Opinion: Michael Ricards’ meltdown: racism at its most basic level

Link: The Seattle Times: Opinion: Michael Ricards’ meltdown: racism at its most basic level.

You might angrily snap that somebody is a "fat so-and-so" without really meaning it. You don’t spend two and a half minutes calling them fat unless fat is "exactly" what you mean.


6 responses to “Opinion: Michael Ricards’ meltdown: racism at its most basic level

  1. This was a very good opinion piece; thanks for sharing it, Joseph.

  2. Well that principle applies to insulting and defamotory slurs like “cult” and “psychotic” too. Hence my picket sign slogans that say –




    Had a little action today.

    Police action that is. . .

    Could get interesting. 😉

  3. some insight from Sinbad, who was backstage at the time:

  4. FWIW, I don’t love how the question was worded.

    I think had the survey question been “Was racism a factor in Richards’ outburst?” The poll results would have been more more decisive.

    Having seen the YouTube of Richards’ weird, rambling “apology,” on Letterman, my guess is that this man is going through a serious mental breakdown of some sort. To be honest, with what that guy seems to be going through, if his heckler were a woman or Arab or whatever, I think the only thing different would have been the specfic slurs.

    I do think this was a display of racism, but I don’t think racism is the root cause, and that might be what people are reacting to in saying “no.”

    But maybe I’m overthinking this.


  5. interesting comment ChaliceChick. If racism wasn’t the root cause, which I’m open to the idea and feel that there is never really 1 root cause, what were the causes? It seems to me a society with such an intense history of racialization has an impact on all when it comes to racism.

  6. I’d say the root cause of this particular incident is that Richads is having some sort of mental breakdown.

    To me, the YouTube of him on Letterman looked like a guy who needed some SERIOUS sit-down-on-this-counch-and-tell-me-about -your-mother time.

    He certainly used racism as a weapon, but I don’t think the racism itself made him do it.

    When I was in high school, some drunken idiots I went to school with painted Nazi symbols and anti-semetic words on some walls at school. We had a whole lot of discussion about anti-semetism at the time, but my impression was always that they weren’t particularly anti-semetic, but Nazis were the most shocking thing the could think of.

    That those words were below the surface is racism of course, but I don’t know, Richards’ apology just sounded really off to me. I’m sure he had every PR guy in the world writing his words and the words themselves sounded OK, especially in the beginning, but he has this creepy vacant look that looks to me like racism might not be his biggest problem by a long shot.


    Ps. I was thinking of you this morning when I heard about the typhoon.

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