Joke – University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

“ What do you get when you mix a black person and a Mexican?”

Answer: “ Someone who is too lazy to steal.”

BJ learned this joke from a friend at the University of Southern California during his freshman year of college at the age of 18. The joke came up as fellow students were discussing the issues revolving around race relations in the campus’ surrounding area. BJ claims that he did not understand the joke initially as he had grown up in Hawaii where he says there are very few Mexicans or Black people so the stereotypes do not thrive. After a friend explained the joke to BJ, he began to realize that this joke is an expression of racism towards two distinct groups of people. He believes that the joke intends to say that all black people are criminals and that Mexicans are not hard workers.

The joke seems to be a straightforward and outward expression concerning race tension within the city of Los Angeles. The city of Los Angeles has a history of gang activity involving both blacks and Mexicans. It therefore is easy to understand why they have become the subject of jokes. In addition, many people in Los Angeles are unhappy about the fact that there are many illegal immigrants from Mexico living in the city as well as legal immigrants who are not working at jobs but rather living on street corners and in the ghettos. In terms of the stereotyping about blacks, this joke seems to express a popular racist opinion that blacks are prone more than others to commit crimes. In combination of both of these stereotypes, one can see why the answer to the joke is a hybrid of two bigotry- based classifications of people groups.