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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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91.

U Know Who    

Anytime you go on another CONFIRMED RACISTS radio or television program. To try to save face I think there is a small problem. Jesse is no better than Michael Richards, so who the hell is he to point a finger at Michael Richards and call him "sick".

Wasn't all that long ago Jesse Hijackson called ALL OF NEW YORK CITY - "Hymietown"

Hey I sure hope Jesse gets that deep seeded racism out of his heart as well.

In fact maybe out of the Kindness of Jesse's heart he could refer Michael Richards. To whoever it was that he saw, to get the sickness out of him. And then they could both go on ripping off there respective races happily ever after?

2864 days ago
92.

PDX    

to King of the Butt pirates

You must be jealous because you ain't buying Magnums. But hey, get over it, size isn't everything. I'd prefer average but good looking anyday.. I guess that counts you out in ALL respects.

Poor thing... can't live up to the "myth" AND he is ugly. JEALOUS!

2864 days ago
93.

A history teacher    

Hi, all!
Most of us do believe in the concept of innocent till proven guilty.
...No?
Sensational news such as racist comments definitely get people exited, and make people talk... But does it get people to think? Hmmm.

We went to war after we were told that there was a link between Al Qaida & Saddam Hussein. George W was so popular for so long!
How many of us spoke up then??

I'm extremely flattered to be compared, even in jest with Ralph Bunche!

Please try to remember that our words travel around the world!
It may be boring, but to change the world, we need to change ourselves!

In other words, talk is cheap! If we're concerned about prejudice, racism, lies or war, let's DO something about them! Yes, we can! I WILL start with me!
Wishing you all the BEST!
Sincerely, and with determination!

2864 days ago
94.

Judi Johnny    

I haven't heard Mr. Richards publicaly apologize to the young men themselves. Talk about adding insult to injury! As a First Nations Two Spirit woman I am offended. Why hasn't Mr. Richards get enough nerve and apologize in the international media. Because these young men are African American they're inideginous people like me and racism is racism! Mr Jessie Jackson doesn't represent the regular folk. He's not any better than Mr. Richards.

2864 days ago
95.

normella    

Is it even possible or necessary for Caucasians to play the "race card"?

As for anyone here excusing any form of racist behavior - wow. this is truly a sad world we live in. I can only hope my generation can change things up somehow.

2864 days ago
96.

A history teacher    

Last thoughts:

Overcoming prejudice, racism, and war are not complicated, they just require a few things:

Courage, thought, and ACTION!

Please look up Ralph Bunche: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Bunche

Anger is contagious... But then again, so is compassion!!

Again; Sincerely, wishing you all the BEST!

2864 days ago
97.

APURPLE_EMERALD    

Yes it's possible for any race to play the "race card". When a person looks at your life and compares it to theirs based on race, they are playing that card. If I said over 90% of America's inmates are black, you'd say I'm pulling the race card, so if you then say to me, 'Well you get a whole month for black history, we don't get that', then you've pulled it. Why couldn't a caucasian play with the same deck of cards I play with to use for their gain? Race issues are not just w/ black people. We all have them, all have sterotypes, and we've all experienced some form of racism and when you defend yourself you get branded as a card puller. Black people are still pointing the finger b/c it still exists, yes 300 years after slavery ended we do still get discriminated against. For those who can find a flaw in my typing, find a flaw in my logic, in my words, in the truth and chew on it for a minute.

2864 days ago
98.

Silvana    

I can see from reading your report that we still have a lot of racism in this country ...( And not only in this country for sure ! ) Anyway, I came to USA many years ago from Europe , when I didn't know any better. We had very few foreigners and blacks in our European cities in those days that ...we didn't pay too much attention yet to new great leaders like Martin Luther King and others like him ! ... I was still a very young teenager in those days and I didn't focus enough in International newspapers and books . But when I came to live in America and in New York City , I was really happy to see "so many different races" and "faces "in the streets, subways, restaurants and so on ! But...... pretty soon I learned that not always these different groups of people lived happily "together"... The Irish didn't like the Italians...The Italians didn't like the Irish.....Chinese lived mostly in Chinatown...The Jews were working mostly with other Jews. I was one of the few that enjoyed very much everybody, and I remember that everybody liked me ! When I went to study in a particular American school in N.Y.C. for the first time in my life in America , I couldn't believe to notice that most Italian students were always around Italian students, and the Irish were with with the Irish school mates, and...the blacks with the blacks,and the Latinos with the Latinos...and...that most "White Americans" were best friends with other white Americans and with some of us Europeans like me for example...(maybe because we were really "white" for them.?) ( I was a natural strawberry blond with light green eyes and very white skin...But guess what ? I wasn't an Irish girl or a Scandinavian girl as everybody thought the first moment... I came from Italy, and all the White Americans students were "surprised"of this because they thought that I should have had dark hair and dark eyes .... Ah ! This shows you the ignorance of many people .... even when they travel to Europe or out of their European countries, and it shows you also that no race is a "pure" race, not even in Italy or in Norway or in England and so on ! Afterall I am "100 percent Italian" but... like any other Italian or European I have other backgrounds as anybody else ! . I am 3/4 Norman and that explains why many of the Italians have blond and reddish hair, blue eyes, and very light complexion....For example my brother is very blond with blue eyes and he looks for sure much more Scandinavian than my husband that is "Norwegian" !!!! . Anyway, I have a question that yet nobody knows to give me a logical answer...( By the way I am now an American and I feel more American than anybody else ! ) The question is this one...Please reply if you have a decent answer...Thanks...: " Why is it that if you are 1/4 black you are still known as a "BLACK" in USA , and... if you are 3/4 white everybody still says that " You are BLACK."..!" ( Is this a racism twist from the white race in USA or is it racism from some black people ?...) I met people that are almost as white as me and they say that they're "African Americans"... So far no "black" ever told me that he or she is "Irish American " or "Irish and African American" or "maybe " Black -Eurasian"... Can anyone explain this to me ? Is it really so important to say BLACK and not WHITE ? Does this has to do with finding a better job ? Is it the employer that still ask you such a question ? When I came to America the first time at a job interview they asked me my race and my religion. ...I was shocked ! Why in the world would they want my private profile ? The first time I wrote the truth. I wrote down that I was Caucasian (WHITE) and that I was a Catholic Christian. The second time that I went to work I wrote down what I really wanted to write from the very beginning...I wrote : " I belong to the HUMAN RACE and my religion is ...ONE GOD " !!!!! ( I got the job anyway ! )
p.s. : About MR. KRAMER. (the lunatic neighbor that lives next door to other lunatics like him on the famous Seinfeld's show , I am shocked and confused !
I really believe that none would ever make such remarks like he did if it wasn't because he is a racist afterall.... And he might not realize that he is a racist .. ..In the other hand I really believe that we Americans don't have enough freedom of expression as we always say we "have" ... We get punished right away, even when we don't mean it . Many of us have lost jobs because of too much freedom of speech. The truth is that we do NOT have the right to say everything that it is in our mind and....we should never insult other people's religions, politics, and so on. People that know how to stay well with other people together and also like and respect others that politically like Bush or not , are called in my agenda "diplomatics" ! This people are my kind of people. ! I am one of them and I am very proud. Y

2864 days ago
99.

APURPLE_EMERALD    

# 94 and ur brother...
Does the truth hurt Sweetheart? B/c the thing is, I might have had a typo, maybe 2 but the message you got. You had no comment about what I said because rather than acknowledge the truth you'd rather run from it and try to ignore it. But if you run, it'll bite you in the ass and refuses to be ignored. But then again, that's your PROBLEM. Your reponse did however come from anger, why were you angry? What I said only offended you if you felt that you were one of the ones being called a dummy. But why would you think that? Think about this even through your hate and ignorance (a nigger is an ignorant person) I don't hate you. I feel bad for you that you don't know what love is to have hate in you, because hate consumes so much there's little left for anything else. I feel so sorry for you.

2864 days ago
100.

DRJ    

Yet, everyone is ready to forgive Michael Irvin's comments that were no less inflammatory and said in the scope of a national radio audience.

2864 days ago
101.

A history teacher    

Hi, Silvana...
A major reason that people with discernable African blood call themselves black is because they have been considered to be black/negro/African American by the white community for hundreds of years. Most people containing (recent) African genes (we are all of distant African background)
have learned that they are generally accepted better among African-Americans than caucasians, regardless of their complexion. By the way, there are some very aware people (such as Tiger Woods, for example) that are considering themselves to be multi-racial.
Sincerely, A Person of Distant African Origin

2864 days ago
102.

Jordan (Joe) Al-Jabbar    

His comments were out-of-line and offensive. BUT, he was obviously feeling threatened and under attack himself and lashed out. Comics rely on their wits and speed in an unforgiving environment.

I don't believe that he is racist just because he grabs on to racial language. I think you take any average person and put him into a physically or emotionally dangerous environment and make him feel threatened by some individual(s) and if it is an Indian or a Mexican or an Arab or a Chinese, they may latch onto some racial terminology.

Racism is a human phenomenon. American black people are as racist as American whites, but newly arrived immigrants are likely to be even more racist. There isn't a stigma about racism in many other countries, and racism in other places has a different flavor.

Here in the USA racism is normally seen as putting down another group, usually blacks or American Indians or hispanics. but in other societies there isn't a hositlity to the other races, as much as just a very overt belief in their own intrinsic superiority, such as that of the Japanese, Jews and others.

Anyway, enough of this issue

2864 days ago
103.

G.Costanza    

Kramer running back and fourth on stage, jumping up and down and waving his arms shouting racial slurs like a madman was funny enough. But to hear him with a straight face say he left the stage to find those men so the "healing could begin" was absolutley hilarious. I only wish he could have thrown in a few "Jerry"s after the N-word. In any event we'll no doubt get the "Michael Richards Story" after he winds up dead in a seedy motel under mysterious circumstances. Kinda makes you wish for the charachter who burned plastic army men on that "Friday" show.

2864 days ago
104.

BKRush    

Well, I am black and I have to get my two cents in on this one. What Michael RIchards said was appalling, but let us all keep in mind there is plenty of blame to go around for blacks & whites on the issue of race. Blacks are all to eager to beat whites over the head because of what their ancestors did to our ancestors and whites are far to quick to try to put a band aid on a long festering wound. The best thing blacks can do is look at ourselves and stop creating children out of wedlock in one parent households where the father is either dead or in prison and raise responsible members of society and for whites to apologize and for everyone to just let it go. And lastly, let's stop looking toward pot stirrers like Jesse Jackson & Al Sharpton who offer no real solution to any of the racial problems that plague this country.

2864 days ago
105.

Kissmirass    

I am sick of tired of African Americans feeling sorry for themselves for being black. Deal with it or get on the ship back to Africa, already. And take your black pimps as well, Jackson, Charpton, and do not forget Diddy. You show me a person, including the pimps who have not uttered the word nigger. Nigger is a state of mind, that is, rap, drugs, and high school drop outs, not to mention crime. Would one call Oprah, Tiger, Condi, Obama, Jordon, or Powell niggers, no I do not think so....

2864 days ago
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