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TV's Kramer apologizes for racial slurs

On Friday, former Seinfeld star Michael Richards spewed racial obscenities to hecklers as he performed stand-up at Los Angeles comedy club The Laugh Factory. By Saturday, video footage of the actor's breakdown was all over the Internet.

The comic actor also performed Saturday at the comedy club, but gave no comment to CNN and other news outlets. Friend Jerry Seinfeld released a statement saying, "I'm sure Michael is...sick over this horrible, horrible mistake. It is so extremely offensive. I feel terrible for all the people who have been hurt."

Now, Seinfeld will appear tonight as a previously scheduled guest on Late Night With David Letterman, and he comes bearing a videotaped apology from Richards.

"I lost my temper onstage," Richards says in his statement, portions of which ran on tonight's CBS Evening News With Katie Couric. "I was at a comedy club trying to do my act and I got heckled and I took it badly and went into a rage. For me to flip out and say this crap, I'm deeply, deeply sorry. I'm not a racist--that's what's so insane about this."

The incident occurred when Richards, responding to an audience member's shout of "You're not funny!" began a long and expletive-laden rant with "Shut up! Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a f****** fork up your a**." It went downhill from there.

Comedian George Lopez told an LA radio station that Richards' inexperience may have led to his outburst.

"The question is you have an actor who is trying to be a comedian who doesn't know what to do when an audience is disruptive," Lopez said. "He's an actor whose show has been off the air, he shouldn't ever be on a stand-up gig."

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Is Michael Richards a racist? "The question is moot!" (...btw, that's a quote which old SNL fans might be able to tie in with the Rev Jesse Jackson... who is now calling for a boycott of the Seinfeld DVD!) ;D

It's a moot point because there's an article on ENN which pretty clearly show that Michael Richards is NOT a racist. In fact, the article (half jokingly?) alludes to the fact Michael Richards' rant may actually be doing the job set out for him by the United Nations a few years ago! :)

Dunno if I can put a url here... but if so, and you want to see what the article found out, it's here:

Celebs.ElectronicNewsNetwork.com/michael-richards/

Just FYI.
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You are all ridiculous! First of all, he is wrong for what he said, but who isn't wrong? Everyone is wrong! I wish people would stop pointing blame for others then turn around and say the same crap themselves. No one has the right to place judgement on another, not even Micheal. So don't try to stick up for him and don't try to diss him because most likely you have not been totally correct yourself. Slavery has caused many emotional controversies. DO UNDERSTAND THAT THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AFTER HUMANS HAVE TRIED TO ENSLAVE OTHER HUMANS. That is the worst thing that can ever happen besides killing another human and if you don't understand this point, then you are off your rocker! I love everyone in this world including those that have responded and I wish the best for you all. If you get anything out of this, please get that we don't have time to waste hating each other.
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You are all ridiculous! First of all, he is wrong for what he said, but who isn't wrong? Everyone is wrong! I wish people would stop pointing blame for others then turn around and say the same crap themselves. No one has the right to place judgement on another, not even Micheal. So don't try to stick up for him and don't try to diss him because most likely you have not been totally correct yourself. Slavery has caused many emotional controversies. DO UNDERSTAND THAT THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AFTER HUMANS HAVE TRIED TO ENSLAVE OTHER HUMANS. That is the worst thing that can ever happen besides killing another human and if you don't understand this point, then you are off your rocker! I love everyone in this world including those that have responded and I wish the best for you all. If you get anything out of this, please get that we don't have time to waste hating each other.
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I believe Micheal Richards is a racist. The heckler at the comedy club brought out Micheals true self. If he wasnt a racist, he wouldnt have made those comments. Jesse Jackson didn't believe that apology and neither do I.
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serves them right for wasting their money going to see some reject off seinfeld hahahahaha



Sorry this doesn't sound like breaking news or anything worth this many user comments (but I need to get my % xp from pointless posting)



OMG breaking news an American is a racist!!!



in the eyes of America the world is only made up of a handfull of races.



The Americans, The Europeans, The Asians & if your from the middle-east, The Terrorists. Were all monkeys!
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As a child would say on the playground
"But he started it" Hey..he did! Look, Michael is human and he did apologize and to be perfectly honest that jerk deserved it and I honestly laughed a little at the comment. It honestly it isn't that big of a deal, but hey that's just me.
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This is just really sad. Probably a blackeye he can never get rid of and certainly will affect his future, However these guys should not be suing him and it is people like Gloria Allred who deserve to be put in jail for being ambulance chasers.
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Yes, EZWRITER, exactly. I hated when that happened. It upset me more than this did. Racists are violent and attack innocent people.



LAMadDog thank you for the intelligent debate and exchange of ideas. You have actually helped me put a new light on a situation I've been dealing with at work. It's been interesting, Happy Holidays
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I can't believe how much attention this has received. Is he really doing a interview with Rev. Jesse Jackson? Ridiculous- this is America... freedom of speech!? Michael Richards is a comedian not a politician! "The Rev. Jesse Jackson??" Jackson creates more racial tension than Richards.
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Alright, I've had enough of this!! Stop blaming Michael Richards! Okay, a few racy comments were thrown around. He called them a racist comment. Everyone is forgetting, though, that right after he did, they said: "That was uncalled for, cracka-ass!" WHERE IS EVERYONE'S HEAD?!? After it happens, it's done. Everyone is just way too sensitve about their race or descent. It's practically denial. No one should slap a freakin' suit on each other! And if I didn't have to "keep my language clean", I'd go on a rant way worse than Michael. DROP IT.
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There is no excuse for what Michael Richards did on stage last Friday. The fact is that he has the right to be a racist bigot if he so chooses but to expose the rest of the world to it was a step across the line.

The man obviously said what was in his heart because if it were not there the words would not come out of his mouth. The apology is a crock of bull and was really best left unstated. What else could he say but I'm sorry when he let his little secret out. My only hope is that the people who were offended by his statements hit him where it will hurt most -his wallet.

I am an African-American woman Michael and my heartfelt sympathy goes out to you. Life is too short and precious to harbor ill feeling toward anyone. I'll remember you in my prayers.
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And if a black comedian was being heckled by white audience members and he yelled "Die Whitey Die", no one would be making posts about it on websites, except in maybe a funny context.
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it would appear that you guys in america have tried to swing the pendulum too far the wrong way. every body is racist to a point, it's an inbuilt tribal survival mechanism,to say your not racist is pretty fake, anger and resentment and violence are seperate from being racist, in australia we have wogs and poms and lebbos and whatever you can add all mixed in and every name i have mentioned above is a term of endearment to that person if he is your mate! but if not then don't use it!!! same as n***er if it is derogatory such as "richards" comments then you are no better than the low life scum you represent
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Was he wrong? Sure..but how many blacks today use the n word all the time? Especially in front of white people and think nothing of it. IT's a big double standard!!! What the hell is this guy suing for? He got his feelings hurt? Tough s***! Let's not forget he opened his mouth first. This black idiot doesn't deserve a penny..especially with that b**** Gloria Alred now as his attorney. Like I said..Michael Richards made a mistake..he made an apology..now people let's just get over it and let's all try to get along..Peace
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An apology is just not working for me. He said what he said and you just can't take it back. If he was not harboring some of these feelings/opinions about people, they would not have come out of his mouth.

Same for good old Mel Gibson. Their prejudices are showing.
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FEDUPINUS, you said "Racist are extremely violent people. I need my children to be watchful and alert. Alert to encounters with the police (sad). Alert to certain eateries (sad). Alert to not stopping in certain areas (sad)...." Good point FEDUPINUS. You mean like the blacks did to Reginald Denny in the streets of LA after the Rodney King verdict. He's the guy they pulled from his truck while sitting at a stoplight mindng his own business, and beat him almost to death & left for dead.
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Fair enough FEDUPINUS. Keep your children on track and don't let them fail even if they feel like giving up. I have a son and a daughter in two very highly rated private colleges. They have wanted to quit several times but I have kept encouraging and pushing them. They have since thanked me for it. They will graduate this year and next with very strong degrees in Theater and Music. As far as the corporate balance goes, that too is a fit. Most corporations will hire according to their needs not according to the most qualified candidate. Please remember the word "Fit" above all. It's the fit that a person has to fill in order to get the position. I must tell you that in the real world of corporate politics the "fit" is more important! That's why no one should be offended when they are not hired to a position because someone else fit better. I would also like to comment that I know of several companies in the entertainment business who are predominately black in their personnel structure. They hire who they feel fits their needs. Would we want to impose regulation requiring them to hire a lot more of other races so they could balance the percentages sought by the ACLU or anyone else? That would not help them structure the right company they need. FYI...Most black clothing, footwear, film and music companies are financed through an association with a very famous well known white person...the Jew. The best businessman in the industry. They certainly do not have any problem with race. They merely go where the market or money is flowing. Lately it has been the blacks so that's the opportunity for your race at this time. Remember that their are many jobs beyond positions of talent. If you look at the credits at the end of a movie you will know what I mean... You can fit in a corporate structure somewhere if you really try.
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I watched the clip and intially it's one of those moments where he let slip something horrid, then decided to save face by saying it more. What he let slip was inexcusable anyways, but obviously a mistake.



But then he just carries on and on. The things he says to the guy and the audience ("oh, you can't handle it anymore?") is just signs of a guy who's completely lost himself in impotent rage, not to mention just plain bullying. It's this part of the video clip where a horrible (and highly wrong) mistake becomes a contradiction in Richard's damage limitation speech. If he wasn't a racist, would have he really gone on using that word and imagery long after his "slip of the tongue"? Doubtful.



At least, the heckler got it right. His abuse about Richard's failed career was spot on enough to stop him from carrying on.



It's the toughest 2 and half minutes I've watched all year...slip of the tongue or not, it shouldn't have been on his mind in the first place.
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We all have bad judgement and that was the case me being a black man i don't condemn him I just wish there was more tolerance in the world today.

We will all be picked on push shoved ridiculed once we relize this as one united nation instead of divided races the world will be much better

Not saying he was right but we have all done something to be ashamed of if not your lying peace from 313
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If Michael Richards were more of a seasoned "stand-up comic", he would have thought of a more clever remark when those hecklers started in on him. A "pro" on handling these kinds of people might have said, "I'm paying you guys to heckle me, and you wanna ad-lib, huh? I TOLD you, nothing stronger than 'jerkface'!!!". Unfortunately, Richards is "rusty", and has been away from the stage for too long. If he still has a career in comedy, perhaps he'll think about his methods of handling these situations a bit more closely...next time.
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Yes, I agree that it is SAD that I have to teach my children to be on the defensive. You may think that I “still don’t get it”, but I do. I live it. I feel that it is you who are not even close to understanding. I will continue to explain the ignorance of racism to my children…because as bright and talented as they are they will encounter racism…ask Oprah I don’t know of any one who wants to hang a person because they are over weight, wear thick glasses, have too many freckles, etc. All of which black people can be.



Racist are extremely violent people. I need my children to be watchful and alert. Alert to encounters with the police (sad). Alert to certain eateries (sad). Alert to not stopping in certain areas (sad), and on and on. I want my children to come out ahead, untouched, alive.



I also teach them to love themselves, to love others, not to hate, and maintain their friendships with all people. I too don’t agree with the continued use of the N word. I also don’t agree with the images and lyrics in some of our songs, and I teach my children about those things as well.



I really don’t need to know who you are in Hollywood, I was only responding to your comment that “…The average white music artist has been relegated to promote himself on myspace.com.” Blacks in the fields of sports and entertainment do not make up the majority. Are blacks equally represented on the corporate level?
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Don't think Michael Richards should have to apolize the heckler started it now he is whinning about Michael being a racist maybe he should of kept his mouth shut first !
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FEDUPINUS...You still don't get it! Keeping your children conscious of the fact of racism only puts them on the defensive. Everyone of us faces some sort of prejudice circumstance. Over weight, thick glasses, too many freckles, being Catholic etc. Some people or employers are not going to like you regardless of how well you think you have prepared yourself. Just move on to where you will fit in. You mentioned demonizations and stigmas, what about the "White Devil" label that has been put on us? That didn't come from white people! It came about because some black adult told the next generation of black kids to "Watch out for the white devil". Maybe not in your family but definitely in others. Stigmas exist because we keep reminding each other of the stigma. Like black people using the N word over and over only reminds the world of it. Get beyond this attitude and just succeed. If your kids have the talent, focus on that positive and not the racist negative.

Speaking of negative, thanks for the compliment of saying that "I don't have any talent." You really do not know who I am and if you did you would be embarrassed because my Hollwood success would speak for itself. You see going off on a comment like that only begins to show hatred and prejudice on your part. You really need to re-think your motives in life so they will be more positive for your children and grandchildren.
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EZWRITER, I'm the bigger part of the problem than Michael Richards will ever be? Why, because I tell my children the truth about racism so they won't be victims or caught off guard? By your standards a mother who tells her children about racism is worse than the racist. WOW!!! I would be negligent as a parent not to arm them with all the information they need to survive and thrive. My 9-year old has been a straight A student since pre-K, and shows engineering capabilities already. My 10-year old is an A/B student and on the BETA club. She wants to start her own school, and I stand behind her 100%. My 16-year old wants to be a veterinarian, and also has a lot of artistic capability. I stand behind all my children's endeavors. So don't get it twisted. We aren't on welfare, and we aren't waddling in despair but, RACISM exists, I wish it didn't but it does. And the effects of racism is lack of opportunities, demonization, stigmas, and as in this case the freedom to throw off on us.
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The heckler should apolagise to him! not the other way around
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I think Mr. Richards needs to get his definitions straight. If he were "not a racist," then racist slurs wouldn't have come off his tongue. I don't think he went there deliberately, but (like Mel Gibson), in the heat of the moment, he let his guard down and we got to see (or hear) what's inside him. And it's called racism.
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HyperWeather, please tell me you're not serious. How can you write "it wasn't like its any worse then what some comics say about white people *when they are of a different race* and its part of their show"? I have never in my life heard or even heard of a Black comedian saying a White person should be lynched and have a fork stuck up their ass. His behavior was so far outside the parameters of sanity that one can only hope he was high as his venomous, closet-racist statements spewed from his mouth. While I agree that nobody of any race should use derogatory terms, especially not as terms of endearment as many of us will do, MR did NOT stop there. In fact, I love how the argument on all these sites is about the use of the word, not about the blatantly racist remark he made before that. If he did something great, none of you would be saying it was overblown. This heat won't pass quickly. Personally, I find his apology to a mostly White audience to be a further insult and will therefore not forgive him.
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Was this comedy's version of "going postal"? What an idiot! Even if he wasn't a racist, he is now! No one will ever remember his apology. He will be remembered for that tirad as his real character rather than Kramer on Seinfeld. I really think he would not have cared about what he was saying if it were not caught on tape. He's not a comedian, I saw his act at the comedy magic club and he not funny. There goes the seinfeld reunion show, thank you Michael. Now, I wonder what he will say to his black friends, "I didn't mean it." I guess he will know what it is like to have a "fork up your Azz." His career is done.
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he shouldnt apoligize to the whole community, he only needs to aploigze to 1 person the heckler
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Comedy is meant to be funny but it can also cut like a knife. We've all experienced that at some time or another.

If black people want everyone else to quit using the word "*IGGER" then why do they keep using it? They expect others to control the use of such a word from their mouth but then they use it in comedy, music, film and on the street everyday! So who is really holding up the progress here?
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get over it. Everyones over reacting like they over reacted to Mel Gibson. Sure it was wrong but seriously.... what do you expect him to do now?
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Okay, I'm a big fan of Richards also. However, I am also an African American woman who knows the difference between a joke and reality. Yes, Black comedians have been known to target Whites in their acts. However, the difference is that it's an act. What Michael said was out of anger, and for him to simply apologize for making those statements will clearly NOT be "good enough". No, he can't take it back. But he has to realize that statements, such as those, not only ruins his reputation, but also hurts those Black fans who supported him throughout his career.
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I am a huge Seinfeld fan and always will be but what I saw and heard of Michael Richards friday night will never leave me. Some people might think that what he said was wrong but that it is being blown out of proportion, but I they are wrong. I never really knew why African American's never liked being called the N word until I saw the mini-series Roots. If it is a white man saying it to a black man it symbolizes the power they once had over the black man. I don't encounter this stuff very often in Canada but this was just a horrible thing for Michael Richards to do. Before he might have been remembered as a great comedian, now he will be forever known as a racist (and rightfully so).
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We have to admit that racism still exist here, like it or not. I am saying this because my friends of black and asian descendents told me so of their racist experiences, some openly and blatantly, some in job interviews, many in social circumstances, and even in places such as stores, restaurants, etc. The crux of the problem is we are just not open enough and stereotyping, including myself.
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What I don't get is African Americans can call each other racist remarks and do nothing about it. But if a white person says a racist remark, all H*** breaks loose. Yes he made a mistake and apoligized. Why can't people just get along with each other.
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Michael Richards
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I'm not one to normally comment on this stuff, but I'm getting more angry about the fact that people are blowing this up more than it needs to be. Was it wrong? Extremely! He shouldn't have said those things, it was over the line, but it wasn't like he just randomly started spewing the words out, people were heckling him, and yes he handled it very poorly, but it wasn't like its any worse then what some comics say about white people *when they are of a different race* and its part of their show! I do not think he is a racist, just a moment of get overheated. Its not like you guys have never said things you shouldn't have said. As for the word he used, its a vile word that no one *and I mean no, regardless of race* should use, I find it more disturbing that black people say this themselves. So just accept his apology and get over it, everyone else in the world will forget in about a week.
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Michael knew what he was saying and doing. he is only sorry because the real person reared its ugly head. i know that all people say some things they don't mean but to say things about a lynching and a fork was bad. It opens up old wounds that today have not fully healed. So many people who are not white don't see the big deal in this, it goes to show that people of color are not wrong in saying that there is still a glass ceiling that we must face regardless of what society says. The wool is only being pulled over their eyes because they don't want to face the truth, that racism is alive and running ramped in America. shame on you. all I ca say is may GOD watch over your sole. We my pray for the fools of the nation as well as our children.
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FEDUPINUS, You are a bigger part of the problem than Michael Richards will ever be. You said it yourself, "Now this is what I tell my children: This system was not set up for you to succeed, but succeed anyway." First of all, the 'system' wasn't 'set up' for anyone. One's success is dependant on what one CHOOSES to do with his/her life. There are tons of black success stories who never had anything, worked hard for what they've earned and they, because of their own determination and their refusal to be a victim, have become great successes. And I'm not even talking about athletes or entertainers. Secondly, if you want to pass some good advice on to your kids why don't you tell them that the world is their's to become anything they want to become. We have the greatest opportunities in the world right here in the U.S. The most harmful notion that we can pass down to our kids is that they are victims; and that they are not able to do anything on their own without somebody's help, government help, welfare, affitmative action.
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He better move out of L.A!
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Im very disgusted by what he said. I think its going to take more than an apology for this thing to blow over. I know so many black people that loved Kramer(myself included. Well its all downhill from here on. Is he crazy or what? How dare he make those comments! Where the hell was his publicist? He's lucky I wasnt in the audience! FOR SHAME KRAMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Still, the outburst wasn't as offensively bad as The Michael Richards Show.......
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Where was his publicist when this all went so horribly awry....?!?!
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Why is it OK for every race to use slang when referring to whites?? If a black man had been on stage saying "honky" the audience would laugh and nobody would ever complain.
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This is just a distraction.
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Okay, all comedians have racial,cultural,sexist, religious humor etc. And we all laugh because they are describing a percentage of the culture that behaves or acts that way or there would be nothing to laugh at and we all can laugh at ourselves BUT that was not part of his act that is what is not defendable he did that seperate from his comedy act, he got mad because he was heckled. why should he not be heckled because he played a famous character? it happens to the best of them and he handled himself in a poor spoil sport manner. As a person of color had he dropped the n bomb I would still be mad but not as mad as the "lynching" type comments he made which are violent offensive and irresponsible for a man in his position. Shame on him that was no accident we are always aware of our choices and control what we say and do and he choose to say clearly something he felt. Had that been a white man who heckled him would he have reached for a white slur of course not!! So if he thought it was a joke ha ha the jokes on him now!!!!
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The guy had a bad day....get over it. He makes a mistake and we close the door on him after so many years. Thats so sad that we have come to this, no forgiveness..SAD.. He apologized we should forgive, unless he does it again. END OF STORY.

Would GOD forgive him?
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To LAMadDog & minimax34,



I addressed racists not "Whites" my heritage and circle is mixed. You are the ones who equated racist with white. Once again, the nail in the coffin for me was the visual of black men hanging. If the situation was flipped (and forgive me my Jewish sisters and brothers) what if it were a black man on stage and a Jewish heckler and the comment was made "X years ago we would have thrown you in an oven..." What he did spewed of hatred. I will not debate with you whether Pryor was racist or reactionary. The level of severity does not compare. Now this is what I tell my children: This system was not set up for you to succeed, but succeed anyway. It amazes me that LAMadDog is jealous of black success. Maybe you just don't have any talent.
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My thoughts: first, as a comedian, you have to learn to handle hecklers, they are almost a part of the show. Secondly, I believe that when you do get excesively mad, you will call whomever you are mad at the worst thing you can - if it was a plaid-shirt-and-glasses guy, you would call him a four-eyes nerd - it's a simple process of unfortunate stereotyping, so I don't think Richards MEANT to be rasist; having said that, however, most of us have dirty secrets (a plug for Dexter? :-) and I do believe there IS a little rasist in him - but that's just something that got out at the wrong time and place. I'm waiting with anticipation to see how much of a big deal this will cause on a "Janet's breast scale of shock & outrage". Cheers!
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I can't wait for his next show! I could really care less about this, because it doesn't affect me. There are millions of racists out there. If you don't like what he says then step out of the room, turn off the video, or close your eyes and put your hands over your ears. I will still be watching Seinfeld tonight.
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