“Once the word comes out of your mouth and you don’t happen to be African-American, then you have a whole lot of explaining,” comedian Paul Rodriguez, who was at the Laugh Factory during Richards’ performance, told CNN. “Freedom of speech has its limitations and I think Michael Richards found those limitations.”
While I think Richards' comments were totally out of line, I also disagree with this whole paragraph. If a word is wrong, it's wrong for everybody, not just for certain races.
And while Rodriguez is right freedom of speech has its limitations, they pertain to libel, slander, public endangerment, etc and not to saying things others might find offensive. Actually protecting the right to say things other people find offensive is basic to the whole concept of freedom of speech.
It would be better to say that speech has consequences, and Richards has found those consequences.