Getting published is a real be-yatch! Hear about my ups, downs and a few random rants in between.

Monday, November 20, 2006

True Colors

Was Michael Richards' (Kramer from Seinfeld) recent stand-up tirade a comedian just gone too far or someone showing their true colors?

Comedians are supposed to be over the top, cutting edge and controversial. But Richard's use of the N-word as he ranted against some hecklers, felt two steps over the boundaries of get back.

Sure, you sit in a comedy club and expect a comedian to make fun of you. And if you're bold enough to heckle, be ready to have your head handed to you on a comedic platter.

Still, Richards' initial response of "Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a f****** fork up your a**," isn't funny to me.

It's too true. Too real. A reference to times too close to current times. And too hurtful to remember that when my mother was a little girl, the brutalization and killing of black people simply because they were black was routine in parts of the U.S.

Finding humor in truth is what good comedians do.

But in a society that still has plenty of ills to cure when it comes to racial harmony, Richards' "joke" was more like salt in a wound that may never truly close.

Also, Richards' further rant of:
"He's a n*****! He's a n*****! He's a n*****! A n*****, look, there's a n*****!" smacks of someone who has lost their comedic zing and so sinks to the lowest common denominator of one-upmanship required to shut up a heckler.

And while this is sort of about Seinfeld - looking at an episode after seeing the video of the rant, was hard. It's hard to see Richard's in the same way - it's also about true colors and what it takes for people to show theirs.

Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine who indicated that mutual friends of ours had used the n-word in my absence. People we both considered friends...or at the very least not enemies. It was info I wish I didn't know because now those people...well, I'll be in their company less often.

Because, far as I'm concerned if they use it then they're showing their true colors.

With the n-word used regularly in hip hop songs, the argument that we (people in general) have become de-sensitized to its impact remains a valid point.

BUT... hells yes there's a but. But, I can tell you right now, if I were ever to walk up behind a friend of mine (who is not of color) and heard them using the term lightly, in jest or in anger, we wouldn't be friends anymore.

Yes, some black people use the word. But the rule, unspoken until I write it right here is: we can use it,no one else can. Period.

Doesn't have to make sense. That's just the way it is.

If that rule was followed, Michael Richards wouldn't be in the hot water he's in now.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was someone showing there true colors. It's bad enough that he said nigger but that was what it was. The worst part of his whole rant the most racist part was the fact that he said 50 years ago WE would have had you upside down with a fork in your ass. That right there says it all. To speak about lynching and include you’re self in the act i.e. (WE. KKKramer just showed the world who he is and always has been. He just put in on front street instead of leaving it behind closed doors. Now he's caught and he says "I'm Not A Racist" If he's not a racist then I'm not black and I've been that color since I was born.

1:57 PM


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