To the editor:
After being aghast at something a Kansas legislator said — again — I feel I need to help them out a little. I read Virgil Peck’s so-called joke about shooting illegal immigrants in Tuesday’s paper. I teach social work practice to master’s students at Kansas University, and I always tell them two things. Black humor is an important way to relieve stress and practice self care, so don’t worry about your impulse to make jokes that sound inappropriate. The impulse is natural. More importantly, though, don’t make these jokes where your clients can overhear them or you’ll hurt them and they will no longer trust you. That’s most important.
Black humor is an essentially human social function but it can be harmful. Act responsibly. Secondly, making dark jokes does not make you funny. It may be an important self-care tool but you are not a comedian. I hope this helps our legislators because, frankly, I am sick of hearing these racist, extremist comments, especially made by this group, in the name of humor. We did not hire you to be funny. We are a state with real problems. Now I beg you all, stop trying to be funny and get to work!