An ethnic joke is a remark aiming at humor relating to an ethnic, racial or cultural group, often referring to an ethnic stereotype of the group in question for its punchline.
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Perceptions of ethnic jokes are ambivalent. Christie Davies gives examples that, while many find them racist and offensive, for some people jokes poking fun at one's own ethnicity may be considered acceptable. He points out that ethnic joke are often funny for some exactly for the same reason they sound racist for others; it happens when they play on negative ethnic stereotypes. Davies maintains that ethnic jokes reinforce ethnic stereotypes and sometimes lead to calls for violence. The perceived damage to the ethnic group can be of great concern as when the ethnic Polish jokes became so common in the 1970s the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs approached the U.S. State Department to complain.