Tuesday, November 21, 2006 1:48:15 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
So, what was the point of prompting this by posting it?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 6:17:55 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
The white man is after Dare!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006 8:02:37 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Wonder if that guy is going to apologize for calling Kramer a white a** cracker?
Wednesday, November 22, 2006 12:11:20 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Wednesday, November 22, 2006 3:30:08 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
What a strange incident!
Was he drunk?
And what was wrong with the black guy ??
Wednesday, November 22, 2006 9:36:34 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
You know what is even worse than the fact he said all those racist remarks? The fact that the guys that he was talking to are suing him. They said it hurt. Well, yeah it hurts, I'm sure, but they are just cashing in. anybody that can quantify emotional pain in dollar amounts is greedy. This country is not going to be able to move out of racial tensions if every repercussion for intolerance is fiscal. As a software developer, I'm not supposed to fix problems. I'm supposed to fix the problems that cause other problems. Instead of the media focusing on the fact that he said bad things, they should focus on why racial slurs invoke emotion and focus on the minorities that are breaking stereotypes.
Thursday, November 23, 2006 6:03:20 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Totally agree with Tim and Logical.
Friday, November 24, 2006 10:21:37 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Tim, I think you are missing the point here. Michael Richards was interrupted during his set, and he responded with utterly offensive language (in California, it could even be constituted as a hate crime). It was the verbal equivalent of using a sledgehammer to kill an ant. You can call it "cashing in" if you like but the fact remains in the 21st century, such language should not be used by anybody on anybody. You say that every repercussion for intolerance should not be fiscal, then how do you want this particular issue to be resolved? Should Richards invite the black guys who he threatened with lynching (the "sticking a fork in your ass" statement) over to his house for tea and biscuits or what? He made a bad error in judgement and said things that were over the line, so he should be made to pay for them.

And Logical, in no way can you equate being called a "cracker-ass" with being called a "nigger". There's no comparison, and anyone who has grandparents who fought and died for the right to vote in this country, who fought for the right to be able to receive service at a lunch counter, who were set upon by dogs, by firehoses, by Klansmen, for trying to make their civil society "live up to the true meaning of its creed, that all men are created equal", will and should know that to be the case.
Jimoh Alabi
Sunday, November 26, 2006 9:50:46 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)

First of all, don't take my comments as in any way condoning Richards actions, or the victims reasoning for being offended. Knowing that people actually think the way that Richards thinks makes me sick to my stomach.

That being said, fiscal repercussions do not in anyway match the crime. The fact that the victims are going after money makes me think they are greedy. We are a sue happy nation and it is the root of many of our problems (like health care)

Maybe it's not a horrible idea to have Richards invite these guys over for tea and biscuits. Maybe he is just intolerant based on ignorance and a mixed culture social event would be good for him. This event should be a wake up call that we have a long way to go and the media should treat this as an opportunity to highlight minorities that are breaking stereotypes. Racism comes from not understanding that racial stereotypes don't globally apply. Education is the answer, not suing.
Monday, November 27, 2006 11:19:30 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Jimoh, you state the following:

[And Logical, in no way can you equate being called a "cracker-ass" with being called a "nigger".]

Seems like you are attempting to impose a double standard here. Could you tell us exactly why these things do not equate. Remember that our white ancestors also fought for a number of noble causes.

Thursday, November 30, 2006 4:11:35 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Tim and Logical: thank you for responding. Let me try and explain myself further.

Tim, I understood and understand that you do not condone what Richards did. And, I actually agree with you. The United States is the world's center for unnecessary litigation -- remember the case of the woman who sued McDonald's because she got burnt when she placed a cup of their coffee between her thighs as she was driving and she claimed that they didn't warn her that it would be hot! It *is* the cause of many of the nation's problems.

I cannot hold brief for the gentlemen who are making a case against Mr. Richards; however, I rather think that in this case 1) they are entitled to sue him since what he did in California is a hate crime if I understand the law correctly (IANAL) and 2) I guess they feel that hitting him in the pocketbook is the only way he will really get to feel remorse. As Sinbad [1] said, for him to have gone on to David Letterman to apologize, when he could have just as easily sought out the men personally, was a punk out.

The "intolerant based on ignorance" argument does not hold up because of one thing: Richards went on the Rev. Jesse Jackson's radio program, and was later interviewed by CNN, and he said that he had never been down that path before. Question: if he had never had any intolerant thoughts before, why did they suddenly come out of him in that way? I'm not a Bible scholar but I do seem to remember one phrase from there that is relevant to this situation, from Matthew 12:34: "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh". In other words, you probably could not be expressing racist speech if you don't already have racist thoughts/attitudes in your head. Why didn't he call those guys "bums" or "dummies" or "stupid cheapsters" or anything else that did *not* refer to their race? Why go there? For him to now attempt to retcon and say that he was "in character" is foolish IMO.

Finally, from what I hear from those guys, they, too, would be more than happy to get their apology in person and to their face. I am sure that if that were to happen the whole talk of lawsuits and compensation would disappear. After all, Richards has apologized to the Rev. Jesse Jackson, to the Rev. Al Sharpton, to everybody and his dog -- everybody except the actual people he personally offended. Maybe he ought to start with them before trying to "reach out to the Afro-American leadership" (as if there is such a thing any more).

Logical: calling a white person a "cracker-ass" is to calling a black person a "nigger", as hitting a person with a feather is to hitting a person with a Mack truck. Read a book called "Nigger: The Strange Case of a Troublesome Word" [2], and you will begin to understand why. The fact that our white ancestors fought for noble causes is beyond the point. I seem to remember that these same white ancestors (or at least, a large portion of them) were the same ones who instituted and maintained an insiduous system of trans-Atlantic slaving for 400 years; they kept up a system of American laws known collectively as "Jim Crow" that held black people back for decades; they lynched, killed, maimed, jailed and otherwise oppressed people simply because of the color of their skin; and they also did not abolish laws against interracial marriage in South Carolina until 1998, and in Alabama until 2000 [3]. These same white ancestors were the ones who helped make the N word such a hateful, incidenary, totally negative word, one which still stings and causes anger, embarrassment and shame.

One more thing: the problem with using racial epithets is that you then have to start proving that you are not a racist. Look at Mel Gibson as a very recent example. The only positive I see from l'affaire Richards is, at least he wasn't blaming his tirade on alcohol or anything. I hope that Michael Richards does the right thing, seeks out those men that he personally insulted, apologizes to them, and then gets the help that he needs to get to the root of his problem (which, thankfully, he has acknowledged that he has). And I also hope that one day soon, we can interact in this country without having people hold our race or our ethnicity or our religion or our sexual orientation -- or anything that makes us different from our neighbors -- over our heads.

References (replace all _ with slashes):
[1] www.cnn.com_2006_SHOWBIZ_TV_11_26_richards.ap_index.html
Scroll down to the link that says "Comedian Sinbad was at the
comedy club"

[2] www.amazon.com_Nigger-Strange-Career-Troublesome-Word_dp_0375421726

[3] www.answers.com_topic_miscegenation
Jimoh Alabi
Thursday, November 30, 2006 7:22:27 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)

Let me suggest a book for you..."Introduction to Logic" by Copi and Cohen (ISBN: 0130749214). The authors show the logical fallacy in statements like the following:

[calling a white person a "cracker-ass" is to calling a black person a "nigger", as hitting a person with a feather is to hitting a person with a Mack truck]

As far as I know, they have't modified/updated the book to include the "it's a black thing, you wouldn't understand" exclusion.

Also, your diatribe about how some dead white man done done you wrong has been been used ad nauseam. We are tired of hearing it, pleae stop.
Thursday, November 30, 2006 11:11:52 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)

You are falling into a logic trap yourself; you are making an assumption that I am black. Also, you assume that "some dead white man has done me wrong", and that that is the reason why I wrote what I wrote. (And since what I wrote was neither inflammatory, nor meant in anger, nor abusive, nor bitter, it cannot correctly be called a "diatribe", unless you meant it in the archaic sense of the word [1].) And you know what they say about people who assume.

Also, I hope that when you say "WE are tired of hearing it" you are using the royal "we", because the last time I checked, you are not representing an entire community of people but merely yourself.

In any event, I promise I will be on the look out for the book you recommended, if you promise you will be on the look out for the book I recommended. Deal?

[1] Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: Definition of "diatribe"
Jimoh Alabi
Friday, December 1, 2006 3:39:46 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)

You are correct on all your points, in your latest post. You have yourself a deal. I will do some reading before I post again.
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