In Defense Of Free Speech
April 11, 2007 § 9 Comments
Before this Imus monumental painful word attack, a lesser known incident involving a black basketball coach took place. Micheal Ray Richardson blew a fuse at a game and screamed F-bombs and homophobic slurs at a heckling fan during a game. Micheal Ray Richardson is about as black as black can be in case you’re wondering. Later (or before…the time line isn’t important) during an interview with the local newspaper, he was asked about a contract he was about to sign. He started an uneducated jive diatribe about his Jew Lawyers and how they be smart and they be crafty and went on and on with stereotypical remarks even after being warned they may be considered offensive. In his tiny mind, he was being complimentary, and I tend to believe he was. He’s a basketball player, not a scholar.
After a day or two, the league decided his comments were too offensive and fired Richardson from his coaching position. The reasons were vague. Most assumed it was his “anti-semitic” comments and reported it that way, which created another firestorm of bullshit. Later however, a very brief, tiny report surfaced somewhere that I just happened to be listening. It was the general manager of Richardson’s team explaining why he was fired. I only heard the story once and never again anywhere. You know how those things go.
The manager’s explanation was simple. The organization will not stand for coaches engaging in vulgar exchanges with fans during games. They just can’t respond to heckling, and certainly not with the F-word or other such offensive rant. The references to homosexuals (faggot) wasn’t even the issue, it was the act itself and the vulgar language. Kids sit in the bleachers at basketball games. It made sense to me. This behavior only escalates and could cause more of a chaotic situation. But that wasn’t good enough for civil rights fuckfaces. They needed this to be more than simply a broken mortal rule…
Now it’s widely believed Micheal Ray Richardson was fired because he made “anti-semitic” statements in an interview with a newspaper. Perhaps the team and its general manager succumbed to pressure and changed their minds for the purpose of a more controversial news item. Who knows? But the fact is, I heard with no doubt whatsoever, the manager state the reasons as I have written above for the firing of the coach. What is infuriating to me is Richardson’s comments about the Jews were not necessarily insulting or demeaning. They were in fact as he stated he believed, complimentary to his lawyers and their entire religious group. And I have to agree with him. The fact that they are stereotyping Jews is what seems to be at issue. But who should be offended if the stereotype is complimentary? Certainly not the Jewish people. I wish people would look at me and consider me brilliant and crafty based on my ethnicity!
I don’t really know how to end this except to say I believe everyone should be allowed to think as they see fit about who they like or who they don’t like. Perhaps these public figures who use their media exposure to promote their personal feelings about others might be better off just shutting up, but why should anyone try and force them to apologize? At least not for their personal beliefs. Maybe for their inappropriate use of public airwaves, but certainly not for their own opinions. The apologies only seem to dig them all in deeper holes. Richardson tried to explain that a black man uses the word “faggot” in a different way than a white man. He said blacks use it to incite a reaction where whites may take it as a homophobic statement. Ok…he should have just left it at that, but he didn’t. He dug deeper. He likened it to white people calling blacks “nigger”. He said if white folks knew the real meaning of the word they would never say it, and he is not offended by the use of the word. Whaaa? HUH? I almost spit out my tongue. The guy deserved to be fired now in my opinion. And there should be no gray area as to why…
Because he is too fucking stupid to be allowed out in public.