb like all the other ‘politically correct’ people”.

    One of my friends in Denver is an African-American. She’s whiter than me, and has red hair. -rc

  35. Benedict, San Diego CA August 21, 2007 at 1:46 am #

    You’re not a racist; you’re a xanthochroidist! Take it from another blondie (me), that’s a different matter entirely. Wait a sec, let me boil up a noodle with which to flog you.

    I admit it: I had to look up xanthochroid. -rc

  36. Bob San Mateo, CA August 21, 2007 at 2:09 am #

    I was born blonde. Fortunately, by the time I was 50 I was cured. My hair turned gray. I found that I was much smarter after that.

  37. Gandalf - South Africa August 21, 2007 at 2:12 am #

    The chap that commented on the “blond” reference clearly has absolutely no worldly experience whatsoever. He has probably traveled out of state once or twice in his life and is very accustomed to being surrounded by like minded (SCARY!!) individuals. Try living in Africa buddy! You have no idea what racism is until you are a minority, until you see Africans killing Africans owing to race issues, until you realize what it means to be a “whitey” in a country that would rather you were dead. Seriously, grow up and get a life, there are important things out there for you to do, like living your life to the fullest. You are entitled to your opinion and everyone respects you enough to allow you the chance to air it, now do the same and stop complaining!!!!!

    I was hoping to get comments from people who have suffered from actual racism, and have been surprised that there haven’t been many so far. Color me surprised that the most powerful so far was written by a white guy…! -rc

  38. Andrew, Birmingham, England August 21, 2007 at 2:46 am #

    As a blonde, I have read the comments with interest. I have often felt that I’m in a minority, and have been the butt of many ‘harmless’ blonde comments. Those who say it’s just a colour (English sp.) are wrong, in the same way as if someone with dark skin painted themself white and called themself white! This is a specific skin-tone and type of hair (fine and usually straight), and commonly (but not exclusively) blue eyes and you are born this way. Anything else (hair dye etc) is still not natural, and so I do feel there is a common usage to make out blondes are ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’.

    I have read before about studies showing blonde people being less likely to be taken seriously. The race of blonde people originates in Scandinavia and Northern Europe. Is Randy being racist? No, I don’t think he is knowingly, but had he suggested Afro hair in the same or similar way it would be ok too would it?

  39. David, ENGLAND August 21, 2007 at 3:22 am #

    I’m not blond, but both my mother and youngest child are.

    “Dumb Blonde” jokes are just another variant on “Dumb Irish”, “Dumb Polack”, “Dumb Russkie”, “Dumb Hispanic” and so on.

    They seem to have grown up as an alternative because the above (and other) groups have started playing “victimhood poker” and saying it is unacceptable that they be stereotyped in this fashion.

    Everybody should lighten up.

    Laughter is a far better way of highlighting the differences between us all than most of the alternatives. It’s not for nothing that the Court Jester in medieval times was used to point out uncomfortable truths under the cover of laughter.

    Rather than objecting to the telling of jokes targeting blondes (i.e. females of North-West European origin), instead object to people trying to silence the telling of jokes about Jews, Muslims, Red-Necks and all the rest.

    Because if home-truths and tension can’t be released through humour, it might be released in a less pleasant fashion.

    OK. A Jew, a Muslim and a redneck go into a bar. The Muslim said, “I’ll be the designated driver — again.” -rc

  40. john, Dungloe, Donegal August 21, 2007 at 3:27 am #

    I just couldn’t get point of “Racist”. In fact I couldn’t get the point at all. Here in Ireland we don’t have “Blondie” jokes. If you said some one had done something “Blondie” they would take your car keys off you and send you home in a taxi. Anyone who says you are racist is is nuts.

    An Irishman walks into a bar. -rc

  41. Doug, Broken Arrow OK August 21, 2007 at 3:58 am #

    And he’s probably one of the Floridians that vote…

    …for the wrong guy. -rc

  42. Dave, UK August 21, 2007 at 4:00 am #

    I think someone has already said it: those that find racism, sexism or any other ‘ism’ everywhere are usually guilty in themselves. Remember: Intolerance will not be tolerated!

  43. Michael, London UK August 21, 2007 at 5:01 am #

    I’ve read this several times and can’t see the problem. I’m blond by the way and it never occurred to me to try and have the film Legally Blond banned because I felt that it targeted my ‘race’. Maybe we should introduce a new phrase, legally bland?

  44. Bill St John's, Newfoundland August 21, 2007 at 5:14 am #

    I don’t think it’s racist. Implying that “blondes are dumb” recalls a century of stereotyping (mostly perpetrated by men, it seems). But putting it in the same category as racism is confusing lemons and oranges.

  45. David, Colorado August 21, 2007 at 5:18 am #

    John’s problem is a limited vocabulary. “Racist” has become the catchall term for bigoted, discriminatory, boorish, tactless, misogynistic, xenophobic, and a host of other terms that mean “insensitive to the presumed feelings of a fashionable minority group”. This sloppy etymology gives “racist” a bad name. 😉

    Randy routinely pokes fun at blondes, politicians, journalists, bureaucroids, lawyers, criminals, and plain old dumbasses. The more like the reader or one of his loved ones a story figure is, the more likely Randy is to be accused of being “racist”. But that’s just how humor is, and not just Randy’s brand. All comedy is tragedy that happens to someone else.

    I wanna see some gay dumbasses in True, Randy. Then you’ll really get undeserved hate mail. 🙂

    I have no doubt that there have been plenty of gay dumbassess featured in True. But gee: did you have to say “dumbass” rather than “numbskull”? -rc

  46. Allison Spring, Texas August 21, 2007 at 6:42 am #

    Well I’m certainly not offended, but then I’m blond!

  47. Mike, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania August 21, 2007 at 7:33 am #

    People need to get a life if this is all they have to worry about.

    Get back to me with your troubles after you have one parent dying of leukemia, another on dialysis every other day awaiting a kidney donor, their bills for medical treatment that are outrageous, five kids, three in college at the same time and you wonder how you are paying for all of this.

  48. Allen Kaukauna, WI August 21, 2007 at 7:46 am #

    Perhaps John could check with Merriam-Webster before going off. Boindio’s referrance to Godwin’s Law is appropriate as the accusation of racism takes away from the actual definition.

    Basically: Get over it!!

    Great work Randy keep it up.

  49. Scott, Fairfax, VA August 21, 2007 at 7:54 am #

    And as if Randy’s offense wasn’t enough, eBay is part of the conspiracy! One of the margin ads to the left of my screen is:

    Dumb Blonde – Browse a huge selection now. Find what you’re looking for today. http://www.ebay.com

    Hmmpf! I’m going to go find something to get miffed about.

    I had no idea that there were slave-trading ads on my blog. I guess it’s true: you really can get anything on eBay! -rc

  50. Paul, Leander, TX August 21, 2007 at 7:54 am #

    Hmm, looks like John was having a “Blonde” day 😉

  51. Doc-Mexico August 21, 2007 at 8:25 am #

    I think the reader that accused you of publishing a “racist” tagline is way off base, Randy! In the first place, if they plan on going through life being that thin-skinned, they had better be prepared to cry themselves to sleep a lot! As a Caucasian living in Mexico, I have probably been a victim of more racism than the average “white guy” (I suppose now, I’ll be called racist!), but nothing like what a lot of minority individuals have suffered. If they see being called “blonde” as discrimination, they might want to seek some counseling from their hairdresser. Lady Clairol, I understand, has had a high success rate at helping the more challenged overcome their color deficiency.

  52. Ernest, Philadelphia August 21, 2007 at 8:33 am #

    I’m an Asian man, and every once in a while when I do something silly, I will quip, “Whoops. Blonde moment.” It always meets with a laugh (especially from blond friends), but I guess John in Florida thinks I’m a horrible bigot.

    I have a feeling he’s one of those people who thinks I should stop reinforcing stereotypes by practicing black belt martial arts.

  53. Dave, Houston, Texas August 21, 2007 at 8:43 am #

    Problem 1: “Racism” has become an overused cliche, which makes it difficult to discuss the real underlying issue coherently. This guy’s comment was clearly off the mark.

    Problem 2: You are in fact guilty of appealing to a stereotype (“dumb blondes”) that is probably the inevitable result of your being in the humor business, but which may, rightfully, cause offense in the likes of my daughter (who happens to be both incredibly beautiful and incredibly smart and naturally blonde).

    But she’d never accuse you of being a racist. A thoughtless jerk, perhaps (but only in the kindest sense). But not a racist.

    Of course she wouldn’t accuse me of being racist — as you said, she’s smart. (There: something else for John in Florida to be upset about!) I’ll bet she wouldn’t accuse me of being a thoughtless jerk, either — but that’s just a guess. -rc

  54. Tim, Missoula MT August 21, 2007 at 8:59 am #

    Wow Randy, I certainly thought you had the smartest audience in the world (present company excluded possibly), but I guess there is always someone reading today who may be a candidate for one of your stories tomorrow.

    I would happily pay for a years subscription to HeroicStories for John in Florida. Sounds like he could use something uplifting in his life.

    Subscriptions to HeroicStories (which I founded, but have since spun off to a new publisher) are free, but they will gratefully accept your contribution to help them keep it that way. -rc

  55. Neal, Manassas VA August 21, 2007 at 9:09 am #

    Back in my day, ‘racism’ actually referred to race. Today it seems to refer to race, culture, ethnicity, or stereotype. Bugs me to think I might be called a racist when talking about illegal immigrants in the US.

    Indeed the Politically Correct crowd is trying to get rid of the term “illegal immigrant”, favoring “undocumented worker”. Really. -rc

  56. Steve Pennsylvania August 21, 2007 at 9:10 am #

    At first I was thinking that this guy was way too sensitive. But then let me ask a question. If the story was about someone being frugal to the point of foolishness or even being dangerous, would you have titled it “Legally Jewish”?

    Clearly, the tag line is a stereotype. To the extent that people believe that ALL people who fit the stereotype (blond, Jewish, etc) feel and act the same way, then the message does some harm.

    That said, the writer needs some perspective.

    1. Stereotypes = sometimes bad, oftentimes funny
    2. racism = always bad, never funny, sometimes unintentional
    3. The “N” word = always bad, never funny, intentionally inflammatory

    Equating (1) and (3) leads to Stella stories (unfortunately). Trying to write to make everyone happy leads to the lowest common denominator or, as another writer said, Legally Bland.

    Keep up the good work.

    PS I’m the lawyer who wrote the lawyers-in-heaven message a month or so ago. I have absolutely no objection to finding humor in stereotypes given that there are some counterbalancing comments from time to time, too.

    Would I slug a story “Legally Jewish”? No: there was no fun movie by that name to spin on.

    PS: Most lawyers are great people, my brother-in-law included. -rc

  57. Bo, Indianapolis August 21, 2007 at 9:11 am #

    I actually thought about responding to that story, as I am a blonde, and I wanted to tease Randy about picking on blondes. After all, Britney is now a brunette, as is Lindsey Lohan and a few others that used to tarnish our reputation! No, even though I do tire of the stereotype associated with my hair color, it is not racist. We natural blondes (okay, more gray now…) keep our sense of humor — we know it’s all just jealousy! Randy, you keep right on pricking those balloons.

  58. Andrew, Frederick, Maryland August 21, 2007 at 9:14 am #

    Blonde is not a race.

  59. Sam - Cincinnati, Ohio August 21, 2007 at 9:26 am #

    Well Randy as my late grandfather of beloved memory would have said, “If you don’t offend someone you’re not doing it right!”

    Wow, that one does challenge credulity. I enjoy your choices and look forward to a few moments of humor and laughter to get me going. Racist, I don’t think so, but then this may well say more about me than it does about you. Keep it coming, while I may not always agree with your choices, I appreciate your point of view.

  60. Larry, Oregon August 21, 2007 at 9:28 am #

    John, are you naturally ignorant or is it a learned ability? Since when did Blonde become a race? What kind of idiocy or stupidity course did you take that even remotely suggested that Blonde and the “N” word were comparable on any level?

  61. Robert, Del City, Oklahoma August 21, 2007 at 9:44 am #

    I just laughed. There is no racism in that at all, and, as is stated before, blond isn’t a race, it is a hair color. Personally, I would not waste my time responding to this particular letter.

  62. Charles, Seattle August 21, 2007 at 10:02 am #

    David of England got it in one. When I was a kid we told “Polack” or “Italian” jokes – a remnant of the early 20th Century and WWII when masses of immigrants from those countries took up residence, got into the usual scrapes because of language problems, and in general got up each other’s noses. In Poland they tell Romanian jokes, by the way. Indians tell some very funny Sikh jokes.

    Now that every group able to hire a lawyer is officially offended at jokes aimed at them, blondes are a safe haven for these old gags. My only concern is that the use of blondes is safe and antiseptic, though much more salubrious – no one is likely to grow up really believing that blondes are stupid (I hope!). But I wish we could find an ethnic group that actually liked being made fun of.

  63. Robb N. Walpole NH August 21, 2007 at 10:07 am #

    If the simple comment “blonde is not a race” is not enough to point out the foolishness of the comment from John in Florida, then I would ask him why the anti-defamation league (and others) didn’t fly into a rage when the movies of the same name “Legally Blonde” and “Legally Blonde 2” were released.

    More likely, however, I think he’s angry that if we see a girl do something stupid, we might associate that with being blonde. I certainly don’t believe that’s exactly prejudism, but still, prejudice and racism are very definitely NOT the same thing. Hey, lots of people think irony is the same as coincidence.

  64. Mike, Long Beach, CA August 21, 2007 at 10:07 am #

    While assuming the girls are blonde might be considered stereotyping, it is clearly not racist, and is certainly humorous.

  65. Luqman, Trinidad August 21, 2007 at 10:35 am #

    Ok. I’m black. I’ve been the victim of racism. And John is a complete moron. So I guess that means if I dyed my hair blonde, I’d be a double target for racists? I thought blonde hair & blue eyes was Hitler’s ideal “Master Race”? And to compare being called blonde (a description of a hair color) as bad as the “N” word just belittles anyone who has ever been called that. I can change my hair color with a bottle of dye. I can’t change my skin color. Therein lies the difference between a racist remark and one that isn’t.

  66. David in San Diego August 21, 2007 at 10:37 am #

    Some people will find offense in anything. But what it probably shows more is John’s racism since he seems to be able to find bigotry everywhere.

  67. Jan, Buena Park, CA August 21, 2007 at 10:53 am #

    Blonde is a race? I also thought it was a state of mind. I believe John just proved that he is blonde.

  68. Jim, Renton, WA, USA August 21, 2007 at 10:55 am #

    I like the comments that “Blonde” is not a race. Nor is “Bald”, which would be my “race”. Hey, the story is funny with or without hair color or without hair. Keep up the good work of making me laugh.

  69. Joy, Alaska August 21, 2007 at 11:10 am #

    Being a TRUE blonde with NATURAL highlights, I have been reminded over and over again about “blonde moments” that I never fail to amuse my friends with. What do I say about that? I use that ruse to the max. It’s a fact, blonde is not a race but a stereotypical notion of how a person with blonde hair acts. Personally, I love being blonde and I love playing the part, after all, true blondes DO have more fun and I’ve never felt discriminated because of it.

    A TRUE blonde with natural highlights AND a sense of humor? Careful: I may jump for Joy. -rc

  70. Sonia, Colorado August 21, 2007 at 12:03 pm #

    The only excuse is that maybe this guy’s in solitary confinement somewhere where he doesn’t get movie ads or hear current jokes. Then how does he get “True”?

    I’m not sure he “gets it” at all! Especially since the joke is now on him…. -rc

  71. Jim, Oklahoma August 21, 2007 at 12:31 pm #

    Racist? No. Perpetuation of a stereotype? Perhaps. As a natural blonde, with two blonde-headed boys, I take no offense to blonde jokes. I pass them on.

    Surely John in Florida could find better things to complain about than one of your article titles…Iraq, taxes, politics. Hair color, sheesh!

  72. Tony, UK August 21, 2007 at 12:35 pm #

    Firstly “Blonde” is not a race so the term cannot be racist.

    Secondly Get a sense of humour.

  73. Katie, Glendale Arizona August 21, 2007 at 1:22 pm #

    I have to agree that blonde isn’t a race — in fact thinking that blonde is a race sort of give credence to the blonde stereotypes.

    As a natural red/blonde haired person, I have to say there’s a difference between being a real blonde and a bottle blonde. Typically it’s the bottle blondes who rate so high on the stupid meter. Probably because without the added enticement of being a blonde, no one would pay attention to them (does that make me a bottle blonde bigot?-if so I apologize to all the bottle blondes who are intelligent thoughtful people and promise to do some sort of appropriate penance later.)

  74. Dr. Rus - New York August 21, 2007 at 2:00 pm #

    LOL! I’m guessing this guy is NOT a fan of the “Legally Blonde” movies!

  75. Vince, Livonia, MI August 21, 2007 at 2:16 pm #

    I tried to think of something to say about today’s modern world and how being ‘politically correct’ is taking all the fun out of it. All I could come up with is: Huh?

  76. Don in Nevada August 21, 2007 at 2:40 pm #

    How oversensitive can he be? It is guys like this that make the issue of racism a politically correct joke. Ignore the intent, just be overly sensitive to the words.

    The reason I wanted victims of actual racism to speak up is to show what that’s like — calling a blonde joke racism equates a silly joke with a truly heinous crime, and therefore minimizes that crime. Hardly a reasonable equation. -rc

  77. Tom in Long Beach, CA August 21, 2007 at 2:43 pm #

    It is the type of thinking exhibited by John that makes race issues so hard to deal with. When people like him throw the race card around at everything they see, they are, in effect, de-valuing the experiences of others who are true victims of racism. When someone sees a blonde joke as being equal to men in sheets lighting crosses on fire, then the true meaning of racism has been lost to that person.

    It looks like you parroted what I just said, but you posted this before I approved the previous comment. And indeed this is exactly what I was saying, though put a bit more eloquently. Thanks, Tom. -rc

  78. Gregory, Chicago August 21, 2007 at 3:17 pm #

    Considering that the films that the slug is taken from is all about a woman who happens to be blonde, and GOES TO HARVARD to get a LAW DEGREE, thus PROVING that not all blondes are ditzy, dumb, etc. kinda speaks for itself.

    In terms of the story, IT’S A JOKE! I thought I had no sense of humour, but a racial insult compared to a stereotype, is certainly apples to oranges, and the story in and of itself didn’t really even MENTION hair colour (it’s not important to the story). All the story mentioned (in the tagline) is that TV programs are fictional, which is a good thing to remember when people sue when what they see on TV is acted out by children (movies, wrestling, etc.).

    Guess some people just don’t “get it”.

  79. Kevin Mullen August 21, 2007 at 3:39 pm #

    As a premium reader of many years standing I know that the only intolerance you have ever shown is toward the criminally stupid and at daft, inept public representatives. If everyone in the world was as racist as you, Randy there would be no race problems.

    Now, if he had called you an ex-military fascist I might have thought he knew something about you – just kidding! Keep up the good work and never let these idiots get you down. ex Blond, now severely greying.

    Since I’ve never served in the military (too young for Vietnam), that’d be a real trick…. -rc

  80. Gary, Chicago August 21, 2007 at 4:23 pm #

    Since when does hair color determine race?

  81. Paul in Massachusetts August 21, 2007 at 6:12 pm #

    If it’s the same John in Florida I know, he’s blonde and he married my sister, so that’s 2 strikes right there! (j/k I’m not blonde, but I am a carrier)

    Seriously though, blond can be a choice, race can’t. This isn’t an example of racism, it’s an example of Darwinism and John should go for the grand prize!

  82. Jan, Alberta (Canada) August 21, 2007 at 7:20 pm #

    I wish John (and others like him, if they exist) would channel his energy into worthwhile endeavors – maybe child abuse or drinking and driving, for instance. Taking time out to write such a ridiculous response is proof positive that, as another reader noted, John has WAY too much time on his hands and has not yet found a useful way to spend it. Unfortunately, I doubt that he is reading any of the feedback – those who most need to re-examine themselves seldom look in the mirror. BTW, I was blond as a child but managed to progress to brunette and now to gray (oh-oh, is that racist?) anyway. Brittany will too, eventually.

  83. Clarence, Idaho August 21, 2007 at 7:26 pm #

    I’m sure that the reason Kevin thought you were “ex-Military” is because you have such great insight and common sense.

    Hey! Watch it with those stereotypes, bub! 😉 -rc

  84. Janet (Alberta, western Canada) August 21, 2007 at 7:50 pm #

    Quick comment on all the “politically correct” references: apparently it is not pc to call a person “diabetic”. That is a “person with diabetes”. I believe the same holds true for alcoholics (oops – people with alcoholism) and so on.

    When I first heard this several years ago, I laughed. I’m a diabetic and no, I don’t find that offensive. If I were attending A.A. meetings I would no doubt get up and say “My name is Janet and I am an alcoholic.” Who decides what is or is not “politically correct”?

    Self-appointed busy-bodies who are rarely those affected by the “insult” — they are paternalistic in telling others that they “should be” offended, rather than let the diabetics, alcoholics, or whatever speak up for themselves. And what does that say?! So you see why I have essentially no interest in being “PC”. -rc

  85. KC Jonesboro AR August 21, 2007 at 7:56 pm #

    In today’s world, anyone, from any race, can be blond, Randy. If that poster did not know that, he is stupid. If he knows it, and just ignored it, he’s worse than stupid, he’s a bigot looking to start a fight.

    There was ZERO racist content in your post, so I have to assume he was just looking for something to attack someone about. Looking for his 5 minutes of fame, perhaps?

  86. Jennifer - Los Angeles August 21, 2007 at 8:25 pm #

    Racist? I’ve read this over and over, and I don’t get it. Of course, since I was born blonde, perhaps it’s over my head.

    My best friend is black, and she’s always making blonde jokes. A year ago, she promised to go 12 months without making a blonde remark. On Day 366, she filled my voicemail with blonde jokes! Is that reverse racism?

    Ignore these idiots, Randy. They make *me* tired; they must exhaust you!

    Heck no! They’re too danged entertaining to be a bother — not to mention the reassurance that I’ll never run out of morons to write about. -rc

  87. Josh, Virginia August 21, 2007 at 9:06 pm #

    Is this guy for real? You want racism?? Turn on the local news! GET A CLUE!

  88. Danny in Florida August 21, 2007 at 9:08 pm #

    To Denise in NC:
    “Danny in Florida: Do a little historical research before you angrily reply to someone’s statements…
    This is all online either in the Encarta encyclopedia or on Wikipedia under ‘prostitution’ and ‘ancient Greece’ and ‘Rome’.”

    Fair enough. Thanks for the history lesson. I’m sorry if I “went of half-cocked” as my father used to say. Ancient civilizations has never been my long suit, and I had never heard of the enslaved blonde prostitutes of early Rome and Greece. But as you say, I should have looked it up.

    Randy, you’re doing a great job, and you have a really smart audience. A little stressed, perhaps (I really upset Denise, didn’t I?), but smart. Now if only “Bob on Long Island”, to whom I was originally replying, would retract his stereotyping of farmers as “unsophisticated”, I’ll be happy.

    I count you as part of the smart audience, Danny. Rather than say “Oh yeah? Well screw you, Denise!” you admitted you are weak in the area, and should have looked it up. The dumb way is to be defensive, insist the other person is wrong, and misdirect attention with slurs. The smart way is to say you don’t know everything (since no one can), and learn from it. So: you’re clearly one of the smart ones, since you took the latter route. -rc

  89. Len in California August 21, 2007 at 11:50 pm #

    How does “blonde” imply race? I’ve seen “blondes” in every color of the racial spectrum, and I’ve never heard of one (myself included) being truly offended by blonde jokes. We know (and tell) more of them than anyone! Your comment, however, seems to be unnecessarily inflammatory. Do you have a point? And if you do, do you have a hat to fit it?

    Pick battles that matter!

  90. Jax, Australia August 22, 2007 at 12:37 am #

    I have long maintained that any joke that has merit for its own value and not simply as racist can be turned into an elephant joke.

    You decide. Does this pass the test? You could imply elephants are behaving dumb because they are elephants. I don’t see anything here that specifies racial characteristics.

    And yup, the blondes abound in my family.

  91. Al, Temecula, Ca August 22, 2007 at 1:27 am #

    I think all your readers can agree on one thing: John’s an idiot.

  92. Dora -- Arkansas August 22, 2007 at 4:34 am #

    As a person who has been blonde most of my life, I love blond jokes. Friends send me blond jokes and I tell blond jokes to my students (as a librarian, I started the school year by showing my seventh- & eighth-graders the YouTube clip of the blonde in the library). I tell them that I can tell blond jokes since I’m blonde and that I love blond jokes because they show the absurdity of racism.

    I continue to tell them that no one really believes (well, I hope that they don’t) that a person is a certain way or less intelligent because of the color of his/her hair. And in the same way, no one should believe that a person is a certain way because of the color of his/her skin. The only thing they disagree with is the color of my hair. They think that it’s gray (they could be color blind but I did start the post by stating that I have been blonde most of my life).

    A blonde goes into the library, steps up to the checkout desk and says, “I’d like a cheeseburger and a chocolate shake.” The incredulous librarian looks back at her and says in a subdued voice, “This is a library!” The blonde looks embarrassed and whispers very quietly, “I’d like a cheeseburger and a chocolate shake.” -rc

  93. Rita, Michigan August 22, 2007 at 10:30 am #

    In our family, only my son actually exhibits the blond gene physically–with real blond hair. He’s a bright guy who just got back from a year-long tour of exciting and exotic Baghdad. But we are all carriers of the gene, and readily admit it when we do something really dumb (i.e. without thinking things through before doing them). Our oldest daughter, with flaming red hair, is known for owning up to her blond gene on a daily basis. There may be another, official name for the gene, but I haven’t a clue what it is.

    Keep up the good work, pointing out the clueless among us, so we can examine our own cluelessness as we laugh at the stupidity around us.

  94. Joe - NJ August 22, 2007 at 10:39 am #

    Personally, I think the person who complained is probably the racist if anything. Your joke stated the facts, and with the exception of the title (which, BTW I thought was funny) there are no blonde references at all. The title was funny because of all the blonde jokes that abound. You could just as easily called it “Legally Brunette” but it would have lost the humor. As always, you have found the one person with no sense of humor out there. Ignore them and keep up the good work. I’ve been a premium subscriber for years because you can make a good joke out of these stories…

  95. Al, Wichita, KS August 22, 2007 at 11:03 am #

    Sigh … about as much sense as me being ‘offended’ at being called a cripple. I have searched and discovered that the word ‘fits’ better than any other, even if it is not PC.

    Blond is blond.

    I was injured years ago and needed three surgeries to be able to walk again. The word I used for that was “crippled” (and, sometimes, “gimp”). It fit fine, and I saw no reason to be offended by it. People have simply been trained to be offended without actually thinking about it. And that’s simply sad. -rc

  96. Denise, NC August 22, 2007 at 2:34 pm #

    Danny in Florida: Thank you for mature and reasonable response to my post. I admit I went off a bit myself, mostly ‘cuz I’m a research nut. If someone says “this is so” and they don’t cite their sources, I run and look it up myself. It’s made me into a font of useless wisdom, all in APA format. 🙂

    So when I see someone rebut something I know is fact (or proclaim something that I know is horsefeathers) my first reaction is to lay out chapter and verse. In my conceit I like to think people would rather have the verifiable truth than hang on to urban legends and such, and I forget that I can come off sounding a bit pompous. Especially at 0120 in the morning! :-S

    Sorry about jumping on a fellow TiT-er!

    This is so fun to watch! But indeed, I’ve found in my career in this business that there are many people who would rather cling to urban legends than know the truth. It’s truly scary, but it explains a lot…. -rc

  97. Bill; Monterey, CA August 22, 2007 at 4:53 pm #

    Well, John is from FL. And we saw how well they do with elections. Maybe EVERYONE in Fl is blonde?

  98. Brandon - St. Louis August 22, 2007 at 5:43 pm #

    So, I’m picturing John… An angry little man sitting, huddled over his computer late at night, alone, in the dark, looking for deeper meaning in things that have none. Searching to take a stand for something. For his life to matter. To prove to everyone in the world that he is better than they.

    And he comes up with, “I’m going to defend the blondes.”

    Sounds reasonable to me. In fact, I’ve been empowered by his courageous stand.

    From now on I will defend all guys with large feet. Those degrading, “you know what they say about guys with big feet” jokes are just getting old. They’re insensitive and unfeeling, and quite frankly we should be past that by now in this country. It’s no different than that old, “once you go black” saying.

    I mean, how crass can you be?

  99. Marco - U.K. August 22, 2007 at 5:50 pm #

    Agreed, John’s a moron. ‘Nuff said about him.

    Just to continue Gandalf from South Africa’s piece…

    …and John, you haven’t seen racism until you’re a minority who manages to oppress the majority and make it into an official institution and policy.

    I returned to South Africa in 1995 after their first free elections and was disappointed to still observe the minority indulge in racist behaviour except now claiming to be the new oppressed. I have since left for a 2nd time but still receive occasional racist emailed jokes from members of the new oppressed minority in South Africa. When I object to these jokes, I typically get called a “chicken runner” or hear the same bleating about how they are now the truly oppressed.

    I wish they would just send me blonde jokes.

  100. Denise, NC August 22, 2007 at 9:48 pm #

    Al in Wichita: I’ve always preferred “gimp”. Not only does it describe my walk (gimping along with my cane), but is a play on my maiden name (Gipson, Gimpson). Then again, “hobbles” was good, too, as a previous married name was Hobbs. 😉

    Gotta keep a sense of humor and ignore the clucking hens of PC doom.

  101. john, louisville ky August 23, 2007 at 2:50 pm #

    i guess our education system failed to educate him — not for lack of trying by the educators.

  102. Lisa, CO August 23, 2007 at 4:01 pm #

    Wow – It’s scary that there are people like John out there. I didn’t see anything even slightly racist about that story, or any other story you’ve ever written.

  103. Jack - Texas August 24, 2007 at 10:30 am #

    John is clueless to the vocabulary he uses. Racist involves race which this article does not mention. Stereotyping would be more appropriate in this usage because of the connotation of the accused being blonde. Is he insulted because the humor is above him and he just doesn’t understand it? John – get a life and don’t look for a reason to be insulted, it wastes too much time in a very short life.

  104. Dan, Northfield MA August 24, 2007 at 11:26 am #

    Clearly you are a hirsute pigmentist.

    Hey! I resemble that remark! -rc

  105. Jenny, Tualatin, OR August 24, 2007 at 2:49 pm #

    John’s missing a serious point. Blonde is being used as a derogatory term here, but in general being blonde is still equated with being more attractive (at least in the US) and being pretty is still a good thing, and sometimes more important than being smart. So blonde is at worst an even-handed term, connoting both good and bad things: I challenge him to demonstrate the same thing for the word nigger.

  106. George, Pennsylvania August 24, 2007 at 6:27 pm #

    This comment probably should NOT be added to the blog, at least not without some serious editing! I am reminded of a rejoinder that I often state: If he can’t take a joke, f… him! John must be a very unhappy and miserable person. There was no racism stated or implied in your story, only some disgust at the relative lack of intelligence shown by the two girls.

    I indeed edited your post: you neglected to capitalize the word “John”, so I fixed that for you. -rc

  107. Pricey, North Carolina August 24, 2007 at 7:44 pm #

    First, “blonde” is not a race. That could be the end of the discussion if we wanted it to be.

    I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for blonde jokes. It’s ironic because I usually refrain from name-calling, but “blonde” is a description of a physical attribute. They ask you for your hair color on your driver’s license, and you have to put “blonde” if that’s so. What’s also ironic is that I live with a beautiful, intelligent blonde. The jokes are a secret pleasure.

    Here’s the difference between calling someone “blonde” and calling someone the N word. Using blonde as a synonym for “dizzingly stupid” can be refuted in many ways. However, if you hurl the insulting N-word, there’s pretty much no comeback except a firmly planted fist in the nose. But that never does any good at all, especially since you could land in the pokey for assault. Never mind that it was provoked.

    So let’s just go back to “blonde” is not a race. I guess we should have left it at that.

  108. Doc, Knoxville, TN August 24, 2007 at 9:39 pm #

    When they come up with a suitable derogatory word for Caucasians, I’ll get upset with those using it. In the mean time, call me blond all you want. I won’t take offense; don’t hate me ’cause I’m beautiful!

  109. Judy, Chicago August 24, 2007 at 9:40 pm #

    Sometimes people make weird comments like that just to get others stirred up. Manners works a lot better.

  110. Dale Kinnick, Virginia Beach, VA August 24, 2007 at 10:09 pm #

    If you’re going to have someone gunning for you, isn’t it nice of them to prove with their opening remark that they’re too stupid to take either side of an argument?

  111. Michelle - Pittsburgh, PA August 24, 2007 at 10:10 pm #

    So – John in Florida is having a blonde moment… He’s completely missing the point of the story – these two wonderfully literal teenagers attempted something completely moronic and, in doing so managed to get themselves caught because no one explained the simple fact that TV IS NOT REALITY – even on the nightly news or some so-called reality show.

    So cheers to John in Florida, for proving once again the necessity of newsletters like yours Randy – when people are stupid for lack of something better to do, they deserve to be held up as a bad example – and held accountable for their words and/or actions. That goes for John in Florida and the ‘blonde’ twins too!

  112. Pierre, SUDBURY, Ont. Canada August 24, 2007 at 10:15 pm #

    I’m a sucker for blonde jokes too! Some of the best blonde jokes I heard, were from a terrific blonde lady whose “accomplishments” included:

    – Trained Masseuse
    – Black Belt
    – Several Bookkeeping Certificates
    – An Intro to Management Certificate
    – Cooking Diploma
    – Leather Working Certificate
    – Assisted Running a Volunteer Agency
    – Assisted Running a Custom Leather Shop
    – First Aid Course
    – Won a Volunteer Award

    I could add some more… but that’s enough to give you an idea. Her husband would say I cut things way too short.

    On the other hand, there is Paris Hilton and Company. Makes you wonder. It takes all types to run a world.

  113. Christopher - Pittsburgh, PA August 24, 2007 at 10:23 pm #

    John in Florida is an idiot.

    The end.

  114. JoeBuddha from Renton, Wa. August 24, 2007 at 10:26 pm #

    That reminds me of a line by Robert Heinlein describing mindless gossips by referring to “little old ladies of both sexes”. I’ve never met a blonde who had a problem with that stereotype, but I’ve met a few that had great fun with it. I believe that “Blonde” is a state of mind, and embraces all hair colors. When it turns into a real reason for discrimination, I’ll be concerned. Until then, I can’t be bothered… 😉

  115. Allen, El Galloviejo, Costa Rica, The land of my dreams August 24, 2007 at 10:31 pm #

    Hola Randy and Fellow Thisistruers!

    Well, gosh, now I guess I can add the ‘blonde race’ to the other races that I have seen referenced lately:

    European race
    Arabian race
    Mexican race
    Japanese race
    German race
    American race
    Irish race

    etc., etc., etc., that have been posted on the Internet by various and sundry mouth breathing living brain donors.

  116. Greg, Athens Ga August 24, 2007 at 10:34 pm #

    I’ve faced racism in several forms. In a way, being disabled and discriminated against is also racism, but also in other ways. THIS isn’t racism. Since you have no way of knowing if the girl(s) ARE white/black/or even blonde, it seems to ME that the complainant is the racist — by reading more race into it than is there.

  117. Bruce in NJ August 24, 2007 at 10:39 pm #

    I owe John a debt of gratitude. See, I’m blonde, and like most others of my race, I’m too stupid to realize I was supposed to be offended. So I’m boycotting you Mr. Cassingham! I’m refusing to upgrade to the premium edition for another five years! Feel our wrath!

    In the words of the immortal Julie Brown:
    I took an IQ test and I flunked it of course
    I can’t spell VW but I got a Porsche
    ‘Cause I’m a blond, B-L-I-N-D
    ‘Cause I’m a blond, don’t you wish you were me

  118. Vikki, UK August 24, 2007 at 10:41 pm #

    No it’s not racist but it’s pretty insulting, I guess. I’m not blonde but would be pretty annoyed if most people considered, say, my blue eyes to mean I was stupid and went on and on about it. Guess it’s another type of bullying. I think you were out of order there.

  119. Michelle, Melbourne, Australia August 24, 2007 at 10:42 pm #

    Down here in Australia, there are jokes about everyone regardless of race, hair colour or even height. We all just take it on the chin. I think John just needs to relax or before too long he may stress himself into a stroke. Bewdy.

  120. Vort, Seattle August 24, 2007 at 10:44 pm #

    How many blonde Chinese women do you know? Blonde Africans? Blonde Indians? Blonde Australian Aborigines? Blonde American Indians? Blonde Turks, Greeks, or Afghanis?

    That’s right. None.

    A blonde woman is almost always of northern European extraction. Thus, identifying a woman as “blonde” is, indirectly but certainly, identifying her race.

    If you don’t think so, then I assume you would consider a joke told about a “kinky-haired ho” to be non-racist, too. Right? I mean, hey, no race was mentioned.

  121. Cathy, Dallas August 24, 2007 at 10:52 pm #

    I wouldn’t exactly use the word “racist”, although I suppose one could argue that only one race has naturally blond coloring.

    I guess the question of whether using the term “blond” to refer to those who are stupid is discriminatory depends on other terms you use in a derogatory manner. Do you call short people “shorty” and ask tall people how the weather is up there? Do you call obese people “fatty, fatty, two by four” or refer to people with a limp as “gimps”? What about taking an immediate leap to thinking a person with a speech impediment is stupid because it takes them a long time to communicate? In other words, do you use physical characteristics as a basis for prejudging other characteristics? I think that pattern would show a tendency toward discriminatory behavior.

  122. Charley in Sacramento August 24, 2007 at 10:59 pm #

    In Honolulu, a white person is a ‘haole’ (sp) – means colorless or soulless. If you’re white and live/work in the islands, you will experience overt and covert racism. Not that certain groups don’t feel justified (every group feels justified in its racism – just ask the Hutus and the Tutsis!) Nevertheless, it’s a strange and enlightening experience for a haole like me. I’ve never been a racist – wasn’t raised that way. And I try to see the other guy’s point of view (I was raised that way.)

    So, yeah, I know what it’s like. Don’t recommend it. Except, maybe as a therapy for those who need to get a better grip on reality.

    But, that sounds too much like a government program – punish racism by send someone to Hawaii for a year!

  123. Bill-the-Cat , Colorado August 24, 2007 at 11:11 pm #

    Having lived through the bad-ol’days of the late 1950s in Little Rock; being an early ’60s graduate of what may well be the most infamous high school in the USA; and knowing all too well the personal sting of insults thrown at the vanishingly small, at the time, minority of white students who believed in school integration, I find the comment truly absurd to the point of being comical.

    I doubt seriously that I could have been cast as quite so much a social pariah if my then-racist classmates (most have learned and changed) had called me a “blonde lover.” Come to think of it – given the most teen-male-fantasized-about cheerleaders and High Steppers – that sobriquet might have elevated my status mightily.

  124. Chris, Melbourne August 24, 2007 at 11:13 pm #

    Isn’t the “suitable derogatory word for Caucasians” usually “honky”?

    What do I care for derogatory terms. I’m English, living in Australia almost 30 years, and I’m regularly called a Pom. That’s OK. What irritates me is aspersions about personal hygiene based on a stereotype over one hundred years old. e.g. “Gee, I’m as dry as Pommie’s towel”, or “Where does a Pom hide his money? Under the soap!”

    I haven’t heard the term “honky” for a couple of decades. -rc

  125. Vort, Seattle August 24, 2007 at 11:49 pm #

    The responses here seem mostly to be variations of the following:

    * John in Florida is stupid.
    * Blonde is not a race.
    * It’s just a joke.

    Hate to inform you, folks, but the above structure doesn’t do anything to make you look, well, intelligent. Commenting in order:

    * “John in Florida is stupid.” Wow, what a convincing argument against his claim. Reminds me of kindergarten: “Hey, poopyhead! You’re a poopyhead! You poopyhead!” Yeah, you sure took John right on down a notch and proved just how stupid he his by, uh, saying so.

    * “Blonde is not a race.” Duh. Way to state the obvious. In case you really, truly are too dull to make the connection, here it is, all spelled out for you:

    Natural blondes come from northern Europe and, for all realistic purposes, are **ALL** caucasian.

    Is that obvious enough for you?

    Please don’t make the foolish argument that “anyone can be blond”. Yes, true enough, anyone can bleach their hair blond. And anyone can have black skin with sufficient tanning booth time. Or have kinky black hair if they go to the salon. But that doesn’t make nigger jokes or “nappy-headed ho” comments acceptable, does it?

    * “It’s just a joke.” This is perhaps the most pathetic response of all. Given this reasoning, why should polite society EVER object to ANY joke? Hey, they’re all jokes! No problems! You don’t like the one about the thievin’, watermelon-eatin’ tarbaby coon? But it’s just a JOKE! Get a LIFE!

    On the scale of offensiveness, where a “nigger” joke rates 8 or 9 (yes, I have heard more offensive jokes even than “nigger” jokes, and so have you), I find a “blonde” joke rates an offensiveness of about 2 or 3. I find such jokes distasteful, but not particularly offensive. What I *do* find offensive is that, when someone like John in Florida mentions that it’s fundamentally a joke betraying racial bias — which, given the fact that 99.9999% of natural blondes are caucasians of northern European extraction, is perfectly true — people immediately condemn him for having the nerve to say so.

    John in Florida overstated his case. A blonde joke is not “just as racist” as a nigger joke. But his fundamental point is perfectly sound; a “blonde joke” is, in fact, a racially-motivated joke.

    So suck it up, people. (That includes you, Randy.) Grow some balls, at least enough to admit that, fundamentally, John in Florida is absolutely correct. Feel free to admit that you don’t find such implicit racism particularly offensive. There’s nothing “wrong” with that. No law requires you to be offended at racism, or even to be equally offended at different types of racism. But when you utterly deny any possible racial connection, then you’re simply being a fool. Or worse, a liar.

  126. The Doctor, Indianapolis August 24, 2007 at 11:59 pm #

    First off, there is only one race, it’s Human, everything else is just a category of Human, only a true racist takes those categories and changes them into sub species, but who really wants to be a sub species? Human is just fine.

    Second, Many years ago I was involved in a project where we were constantly being bugged by little errors that would jump up from time to time, they didn’t do anything wrong, they didn’t cause any faults, they didn’t change the outcome or output, they just bugged us. We had millions of lines of code to go through to find these errors, and they usually just moved. In the end, we decided they were just “ghosts in the machine” and that we would never be rid of them. But for “classification” purposes and since the bosses insisted that we log all errors, we gave the a code class “BLONDE”. This stood for Basic Low Order Non-Destructive Error, the bosses were happily confused and we usually had a nice little laugh out of it.

    We also had a Boss error code, we never reported these, they stood for Bureaucratic Orders Slow Success.

  127. Lynn in Melbourne, Australia August 25, 2007 at 1:30 am #

    I’m afraid John in Florida has just proved how obtuse people can be. I found the article very funny (I must admit I love blonde jokes – I’m a dark blonde myself). His comment reminded me of the worst racist I ever came across – a very dark Maori (New Zealand native). They found racism in just about any comment made!

  128. Marvin ...from Israel August 25, 2007 at 2:30 am #

    I think “John in Florida” overreacted, just as I did a few years ago. Someone had talked about needing some chlorine in the gene pool …and I took the comment literally. My logic told me that chlorine is a bleach, used to make things whiter …therefore I concluded that the comment had to do with making dark-skinned people whiter, and I accused the writer of racism. When he told me that was not his intention, I apologized.

    You learned. That’s what this exercise is all about, too. -rc

  129. Patrick - England August 25, 2007 at 2:33 am #

    In fact there is nothing intrinsically racist in the word ‘nigger’, which in Britain was once used as a term for people with very dark skin colours, but as these people as a result of the slave trade among other things, began to be looked down upon, it became derogatory. The word itself derives from the latin word for ‘black’, spelt with one ‘g’, niger. It was then replaced euphemistically (look it up if you don’t understand it) with the word ‘negro’, a Spanish word of the same origin (this time a development of the Latin accusative of ‘niger’, which is ‘nigrum’).

    But the point is not the word, but what people mean by it, or think is meant by it. ‘Nigger’ has been appropriated by some of those for whom it has been used as a derogatory term, such as the rap group ‘Niggers with attitude’, a good way to draw its sting. The same is true of the word ‘queer’ for homosexual men. Many of these have also appropriated the word, so that they have gone as far as instituting departments for ‘queer studies’ at some universities.

    The problem with euphemisms is that once they start to mean the thing itself, and lose their figurative status, they become too direct for many people, and have to be replaced with new euphemisms. A good example is what in 17th century England (no doubt in 17th century New England too) was known as the ‘shithouse’. No doubt of what this was used for! But as people became more cagey about natural bodily functions (another euphemism here for shitting and pissing), euphemisms of latinate origin such as ‘privy’ (private), lavatory (from the Latin word for ‘wash’), ‘toilet’ (from a French word for place of washing, itself from ‘toile’, meaning a cloth, which also gives us ‘towel’). Even these words became too much for many in the US, so things moved on to ‘bathroom’ etc. In the UK people now talk about the ‘loo’, possibly a derivation from ‘Waterloo’ as a jokey reference to ‘water closet’.

    Of course ‘blonde’ (I would spell it ‘blond’) isn’t racist as amply pointed out in other replies. But with the atmosphere of PC anxiety that reigns in the English-speaking world, it is quite possible to imagine that a euphemism might develop for it. Perhaps someone could suggest some positive ones!

  130. Peter, Slovakia August 25, 2007 at 2:40 am #

    Judy got it right. Manners work better, but we need to teach some people about that… And difference between “blonde” and “nigger”? I don’t know any blonde who would be offended… Most of them actually like blonde jokes and some use to make fun of themselves.

  131. Cheryl in Ne. August 25, 2007 at 3:28 am #

    I was born a blonde and, thanks to Clairol, will die a blonde. My interpretation of blonde isn’t “dizzyingly stupid”, but rather, “clueless”. My 17 year old daughter is in high school and gets As and Bs, not exactly stupid, but she is blonde right down to her roots. Other words to describe her might be naive or even inexperienced. My parents called the condition “no horse sense” and that term has been used to describe clueless people with any hair color. Blondes just seem to be better at earning the title.

  132. Joe, South Africa August 25, 2007 at 3:56 am #

    How pathetic. I totally agree with Pricey, N.C. but more than that, for someone to object/complain about the term “Legally blond” on your story indicates that they have nothing better to do but look for petty issues to object to. Get a life!! Racism is something we are very familiar with in South Africa and I know that nobody here would complain about that title in that context.

  133. Lawrence from Pennsylvania August 25, 2007 at 4:13 am #

    Being Blond: a physical trait that can be changed for about $10 at the local wal-mart.

    Being Black: a genetic trait that can’t be changed, and that has been targeted as inferior for about 400 years, and only in the last 30-40 has managed to get better.

    John in Florida is a moron. Now as a rule, I don’t say things like that without evidence, so please read on.

    I’m pretty sure blonds don’t get followed around stores by security, just for being blond. My blond friends get picked up by taxis in NYC. When my blond friends get pulled over by the cops, they jump right out of their cars to meet the cop at the trunk, and don’t get shot. Not even a warning shot in the leg or anything. When my blond friends get on elevators, people don’t clutch their purses closer to their bodies.

    I repeat, John in Florida is a moron. The idea that being called “Blond” is the same as being called “nigger” is laughable, and would be insulting, except that as a minority, I don’t find that word entirely insulting anymore. Do not be confused. I don’t like it, its not a compliment and if you call my mother it, there may be a problem, but it’s so dated and inaccurate that, to me, it insults the user more than it insults me. It shows that although I am overweight, balding and a smartass, you’re too stupid to make fun of any of that, and have to go right to the obvious. Calling me a “nigger” is like calling me a “doody-head”.

    At any rate, this my opinion. You did nothing wrong. This guy is too sensitive to belong to a mailing list like “This is True”, and you should do him a favor and unsubscribe him, for his own mental health. He clearly is wound a little tight.

    Nah, I won’t unsubscribe him. I think everyone has the ability to learn a bit. Maybe he won’t, but my hope is what keeps my faith in the human race going. -rc

  134. GIL, WASHINGTON STATE August 25, 2007 at 5:03 am #

    Using the word “racist” to describe your slug line is a bit overblown; however, your reaction to the opinion is telling. I do not think it is unreasonable to interpret the person’s letter as saying he or she disagrees with labeling all blonds as stupid. One responder wrote that manners were needed in this situation, I agree. Randy I encourage you to take the lead by avoiding ad hominem (“to the man”) errors in both your writing and in how you answer critical letters.

    When I say “how you answer critical letters” I am referring to how you reacted when your writings was called “racist”; “I first rolled my eyes over the accusation and deleted the message.” I gather you were angry and possibly offended at the letter so you threw it in the trash. Your next action, asking your readership to criticize the letter writer, I believe was disingenuous. I know, thats not what you specifically asked for in the newsletter, but in knowing your demographics and their loyalty, was not the (written?/ verbal?) beating the letter writer is receiving predictable?

    All criticism is painful to some extant, the challenge is to not take it personal, but to learn and grow from it. Looking at the(at this writing)nine pages of hammering the letter writer has received, it produces a chilling effect on others that may write in with suggestions or criticisms that you may find useful.

    By the way, in response to your original question of experiencing racism, yes I did, while I was in the service. I was also discriminated against because I was not the “right religion”.

    Thanks for listening to me Randy, I enjoy your writing.

    Equating “rolling my eyes” with anger is quite a stretch. And so is the suggestion that I asked my readers to berate John. I asked them to reply, “especially … people who are the victims of racism: do you see his objection as being valid — is it really akin to the racism you have suffered?” since that’s the only way to really learn whether John’s point is valid.

    In other words, I’m totally open to hear that it is, and a few people have said so — enough that John will feel totally vindicated should he wade through the comments.

    My job here is to facilitate discussion. This particular entry already has a record number of comments, so I feel the discussion is going well. So your conclusion is, my call for comments is somehow disingenuous. In that light, your observations don’t seem particularly reasonable. -rc

  135. Fletcher, Granville, OH August 25, 2007 at 5:16 am #

    Dumb Blondes, smelly Polacks, and stupid mexicans are all basically the same joke. The reader’s comment is “somewhat” valid, but the responses to it strike me as strange. Some slurs are valid, others are not. This is because “race” is accepted as a valid category, which is the only way to be racist.

    For example, one reader wanted a suitable derogatory word for caucasians: gringo, honky, cracker, polack, wop, kike (remember the hebrews and Italians have only been “white” for about 60 years), gaijin; if the reader is truly asking for slurs on caucasians, as those from the Caucasus region of the Persian empire, towel-head is on that comes to mind, and let us not forget “sand-n”. When races were invented, the much of the Muslim world was included with Europe creating the Caucasian People. Dividing the world into “races” is the start of institutional racism. We have always done this socially, and it is only slightly better than the more basic categories of “people” and “not-people.”

    Similarly, I am confused by the claim that blonde is just a physical trait. This overlooks the character of the concept “race.” Claiming that races are real things is to make a claim that physical, phenotypical, traits determine personality and disposition. Hateful words sum up these sterotypes, true or not, and institutionalize racism.

    My blonde son finds blonde jokes hurtful in much the same way as I did Polish jokes when I was a child. Humor is sometimes subtle hatred, as setting apart, an othering. Robert Heinlein captured this well in his novel “Stranger in a Strange Land.” We laugh when someone is hurt. It is easy to accept that females behaving in a fashion that shows a lack of education can be called dumb blondes, and not give it a second thought. Yes it was just a joke, but we should be willing to recognize that when someone calls us on a hurtful joke, the joke was hurtful.

  136. M.R., Taunton, MA August 25, 2007 at 5:22 am #

    As a Black American (and a consistent victim of racism in these Untied States), I find nothing remotely racist about the article. It is a clever play on an expression that gives no power to reject or deny to the author, which is what the term racism deals with. Anyone who accuses that particular article of being racially charged is absurd and to put it on par with using the popular American epithet is ridiculous.That being said, it is not difficult to tell by the way the notes are written that it is a white person at the pen. The “tell tale” knee jerk defensiveness is a dead giveaway.

  137. J.P., Sydney, Nova Scotia August 25, 2007 at 5:22 am #

    For those people who don’t have a life and just love living in a politically correct world anything can be deemed “racist”. Of course their ill thought out arguments (and I give them the benefit of being able to think as they are alive) are not based on any facts or logical progression. They do however make very good followers – of Hitler, Stalin, the various Ayatollahs because political correctness doesn’t actually require you to think for yourself.

  138. Maria, New York City August 25, 2007 at 5:26 am #

    Okay, here’s some science. Recently there was a report that scientists noticed that there were more natural blondes in the population than would be expected, since “blonde” and “blond” are recessive genes. Why? DNA studies show that gentlemen (and women) really do prefer blondes.

    I think that means that while most other mates are chosen for useful characteristics like strength or brains, blondes are chosen merely because they’re blonde. So they get reproduced even though they might not be as smart or strong.

    Real science? Or am I being “differentist”? I’m not blonde, but, yeah, I’ve watched with a jaded eye while blondes get extra attention in almost any situation. Wouldn’t it be funny if the stereotype of “dumb blonde” was actually proven to be true?

  139. Bit Blond, Ontario, Canada August 25, 2007 at 6:31 am #

    It’s kind of a stretch to suggest that laws about a particular class of prostitutes in Rome led to the current spate of blonde jokes – some of the Roman emperors were described as fair haired by contempory historians – blond hair only “originates” from Northern Europe in white supremacist fantasies – ask somebody who’s been stationed in Kurdistan and they’ll tell you many Kurds are blond.

  140. John from Kansas August 25, 2007 at 6:50 am #

    I really think that the blonde/racist thing that John from Florida is upset about stems from his deep rooted hostilities towards people who tell “Little Johnny” jokes.

    The first person to stereotype any individual is the individual him or herself, when they decide what type of person they are. The fact that their opinion of themselves differs from someone else’s is what makes the world go around.

    So my advice to John from Florida is ” Take a break”. I have always noticed that people from Florida tend to be a little “excitable” anyway.

    Signed: Little Johnny (Yes, I am the one that the stories are about)

  141. Ed, Feasterville PA August 25, 2007 at 6:53 am #

    Exactly what race is a-hole? Someone needs to get a life.

  142. Bill, Annandale, VA August 25, 2007 at 7:44 am #

    I’ve known some blonde headed women that were incredibly attractive and incredibly smart. Then I’ve known some blonde headed women that were incredibly attractive and had absolutely NO common sense. Go figure.

    There was no racism in the article. Just an incredibly stupid truth. Sometimes stupid should hurt and sometimes the truth hurts. In this case stupid hurt and that’s the truth.

    Love your stuff. It’s a great read.

  143. Larry, Mason, IL August 25, 2007 at 7:54 am #

    I am familiar with some blondes who are real spacey, but can’t say the % is greater than that of brunettes, redheads, etc. I think an intelligent enough person can see the humor and not be too offended. On the other hand, I have seen other than blondes be called blonde and they didn’t catch on.

    Face it – like it or not it is a stereotype that probably can’t be changed after so long a time. I have been called Larry the Cucumber [from Veggie Tales I think] by several kids from Church. I take it in fun. We all need to try to see the humor in any given situation.

  144. bern, Ann Arbor August 25, 2007 at 8:33 am #

    In my long life, society has used several ways to describe people in jokes about really stupid acts. We have used “black”, “polish”, “red-neck”, and even “moron”, as well as others. But all of these have become (justifiably) offensive to somebody. I happen to be blonde, but, since I don’t feel personally threatened by the “blonde” description in these jokes, I am happy to have that used in place of the others that are deemed offensive to those fitting the descriptions. That is certainly better than having to forgo all the delightful “stupid” jokes.

  145. Mark, USA August 25, 2007 at 8:38 am #

    “Blonde” comments or jokes or insults are not racist, but they do demean people based on a physical attribute.

    While some people work hard to get that attribute, others have it naturally, and they shouldn’t have to change their hair color to avoid being called stupid.

  146. Clyde, Missouri August 25, 2007 at 8:44 am #

    Let’s play devil’s advocate: Terms related to “racist” can include “bias,” “discrimination,” “profiling,” and “prejudice.” Even if that’s what John meant, Randy isn’t even in the ballpark. These words would only apply if Randy were using blonde jokes to be abusive, bigoted, or to promote the idea that it is OK to categorize and stereotype a certain type of people.

  147. Fred, Iowa August 25, 2007 at 8:44 am #

    While I don’t consider “Blonde” jokes racist, I do consider it derogatory to a physical attribute. Especially since I’m a blonde along with my wife and daughter and we all have IQs in excess of 130. I tire of blonde jokes since most blondes that act dumb are really brunettes with their hair dyed blonde!

  148. Mike from NJ August 25, 2007 at 8:46 am #

    I think “Blonde” is not a racist term as it tersely describes a type of dumb, foolish, proudly stupid person who probably has CHOSEN to be blonde because the hair color attracts attention. A racist attack hones in on perceived features that are inherent in the targeted individual, not elective descriptors.

  149. Mike, Houston TX August 25, 2007 at 8:52 am #

    Blonde = N*? I don’t think so. “Legally Blonde” is silly, and it has tie-ins with pop culture. You don’t degrade the entire “race” of blonde people in the world by merely by assuming that the girls are blonde. Some of the smartest people I know are blonde (much smarter than myself), and yet I still tell them blonde jokes (like: How do blonde brain cells die? – Alone).

  150. George from Newnan, GA August 25, 2007 at 8:56 am #

    People who want to find a reason to hate or take offense don’t need much for it to happen. If you want, you can find it anywhere, the most simple word or deed could be taken wrong. I am currently a non-traditional (read older) female grad student in mathematics, talk about going against stereotypes in this country! We have 160 countries represented at the university that I attend, we have all learned to look at not only what is said or done, but the INTENT behind it BEFORE anyone takes offense. It sure clears things up before anything can get started. It is amazing how we have all learned about each other, and in turn about ourselves.

  151. Beryl, Delta, PA August 25, 2007 at 9:21 am #

    In my 74 years one would think that they had seen the very limits of human stupidity. “This Is True” proves that there are no limits.

  152. Kathy in West Virginia August 25, 2007 at 9:23 am #

    No racism at all in that story or tagline. As for it being derogatory to blonds, people really need to lighten up and quit looking for things to be offended by.

    For the record I’m blond, raised on and still live on a farm, college educated (still can’t spell), crippled, dirt poor, and I live in West Virginia — no, I’m not on welfare and no, I was not related to my husband before I married him 🙂 — (WV jokes don’t offend me, but I’ve heard most of them) 🙂

  153. Debbie, Bowdoin, Me. August 25, 2007 at 9:35 am #

    I believe the derogatory use of the word came about during a period of time when many women were bleaching their hair blonde and playing stupid in some sort of primitive mating ritual that, for some reason, men found attractive. And it was an encouraged and rewarded set of behaviors. Examples of this are rife throughout films and television of the 50’s and 60’s. So, if you wanted to change your insult to ‘legally bleached blonde’, that could have some historical context to validate it. Otherwise, it’s just an unfounded and ignorant insult that says more about the insulter than it could ever say about the insulted.

  154. Eugene, South Africa August 25, 2007 at 9:56 am #

    Dear John in Florida:

    I have this lovely East facing room which I will let you have for free if you come and visit our lovely country. We will teach you all about racism. We invented the concept and I really cannot recall that blondes were ever part of the “apartheid” laws (good thing ‘cos I am blonde too) – that would have caused some stir, imagine shipping all the blondes off to a homeland of their own….

  155. Wally from Kansas August 25, 2007 at 10:17 am #

    Accusations of racism fly so frantically and frequently around here that the words ‘racist’ and ‘racism’ have lost meaning and impact. There is a columnist in our local paper – a black man. No matter what he writes about, the feedback columns always, always accuse him of being racist. The city council cannot pass a resolution, ordinance or proposition without being accused of being racist. The judges in our courts, state and federal, can’t render a finding or a sentence without being accused of racism. I’m sure that here in Wichita, KS, whether you put butter on a piece of white bread or a piece of rye bread, someone will yell “racist.” I’m tired of hearing it. I don’t pay attention to it. It just doesn’t mean anything anymore.

    Exactly my point. It’s the boy (oops!) who cried “wolf!” Or don’t they teach that in schools anymore either? -rc

  156. Leni, Sonora CA August 25, 2007 at 11:00 am #

    The local paper here runs the “news of record” or police blotter. They list the various calls to local law enforcement and the resulting contact with the public. Typical stories are things like “man passed out at park”-arrested for public intox. “Juveniles skating on side walk” -told to move on.

    They don’t usually print ethnicity, but they do like to give the essence of what the caller says so odd details are sometimes included, “Red haired woman”, “dressed in black”, “holding baseball bat”, etc. One day there was something about a latino man. Two letters accused the paper of racism.

  157. Larry, Kansas City August 25, 2007 at 11:20 am #

    John in Florida, like 99.99999999% of those out there who seek satisfaction in life by being offended by something — ANYthing — needs to get a life. He needs to try to do something productive or maybe just go hide in a cave somewhere where nothing will offend him.

  158. Ronnie in Arlington Va August 25, 2007 at 11:33 am #

    It’s sad first when people don’t even know the meaning of a word (racist) and even sadder when people try to pull out the “race card.”

    Just yesterday an hispanic woman accused me of hitting her bumper when I parked my truck. She could “see” the dent. My bumper was about 1 inch from hers. After she cursed me out and called me a racist she pulled her car up to learn the “dent” she “saw” was the reflection of my tag holder on her bumper.

    My comment to her was “the reason people come to america is for freedom and opportunity, and although I am not a racist we ARE free to be racist if we feel like it.”

  159. Neil from Calgary August 25, 2007 at 11:42 am #

    I send jokes out on a daily basis to friends, relatives, clients and suppliers. Before I add anyone to my list, I tell them that all jokes have been edited and that I will not send out any racist jokes.

    But I send out blonde jokes. Because I think the funniest part of blonde jokes is their mere existence. It is so ludicrous to believe that someone can be less bright on the basis of hair colour (which is sometimes a choice, sometimes not). (I used to be blonde BTW, until nature saw fit to change it to grey and then to white; I was also a member of Mensa for many years).

    I have blue eyes (somewhat bloodshot tainted at times), does this give me any special characteristics other than having blue eyes? Does it empower me to be bright/stupid, tall/short, fat/thin, artistic/mechanical, etc.?

    Aside from the obvious fact that being blonde is not, by definition, a racist term, ergo calling that story racist is just plain stupid!

    Titling it “Legally Blonde” is clever and a pun on the movie. If it had been titled “Black Humour” (or “Black Humor” for you Americans) then I don’t think it still would have been racist since the term “black” has so many connotations. Although admittedly, it may not have been in good taste, I don’t think it would be racist.

    You have a gazillion readers; you wouldn’t be able to publish your shopping list without offending someone. People are people.

    An online publisher walks into a grocery store…. -rc

  160. Pete - Allendale, MI August 25, 2007 at 12:00 pm #

    My son was born two months early and because of a lack of oxygen at birth, suffers from CP and his legs are bent inwards. He is now 25 and says he is glad he was born with CP because if he hadn’t, he would probably be an arrogant, self-centered jock. He has a vanity plate on his car that says “CRIPPLE” and laughs every time someone gets upset over it. At 6’3″ and strappingly handsome (he takes after his mom), he has a wonderful sense of himself!

    Now there’s a guy I’d like to meet sometime. -rc

  161. Denise, NC August 25, 2007 at 12:04 pm #

    Okay, here we go again…

    Vort in Seattle: Do some research before spouting off.

    There are scientifically documented cases of naturally blond hair in *EVERY* race on this planet. Granted, the majority of these could be due to albinism or the intermixing of different ethnic groups, but that does not negate that fact that they are still blondes. Once blond hair enters the genome, it can crop up ten generations later, with no one the wiser for the past mixed blood. Check out the terms “blonde” and “blond” on Encarta and Wikipedia. There is a beautiful pic of a blonde aboriginal boy on Wikipedia. Every one of the ethnic groups you listed (save Chinese) is specifically listed in just the Wikipedia article as having documented shades of blond hair naturally occurring in their genome. If you have access to EBSCOhost database (a database of scholarly, peer-reviewed research), you might want to run the same hair color search, along with the term “ethnic”. It would be enlightening.

    But now, due to science, we have the ability to take the blackest hair and turn it to a brilliant platinum blond. In high school I knew an East Indian girl and her brother who dyed their hair blond. I personally know 2 Hispanics, 3 Koreans, at least 4 Black women, and one American Indian in my neighborhood with chemically blond hair: blondes by choice. Yet when they get their drivers licenses, they put down blonde, and the DMV (a government entity) accepts it.

    And lest we forget, Shania Twain is American Indian, and has a beautiful head of naturally blond hair! 😉

    You were right, though about the “John is stupid” comments sounding immature. The difference between this blog and the playground, though, is that we all know we have no real chance at a mature, reasoning conversation with this John in Florida. So, rather than waste our breath on the stupid, we who know better to dismiss him and hope he will just go away quietly.

    And yes, I do believe his comment was stupid, and not just ignorant, because ignorance can be enlightened. Stupid is forever.

  162. ED August 25, 2007 at 12:06 pm #

    Many Blonds, real or bottle, soon discover the art of following the money to ensure they won’t have to earn any on their own, so why get an education of any kind if they can live fleetingly on their attractive assets while their assets in the hair and nail salons, preening the tools to their survival.

    They can’t even get Geico Insurance.

    Smart blonds on the other hand rely on their formal education to preserve their dignity and self respect.

  163. Darr, North Carolina August 25, 2007 at 12:54 pm #

    I once thought I would never cease to be amazed at the things by which the PC crowd gets offended. I was wrong. Now I just shake my head and go on with the business of life.

  164. Susi, Florida August 25, 2007 at 2:21 pm #

    Randy I sincerely appreciated your story exactly as you wrote it. Just as I do each and every week’s story in This Is True Newsletters. But then I was persuaded by the enthusiastic and convincing dialogs of many of your other intelligent readers who wrote comments but see another point of view than my own.

    Hmm, I actually took the time to learn something thanks to YOU and your readers! Lesson learned: That maybe, just maybe John’s point of view might have a very small amount merit, even if not well said. However, I truly do NOT believe comparing joking about around about blondes rates on the same scale as using the racial slur n*gg*r.

    BUT then many of your readers resorted to slamming John’s intelligence and even basing his ignorance on his mere state of residence in Florida to the degree where EVEN I strongly felt the need to defend my election ballot actions that dreadful year! BTW, my husband and I both very skillfully helped elect our nation’s president because we are intelligent enough to be able to correctly detach the proper chad!

    I do immensely enjoy how you continue to encourage intelligent, educational and worthwhile conversations while discouraging flaming of others opinions. Keep up the great work. The discourse on your forums is phenomenal!

    Readers, slam the idea NOT the person! They may very well be an idiot but confine your opinions to their words. Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” People, be the change!

  165. Sarah, Massachusetts August 25, 2007 at 2:28 pm #

    I’m a blond Mensan (an oxymoron?) and dearly love a good blond joke. Let’s lighten up and, do remember, blond isn’t a hair color; it’s a state of mind.

  166. David UK August 25, 2007 at 3:33 pm #

    Racist? Rubbish! Good grief, it almost falls into the category of all those stupid “politically correct/incorrect” stories that do the rounds. It seems some folk take offence at the slightest thing these days. They would go mad at the sort of things we used to do when I was working as a telephone engineer and had one particular co-worker, who, though born in Pakistan, came to England with his parents when very young, so his English was obviously spot-on and he used to send himself up, lapsing into a very strong accent, being “racist” towards himself, if you like, which we all picked up on, followed his line and called him all the so-called “racist” insults under the sun which, of course, was never, EVER meant in earnest. He had some great come-back lines and we all had a terrific working relationship with lots of laughs, because of that – and he was the one who started it all! I imagine we (including him) would probably be charged with all sorts of racist offences if it happened today and some do-gooder heard what was going on.

    Yes, absolutely — even though what you actually learned was to respect and admire the man for who he was. -rc

  167. Christina, Lincoln, NE August 25, 2007 at 3:37 pm #

    “Humanity is generally offensive… Life’s an offensive proposition from beginning to end. Maybe those who can’t tolerate offense ought to just go ahead and end it all, and maybe those who demand financial compensation for offense ought to have it ended for them.” –Tom Robbins in his book Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates.

    People are so easily offended in these days as to seem ridiculous. My question is whether “John” is even blonde, or whether he’s simply taken up their clandestine Cause as his own. In any case, I’m a blonde and am definitely not offended by the “Legally Blonde” tag. What bothers me is this guy’s cheapening of true racism and its effects.

  168. Richard, Cape Coral, FL August 25, 2007 at 4:11 pm #

    It has been my observation that most people don’t even know the meaning of the words racism, bigotry, prejudice, or stereotype. They don’t know the difference between being an insensitive jerk and satire. To them we all must bow to Political Correctness and group think. George Orwell’s two books are becoming true before our eyes.

  169. Frank - Albuquerque, NM August 25, 2007 at 4:44 pm #

    I feel that racism is a terrible disease which will eventually destroy the person who has it. Racists are a sad bunch. How can you be happy when you hate someone, not because of what they have done, but because of who they are.

    Back in the 60’s, I attended a small college in the Midwest. First time away from home and didn’t know a soul there. My roommate was a black guy. We became very good friends. One day someone called me a nigger lover. I looked him in the eye and told him I despised niggers. When he asked about my friend I told him that he was not a nigger and furthermore, that I had met a lot more white nigggers than I had ever met black ones. Nigger is an attitude, not a color. Judging a person by the color of their skin makes as much sense as judging someone by the color of their shirt.

  170. Cheryl--Rochester, NY August 25, 2007 at 4:59 pm #

    In reference to Richard from Cape Coral’s comment that people don’t know the meaning of words like racism, bigotry, prejudice, and satire, in a conversation with online friends about choosing to have children, several of them attested to the fact that when they’ve shared with others that they want to be childfree, they’ve been told they’re committing genocide. We had a good laugh over that one.

    Please, people, use a dictionary!

  171. Jack-Fairfax Station, VA August 25, 2007 at 5:25 pm #

    Randy, remember that the average IQ is 100. So, if you have an IQ much above, someone else out there is an equal amount below. Also, I read that 25% of the US did not read a book last year. Many people choose not to learn.

    I went through a phase where I would say (at a party or something), “I just read that nearly HALF of the population is below average intelligence!” and see what the reply was. Those who were above would smile; those who are below would say “REALLY?! No way!” or some such. -rc

  172. Ian - Alice Springs Aust. August 25, 2007 at 5:46 pm #

    I’ve found those who cry racist, sexist etc, are usually the ones that are the most racist. I worked as a security guard for quite a few years, and was called a racist fairly often, usually by those who are doing something wrong, trying to use thier own prejudice to make me back down.

    It never worked of course — I hate everybody equally. :=D

  173. Brien - San Diego August 25, 2007 at 5:55 pm #

    As a blond man, husband to a blond wife, and father to 5 blond kids, we are told we should feel the pain and hurt of being called blond, but as a totally blond family we are blissfully ignorant and feel nothing. It’s not about being offended but simply looking great with a vacant blank stare.

  174. Laura Tennessee August 25, 2007 at 7:49 pm #

    I agree with Brittany. I am a blond, and I don’t appreciate the idea that if a woman does something stupid, she must be blond. That is pure bigotry. It is no more funny than nigger, unless you are the bigot spouting it.

    No one named Brittany has made any comment here, so I’m unclear who you are agreeing with. Maybe you didn’t actually read everything first? -rc

  175. Marty, California August 25, 2007 at 7:56 pm #

    There is nothing whatsoever racist about your story. To be sure, it’s not your best story… sort of a middle to middle lower level one as your (at times outstanding) work goes. But that’s not what’s at issue here.

    Blonds are NOT a minority suffering under the yoke of oppression and exploitation. The very suggestion they are by the original writer brands him as something of a fool, ignorant of what racism is fundamentally about.

    Given the iconic image of the “dumb blond” exists purely for laughs, and the fact that no one I’ve ever met or heard of actually BELIEVES that blonds are any dumber… or smarter… than anyone else… the accusation is ridiculous. I often refer to blond/Polish etc. jokes as “PODMC jokes” (that’s “People of Diminished Mental Capacity”). Mostly such jokes are NOT told or understood in either a spirit of bigotry toward blonds, Poles, etc. or EVEN a spirit of ignorance or malice toward those who actually ARE of diminished mental capacity, but rather as an arbitrary setup for creating a humorous image.

    I rather doubt you took that ignorant, knee-jerk assessment seriously.

  176. Scott, Fiji August 25, 2007 at 9:30 pm #

    I think John must be blonde! and his comment only exemplifies the stereotype. Ha ha!

    Seriously though, I have come to understand that when you criticize in this manner, you are guilty of the very criticism you make. I guess “John” is really a racist at heart, he knows it, and that’s why he’s so eager to criticize.

    Grow up you goof ball.

  177. Sue, Georgia August 25, 2007 at 11:25 pm #

    I wouldn’t call it racist, and it made it by me without the least upset, but as a woman of a certain age, I can tell you that when I was young “dumb blond” was not a joke. As a blond who got a Ph.D. before women were fully accepted in higher education, it really was used against me and if I had a nickel for every time I was called a dumb blond in my teen years (and 20s), I’d be a wealthier woman today! So not racist by far, but a stereotype that I’d like to see gone. Of course, there’s always what Dolly Parton says: You can call me a dumb blond–because I know I’m not dumb. I also know I’m not blond.” (not fact checked for minute accuracy)

  178. Srinivas, India August 25, 2007 at 11:51 pm #

    I dont find anything racist over here…Firstly, John, if you feel calling Blondes ‘stupid’ is being racist, you might as well say that calling Mt Everest ‘humongous’ is racism!

  179. Megan, Santa Barbara August 25, 2007 at 11:54 pm #

    I’m a natural blond, but I don’t find this story offensive. I’m sure no matter what you wrote someone would have written you a nasty letter. Calling someone “blond” when they do something dumb is a lot nicer than insinuating that they are dumb because of their gender or age. Just a thought.

    And yes, I got tired of people making dumb blond jokes anytime I made a mistake, but that was easily fixed when I dyed my hair brown. False Intelligence 😉

    I think the joke for that is “artificial intelligence”…. -rc

  180. Jennifer, China August 26, 2007 at 3:00 am #

    i’m going to go with something simple. hopefully everyone can understand. “stupid is as stupid does.” perhaps we’re being biased toward stupid. i tend to think that it would be the cops fault for catching them, but i suppose reporting and remarking on the incidents makes you . . . what? an informed observer?

  181. Roberto, Mexico City August 26, 2007 at 7:43 am #

    This answer just shows that its author has the sense of humor of a pregnant (blonde?) rhinoceros.

    The further we’re unable to laugh at ourselves the more inflexible we become, and that leads to racism.

  182. George, SW Scotland August 26, 2007 at 11:10 am #

    I despair of the poor idiots who cannot differentiate between racism and stereotyping. I suppose stereotyping in certain circumstances can be as offensive/dangerous as racism. However this is merely a bit of fun without intent to cause damage or hurt, so what’s the problem? If people have issues about racism why don’t they do something about it like joining Amnesty International or similar organisation. Anyway, if he doesn’t like this sort of thing why was he bloody reading This Is True? Mind you I’m not so keen on the anti-rhinosceral comment in an earlier comment. Yeah, whatever!

  183. Philip from Princeton NJ August 26, 2007 at 11:49 am #

    Of course using the phrase “Legally Blonde” is not racist. The reader has no sense of humor or of proportion. Blonde jokes work in a different way than jokes labeled with ethnic group names. Everybody who tells them (and hopefully most who hear or read them, except the person who wrote you) never thought blondes were less intelligent than others; just that some affect a childlike demeanor as yet another means of seduction. If this springs from any dismal motivation it is from jealousy, not racism. Another way of looking at it is that we have substituted “blonde” for ‘Polack’ or ‘Newfie’ to remove the ethnic slur component from a joke about somebody doing something silly.

    But in your reference to it you wrote: “A STORY LAST WEEK led a reader to accuse me of being racist. He uses a vile racist word to do it”. So I supposed he had actually used the word, until I read the blog where you quoted John as having writ: “Comments like this are just as racist as the word ‘nigger.'” According to how you wrote this, John did not USE the word ‘nigger’. He QUOTED the word ‘nigger’. This earns my respect, that he didn’t mince around by euphamistically saying “The ‘N’ word.” We must not be afraid of talking about words (remember the old bumper sticker: “Lenny Bruce died for our sins”), although we must be careful how we use them (as with ‘Fire’ in a crowded theater). Otherwise we risk Bowdlerizing our language.

    Imagine someone testifying in court; it’s much more powerful and accurate to say “Your honor, he called me a nigger!” than to say “Your honor, he called me the ‘N’ word”. But I digress. My basic point is that you mistakenly implied that he USED the word whereas you report in the blog that he QUOTED it. Much different. Please note that, above, I QUOTED the words ‘Polack’ and ‘Newfie’; I did not USE them. I too can be PC.

  184. Mike from Dallas August 26, 2007 at 3:35 pm #

    Nappy haired ho’s is racist? Only if it’s applied to a particular university. Wasn’t Bo Derek a nappy haired ho in the movie “10”?

    So, if referring to dumb blondes is an indictment of the northern European “race”, does that include smart brunettes who are also of the same race?

    I was called on the carpet at one company for using the term NIGYSOB. It’s an abreviation for “Now I Got You, You Son Of a Bitch.” The SOB part wasn’t the problem; it was that NIGY was way too close to an ethnic slur.

    So from here on out, we can no longer use the expression, “The jig is up.” Welshing on a bet is not permissible as that’s a racial slur to the folks from Wales. Nor can we demeaningly refer to Arabs as towelheads since those are really sheets on their heads. Henceforth, they will be known as sheetheads. Unless, of course, the KKK claims some kind of copyright infringement.

    And the currently used slur toward whites is “cracker”, a term which doesn’t bother me since I’d have to have some feeling of inferiority in order to be insulted.

  185. Kathy, Texas August 26, 2007 at 4:21 pm #

    Maybe you should have used the term caveman? We are truly a spoiled nation when we have nothing better to complain about than tongue-in-cheek foolery.

  186. Johnny--brother of kathy in tx August 26, 2007 at 5:28 pm #

    My sister responded to this so I am going to too. Here is my story on racism. (My sister and I could tell you lots of them because we grew up 1/2 & 1/2 on an Indian Reservation, oops I mean a Native American Reservation, LMAO).

    When I was in the Marines overseas in Okinawa we (the military) had a dance one night and it was my job to man the front door and take the money for those who wanted to enter. Well back in the day I was a bit of a dog (not to offend dogs) and if there was a female around I kept my eyes open. Well needless to say that there were not a lot of females coming to a military base dance. So if I saw a particular woman (group of women) to be attractive I would let them in for free, hoping that later if would get me a little closer to what I desired. After all, it wasn’t my money I was giving away and it made me look good to the incoming women and I wouldn’t be at the desk all night.

    Up comes a group of women, the women were slammin’ so I let the whole group in free. Unfortunately some men came in behind them and when I told them they had to pay they accused me of being racist. They started in accusing me of not letting them in because they were black. I couldn’t believe my ears. As their lady friends joined them I notice they were all pretty good on the eyes. So as the men continued to call me names, honky, cracker, etc. I became increasingly angry. Finally I told them to forget about the money they couldn’t come in at all. Then I turned to the women and said “no, you young ladies of course, you can come in for free.” The women giggled and waltzed right in. The men were cussing me when I told them they messed up big time. Now their women would be my women as soon as I got off post. Then I filled them in on the fact that I grew up on a reservation and had probably faced more racism than they could imagine. The problem of it was they jumped to conclusion because my hair was brown and my eyes were blue. But inside I was brown all the way.

    People should think before they accuse. You never know whom you’re talking to. Or as my sister always says, know your audience before you start giving your opinion.

  187. Chris, Washington DC August 27, 2007 at 6:13 am #

    Blondism isn’t racism. Homophobia isn’t racism. Intellectual superiority isn’t racism. John in Florida diminishes outrage at true racism by trying to extend the term beyond its purpose. He treads dangerously close to Godwin’s Law (the belief that an if an argument goes on long enough, one side will eventually make a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis).

    As with any other personal resentment of another’s personal opinions, I respect the right of the person who complained to do so. However, as a member of the armed forces for 25 years, sworn to protect and defend the constitution of the United States, I also respect the right of anyone to speak their mind. Mike from Dallas hit the nail on the head: When he said that one has to have a feeling of inferiority in order to be insulted by words. When I’d run to my mother as a kid complaining that my sister had called me a bad name, her first question was always, “Well, are you one?” to which I’d reply “no”, and she’d follow up with “then it can’t hurt you”.

    I’m no racist, but I also don’t believe that anyone should dictate to others what their personal feelings should or should not be. Individuals can make their positions known by refusing to do business with racist people or companies, as well as a host of other ways to protest or sway opinion. Legislating personalities never has and never will work, and attempting to limit it through “zero tolerance” style tactics threatens the very freedoms our country has built its foundation upon.

  188. Yogin, India August 27, 2007 at 9:14 am #

    Legally Blonde – the first time I read the article, I had a good chuckle, especially because of the title. The ‘racist’ tag made me read it again – and I chuckled again!! Yeah, technically, you shouldn’t ‘put down’ blondes – when read in entirety, the article does imply that blondes are somewhat impaired when it comes to thinking things through.

    I’m Indian, and I read jokes all the time that kind of deride Indian characters – but such characters do exist in real life, like it or not!! I can point out quite a few jokers from the vast population of India – one just has to have the guts and good sense to laugh at oneself or one’s own kind once in a while.

  189. J, Los Angeles August 27, 2007 at 10:51 am #

    Calling something “racist” that isn’t racist just goes to show the deplorable state of education in the US these days. John in Florida needs to check his dictionary. Being blonde is not a race. There are blondes of all races, natural and otherwise, figurative and actual.
    My comment on the state of education also applies to the girls in the story.
    Finally, I think John may have just wanted an excuse to use the “n” word.

  190. Lois, TX August 27, 2007 at 11:38 am #

    I was taught as a child, that if you can’t laugh at yourself then you can’t laugh at others.

    I am, literally, a blonde epileptic who has had brain surgery. Other health problems too, all my life, but laughter at myself is what has gotten me through all of it. Most people ask me what they are supposed to do when I have a seizure. I just laugh and say, “Nothing, you won’t know when I have one.” They automatically assume I am going to have a Grand Mal, which I didn’t (seizure-free since the surgery, just very mild ones that were unnoticeable. I am not offended by that. Actually, I find it nice. They are only saying it because they care and don’t understand epilepsy.

    I don’t care about race, sex or nationality, what’s wrong with your body or you. I make fun of everyone, myself especially. Humor has gotten me through all the problems in my life.

    Prejudice does exist, but it’s not just race or human problems. EVERYBODY has some form of prejudice against something. I figure that if they are really so stupid that they believe that because I am blonde or epileptic or had brain surgery, that I truly am slow (actually I am rated genius level), then they deserve not only my sympathy but also what I actually can get away with because they are such suckers!!!!! LOL

    A blonde epileptic walks into a neurologist’s office….

    Indeed, John clearly doesn’t know actual life problems — he’s a very lucky man that he doesn’t have anything real to complain about.

    You have great friends that they ask such questions. (The generic reply, for those interested, is: Protect them from injury by helping them to the floor, away from risks, preferably lying on their left side. Then be patient: it’s not necessary to call for help unless it doesn’t stop after several minutes. And for god’s sake, DO NOT try to put anything in their mouths!)

    Keep laughing, Lois! -rc

  191. Marsha, Lafayette August 27, 2007 at 12:32 pm #

    Stereotypes exist because, to some degree or another, the basis for the bias is true. Tell the blondes to stop batting their eyes, acting coy, and flaunting their sexuality and maybe folks will take them more seriously. And yes, I know that brunettes can be as guilty of these behaviors but I see far more blondes using these tactics than brunettes, redheads, etc.

    Your story and tagline was not racist. I agree with J from Los Angeles, blonde is not a race. Being blonde was not the point of the story, stupidity was.

  192. Michael; Massachusetts August 27, 2007 at 7:10 pm #

    Let’s see, now: John called you a racist for deprecating blondes; You took the comment from the title of the movie “Legally Blonde”; The movie producers presumably (I never saw the film) named it as a pun on the concept of “Legally Blind” (severe, but not quite total visual impairment).

    So my question is this: As a legally blind professional illustrator/graphic designer (put through art school on a full scholarship by the Mass. Commission for the Blind) which one of you am I supposed to sue for being so insensitive to my feelings?

    For the record, I am a blonde (fading to gray – and that’s the worst thing; blondes don’t get those distinguished wisps of gray, we just get washed-out!), father of a blonde daughter (although currently and for the foreseeable future; a redhead who complains that she only has problems if she doesn’t keep her roots touched up!), who is a professional photographer, and the father-in-law of a blonde robotics R&D engineer son-in-law.

    Not a dummy in the bunch and all of us melanin-impaired.

    Well, Michael, they tell you you’re blonde! But how do you really know? 🙂

    The movie is called “Legally Blonde” because the blonde protagonist sort-of accidentally ends up in law school, takes to it, and graduates with honors, even though she felt dumb before that. It’s a vindication of blondeness, making it clear they can be quite intelligent. Which is one reason why this whole thing is so silly. I’m not aware of it being any twist on “legally blind”. -rc

  193. Maurice, Owen Sound, ON, Canada August 27, 2007 at 9:06 pm #

    You know, I just realized…Randy is not a racist, he is a humourist… He makes people laugh. You could learn from him. Laugh at yourself, you are just as funny as I am (a good exercise for not getting too serious about yourself is to make faces at yourself every morning in the mirror).

    Randy does an outstanding job, and his humour is never intended to hurt anyone, ‘cept maybe idjuts with inflated senses of their place and purpose in the scheme of the Universe.

    A humourist? Does that mean I discriminate against funny people? The horror… the horror! -rc

  194. John, Alexandria VA August 28, 2007 at 7:19 am #

    Quick test for John from Florida:

    Find a young black man with blond hair (dyed is ok).
    First approach and say “You’re a blonde!”
    Note results.
    Next approach and say “You’re a Ni***r!”
    Let us know exactly how “the same” they are.

    I would indeed like John to try that and report the results. -rc

  195. Jackie, Tacoma, WA September 1, 2007 at 3:02 pm #

    At one point in time I met a pastor who came up with his own way of dealing with this whole sticky problem of whom to use as the butt of jokes. He told all of his “dumb” jokes about people groups from the Bible that are no longer around (“So a Hittite, a Moabite, and a Babylonian walk into a bar…”). It probably wouldn’t work for everyone, but it did add a certain level of entertainment to the jokes (“A… who?”).

    TRUE’s Official Pastor will like that one. He’ll probably steal it, the Eighth Commandment (Seventh, for you Catholics and Lutherans) notwithstanding. -rc

  196. Jim Blythe, Cardiff UK September 2, 2007 at 4:39 pm #

    I remember being at an Aussie-rules football match at Melbourne Cricket Ground during which an Aboriginal player was taking a free kick. As he set up for the kick, taking his time about it, someone in the stand shouted “Get on with it, you ethnic person you!”

    Which raised a well-deserved laugh. Because of course it’s not the words that count, it’s the sentiment behind them. As in immigrant myself, I sometimes get a few jokes aimed at me – well, who doesn’t? If it’s aggressive, I respond accordingly: if it’s simple humour, I respond accordingly.

  197. Barbara, Maine September 3, 2007 at 1:24 am #

    Just a note (and I am using an alias to avoid getting in any trouble). I am a police dispatcher, and out of curiosity I looked up Brittany Blow’s description. She is blonde, according to her driver’s license! Just FYI.

  198. Richard, Florida September 3, 2007 at 6:17 am #

    I have to post this because I see a very sad reality of where our society is heading.

    We have become an emotional society, where even the slightest bit of humor directed at someone, or a group, will bring down the wrath of the fanatic; those who try hard to show they are not “racist” yet come off that way. They see the “racism” in anything said, and will jump to the fore to make it known they are without humor.

    Jokes are told to make fun of, poke fun of, ourselves, and we have stopped doing that — we are nothing more than a nation of robots.

    If you want racism, here is one for you: About 15 years ago, in Georgia (Atlanta) I was walking in an area that was mainly black. I was jumped and beaten (badly) and told that no “white boy was allowed”.

    I reported this, but nothing was done. Let that happen today (with a black being the one that is jumped) and everyone and their mother is on the news decrying the racism in America.

    Sadly, this is true.

  199. Ron, Delaware September 3, 2007 at 12:35 pm #

    Recently my employer announced everybody must go to a web site and declare their individual race or declare why they did not want to declare.

    This was described as a federal government requirement and everybody must do it. So I went to the gov web site to see what they meant by race and discovered they don’t know either. The congress wrote the law, but did not explain what a race was. The regulatory body said they were doing the best they could under the circumstances and suggested they usually expected several categories, including ‘latino’ and ‘hispanic’.

    I work regularly with an individual who grew up in Puerto Rico, worked for years in Miami Florida before coming to the wilds of Northern Delaware. I ask him what was the distinguishing charateristics of latino and hispanic–he had no idea.

    Personally, if I have the choice, I call my race ‘human’ That was not a selection of the require form so I checked ‘mixed’
    After all, the best authority I have read says my forefather and mother include Lucy from Africa and the Peking Man from Asia.

    By the way, one of the slickest and most dangerous practitioners of the art of office politics I have ever worked with was a woman who kept a coffee mug on her desk that declared “Please speak slowly, I am a natural blonde.’

    Your concept of “human” is quite similar to my own concept of nationality. I declare simply that I’m an “American”, rather than a “Euro-Scandi-British-American”. The more we divide ourselves, the more …uh… we divide ourselves. -rc

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