“Where do Jews with ADD go?” –a Concentration Camp

Benjamin first heard this joke from a friend and retold it in a group of college students.  He says that it is funny just because people with this disorder have difficulty concentrating.  He has no further interpretation of this joke, only to say that jokes about Jews are offensively funny.

Although the Jews went through a lot of suffering during the Holocaust, the Jewish people are still criticized to this day.  The humor from this joke comes from the double meaning of the “concentration camp.”  On one hand, it is the camp that the Germans sent the Jews in order to separate them.  On the other hand, the concentration camp can be the literal meaning in that it is a camp where people concentrate.  Therefore, people with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), which is a disorder in which one has a short attention span, should attend this camp so that they can focus.  This blason populaire joke, which is a joke that makes fun of a certain group, is very popular in evoking humor.  Though offensive, many people laugh with guilt because they know that it is insulting but still is a play on words.  This joke not only makes fun of the Jewish people but also the mentally challenged group.  Some people find humor in the faults of others; in this case, not being able to concentrate is the fault.  A combination of the Jews and the mentally challenged compounds the humor of this joke.

This joke was told in English and is from the American culture.  Americans find other people’s problems humorous, and the ones who dare to tell the joke risk being rude and offensive to certain groups, especially the Jewish and the mentally incapable.  The American culture tends to live in the present, not caring about what happened in the past and ignoring the innate anomalies of human genes.  This joke’s humor is based on making fun of other groups, as well as a double meaning of the place “concentration camp,” which can be taken literally or historically.  In any case, the joke can only be told in front of people who are tolerant of racism and prejudice.