Micahel Richards

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There is so much that I want to say about this issue.  I waited for a couple of days to read the numerous articles, (Washington Post-Eugene WilliamsWashington Post-Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts, CNN)  blogs and opinions before I made my comments.

If you haven’t heard or seen what he said, you can see it here on youtube:

In this country, regardless of color, we have been culturally conditioned to believe that white is superior and black is inferior.  This is not just a white problem, it is a social problem that crosses all races in this country.  Here are a few examples.  After reading many blogs and message boards on Michael Richards racially charged tirad.  They assert that:

  1. Since several of the black patrons responded to Richard’s racial comments by calling him a “cracker” was racist and that the black patrons should apologize to Richards. 

  2. Since Richardswas being hackled that he had to defend himself;

  3. and since black people use it in music and amongst themselves, that anyone can use the word. 

The above opinions and asserstions are the end results of our society being culturally conditioned to believe that white is superior and black is inferior.  And as a result of this cultural conditioning black people on undervalued, underestimated and marginalized.  What Richards displayed was not something that just happened; this type of racially charged language and attitude had been growing in him for some time.  And he is not alone, there are many others in our society who feel the same way.  Racism is and always has been alive in well in this country.  I know that not all white people are racist, but as long as their is 1 person in this country who spews this type of hatred, is too much. 

This is further evident in the black community.  Out of ignorance for the most part, some African Americans have adopted the “N” word trying to redefine and reshape its meaning.  What they don’t understand is that behind the historical content of the word, are our ancestors.  Slaves and former slaves who were spat on and beat down simply because of the color of their skin.  Those in Hip-Hop and comedy feel that using the word as a “term of endearment” somehow changes the meaning of the word.  But there is something that they fail to realize: you can’t change history!  This word used to demean and dehumanize people of color.  And you can’t justify its usage. 

The word should be stricken from our vocabulary.  I don’t care if your Chris Rock or 50 Cent.  It is offensive to those who came before you who made it possible for you to perform and live in this Country.  Why would you want to own a word like that?  African Americans are the only group of people who attempt to put a positive spin on a racially offensive word which was used to oppress them. I don’t hear Jewish people calling themselves the “K” word; why not?  Because they understand what their ancestors endured and would not even entertain the notion.  We too as African Americans should adopt these way of thinking. 

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6 Responses

  1. He contacted Al and Jesse? No, he needs to go all the way to the top…I was just writing on my blog today about how he needs to get on Oprah and confess to being half-black since many black folks seem to think it’s ok to use the word.

  2. Having seen the video, I’ll agree that Richard’s was out of controll, but I didn’t see or hear what came before it. Obviously something set him off, and it wasn’t the “abused” group sitting there quietly and respectfully. In fact, all indicators are that they were giving him quite the hard time. This too is indicitive of ignorance, as well as cultral short comings. I suspect that the more sensitive will be offended by any precieved attepmt to defend Richard’s actions, which I assure you, this is not, however it may be indicitive of larger issues than merely one man, and his anger managment problems. Ohh, and finaly, I ain’t no cracker- and that word is every bit as hateful as the other. Any argument to the contrary is ignorant AND racist. Peace

  3. I agree with you Brian “cracker” is just as offensive. I will admit that the only time I have heard someone call a white person a “cracker” is when a white person has called a black person then “N” or made some form of racist remark. But both words need not be used

  4. I figured Richards was pissed, and he used the “n” word because he really wanted to drop a bomb on those guys. I also think that when you go to a comedy club and start messing with the comic, you have put yourself in the line of fire and you never know what you will get. That’s just the nature of that kind of environment. That kind of confrontational comedy is by its very nature shocking and, well, confrontational.

    That being said, you are right, it would be better if no one used that kind of language. We have too much a history of oppression and hate and whatnot associated with that word.

  5. biblisk8:

    comedy clubs can be pretty high strung. And it is not unusual for comedians to strike back when heckled by patrons, but for Richards took it to a place that he should not have. If the roles were reversed and a black person had called Richards the “K” word, the Jewish community would be reacting the same way, and rightfully so.

  6. I agree. Richards really made a bad choice. I don’t actually think Richards is a serious racist, but I think his rant shows the kind of stuff that is bubbling under the surface in normally reasonable people. I think its right that he go to some serious efforts to make things right, to what extent that is possible.

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