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D’Arms and Jacobson 2000 holds that there is no relationship between the wrongness of a joke and its funniness; readers with little philosophical background may find this paper challenging.Contrary to d’Arms and Jacobson 2000, Gaut 1988, Smuts 2009, and Woodcock 2015 argue that the wrongness of a joke has an effect on its funniness.La Follette and Shanks 1993 gives a novel account of how joking works and argues that it is racist beliefs accompanying racist jokes that make racist jokes wrong.The first half of Benatar 1999 expounds on how racist beliefs may be harmful in themselves, thus differing from Philips’s consequentialist account.Mills 1987 and Bicknell 2007 are the most accessible sources for undergraduates, with Mills providing some useful background and Bicknell providing a virtue-theoretic account of the morality of joke telling.Philips 1984 develops a consequentialist view about racist jokes.
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Many of the books and articles cited here discuss jokes belonging to the broader category rather than racist jokes alone.
The philosophical literature specifically about racist jokes is small and underdeveloped compared to the quickly growing literatures about other kinds of racist language, such as hate speech and racial slurs.
Racist jokes are usefully understood as one kind of offensive joke, with the broader category including sexist and ethnic jokes along with jokes about sexual orientation, disability, nationality, profession, and other human traits.