The worst thing a performance artist can be is completely out of control & that’s what sucks about Michael Richards. His job as a comedian is to deliver his jokes with confidence & grace & to trust that his audiences will get him & laugh. Last month, more than anything, he proved that he is not a master of his craft. Racism has always been used to hide paranoia, insecurity & rage. My guess? Richards feared he wasn’t funny/skilled/powerful enough to hold the crowd’s attention so singled out so-called hecklers to hide his own self-doubt. "Look at the n******!" he shouts, pointing like a rabid tattle-teller. It’s a diversion. People call other people names to protect & empower themselves. We learned this tactic in junior high. It backfired BIG TIME this time.
I think the outburst was a result of his secret (?) frustration with Black male comedians in general. "Kramer" is no longer on the air but Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, Bernie Mack, Cedric the Entertainer, Martin Lawrence, etc, continue to make headlines, star in big-budget films, produce their own TV shows, win Academy awards & host Academy award ceremonies. Maybe Richards envies Chapelle (the richest “beeyatch” of them all).
Are we really surprised? Michael Richards is a Hollywood product & Hollywood hates blackness. It is now formulaic to kill Black male bodies first in mainstream blockbusters (I call it "Crispus Attucks FX"). Worse, Black bodies are often the most mutilated, humiliated dead-count extras featured on the big screen. It's clear that Hollywood, like Richards, doesn't think “Afro-Americans” (see Letterman) are the target audience for these movies. Even all the media coverage of this incident is primarily for white entertainment. With all the different versions of the clip on YouTube, it must be cathartic for some folks to watch a white man call other(ed) folks out their name.
His apology on Lettermen can kiss my N-word ass. Let’s see Richards try his routine out at Amateur Night at the Apollo!
Thanks for reading my belated rant.
Take Care of Each Other, Lenelle