New Maryland — In a day and age filled with hyper-sensitive people, one New Maryland man is taking a stand against society and refusing to tone down his sometimes offensive humour. Jake Bernard, a 28-year-old sociology student at UNB, insists that his jokes are merely funny, not offensive or off-colour, despite what others have told him.
“I’m just being me,” he said with a cherry-flavoured cigarillo hanging from his mouth. “People like me because I’m clever and funny, so why would I change?” The Manatee asked Bernard what his humour normally consists of. “Usually I just pick out something different about someone and makes jokes about that,” he explained. “If someone’s from Germany I’ll make jokes about Hitler and stuff, or if they’re from China or Japan or wherever, I’ll talk about how bad of drivers they must be or about how much they must like rice — you know obvious, funny stuff.”
One of Bernard’s friends, who asked to not be named for fear of becoming a target for Bernard’s “humour,” suggested that his friend crosses the line at times. “It can get a little uncomfortable for people sometimes,” he said while looking down toward the floor. “Like when he kept calling the new student from the Philippines ‘Ali Baba.’”
“There’s no way I’m racist,” defended Bernard. “I’ve got 3 black friends, 2 or 3 Asian friends, a couple more from down South America way in Mexico, and a dozen or so natives that I went to school with … when they showed up.”
The Manatee was able to speak to one of these supposed friends Bernard mentioned. “Oh, he’s totally racist,” said Marcus Howe, who has known Bernard since childhood. “Last week in fact he texted me a picture of some KFC he was eating with a note that said ‘I thought you’d like this.’ You know who else loves KFC? Everyone!”
When asked why he continued to be friends with someone he deemed racist, Howe shrugged it off as no big deal. “That’s just how white people are; they’re pretty well all ignorant when they think they’re being funny.”
Bernard did have one friend to come to his defense when questioned by our reporter. “Jake is hilarious!” he boomed.”Easily the funniest guy I know. Just the way he doesn’t care about anyone’s feelings or insecurities is awesome. There’s a guy there who speaks his mind — I respect that. So what if he hurts someone’s feeling or embarrasses them? I think he’s a riot — I’d never say the things he says.”
Bernard further explained his motivations to The Manatee. “I might upset or offend some people — a lot of people maybe. But if I’m able to make just one person laugh, it’s plenty worth it.”