Michael Richards: The new spokesman of the NAACP

By George Ploss

Jesse Jackson should pimp Michael Richards for everything he has. Kramer, my favorite character from one of my favorite all time sitcoms went and showed his backside on Nov. 20, at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, and made me want to kick it.

When I first heard about his racial rant, I sincerely brushed it off thinking to myself that everyone has their own prejudices. He was being un-PC and I figured the media just blew it out of proportion. However, the other day at work, being bored, I watched the video at YouTube.com and I got vexed by comments like “If it was 50 years ago, you would be hanging upside down with a fork up your ass” and hearing an audience member screaming in rebuttal, “That was uncalled for.” Out of everything he said on that video, what affected me the most was Richards’ final retort, “That’s what you get for interrupting a white man.”

It’s the cherry on top of that bigot sundae, that to be racist, you must first believe in race and secondly you must believe that your race is superior. We all make generalizations, poke fun at stereotypes and understand that there is a vague truth in many stereotypes we make about ourselves, but to stand up on stage and shout at the top of your lungs and attempt to demean a group of people by attacking their ethnicity … well you see were I’m going.

I can’t watch Seinfeld anymore without hearing his terrible words stab at my soul which then ignites the resonance of my African background and makes my blood boil and my fortitude harden.

The word “nigger” barely bothered me. I hear it come out of white people’s mouths on a daily basis as they sing whatever hit song is on the radio. When I hear it, I speak up in response; otherwise, it’s just a word that needs to be deleted from the common tongue. The word is just the skin of a living thought, a weapon with the ammunition being the feelings. Richard’s use of the word was wrong but not as wrong as the psychotic connotations that will ring forever in his mind when he said that “That’s what you get for interrupting a white man.” His lack of melanin doesn’t make him better. We all know this; well, some of us do.

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And who says racism doesn’t exist anymore?

Racism exists, it’s just pushed under the rug and every now and then someone looks under and Michael Richards pops out like he did when he jumped into Jerry’s apartment as Kramer.

Yes, Richards apologized on the Letterman show, he said he was sorry to “that” group of people he offended in the audience, but he didn’t apologize to me. He didn’t apologize to all of us who feel the small, big, conscious, sub-conscious affects of being a person of color in a world run by people who some would argue believe the same way Richards does and are just more subtle with their views and actions. This was a testament to who we are, and I say ‘we’ in the macro sense of humanity, when our social armor of political correctness is stripped and people push us to the limit where we cannot hide behind the great American veil of censorship and polite disdain for each other. Michael Richards dug deep into the core of his scared little self and let his little light shine.

Operation PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity) should pimp him for a lifetime if he were sincerely sorry. He had better be the intern for the Congressional Black Caucus for the next two terms if he wants to get off my list.

And by the way, I’m putting my Seinfeld DVD’s with my R. Kelly collection and am going to auction them off on eBay if anyone’s interested. One Love.