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    Nov 30, 2006

    the N word

    Careful where you step with this one, it could get messy. Holy poop on a stick, Mickey Richards, where did that come from?! I think I'd have to agree with George Lopez (I think it was him) that said the notorious Cosmo Kramer had no business being on the comedy stage in the first place. He's a funny actor, if not misunderstood ("Everybody stop what you're doing and take a look at the insensitive man!" - Michael Richards in "So I married an Axe Murderer"), but a stand up comedian he apparently is not. It is very plain that he has never been heckled, and furthermore has not uttered a retort at said hecklers that wasn't scripted and part of a sitcom. Yes, what he said was totally out of line and inexcusable, but so is the behavior of one Reverend Jesse Jackson.

    Mr. Richards was extended what appeared to be an olive branch by Rev. Jackson when he was invited on the Reverend's weekly Sunday radio broadcast. Mr. Richards accepted the invitation and (by the count of the Associated Press) publicly apologized for the 47th time. Rev. Jackson then takes part in a press conference the following day making the noble statement, alongside other noteworthy (if not upstanding) members of the black community, that all people of all races and creeds should forcibly remove the derogatory and inflammatory word from their collective vocabularies. Bravo! Then the Rev. Jackson, after having sat with Mr. Richards and hearing his reiterated apology (in person and broadcasting it for all listeners to hear), comes forward and suggests that the black community show there contempt of Mr. Richards actions by boycotting the purchase of the seventh season of Seinfeld on DVD. What exactly is Jesse Jackson a reverend of? "Love thy brother and pray for those who persecute you." "Do not forgive them seven times, but seventy times seven." What message is he getting across as an example to others?

    That said I'm wholeheartedly behind the idea of removing the word completely. I do agree with Rev. J.J. in his reply to the reporter's question of this proposed course of action infringing on someone's freedom of speech, "The word is unprotected" by that constitutional amendment. I believe the persons that originally penned that notion to parchment would also agree if living in this day and age. I do think it terribly sad that it took a caucasian celebrity of sorts to open eyes and ears to such an idea. Why the NAACP couldn't come up with this sooner, I'll never know. I can guess it would have something to do with the NAACP so hard for someone to sue and bicker with when they could be serving a much greater purpose of being an example themselves. They could be taking a stand against the hateful words and attitudes overall, from within as well as without. While insisting on "equal treatment" and fending off discrimination, they could be reprimanding some of those less savory of their protectorate for the unequal treatment and discrimination they show in "music" and lifestyle. There again, it's just a guess...

    3 comments:

    the wolfman said...

    It just so happens that the title of "Reverend" is honorary in this particular case. It was not, in fact, earned.

    Scruluce said...

    Good to know. Also disturbing to know that such a title is up for honorary hand out. You having said that reminds me of another that held (albeit probably self proclaimed) the same honorary title. The name escapes me at the moment. He went to school with us for a few years. He was a class or two behind us. I'll think of it sooner or later.

    preemptive warrior said...

    The biggest story coming out of this is not Richards's poor use of words, but of the reaction to it by the "black community." Why did it take thirty years and a white comedian to utter the supposed granddaddy of them all when it comes to racial epithets to get a movement going to remove the word from vocabularies? Rappers and others use the word and degrade themselves on a daily basis, which is a much more serious situation than ONE famous comedian/former TV star saying it. I believe that we should be able to say anything anytime,
    but if Jackson wants to use his considerable power to actually, you know, DO SOMETHING POSITIVE for once, then I'm all for it. However, I must question his motivation here, because as I mentioned before, the word has been in circulation as an "empowering" utterance for decades.

    I highly suggest the following book, which examines the numerous problems in the "black community": Black, Rednecks, & White Liberals by Thomas Sowell