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Kramer. The man, they myth the racisit?

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Postby FBBVirgin » Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:48 pm

Karoz...You argument is decent. I don't think using the word "nigger" is racist in itself. It's a derogatory term, but I do not think it automatically warrants the title of racist.

However, I fully believe Richards is a racist due to the fact that he threatened the men by bringing up lynchings. That is the part in which he clearly crossed the lines.

Comics get heckled all the time. Audience members have every right to not enjoy a comic. They paid admission. If they want to sit there and talk during his performance, they have that right. They were simply being honest by stating that they did not find him funny.

Everyone has some level of bias. When that bias results in threats and derogatory statements, then that bias turns to racism.

Michael Richards is a racist, and I hope he finds it difficult to find work from here on out
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Postby deacon » Wed Nov 22, 2006 4:29 pm

Karoz wrote:Honestly, I don't think he is particularly racist. Now, before you hit the reply button, let me explain.

As Richards was performing his act, a group of guys up on the balcony were talking very loudly while Richards was trying to perform, they were making it difficult for him to do his act, and they were being very rude. This made Richards very angry, but he tried to ignore it.

Then, when a member of that group interrupted Richards and said "My friend doesn't think you are very funny,", that's when he lost it. He was so angry at that individual, that he wanted to insult that individual in the worst way possible. Since that individual happened to be African-American, the worst possible insult would be to call him the N word, and to make fun of his race.

The comments were horribly distasteful, and they should not have been said. However, I do not think that he is a racist person, he was just looking to insult that particular person, in the most hurtful way that he could.


So let's understand what you are trying to say here. He wanted to insult a single individual and you think the best way to do that is to throw out a blanket insult to that individuals entire race??? WTF - You can't really believe that can you.

A person's character is embodied by their actions! If you are not gay then you are not going to have sex with another man under any circumstance. If you are not a thief you are not going to steal under any circumstance. If you are not a racist then you will not go on a racially charged diatribe under any circumstances.

No matter what you want to believe, you are what you do. This is like guys that beat women and then say 'I am a really nice guy, but they make me so angry that I lose control'. You know why cause you are a woman beater! Crackheads are notorius for being in that state of denial - I'm not addicted I just like to forget about my problems and all the while the problems are being cause by smoking crack!

We all revert to our basic sensibilities when we are under pressure. You can act like you are self-confident under normal conditions but as soon as enough pressure gets applied you will choke and wilt because you don't really believe in yourself. You can walk around and act like you are not a racist but as soon as enough pressure is applied those deep rooted idealogies will come out as a mechinism to deflect blame.
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Postby knapplc » Wed Nov 22, 2006 4:40 pm

Good post, Deacon. Under pressure our true selves do tend to come out. I can tell you that under NO circumstances would I ever go on an anti-Semitic diatribe (Mel Gibson) and under NO circumstances would I ever go on a racial diatribe (Kramer).

I think there are varying degrees of racists, but if you are a racist, you ARE a racist.
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Postby stomperrob » Wed Nov 22, 2006 5:03 pm

deacon wrote:
Karoz wrote:Honestly, I don't think he is particularly racist. Now, before you hit the reply button, let me explain.

As Richards was performing his act, a group of guys up on the balcony were talking very loudly while Richards was trying to perform, they were making it difficult for him to do his act, and they were being very rude. This made Richards very angry, but he tried to ignore it.

Then, when a member of that group interrupted Richards and said "My friend doesn't think you are very funny,", that's when he lost it. He was so angry at that individual, that he wanted to insult that individual in the worst way possible. Since that individual happened to be African-American, the worst possible insult would be to call him the N word, and to make fun of his race.

The comments were horribly distasteful, and they should not have been said. However, I do not think that he is a racist person, he was just looking to insult that particular person, in the most hurtful way that he could.


So let's understand what you are trying to say here. He wanted to insult a single individual and you think the best way to do that is to throw out a blanket insult to that individuals entire race??? WTF - You can't really believe that can you.

A person's character is embodied by their actions! If you are not gay then you are not going to have sex with another man under any circumstance. If you are not a thief you are not going to steal under any circumstance. If you are not a racist then you will not go on a racially charged diatribe under any circumstances.

No matter what you want to believe, you are what you do. This is like guys that beat women and then say 'I am a really nice guy, but they make me so angry that I lose control'. You know why cause you are a woman beater! Crackheads are notorius for being in that state of denial - I'm not addicted I just like to forget about my problems and all the while the problems are being cause by smoking crack!

We all revert to our basic sensibilities when we are under pressure. You can act like you are self-confident under normal conditions but as soon as enough pressure gets applied you will choke and wilt because you don't really believe in yourself. You can walk around and act like you are not a racist but as soon as enough pressure is applied those deep rooted idealogies will come out as a mechinism to deflect blame.


Good points! What happened to Kramer is not unusual - comedians get heckled all the time and they are used to it - in fact the vast majority of them have snappy comebacks at the ready to get back at the hecklers in a humourous fashion that is part of their act, they don't flip out and lose control.
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Postby Karoz » Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:08 pm

deacon wrote:
Karoz wrote:Honestly, I don't think he is particularly racist. Now, before you hit the reply button, let me explain.

As Richards was performing his act, a group of guys up on the balcony were talking very loudly while Richards was trying to perform, they were making it difficult for him to do his act, and they were being very rude. This made Richards very angry, but he tried to ignore it.

Then, when a member of that group interrupted Richards and said "My friend doesn't think you are very funny,", that's when he lost it. He was so angry at that individual, that he wanted to insult that individual in the worst way possible. Since that individual happened to be African-American, the worst possible insult would be to call him the N word, and to make fun of his race.

The comments were horribly distasteful, and they should not have been said. However, I do not think that he is a racist person, he was just looking to insult that particular person, in the most hurtful way that he could.


So let's understand what you are trying to say here. He wanted to insult a single individual and you think the best way to do that is to throw out a blanket insult to that individuals entire race??? WTF - You can't really believe that can you.

A person's character is embodied by their actions! If you are not gay then you are not going to have sex with another man under any circumstance. If you are not a thief you are not going to steal under any circumstance. If you are not a racist then you will not go on a racially charged diatribe under any circumstances.

No matter what you want to believe, you are what you do. This is like guys that beat women and then say 'I am a really nice guy, but they make me so angry that I lose control'. You know why cause you are a woman beater! Crackheads are notorius for being in that state of denial - I'm not addicted I just like to forget about my problems and all the while the problems are being cause by smoking crack!

We all revert to our basic sensibilities when we are under pressure. You can act like you are self-confident under normal conditions but as soon as enough pressure gets applied you will choke and wilt because you don't really believe in yourself. You can walk around and act like you are not a racist but as soon as enough pressure is applied those deep rooted idealogies will come out as a mechinism to deflect blame.


You make a very valid point, that the true self of an individual often comes out under pressure. Before I present a counter-argument, I would like to point out that I am not saying that he isn't a racist, I am saying that he is not necessarily a racist just because of the tirade.

Now, first:
deacon wrote:He wanted to insult a single individual and you think the best way to do that is to throw out a blanket insult to that individuals entire race??? WTF - You can't really believe that can you.


Let me rephrase my comment. Richards was very angered by the individual, so his intention was to make the individual feel just as angry. Since he did not know anything about the individual, he used an insult that is widely known, an insult that was guaranteed to anger the individual. Calling the individual the N word, and insulting his race, was sure to make the individual enraged.

deacon wrote:A person's character is embodied by their actions! If you are not gay then you are not going to have sex with another man under any circumstance. If you are not a thief you are not going to steal under any circumstance. If you are not a racist then you will not go on a racially charged diatribe under any circumstances.


Racism is very evident in our culture. Around the time that Richards was growing up, in the 50's and 60's, blacks were viewed much differently. I am sure that Richards was aware of this issue, and that he was very aware of how insulting the issue of race was to African-Americans.

So, again, that night, when he went on that tirade, his intentions weren't to put down the entire black race, but instead he intended to anger a single individual. Since he did not know anything about that individual, he sputtered out racist terms towards the individual, because he knew that this would anger him. Growing up when he did, he knew very well that blacks often get very angry when race is brought up as an issue, so he knew that this tactic would work. So, if he is guilty of anything, it is being highly insensitive, but not of being racist.

deacon wrote:We all revert to our basic sensibilities when we are under pressure. You can act like you are self-confident under normal conditions but as soon as enough pressure gets applied you will choke and wilt because you don't really believe in yourself. You can walk around and act like you are not a racist but as soon as enough pressure is applied those deep rooted idealogies will come out as a mechinism to deflect blame.


Again, I hate to repeat myself, but this is the core issue. When he was growing up, racism was still an ideology to a good portion of Americans. There is a good chance that he was around people who made these ideals their own, and who made their hate for blacks known. So, I'm sure the impression of racism is in the back of his mind, as it is in the mind of many today, but it doesn't mean that he supports those ideals.

He didn't go on a tirade because he hated blacks, he did it because he hated that individual, and he knew that the only sure way of angering that individual was to bring up the issue of race right in front of him.

I think you understand what I am getting at. Also, let me make it clear that I think it is distasteful that he used the issue of race to try and anger this individual. He should have either shrugged off the incident, or have found some other way to make the individual angry.
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Postby FBBVirgin » Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:30 pm

Wow, you are really going out of your way to justify his actions.

We do not know this man personally, nor do we know anyone close to him. All we know are the given facts, which are:

He used the term "nigger" in a derogatory way

He brought up lynching as a way to threaten said individual

His apologize was scripted, vague and weak

With that evidence, I would have to say he is a racist
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Postby eman » Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:55 pm

Ah, yes, thats very reasonable FBBVirgin, label a guy a racist based on one comment he made while greatly enraged.

Come on, give me a break. Saying something that is racist does not mean you are a racist. Its an awful thing to do, of course, but it was a mistake...I honestly think he just intended to insult the individual and in his rage made the mistake of taking it out on race, since that was the most vulnerable facet of said individual that he could attack. Just my 2 cents.
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Postby deacon » Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:22 am

Karoz wrote:
You make a very valid point, that the true self of an individual often comes out under pressure. Before I present a counter-argument, I would like to point out that I am not saying that he isn't a racist, I am saying that he is not necessarily a racist just because of the tirade.

Now, first:
deacon wrote:He wanted to insult a single individual and you think the best way to do that is to throw out a blanket insult to that individuals entire race??? WTF - You can't really believe that can you.


Let me rephrase my comment. Richards was very angered by the individual, so his intention was to make the individual feel just as angry. Since he did not know anything about the individual, he used an insult that is widely known, an insult that was guaranteed to anger the individual. Calling the individual the N word, and insulting his race, was sure to make the individual enraged.

deacon wrote:A person's character is embodied by their actions! If you are not gay then you are not going to have sex with another man under any circumstance. If you are not a thief you are not going to steal under any circumstance. If you are not a racist then you will not go on a racially charged diatribe under any circumstances.


Racism is very evident in our culture. Around the time that Richards was growing up, in the 50's and 60's, blacks were viewed much differently. I am sure that Richards was aware of this issue, and that he was very aware of how insulting the issue of race was to African-Americans.

So, again, that night, when he went on that tirade, his intentions weren't to put down the entire black race, but instead he intended to anger a single individual. Since he did not know anything about that individual, he sputtered out racist terms towards the individual, because he knew that this would anger him. Growing up when he did, he knew very well that blacks often get very angry when race is brought up as an issue, so he knew that this tactic would work. So, if he is guilty of anything, it is being highly insensitive, but not of being racist.

deacon wrote:We all revert to our basic sensibilities when we are under pressure. You can act like you are self-confident under normal conditions but as soon as enough pressure gets applied you will choke and wilt because you don't really believe in yourself. You can walk around and act like you are not a racist but as soon as enough pressure is applied those deep rooted idealogies will come out as a mechinism to deflect blame.


Again, I hate to repeat myself, but this is the core issue. When he was growing up, racism was still an ideology to a good portion of Americans. There is a good chance that he was around people who made these ideals their own, and who made their hate for blacks known. So, I'm sure the impression of racism is in the back of his mind, as it is in the mind of many today, but it doesn't mean that he supports those ideals.

He didn't go on a tirade because he hated blacks, he did it because he hated that individual, and he knew that the only sure way of angering that individual was to bring up the issue of race right in front of him.

I think you understand what I am getting at. Also, let me make it clear that I think it is distasteful that he used the issue of race to try and anger this individual. He should have either shrugged off the incident, or have found some other way to make the individual angry.



Well I am glad that you apparently know this man to the extent that you can say with confidence what his intent was and what his rational of thinking truly is.

Where I come from (read earth) if you want to insult an individual you focus on an aspect of that individual like their appearance, or their clothes or the way they talk or dress etc. Not rant about past deep seated atrocities laced with well known derogatory epitaphs.

So if someone that grew up in the 40's was angered by a Jewish stranger then it would be understandable for them to spew comments about the holocost and call them well known Jewish derogatory slurs?

What you are saying is due to the period one grows up in it can be rationalized if their behavior reflects accepted norms from the past whenever they get upset.
So you would understand for example if your grandfather started protesting against women's right to vote if his candidate didn't get elected because in the period of time that he grew up they didn't have that right, etc, etc.

I could go on and on but suffice it to say, you call it like you see it.

I see a closet racist that unwittingly fell out of that closet when confronted with a pressure situation.

I find it incredibly astonishing that you can actually formulate this line of thinking and defend it like he is being made a victim.

And I think you are insulting everyone over the age of 50 by saying that what happened when they grew up should excuse socially improper behavior today.
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Postby deacon » Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:38 am

eman wrote:Come on, give me a break. Saying something that is racist does not mean you are a racist. Its an awful thing to do, of course, but it was a mistake...I honestly think he just intended to insult the individual and in his rage made the mistake of taking it out on race, since that was the most vulnerable facet of said individual that he could attack. Just my 2 cents.


What???

That's like saying just because you set stuff on fire doesn't make you an arsonist.

Just because I smoke crack doesn't make me a crackhead.

Do you see how flawed your 2 cents sounds?

If racist garbage spews out of you (for over 2 minutes mind you and in public) then it has to be in you to begin with. I can't get in a certain mood and start spewing hateful garbage if it wasn't something that was already in me to begin with. It would never come out because it wasn't in me to begin with.

Do you honestly think this is the first time that he has thought about blacks in this manner? He may have repressed these hateful ideologies but they were in there long before this incident. It just took this circumstance for it to come out.

It's called showing your true colors!
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Postby lmcjaho » Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:41 am

Personally, unless he decides to run for political office or something I just don't give a crap either way. Same goes for Mel Gibson.

These guys are actors/comedians - what difference does it make one way or another to the world at large if they are racist or not?
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