November 30, 2006

Strakon Lights Up

The color of rage

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What in the world got into Michael Richards, the former "Seinfeld" stalwart who erupted in a nigger rant in response to a little heckling at a West Hollywood comedy club?

Soon after the story broke, Richards was reported to have made anti-Semitic remarks to hecklers during a stand-up routine in April. No one seems to have captured that incident on tape, but his (Jewish) publicist is claiming it was all part of his act. Richards is making no such claim with respect to the latest infelicity. Instead he immediately began touring the self-abasement circuit to declare that he was as surprised as anyone else at what came out of his mouth. He denied he is a racist, and he even appeared on the Incredibly Reverend Jesse Jackson's radio show to claim that his "rage has no color."

When I heard of the incident I cracked wise to a co-conspirator that Richards would no doubt soon be entering rehab, but it turned out to be no joke. According to the media, Richards has upped that particular ante and is now consulting an actual psychiatrist about his "rage issues." One hopes the witch doctor can prescribe something more useful than Hasbeenatrol. Several good shots of good scotch might do the trick.

Without delving into telepathy here, I think we can agree with the Negro and white-liberal establishment that Richards's rage does reveal at least a faint tint of some color. The kind of attack he launched doesn't come from nothing. But I've got a theory about what may have produced it that digs deeper than the exhausted "explanation" of irrational racial bigotry.

Imagine the cultural environment in which Richards lives and moves and breathes. It is soaked in notions of racial egalitarianism and minority privilege. (It's not my fault that those two propositions are contradictory.) It is populated by arrogant and thrusting minorities and by whites crippled by guilt at being whites. If all of that is becoming true of Dubuque, Iowa, just imagine what it must be like inside the entertainment industry in L.A. Now add to that the crime, misbehavior, primitivism, and incivility on the part of colored minorities that anyone living in a big city, even a non-ex-celebrity, is constantly exposed to. It is something that one cannot safely comment on; it's even risky to acknowledge it in polite circles.

For many years everyone around Richards has told him that in order to be a good person and a mentally healthy citizen he must believe in the saintliness of nonwhites and the wickedness of whites. But what Richards is obliged to officially believe — and what he probably wants to believe — is at war with what he observes every day. If I may venture briefly into the asylum of psychobabble, I'd like to remind my readers of the concept of cognitive dissonance.

Now I may be 'way, 'way off on this. In fact, for purposes of telepathy avoidance I probably ought to quit referring to Richards for the remainder of this discussion and start speculating about some white archetype: let's call him Kramer.

I wonder what Kramer might have done if he were a racial realist who found himself being heckled by rude Negroes. I'm fairly sure about what I'd have done. The other day when I went to the grocery in my almost-lily-white hamlet, upon my arrival at the checkout counter a Negro woman — a stranger to me — thrust herself and her purchases ahead of me in line. She had only a couple of items, and I had more, and if she'd asked me, I would have told her to go ahead. But no asking occurred. Why, fifty years ago she'd have found herself hanging upside down — well, no, actually, not in 1956 or, probably, even 1856. In the event, all I said — trying not to imitate Steve Martin — was, "Excuse me!" Rolling me the cold and hostile yellow eye, she proceeded to transact her business with the terrified and ignorant high-school boy running the cash register. After she left the store, I remarked to that register-drone, "Obviously no concept of a line!" He goggled at me, baffled and mute. And that was that.

Well, I can't really say what Kramer would have done. We have to make allowance, in these situations, for a wide range of individual personalities. I tend to shout only at white males, and only when they drive cars or snowmobiles across my back yard or perpetrate something equally insupportable. But there's more than just a peculiar personality in play here. I shout at white buffoons because I expect more of whites. Namely, I expect them not to be buffoons. Whether or not that's realistic, given today's degraded whites, it is at least reasonable to hold them to higher standards and remind them of who they are.

But as a racial realist I expect much less from Negroes who are strangers. Yes, their misbehavior burns me — and it can still shock me, as when Negro women microwave their children or cut fetuses out of other women's wombs in order to steal them. And when push actually comes to shove, we must shove back against these people in order to defend ourselves. But it doesn't surprise me when they break lines or make rude remarks, and it doesn't send me off.

The Kramer character on "Seinfeld," while massively quirky, was unfailingly cordial to the exotic and marginal folk he encountered; in fact, he seemed to seek them out. He was brimming with the milk of human kindness, though it did seem to curdle into thoughtlessness from time to time when he dealt with his white friends. I'd urge any real-life Kramers out there to try a little less fantasy and a little more realism. Racial realism might inoculate them against outbreaks of wild emotion in the face of typical minority antics. White Westerners must sometimes sell their reputations, their fortunes, and even their lives for the purchase of honor, but the last thing we need is for our people to sacrifice themselves to their own white rage.

November 30, 2006

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