11/23/2006 03:47 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Apology Not Accepted

Mark Breslin, the Canadian comic behind the country's chain of Yuk
Yuk's comedy club and himself a longtime comedian said, "I don't
think he's a racist. I think someone heckled him and he thought to
himself how can I really hurt this person. He made a bad choice." A bad
choice? This is an opinion that is obviously shared by many. John
Ridley, whose resume includes novels, films, TV shows, and plays, says, "if
these 'gentleman' had merely kept their mouths shut and enjoyed the show...
no one would have said a word to them." That's kind of like saying
if Rodney King would have simply pulled over when the police asked him
to, nothing would have happened. The action simply doesn't warrant
the reaction.

Sean Hannity tried to make the connection to Black
Comedians or rappers constantly using the N word in their various routines, as
if they're somehow similar. I have come to expect nothing but
ignorance out of the mouth of Sean Hannity, but he still consistently
surprises me. Now, I am someone who hates that word no matter who uses it. It
is a word that carries an enormous amount of history, and there is no
other word that can be hurled at a black person from a white person with
even close to an equal effect. It is the filthiest, nastiest, word in
the English language period.

That outburst is not something that Richards can simply say I'm sorry
for, and move on as if nothing ever happened. That surely didn't work
for Mel Gibson. This is not an accidental slip of the tongue, or a
temporary loss of one's temper. He actually made a reference to fork-based lynching. For a person to resort to that type of an attack has to be
laboring a deep sentiment of bigotry in its ugliest form. It is part of
his soul. Something that is connected to his entire being. Those were
the real feelings of Richards unmasked for
the entire world to see.

I'm sure he has had an enormous amount of practice suppressing that
feeling of hate, but he definitely showed his true colors that night.

The apology that he offered on "The Late Show With David Letterman"
was in my opinion without an ounce of sincerity. Obviously Seinfeld
convinced him that a public apology is something of the utmost importance
in a situation such as this. In that this could be a career killing
incident that would greatly effect not only his public perception and
image, but financially as well. He didn't come across as truly sorry for
his words, more sorry that he got caught. His references to the
"Afro-Americans" he offended, and the fact that he claims he is not a
racist but has rage issues is absolutely absurd. Simply put, only racist
people make racist remarks. I don't care how many times he denounces
his statements. Do you think this is the first time he has launched
language of this nature at a Black Person before? I seriously doubt it.
Finally, Richards said that his remarks should be seen as the "botched
joke" that it was, and not the emanations of any serious animous
towards black people. Does this sound like a man who is truly sorry, I think

An excerpt from a poem entitled "The N Word" In my book More Than
An Athlete

Pressed into the depths of our minds by wicked hands

Drowning in a never ending quicksand of hate

It exists as a scar from centuries of racism refusing to heal

A full coursed meal of poison served fresh

Employed to impose installments of an inferiority complex

Why won't we let this word die?

How can it still caress our everyday lives?

Murdering the pride our ancestors died fighting for

Destroying the minds our forefathers tried defending

Ignoring the cries our people suffered

The stolen dignity

Still unable to wash our minds clean

Ridding it of the filth of a soiled self esteem.