The Crucifixion of Kramer

I’ve never been a fan of Seinfeld, and I’m not very familiar with the characters. When the show went into syndication a few years ago, I began to come across it whenever I did any channel surfing. I don’t know anything about Michael Richards, the guy who played Kramer on the show.

When I read about his onstage rant at a comedy club in Hollywood last week, I figured the guy has some serious anger management problems. Anyone who has performed in front of a live audience knows of the danger posed by hecklers; it comes with the territory.

Hence, when Mr. Richards was interrupted by a small group at a nearby table, he should have been competent enough to deal with it without engaging in racist invective. Having said that, let’s look at what it means to lose your temper and make a few stupid remarks in the ultra-sensitive country that we’ve become. Since the guy imploded onstage, the video quickly made its way onto the international airwaves, resulting in the type of condemnation that should be reserved for, say, a man who butchered 2 people and got away with it.

When OJ Simpson was acquitted by a predominantly black jury, there were scenes of black people celebrating the gross injustice all across the country. The pain on the faces of the Brown and Goldman families, as they sat in the courtroom watching the murderer being congratulated for beating the system, was heart-wrenching to all decent people. Yet, we didn’t hear from Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, or any other so-called black leaders.

Anyone with an IQ higher than a fire hydrant knew the man was the killer. Imagine if a white man had just slaughtered 2 black people and left that much evidence behind. If a white jury acquitted him, there’d be rioting from coast to coast. Recently, when the obnoxious monster tried to thumb his nose at the public again with his “If I did it” obscenity, where was the denunciation from the black community?

Why didn’t we see Mr. Sharpton on the David Letterman Show castigating those responsible for foisting that pathological display of arrogance on our nation? Are a few forbidden words by a disgruntled, has-been comic worse than a tantalizing tongue-in-cheek “confession” from a murderer who cheated justice? To say our priorities are distorted is a gross understatement.

When someone like Mr. Richards makes a bunch of stupid comments he’s immediately crucified and no one seems to have the courage to point out that it was merely some angry words from an emotionally disturbed man, it wasn’t homicide.

How many people know that the blacks at that table were referring to Richards as a “white cracker”?

Evidently, it’s okay to be pejorative toward whites if you’re black. In fact, it’s acceptable for blacks to use scurrilous language toward other blacks, as is often heard in the lyrics of rap music. Moreover, blacks can use similarly disparaging words toward other ethnic groups and refer to women in the vilest type of street language imaginable.

The question is: do blacks have some special privileges granted to them by the Constitutional description of freedom of speech?

Whites and blacks have fought, and often died, in the struggle for equality. However, it appears that what we have arrived at is a disproportionate equality that gives blacks the exclusive right to be offended by non-blacks. When Eddie Murphy or Chris Rock make racist comments about whites during their standup routines, there’s no hue and cry from the white community. But, let a white comic take similar jabs at blacks and you’d have an earthquake that would shatter the Richter Scale.

Undoubtedly, there are those reading this who will accuse me of racism, but that too, comes with the territory. Someone must point out these things to a public that has become robotically trained to go into knee-jerk mode every time some white fool blows his cool. This marvelous, melting-pot experiment in democracy will never work until we rid ourselves of this one-sided view of race relations. If certain words and phrases are to be prohibited from use by one segment of society, they must be prohibited from use by all. Otherwise, the countless number of lives lost, both black and white, to obtain “equality for all,” has resulted in a most bizarre and incongruous definition of the phrase.

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the excutive editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. Email Bob