Of our racist tolerance of the Kramers..

Click on the video above to watch Michael “Kramer” Richards speak on last Friday, as the audience enjoys a hearty laugh. In fact they were so enjoying that Richards was not stoned or kicked out. He went on to get exclusive interviews on television channels, entirely unharmed. No, the interviews were not conducted in some dingy prison cells, but atop celebrity couches for CNN consumption. The great mainstream media melting pot even aired him as he went on continuing with his racist unapologetic mode: “I’m not a racist. That’s what’s so insane about this.”

What had he said at the first place that he found those objecting to him were actually the insane people?

“Shut up! “Fifty years ago we’d have you upside down with a fucking fork up your ass.”

“You can talk, you can talk, you’re brave now motherfucker. Throw his ass out. He’s a nigger! He’s a nigger! He’s a nigger! A nigger, look, there’s a nigger!”

Politics of apology is a prerogative of the privileged. After all, the essentially underlying presumption is normalization of situation. In fact, apologies are the soothing weapons of the smooth criminals.

Michael Richards aka Kramer of the “Seinfeld” is another one in the line, following the horrible footsteps of Mel Gibson. No, I am not outraged that these celebrities became honest about how utterly inhumanely and disgustingly racists they were. But certainly outraged that these bigots are still at large in the society hogging the fancy of thousands of their young fans clearly as misguided missiles as are the Aryan sisters called “Prussian Blue”, about whom I wrote last year.

I am clearly outraged that the white supremacist society has yet not found a solution to teach itself some decent lesson in human dignity even after its long evolution as it claims, other than letting some liberal middlemen hosting quick subsequent apology shows to forgive evil intentions as some form of accidental lip-slips.

Was I hoping any better than this? Are we all hoping that the Congressmen will suddenly behave better than corrupt jerks preaching moralist pronouncements of the sexist church order? Are we hoping that the Hollywood will eventually make better movies than pathetically dumb discourse called Crash and the television stars will become any better than this sick, deafeningly sick, Michael Richards? Or that our educational institutes will finally stop bullshitting us about how World War II ended with bombing of Japan and that Ronald Reagan “apologized” a bit too late. Or that we shall be treated to some charming Oprah any better than announcing that “Dreamgirls” is the movie she loves because its made for all people irrespective of their economic class! Aha!

No, I am not expecting miracles here. For the most, the way the television culture has depraved us, a movie or a performer only remains to be graded in terms of recognition and awards. Will she win Oscars? An entirely uncritical society resting on laurels of backdoor promotional competitions to shape its yardsticks of appreciation will only be able to reflect in its churned out “talents”, its own true self.

Michael Richards is not some self-made TV star. He is not some celebrity on his own merit. He is just one of us. He is there at that stage, because we put him there to entertain us. Because most of us actually laughed like sick saddists without applying our critical minds to the television culture. Every evening, this country (and following it, most in the rest of the world) telecasts stupid comedy shows that runs late into the late night with special comedy shows, apparently by liberal by names of Stewarts and Lopezs too. There are dedicated channels and prominent companies producing “stand-up comedies” 24/7. The culture of humor in capitalistic marketplace is the most potent ingredient to normalize the otherwise actual tension that prevails in the society.

Humor as capitalistic agent of illusive consensus:

Racial tensions are not some exaggerated fictionalized accounts of hyped media reports. They are for real. In fact, in every racist country from Britain to France, they are the only things that’re real. Denial of privilege and race-blindness is the prerogative of the few elites representing the historically oppressing racial category that manufactures the divisions to distinguish humans on basis of color skin. One would have wished the Apartheid ended. One would have perhaps also imagined that the black issues were resolved following desegregation. But wishes and hopes do not make a society run.

The reality is that the racial tensions are necessary consequence of free trade capitalism. It is capitalism that’s the creator of racism through its patriarchal control of private property by means of subjugating human beings as slaves to further the profit consolidation of the masters class. In fact, for capitalism to grow and further its own interests, racism needs to be furthered too. New forms of racism will take place of old forms of racism, just as credit cards are replacing old cash circulation. But the essential implementation of divide and rule will forever remain the cornerstone for the wealth-grabbers to stay in power over those that earlier used to remain as slaves, and now as freemarket consumers. Earlier they were house slaves, today they are software slaves. Difference is in the degrees.

Likewise, earlier the subjugation of society used to take place through sheer brutal force. As the levels of sophistication increased, the territorial conquests were replaced by imperialistic expansions. And these days, via more implicitly sophisticated means such as words defined by the masters’ dictionaries as soothing: words such as liberty, democracy, family, happiness, elections, television, comedies and organic food.

So what we have is the culture of comedies in the most obnoxious of places. In the most inappropriate settings. During the most pathetic times. Never in the history of humanity, so many people of the world felt so very helpless at their inability to prevent wars of mass destructions launched by the most unqualified of people to assume leaderships. And yet during days like these, the television shows and comedy films are making the biggest of business. During a time when the entertainment industry should have been focusing on agitating the people through critical education about their role in reversing world order, we have all the world television channels owned by five old men and the film industries run by people like Tarantinos (another N-word hyperactivist). And all of them have readymade shows to make people stay relaxed. How will we know if we need to be relaxed? The celebrities tell us when is the time to relax and how to feel relaxed after undergoing body jobs. How we shall know this is the time to laugh? The background clap sequences on comedies will ask us to laugh along the scenes. Such perversity of underestimation of collective human intelligence is a compelling tale of how far have we regressed in our movements.

What to do with Michael Richards?

Nothing. Ideally he should be jailed for “fifty years with a fork up on his ass”. That’s the minimum verdict that he deserves. But that’s not even a portion of what we must all undergo if we envisage our future as active agents of humanity, and not some remote controlled passive recipients of messages and bullets.

All of us must daily observe a couple of hours introspecting about our own inactions, apathy, indifference, involvement and withdrawal from the largely racist world that has been a direct creation as a result of our collective indecisiveness. While at it, we must realize that we need to be as honest with ourselves as Richards and Gibson were with themselves, not just when we are angry, but throughout the 24 hours everyday. If overcoming the deep love for our own dominant supremacist race at the cost of degrading those we oppressed becomes too difficult, we must be prepared to die the way that abominable creature and our racist epitome called Hitler ended his life. We don’t need another television show which the neo-nazis like Michael Richards pay to apologize. We need Richards and his likes to be forced to introspect and change. And if they do not “amend”…..Well, they better amend.

I wish I could say all that I wanted to. But unlike some elite white folks in this country and their counterparts in much of Europe, I certainly do not enjoy “Hate Speech” privilege anyway. And neither do I want to enjoy any of this. Good for them.

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Author: Saswat Pattanayak

Journalist, Generalist, Atheist, Poet, Lover, Photographer, Communist, Third wave Feminist, LGBT ally, Black power comrade, Peacenik, Anti-capitalist, Critical media theorist, Radical film critic, Academic non-elite…

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