I know I haven't really been back here all that long but this whole racism row is something that I think deserves a bit more attention. Specifically, the points raised by WildWind, Starlite and p2c here, here and here deserve more attention.
Using race as a foil for making a joke/point/both is tricky and often lapses into plain offensive stuff. For example, Monkeyboy's thread on Black History month: It moves from irreverant suggestions for great moments in black history to Tristan dredging up an instance of a faked attack which caught out some African-American leaders and has a laugh at their expense, never mind the fact these were people who are strong representatives and symbols of black liberation and that it would be natural for them to believe the woman since race attacks are still a massive problem today; then the uber-dick Stu gets the chance to somehow insinuate that blacks are getting an easy time of things in the justice system, again by isolating the exception to the rule and promoting that. Look at the statistics: Black Americans comprise 13% of the population, 30% of arrests and 49% of the prison population. Then to round it off, we've got a black-and-white minstrel. What a rich vein of humour we mine at TW these days. p2c is 100% right when he says that this place sees itself as all caucasian and that can end up creating an atmosphere where we think it's ok to ironically use racist comments, which in turn results in actual racist material being posted, which in turn offends people.
It's like in the film of Borat and the difference between the scenes where the character is used to expose the racism of other people and those that are just cheap, decontextualised digs at Kazakh people (aren't they all primitive, he's kissing his sister etc).
Just for the record, I don't think that Monkeyboy is racist. I think he's a very sharp, funny guy. But his best stuff is when he's excoriating the many dickheads who populate this site rather than when he lapses into 'ironic' racism that, out of context, just reads like plain racism.
I think that TW should be a safe place for oppressed people to use without finding statements that are offensive to them on the basis of that oppression. Other than that, it's all fair game, really.
"The challenge of modernity is to live without illusions and without becoming disillusioned" - Antonio Gramsci