So, Michael Richards gets heckled, has a meltdown, calls some guys niggers, gives a detailing of a forked-based lynching (?), then gets the public flogging he deserves as he crawls around looking for absolution. And that's all as it should be.
But a query: what exactly do you call a couple of black guys who go to a public place where people paid money to enjoy themselves and who then begin to yell and scream at the person on stage who is trying to do his job?
As an ex-stand up, I can tell you that a comedy club isn't a place you go looking to get the abuse you just can't seem to find in daily life. The stage is a performer's domain. You protect that domain. You are not on stage to take what's given just 'cause you're getting paid. If you are attacked, you retaliate. If you can be high minded and pithy with your retribution, bravo. But if necessary, if you need to be brutal, such is the nature of things. You go for a heckler's weakness - physical failings, appearances, or stereotypes. Such as: the stereotype of SOME blacks who are unable to be demure in public. SOME blacks who are oblivious to a code of conduct.
Some would call such individuals niggers.
Clearly, to do so in this PC-ified age - even in a comedy club, even after having been attacked - is to risk one's career.
Comparisons have been made to Richards and Mel Gibson, but I don't fully entertain them. When Gibson lost his mind - or made his true id evident - he was driving drunk. And when law officers charged with protecting the public attempted to do their job, Gibson let loose with an unprovoked tirade.
Richards was on stage, practicing his craft in a professional setting, when he was chided to the point he could stand no more. Should he have found a better way to express his displeasure?
But that cannot obfuscate the fact that if these "gentlemen" had merely kept their mouths shut and enjoyed the show - or, failing that, quietly made their way to an exit - no one would have said a word to them. Yet, now, after inciting the incident, they have the audacity to play the victim; act as though they are completely oblivious as to why - WHY - someone would "out of the blue" call them the dreaded "N Word" (and please don't get me started on how the Caucasian-dominated media makes matters worse by unilaterally deciding for blacks that nigger is forever a hurtful word).
These couple of guys, who have become poster-children for racial insensitivity with the rapidity of the rise of a teen pop queen, are not innocent blacks who were smeared merely for the color of their skin. They are loud-mouthed smart-alecks who were looking for trouble. And trouble once found, they and their paternalistic coddlers seek a group hug from the rest of us when really they are in need of a spanking and a lesson in manners.
No, I'll save my sympathy for some real victims. Not a couple of "N words" who walked into a comedy club.