Yes. You have to look at the power of discourse, and how our words create our social reality. The reason why racist jokes are funny is that they reinforce base prejudices and reflect power differentials. Proof of this is the fact that there are very few racist jokes applicable to white people, but a multitude for every other group of people on Earth.
Actually, I don't joke about that with my friends, but I do with my family to mock the actual racists. Does it make me a racist ?
It's like we are saying how black people should be banned from France then we burst into in laughter because we really can't believe some people seriously think so, and as we are in family, we know each other. We caricature racist people, if you want. It's exactly the same with homophobic people or those assholes who mocked me because I was deaf. My own family mocks my deafness, can you believe it?
I know that if I heard a friend or an acquaintance saying that even for "joking", I would be unsure, because like you said, that might reinforce prejudices... Like I had those friends, they once joked about that... it didn't make me laugh at all, because yeah it might give them the impression I actually agreed with them for the wrong reasons. And I was right. They brought it during a serious political discussion I was trying to avoid. They actually used the joke as an argument without the joking undertone
"there are too many Black people" "they are thugs"
Omg I remember, I have a friend, he once told me "You know I am not racist at all, I have black friends, but let's be real, black people are usually more violent, especially in local crimes, while black people are usually very violent at national/international grade crimes" WTF
It's sooo racist I can't even. He even said black people are dumber, since "the less smart one of your class is often black" WTF ?
Anyway, I don't talk to him anymore, but wow...... and he was still claiming to not be a racist....