Go ahead and say it….I dare you….

With Michael Richards a.k.a Kramer saying what I feel most of “them” think and want to say, it was only a matter of time before it became office talk. We’re a few weeks into his rampage in which he has since profusely apologized and said he’s not racist (right….yeah..and umm I’m not black…I’m cablinasian) but no one seemed to talk about it at work.

Until yesterday…..

See, every week we have these group lunches where we all go out to eat together and talk about everything from work to personal crap. I, am THE only brother in my group which consists of whites and a few other nationalities who act white (so count them as white). Everyone obviously has their own views on topics and I can’t lie, some of our conversations get real heated and interesting (like around election time when I bashed our lovely President’s foreign policy and a few of my co-workers took it personal). I enjoy the challenge and the opportunity to express my views.

But yesterday……

One of my co-workers apparently had NO idea what happened (dude where have YOU BEEN?) with “Kramer” and being the huge Seinfeld fan that he is, he decided that yesterday’s lunch was the best forum to discuss it. (this guy frequently says quotes from Seinfeld – that’s how big a fan he is).

“Can someone tell me what happened with Kramer?” said the oblivious one.

“You mean you don’t know?” said another co-worker.

“Let’s just say he said some things he shouldn’t have” said a 3rd co-worker attempting to end the conversation.

All this time my head is down. I’m eating my food, but listening to every single word.

“Like what? What he say?” said the oblivious one.

“Well he was performing at a comedy club and someone starts to heckle him and so he just lost it and went on this rampage and started calling them…….” says a co-worker looking like he was about to do his Michael Richards imitation.

At this point, I looked up from my food and stared this dude right in his eyes and I could see his and every other person’s heartbeat at the table racing.

“Look, it was inappropriate. Let’s just leave it at that. Check the internet” the 3rd co-worker said.

“Wow. It was that bad?” said the oblivious one.

“Yup”. I finally said.

I’m sure when we got back to the office, other co-workers discussed it with him but I’m glad co-worker #3 used some common sense and restraint. He usually does – not just on race discussions but on religion discussions as well. Any topic that he feels would make someone uncomfortable, he avoids. Smart dude.

Funny though, later on yesterday co-worker #3 comes in my office and says that during the discussion, I had this look on my face which he caught a glimpse of. Apparently my look said “if you say this word, I’m gonna smack the sh*t outta you” I’m sure I was thinking that but I didn’t think it was written all over my face.

Truthfully I didn’t watch that video for like a week. I didn’t want to see it. His actions didn’t surprise me. I guess a part of me expects that sometimes and a part of me wanted to act like it didn’t happen. But this is 2006…almost 2007 and “it” is still alive and well and “it” can surface at any time. To be honest, I wanted him to say it because I would’ve loved the opportunity to educate them on it.

Paul Mooney said he’s not using the word anymore. Dave Chappelle said the same thing. Richard Pryor stopped. I haven’t heard any hip hop artists come forward with that. Maybe I missed something? Some people cringe. Other people embrace it depending on who it’s coming from. If those guys heckled Dave Chappelle and he said the same words, would there be this much controversy? That dude dropped the word all throughout his show. I hear us say it all the time. “What’s up my n….?!?!?!” or “That n….. crazy!” Hell, maybe we’re part of the problem.

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~ by alwaysfunkyfresh on December 5, 2006.

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