Is there comedy so offensive that it shouldn’t be allowed? Do some jokes encourage bigotry and hatred? Could edgy comedy ever be good for society? These are some of the questions we’re asking in this week’s show, our first new show since Ken died last month.
Jeff McMahan and Peter Singer wrote an article in The New York Times that has gotten lots people I know and respect pretty upset. Some have reacted to the article with very reasoned and persuasive counter-arguments. Some have thrown in a good measure of anger and disgust at them in addition.
In between honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and inaugurating Donald Trump, we remember one of our greatest civil rights leaders and anticipate the presidency of an unabashed exploiter of racism, arguably a racist himself. But what is the right emotional reaction to racism? Empathy? Outrage? Or pity?