Correct me if I’m wrong but in all the years that Seinfeld was on the air there were maybe three black people featured on a few episodes. These people were usually in roles portraying people in various servitude capacities including waiters and store checkout staff. They also featured a character that was obviously a parody Johnny Cochran. So it does not surprise me in the least to find out that Michael Richards, the guy that played “Kramer,” is a full blown racist. They (YouTube, MSN, etc.) even have proof of this fact on streaming video for all the world to see.
We as a country have not come as far as we may think when we can watch in plain view an angry famous white man turn to the old standby “N” word as if he uses it everyday. Richards actually said: “Shut up! Fifty years ago we’d have you upside down with a f—— fork up your a–.” Now that’s not what I call progress! His hotel is probably missing a set of white sheets. All Seinfeld episodes should be pulled from syndication and destroyed, never to be veiwed again.
Racism is alive and well my friends and now we can watch it in all of its disgusting glory via the internet. If the earth shakes tonight it’s because of millions of slaves, activists, black leaders, and abolitionists turning over in their graves.
Thanks for this update. Surprising how its been so quiet – if the shoe had been on the other foot with a black actor in the wrong you know every media outlet in the country would be blasting the footage on repeat. I won’t be allowing that show to be shown in my home ever again.
Wow! I’m guilty of being a faithful Seinfeld watcher and Kramer’s character was one that I really liked. It’s really sad when you hear something like this, but it’s a reality check at the same time; we really haven’t come as far as we thought. It’s a shame that people are SO ignorant.
it’s striking how close beneath the surface this is. generation after generation have been raised with these land mines implanted in their brains so it’s not surprising when they go off. i only hope it thins out in future generations.
it was also interesting how Paul Rodriguez was quick to come out and condemn Richards, yet this is a guy who’s made his whole career out of ethnic stereotype jokes (latino).
I am commenting. I commented about this on another site. What was really disturbing to me was the very apparent reference to lynching. Yes, what he said about the fork was done to folks who were lynched. He went ahead and said what would have happened 50 years ago to the black man. Umm, that would be again, lynching. Truth is, calling him a cracker is not even on the same level as that humiliating thing that was said to the black folks who were there. Comics point out differences and irony between races, regions etc. all of the time. That makes us uncomfortable, but we laugh and think and move on. If he asked the black men were they rapping etc. or something along that line, we would have laughed and moved on. He went too far. His reference to what would have happened if this was 50 years ago alerts me to the fact that he knew what he was doing, saying and implying. Not funny on any level.
‘Seinfeld’ has nothing to do with Richards’ comments.
He apologized on The Late Show, and was laughed at by the audience.
How did Richards’ heckler respond? He called Richards a ‘cracker’. No one’s behavior that night was exemplary.
It’s me! I’m coming out of hiding for this one. Thanks for the comments all. It’s very interesting to see the varied responses especially on such a touchy subject as race. The only thing I’ll say for right now is that there is a very significant differance than between the “N” word (used prior to and during lynchings and as cops hosed down civil rights activists, etc.) and “cracker” (used in ’70s sitcoms along with honky, used in early English to describe an obnoxious person, used by president Jimmy Carter jokingly, Georgia is proudly known as the “Cracker State,” and the word mostly refers to “whip crackers” who drove cattle back in the day). Thanks again!
Actually, the actor who played to Johnny Cochran parody, also played a guest in a party scene in a Seinfeld episode from the first or second season. SO, not only did they have vey few Black characters, but they reused the same African American actor!
Just wanted to let you know I linked to your blog in my column on CBSNews.com today. Thanks!
If you want to take a look, here’s the link: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/11/20/blogophile/main2201947.shtml
On Michael Richards’ Racial Tirade
For the record, I’m an equal portion blend of African American and
Choctaw Indian, so I have the unique perspective of having gotten the
American “stick” twice! And, I’m going to use my 12 seconds of fame
to micro-essay the “Michael Richards Incident” as I see it:
1. The African American men should NOT have heckled Richards…that
was unprofessional, and if they were not enjoying the show, the men
should have simply requested refunds, which I’m certain would have been
If this had been comedians Michael Collier and Steve Harvey in Richards’
place, this incident would either have not occurred, or Michael or Steve
would have handled it as I have seen both of them do so before, and win!
2. On the other hand, Michael Richards, as far as I know, is JEWISH
(NOT WHITE, as depicted by America’s standards), as was *ALL* of the
Seinfeld cast, if memory serves correctly. So, as a Jew, and given the
Jewish holocaust history, as well as its experiences in the United States,
I’m genuinely perplexed as to where the hell Richards gets off sounding
like a white Southern hood-donned KKK racist from the grand old USA?
Interesting…I have an answer, but that’s another issue. No, hell, I’ll say
Far too many nationalities who can be deemed and accepted as “white”
from a cosmetic appearance in our wonderful “Malace In Wonderland”
society, still do so with complete fervor. Even some African Americans
are guilty of having a history of doing so when this cosmetic feature was
readily available to and suited them. And, perhaps, some still do today.
3. From the video, I did not see or hear the African Americans calling
Richards racial epithets that opened and led to Richards’ tirade. Per my
viewer, they simply stated that he was not funny…hardly a racial epithet.
However, they did react with racial epithets *after* Richards had used
the N-word several times.
I hope that Richards and others, whom I assume, are of the “white”
persuasion spewing their racial venom in response to this incident, as
well as any other nationalities (African Americans, Hispanic Americans,
etc.) included, who are equally racist, DON’T believe in God, Heaven or
Because, to believe in them, will mean that they can STOP assuming,
accepting and lying to themselves that most of their ancestors (including
their dead racist mommas and poppas) are singing gloriously to angelic
harps in Heaven, and otherwise accept the Biblical FACT that most of
their ancestors are, indeed, already on fire and are, not burning, but
ever roasting in Hell for all eternity.
America’s past, present and future, as a whole and in my opinion, is best
analogically described as an insane patient on a psychiatrist’s couch
where the doctor has exhausted all avenues of medication and is now
simply collecting the patient’s insurance for as long as the insurance
company keeps paying. Unfortunately, neither patient nor psychiatrist is
remotely aware that both medication and insurance is about to come to
an abrupt end.
The comments by Richards were sad and pathetic. Please don’t think that his thoughts are shared by other white people. Most white people don’t ever see color, but the media loves to overexpose the small fraction of disgusting racists.
Thanks for taking me off center stage; racists like Michael just don’t understand that I proved a black man can’t get justice in this country!
Not that I approve of what he said, but there is a big difference between Gibson and Richards. Gibson was drunk (no excuse), pulled over, arrested, calling a cop a jew and going off on an anti-semitism rant (to a government official).
Richards was attempting to perform as an artist in a theatre. No matter how idiotic he was, artists are given great latitude and allowed to push the envelope of decency without any repurcussions. Lenny Bruce fought this fight decades ago in order to allow all the comics (no matter what ethnicity) to say what they want as art.
Look at the garbage the National Endowment for the Arts puts out funded by taxpayer dollars. That should upset you more than one moron spewing a bunch of racial garbage on his own dime.
No one has shown what these gentlemen said prior to the rant by Richards. I know the tape does not show what they said prior to his infamous “fork” line. What were they doing to set him off? The hecklers obviously hurt him very deeply to send him off the deep end. If they did not like the show prior to the rant, they should have left and asked for their money back rather than heckle him and selfishly ruin the show for everyone in the audience. The hecklers were drinking (They said they were ordering drinks when he went off.) Has anyone asked if they were intoxicated or in full control of their faculties when they started heckling. It’s too easy (and Richards made it that way) to believe this whole incident was Richards fault.
Richards does have the freedom of speech to say what he wants even if he does make an ass of himself. The audience members were free to leave (and get their money back), which they did.
Would any of us be complaining if he took out his anger on another race. I doubt it. And now they want money from him. If that is the case, then no artist will ever be able to perform again.
The culture of victimization must end. Do not empower an idiot like Michael Richards. Ignore him. He is a moron. Michael Richards can not injure you unless you let him. His words have no credibility unless you let them.
Do not criticize him so easily before you take a hard look at yourself. All of us are discriminated against no matter what race we are, and yes, all of us discrimnate against others whether we want to admit it or not – whether it is thoughts or actions. The important thing is that you recognize your own biases and better yourself.
There are so many more aggregious examples of racial discrimination that could be addressed rather than waste our energy on a stupid comic.
I’ve seen a have a dozen or so top name comics live and pretty much everyone of the offended me in one way or another. Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, George Carlin, Sam Kinneson, and Chris Rock were all pretty offensive. Richard Prior and Jerry Seinfeld are the only two comics I have seen that did not offend me. But the one thing they all do is make you think. It should occur to you that that is precisely what they are trying to do to you. They are trying to tweak your sensibility and make us laugh about our own failings. Chris and Robin do it very well.
Michael Richards was probably trying to do the same thing and failed miserably. He will be paying the price for the rest of his life.
The first place to start to remedy the situation is with yourself. Vow to never use the word again. Vow to never let the word affect you again. Go back and watch Richard Pryor talk about his trip to Africa (Live on Sunset Strip I think)and how he felt. It brings a tear to my eye every time I see it. Rise above it all cause it ain’t nothin.
PS. Remove all the epsiodes and destroy them…? Well then, we’ll have to destroy pretty much everything. Should we apply that remedy to Chris Rock for his own racial insensitive comments. Separate the actor from the character and the show. Michael Richards is not Kramer and he is not Seinfeld. He is an idiot that happened to do an exceptional job on a television show… that’s all.
OK go ahead and rip me now. It won’t bother me because I will have made you think. (See above in reference to empowering other’s words). If you take an honest look at yourself and your own biases, I will be happy for you no matter what you think about me.
Peace and Love….
OK, IT WASN’T NICE, HE ACTUALLY LOOKED LIKE HE WAS HAVING A BREAK DOWN. BUT MY PROBLEM IS…….WHY IS IT OK THEY KEPT YELLING AND CALLING HIM”CRACKER”, THAT’S NOT RIGHT EITHER, FOLKS!!
People, please quit saying Jewish people are not white. Just because the phrase goes Jews and Gentiles does not mean Jews are not caucasians. Jews are white people. There was a time the Irish was considered not white, but they are too! check the link below:
I know some might be thinking WASP = White Anglo Saxon Protestants, but lets be realistic in our comprehension. Does any european have African ancestry in there biological make-up except for stating mankind began in Africa? google Richard Leaky (anthropologist) // I will let you answer or research that yourselves.
Enough of whose white and Jewish…*smile*
On to Micheal Richards rant:
Seriously Karen, or anyone else, the African-American gentlemen did not stoop to name calling until on the way out the door. They were civil and ONLY ONE told Micheal Richards what he was saying was uncalled for. But Mr. Richards kept with the supremacy hatred jargon, and only then, did ONE of them use the word “cracker.”