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Michael Richards / “Kramer’s” Racist Tirade Should Open Blacks’ Eyes, Leaders Say November 25, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in African Americans, Black, Blacks, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, News, nigger, Racism, racism and discrimination, Racist, White.

– In the aftermath of the media frenzy surrounding actor-comedian Michael Richards’ use of a racial slur, black leaders from across the political spectrum are calling on African Americans to reflect on their own use of the controversial word.

During a standup comedy performance in Los Angeles Nov. 17, Richards, best known for playing Cosmo Kramer on the long-running “Seinfeld” sitcom, launched into a tirade against black hecklers in the audience, repeatedly using the word “nigger.”

After a video clip of the performance surfaced on the Internet, Richards came under fire from black leaders and media commentators. He used a Nov. 20 appearance on CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” to apologize, saying he was “deeply, deeply sorry” and adding, “I am not a racist.”

Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and longtime liberal activist, told the Chicago Defender Wednesday that Richards’ “racist rant” was not the big issue raised by the controversy.

“The bigger issue here,” Jackson told the black newspaper, “is that we must challenge all media to stop saying in the records [we play] and in the videos the word nigger. We must move our young people from using the word nigger.”

Jackson said African Americans “can’t go from protesting derogation to getting rich off of self-derogation.”

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, founder and president of the conservative Brother Organization of a New Destiny (BOND) and harsh critic of Jackson, also criticized what he called a “racial double-standard” that resulted in the backlash aimed at Richards.

“If the word ‘nigger’ is so offensive and shocking to blacks, then why do black people themselves continue to use this word?” he asked in a release Wednesday.

“Black people cannot continue using this word, yet label others as ‘racists’ when they do the same in a fit of anger, as Michael Richards did,” Peterson said. “By not allowing whites to express themselves, it only drives the problem underground and forces people to keep these emotions bottled-up.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton, another frequent target of Peterson’s criticism, also criticized blacks for using the word themselves. In a radio interview Tuesday with WVON-AM, Sharpton called the word “a bullet” and asked how blacks could criticize Richards when many of them use the word themselves, according to the Defender.

While the men agreed that the incident requires African Americans to examine their own use of the slur, they disagreed on how it should affect Richards’ future.

Both Jackson and Sharpton said Richards’ apology wasn’t enough and urged him to apologize directly to African Americans. Jackson told the Defender that Richards should “face stern rejection” from the entertainment industry.

In his statement, Peterson disagreed, saying Richards is “already paying the price for his angry outburst” and criticized leaders like Sharpton and Jackson for not accepting his apology.

C.a.r.d {Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination} Source: CNSNews.com

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