telemann weighed in on a post I made earlier about being offended by words & such, and asked an EXCELLENT set of questions by bringing up the recent racist tirade by actor Michael Richards:
telemann: "I'm curious what your take was on Michael Richard's story? Was he wrong, right? What about those people who he offended? Is he being politically correct to offer an apology now?"
me: Good question, definitely glad you brought it up. I think in the case of MR, he absolutely has the right to say whatever he wants to say, of course he does - this IS still the United States of America, after all. And we have the right to find his outburst completely repugnant and inappropriate should we choose to, absolutely. The apology was posturing and backpedaling, NO ONE says racially inflammatory things unless they mean to, there is no "I didn't really mean what I said, honest and for true - some of my best friends are blacks and Jews!"
Bullshit, if you said it, you fucking meant it. Don't apologize for it, fucking have the balls to own it. If you're a racist, be all you can be and don't hide it - if it's something you have no problem with, wear it as a badge of honor, let people know where you stand, but don't puss out and go back later pretending you didn't mean it because everyone knows you did.
So yes, I believe he had every right to say whatever he wanted to say, just as I or anyone else does. I thought it was completely fucked up, but that's a far cry from suggesting that he should have no right to his opinion, no matter how fucked up I may think it is. If he has no right to free speech, then none of us do. It cuts both ways.
The entire thread and any additional comments can be found here. Add your 2¢ if'n you wanna.