Originally Posted By: Spelled Moon
The meaning was, that even though one would laugh on something, it would be, in fact, not laughable but pitiful.
That is, for what the phrase laughter through tears stands.

In this case, one can laugh on stupidity of someone else, but stupidity itself is not funny but dangerous...

You could say that they are "Not laughing WITH you, but AT you." Though I think you mean something more along the lines of "tragically funny". I'm not sure we have an exact phrase for the idea in the English language.
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