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Kramer Uses the "Black Friends" Defense

11/27/2006 12:36 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

In a desperate effort to salvage what's left of his poisoned reputation, a "shattered" Michael Richards told Reverend Jesse Jackson that he "loves" black people, adding that some of his "best friends were African-Americans."
Kramer says sorry

Interviewed on Jackson's "Keep Hope Alive" radio show on Sunday, the former "Seinfeld" star again claimed that he harbors no racist feelings toward black people, and blamed his racist diatribe on months of pent up rage that, "has no color."

Richards explained that he should have recognized his problem, when his frustration with hecklers started affecting his comedy routine. "It's a rough and tumble environment," Richards claimed, "I've been noticing how aggressive my work had been getting."

Jackson was convinced that the problem had deeper roots, telling Richards, "You used the word nigger, and then the lynching scene ... have you been here before?" Richards responded, "No, no, no, no, no. That's why I'm shattered by it. The way it just came through me like a freight train."

According to Richards' publicist, Howard Rubenstein, the disgraced actor has already begun psychiatric counseling in Los Angeles to learn how to manage his anger and understand why he made the racist remarks.

166 COMMENTS

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31.

A Martin    

Michael screwed up. We call ourselves the N. word all the time. I have noticed that most people like that love to make trouble and initiate in loud confrontations like little children. The only victim here is Michael. The hecklers have acted like children and frankly I'm embarrassed but I cannot change my color. There was no reason to taunt an entertainer like that. If he wasn't funny then all these childish people had to do was the ADULT thing and leave. No, first they act like children then cry when they are slapped in their face and that's all that was. I expect to be called an N when I act bad, it's a way to insult me due to my skin color. If I were spanish I would be called an S and so forth.

LET IT GO AL, LET IT GO JESSE, YOU ARE MAKING US LOOK BAD!

2886 days ago
32.

t.w    

firats of all, to #21 laura, you've obviously missed the point you stupid bitch. i do not have to make exceptions for anyone. i dont have a grudge against anyone not caucasion, i have a grudge against anyone trying to f*** up my country. and by the way, YOU wre not brought here against your will unless you're 300 yrs old.and you're right, we do sit around drinking beer all day belching,farting, and blowin our nose on the ground living in trailer parks. but we dont try to hide from it and we dont get violently pissed off when someone tells us that, thats what we do. because for the most part a lot of ue are that way.and the things you've said are exactly the type of bullsh*t im tired of. the statement "misguided impessions that all blacks are lazy" and then trying to prove that you are not by showing me your doctors,lawyers,and poloticians etc....you dont hear us saying " were not beer drinking slobs! just look at all the positive white people in the world" we get it stupid! we know that your people are productive, we know that for the most part you're just like everyone else, just stop using the f***ing slave thing every time someone points out your flaws.

and to #24 der fuhrer, im not sure what the hell you just said,but, sucking a "white brother dick" [as you put it] is'nt high on my list of things to do.and is faggotery even a word? hey you said it.and im not a n*gger hater. by the way, theres plenty of black fags chief!

2886 days ago
33.

karenk    

While, clearly not near the same thing as Richards, this received very little 'airplay' or mention. Other broadcasters have been fired for less...

ESPN football analyst Michael Irvin says he's sorry for his comments on Dan Patrick's national radio show a week ago that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo's athletic ability must be due to African-American heritage...
Irvin said he tries to bring fans inside the world of the locker room. But he admitted he "crossed the line" when he joked some slave "brother" must have had relations with one of Romo's maternal ancestors. "Certainly, in this case I crossed the line," he said. "I need to learn how to better draw the line between bringing people into the locker room and the boundaries I should not go past as a broadcaster."

2886 days ago
34.

barbie    

TW #18

I have a mental picture of you. You're sitting at home in your raggedy broken down trailer that has no window, but WOW! It has cable and internet service and is stocked full of beer. There are empty beer cans all over your trailer (Old Milwakee, cuz you can't afford the good stuff). You have a confederate flag on your wall and on all of the broken down cars/trucks in your grown over lawn. You're sitting down with a beer in one hand with a sh*t eating grin that shows off your perty rotten teefs and your ass crack is showing. Your big fat redneck beer bellied ass is on disability because your finger hurts while your wife is working three jobs as a waitress, bartender and housekeeper to take care of lil Billy Bob and Bobbi Sue. You are white trash and I hope that black people know that we are not all ignorant, hateful hillbillies like you!!!

2886 days ago
35.

Shaz    

Not that I think what Richards did was right, but who the hell is Jesse Jackson to be the one to grill him over the incident?
Does ANYONE remember the "Hymie-town" comment he made about NYC back in 1984? Of course not -it's not mentioned because of the invisible double standard.
What a hypocrite Jackson is.

2886 days ago
36.

We, are not amused.    

#25 Jim Crow
No school today?
Snow day, or did the moolies steal your backpack again?

Hey, "Good Times" is on...turn it up...this is my favorite show!
Oh I've seen this one before, this is the one where JJ and Michael tag team your moms! Your moms sure loves her some JJ...too bad you never knew your "real" dad: are you sure HE was white? You know, you look like...never mind!
Oh, here's my favorite part...when they're done and JJ says...

DYNA-NO-MITE!!!!
(You white kids are so funny)

2886 days ago
37.

We, are not amused.    

#38 t.w
I am sure you would know, about the Black fags, my little brave!

2886 days ago
38.

wally    

Mr. Jackson needs to admit that the black man that caused should be held responsible for his actions. I know if it had been a black comic that was heckled and started screaming at the offender Mr. Jackson would the heckler if he were white. It seems that the black are never responsible for their actions because the white man caused them to do it according to Mr. Jackson.

2886 days ago
39.

A Martin    

HEY # 32. GIVE IT UP. THE MEDIA DOESN'T DARE PUT EVERYTHING WE (BLACK PEOPLE) DO ON THE AIR DUE TO RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ISSUES, THINK ABOUT THAT OH EDUCATED ONE. WE ALSO GOT SOLD TO THEIR ANCESTORS BY OUR OWN IN AFRICA FOR MONEY OH EDUCATED ONE, GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT. IT'S PEOPLE LIKE YOU THAT KEEP RACIAL WARS IN THIS COUNTRY GOING AND I FOR ONE AM WILLING TO BE REALISTIC AND REFUSE TO BE A SPOILED CHILD WHICH IS WHAT THIS COUNTRY HAS DONE TO US, SPOILED US DUE TO OUR SKIN COLOR OH EDUCATED ONE. DON'T FALL FOR THAT.
IT'S TIME WE ALL GROW UP AND ACT LIKE ADULTS AND EARN OUR RESPECT, NOT YELL FOR IN THE STREETS LIKE SPOILED LITTLE CHILDREN!
I GET RESPECT BECAUSE OF WHO I AM, IGNORANT LIGHT SKINNED PEOPLE ARE ALL OVER JUST LIKE IGNORANT DARK SKINNED PEOPLE.
LOOK AT WHAT OUR "LEADERS" ARE SAYING, "THERE WILL BE NO PEACE". WHAT KIND OF SICK TALK IS THAT?
I WOULD MOVE BACK TO AFRICA IN AN INSTANT BUT UNFORTUNATELY OUR OLD WAY OF LIFE THERE HAS GIVEN TO VIOLENCE AND CORRUPTION.
MY GREAT GRANDFATHER WAS SOLD TO THIS COUNTRY BY FORCE BUT HIS SACRIFICE HAS MADE AMERICANS AND THAT IS WHAT I AM NOW AND AM DAMN PROUD OF IT!
WE CAME A LONG WAY FROM THE 60s BUT WILL NEVER MOVE AHEAD UNTIL WE ALL START ACTING LIKE RESPONSIBLE ADULTS AND NOT SPOILED VICTIMS MAKING LAWYERS RICH WHILE MOST OF OUR PEOPLE STILL LIVE IN POVERTY AND IGNORANCE BECAUSE OF WHAT THE WHITE MAN'S HAND.
LET'S TALK ABOUT REAL AMERICANS WHO WE SHOULD BE PROUD OF LIKE CONDALISA RICE AND COL. POWELL. THESE ARE REAL AMERICANS, NOT THE SICK SELF APPOINTED IDIOTS LIKE AL AND JESSE.
LET'S MOVE ON. I THINK MICHAEL GOT ENOUGH OF A BEATING DON'T YOU OR ARE YOU UP FOR A GOOD LINCHING? HOW BETTER ARE WE IF WE FEEL THAT WAY?

2886 days ago
40.

Mark L.    

Kramer did what any person with any integrity would do! I bet, if it would be a black comidian on the stage, he would come back even with more rage. And who gave them the right to heckel someone on the stage? even if they don't like him.. And why is it OK for n*ggers to use the word n*gger or motherf***er at anytime and any place they want?? but it's almost a crime or a crime for a white man? Why from all the races in the world, even Jews, who went thru the history with the most abuse, only blacks still complain and have that chip on the shoulder?? And if they so unhappy, maybe they should be helped to return to the Mother- Africa? Jews repatriated, albanians also, tatars did too( Crimea), so why not blacks? And Michael should have more "balls" than he showed recently. I understand that being politicly correct is as fashionable as being gay, but when integrity ,common sence and responsability will take their turn??

2886 days ago
41.

t.w    

barbara #36, see how a mental picture can be so way off base. im accually a strong,young, physically fit father of three very intelligent and successful teenage children. my bank account has more than $400,000 in it from my very successful home based business. i live in a $300,000 home in a very beautiful and scenic portion of the st.criox river valley. i drive a 2007 chevrolet monte carlo and a 2007 ford mustang cobra [ for my weekend drives]. see how wrong you were for profiling me that way?

2886 days ago
42.

barbie    

t.w....that was exactly my point in profiling you. The same thing goes with a person's race.

2886 days ago
43.

blue    

Greetings,

OK.... first, I am black woman speaking. I agree this is way too much- it is no surprise that white people don't like black people- hell i dont like my people sometime too. As a black person it is painful to watch white people explain away and as a black person it is equally painful to see us milk it. It is true... white people can NEVER call black people n*gga- you will neva have blessings or permission- no matter how many black friends you have.

Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton dont' speak for all black people- I personally think they are two pathetic whores. You would be surprised at how many black people think that also.

2886 days ago
44.

Sick of Racism    

Okay, I've been reading all the different stories and posts on TMZ about Michael Richards and the whole thing makes me sick. What's even worse, though, are all the white people on here making excuses for this racist a**hole. WAKE UP, white people - there is a HUGE difference in a white person calling a black person a "N" and a black person calling a white person a "honkey" or "cracker."
I am a white woman married to a black man, and we have a child. Before we were together I foolishly believed racism was a thing of the past... my black friends would tell me otherwise and I wouldn't listen. After being with my husband I can PROMISE you all that the sh*t black people have to go through to just be treated equally is appalling. My hubby is extremely intelligent, good-looking, kind, honest, fair, compassionate, college-educated, etc. He hates racism, and had even turned his back on an older relative that wouldn't except a past (white) girlfriend. He doesn't complain or cry that he is treated differently - I just see it with my own eyes!!! He's had women on the street clutch their purses when they walk past him... while he is wearing a business suit! He always tells waiters when we go out he'll "pad the tip" for good service; I asked recently why he does this and he said because people assume black people are cheap and they will give bad service. He always tips more than 20%, sometimes 30%. He once went to the grocery store to get our baby formula and got the wrong kind. The next time I asked him to take the wrong kind back and exchange it for the right kind, and after seeing that he wasn't too thrilled to do it, he told me people would think he stole it and it would be better if I went inside and did the exchange.
Before we met I didn't think there was any difference between a white person saying the "N" word and a black person saying "cracker" or "honkey", but there is, and I only understand it now after living what my husband and his family have to go through on a daily basis. The difference is the history and the societal racism behind the word. White people weren't brought here against their will, they weren't hung or lynched, weren't enslaved here in the U.S. White people don't have to go to a job interview worried if their color is going to affect the hiring decision, etc.
White people are still the majority and are still in power in this country. For someone of the cushy majority to call a black man a "N" and tell that 50 years ago they would be "hanging from a tree" (or whatever it was Richards said) is just sickening. How can anyone compare that to a black man calling a white man "honkey"??? "Honkey" does not conjure up images of white men hanging from trees after being lynched, or not being allowed to use the same restrooms as blacks. "Honkey" does not bring back images of centuries of torture and enslavement.
Blacks began to use the word "nigga" to take back ownership of a hurtful and painful word used against them by whites, the same way women have taken ownership of the word "bitch" (if men call a woman a "bitch" it has an entirely different meaning than if a woman calls another woman that name), and the same way gays took ownership of the word "fag" or "faggot" (a straight person calling a gay person a "fag" has an entirely different meaning than if another gay person does). I don't understand white people that say "well they call each other that so I can too" - bullsh*t! When the person in power (whether white, male, or straight) calls the minority those names it is actually that person taking a position of power over the other.
By the way, my husband despises the "n" word and never uses it w/any black friends or family. He never says "cracker" or "honkey" either.
If comedians make fun of whites, it is never in a hateful way (like Richards' hateful outburst), and IMO is a way to release their frustration at a racist society.
It kills me when I hear the "N" word because it's the same as calling my child or husband that. But I have not had to live through it like my husband... I didn't have rocks thrown at my head as a child while kids yell "N" like my husband. I have countless other examples, but not room enough to write them.
The racists on this board need to get a life. Go do something worthwhile and good for society instead of dividing us even more.

2886 days ago
45.

A Martin    

#43, you have my full respect. I will not divulge my situation but all I can say is that anyone, and I mean anyone (even an AA like me) can make it in this country so long as they don't walk around with a chip on their shoulders. I learned a thing or two about karma, if you wish evil, you get evil back. #36 and #32 can only be misearable because they wish it. I for one do not.
I found that if I smile, people smile back. Some may not like me due to my color but that's ok, I usually give it about 30 seconds then they warm up to my humanity.
It's great to be an American and although I have traveled to my ancestoral country a few times, I can still say "I'm glad I'm home" when I arrive back in the USA. I'm sure my great grandfather is very happy right now seeing what his sacrifices did for his offspring.
God bless the USA

2886 days ago
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