Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Worse than Mel Gibson...

...only because this jerk was sober.

By now you may have heard about Michael Richards, the actor who played Kramer on Seinfield and his belligerent racist tirade that caused half the audience at the Laugh Factory to walk out of the club last Friday. In fact, the folks at the Laugh Factory were so mortified, they offered everyone at the show a refund. From their website:

This is a comedy club and while we have always supported the comics first amendment rights, we have done so with the understanding that they were exercising that right in an effort to be funny...We have made it clear that Mr. Richards is no longer welcomed here. The Laugh Factory is a comedy club not a forum for personal attacks.

I can't imagine a professional comic losing it that bad over a couple of hecklers regardless of what they were saying. Even if Richards had stooped down to heckling but kept it at that level--if he was straight up like, “Oh, you can call me a cracker but I can’t call you a nigger?”--quite honestly, I wouldn’t have had much to say about it.

The thing that lets you know that he has supremacy issues is the way that he brought in the Jim Crow era with reference to bodily harm in his attack. That's when he crossed the line. I don’t know too many sane white folks who want to align themselves with the atrocities of the Jim Crow period unless they're closet members of Stormfront or something...

Naturally, somebody caught half the ordeal on video. You can watch it here if you're in a moderately reflective mood and a safe place where it would be okay to watch something like American History X because the language is that bad.

[From Racialicious.]


Daddy's Girl said...

Wow, I just looked up this story and am pretty amazed that this guy could let those words come out of his mouth. Obviously, if he could say them, he is a racist, regardless of what he says. It's pretty sickening.

Oneup said...

I don't know if you watched the show regularly, but of the people I know that did, it seems so odd that this could come out of his mouth. I think the worst thing about this is that it was SO unexpected. Obviously I don't know the guy personally, but it makes me even more wary of the white people I have in my life. Its hard to know when people might just snap like this.

naina said...

have you heard about his non-apology? he basically said, "i'm sorry for what i said, but i was in character. I'm not a racist." whatevs.


t-HYPE said...

The really sinister part is when he says, "See this shocks you--shocks you to see what's buried beneath..." I'm like, "hell to the yeah!"

This guy's about the same age as my mom (57). Richards was a teenager during the Civil Rights Movement. I could totally see him standing outside of a school screaming and throwing rocks while they tried to integrate. That’s the exact type of behavior that Freedom Riders and sit-in protestors had to endure.

When I’d visit my grandmother in Savannah, Georgia, she was always scared for us to go out after dark. I’d never seen anybody behave like this guy did in real life but she, at 80-something, had seen it. I guess she figured, “I’m alive they’re still alive.” I always hated to believe it but I guess she’s right.

Anali said...

I was really shocked. I have always been a big Seinfield fan and even have most of the DVDs. Not sure when I'll be watching them again...

It's amazing to me that he doesn't believe that he is racist. It makes me wonder what does it take for someone to acknowledge their racism? I mean he was fondly harking back to lynchings. If he cannot equate this with racism, what does it take?

Amy said...

Oh my gosh! I was so shocked but i thought his apology was a load of rubbish! He's not racist? He may not think he is but anyone who can come up with that outburst must have something bottled up inside - and like you said about him growing up in the civil rights movement, i mean views don't change easily! I hate racism and i think the worst kind is the kind that bubbles under the surface and hides itself. We have it everywhere in AUstralia and it's disgusting cause people don't recognise it so it never gets challenged. I think there is always going to be a great deal of racism in the world.

reginald-h said...

Sad to say, try living in the real world.
Living in eastern Pennsylvania, and reading 3 newspapers a day, I have yet to see a black couple's photo in the newspapers getting engaged or married. The only equality in the paper is in the obituary section.
I had seen one black couple celebrating their 50th anniversary.

You want to talk about sickness, try looking at all of the kids being pumped out ... with the average of 3 last names to a household. You will be carring the burden as much as I do, and there is no end in sight. There is no family, no religion, no respect ... and a complete list of mindless idiots like myself who are either agreeing with frustrated pinheads like you, or are making valid points that should be explored.

Be responsible. Yes, he did get out of hand ... but that is just a small piece of the puzzle. Where have you made the difference in the world? That is the true value that shows in your life. Responsibility for your own actions ... which provides you with love and friendship that never ends.

A solution to a majority of our problems is to have school teachers working in minority plagued day cares during the summer time.
Just 4 hours a day, 3 days a week, making mimimum wage, and still allowing them to collect unemployment. If they fail to provide these services, they lose the unemployment paycheck.
They not only teach the children, and focus their minds, they will also be preparing the daycare babysitters to become true teachers themselves. Within 5 years you will be seeing fresh minds with open eyes.... and within 10 years of this summer participation, you will see a greater number of students graduating from HS and going to college.

IF you truly want to be the difference .... it starts with answers, not blame.

Have a great Thanksgiving.

t-HYPE said...

reginald, your post was a bit incoherent...

IF you truly want to be the difference .... it starts with answers, not blame.
I totally agree only that wasn't what my post was about. My post was about a public personality (celebrity) metaphorically showing his ass in public.

Sure people in the ghetto have problems. Poor people all over the globe have problems.

Pardesi Gori said...

T-hype, read your post over at Naina's blog regarding how a white person who does not "get it" should go live in a non-white country for one year and try to assimilate.

I've lived in India for over 10 and I still don't get it fully, though to some extent I do.

(The "getting it" in reference to why the word nigger or nigga is ok for kalus - blacks - but not for goras - whites).

I have been called much "worse" as a foreigner and as a woman and as foriegn woman in India. If anything it has hardened me, de-sensitized me to all this stuff.

When i get called lal bandhar by an Indian, they get called kala bandhar. Big deal. My day continues as planned as does theirs.

As a black woman in India you would face the same type of prejudiced I faced;

1. xenophobia
2. colorism
3. sexism

Without a doubt you would come across this. I can guarantee in North India you would face all three at different times and all of them simultaneously sometimes too.

Anyway, the result for me has been that all my soft, cushiony, PC, suburban American conditioning has been shot to hell and I'm now just as un-PC as the next Indian gaon-walla or American redneck or nigga from the hood or whatever.

I feel that PCness is over-rated in USA anyway. That's just not how the world functions.