Monday, November 20, 2006

Michael Richards update; Frank Evans

For those of you who are interested Michaels Richards will be on the David Letterman show.

I knew what I said about Richards-Gibson would be controversial to some people at least.

From: Mark Adams
For those who accept Mr. Gorman's characterization of Mel Gibson's apology as one "in which he casts himself as the victim" I provide the actual text Gibson's apology. How anyone could read it and describe it as Mr. Gorman has is beyond me.

"There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of anti-Semitic remark. I want to apologise specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said to a law enforcement officer the night I was arrested on a DUI charge.

"I am a public person, and when I say something, either articulated and thought out, or blurted out in a moment of insanity, my words carry weight in the public arena. As a result, I must assume personal responsibility for my words and apologise directly to those who have been hurt and offended by those words.

"The tenets of what I profess to believe necessitate that I exercise charity and tolerance as a way of life. Every human being is God’s child, and if I wish to honour my God I have to honour his children. But please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot. Hatred of any kind goes against my faith.

"I’m not just asking for forgiveness. I would like to take it one step further, and meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one-on-one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing.

"I have begun an ongoing program of recovery and what I am now realising is that I cannot do it alone. I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display, and I am asking the Jewish community, whom I have personally offended, to help me on my journey through recovery.

"Again, I am reaching out to the Jewish community for its help. I know there will be many in that community who will want nothing to do with me, and that would be understandable. But I pray that that door is not forever closed.

"This is not about a film. Nor is it about artistic license. This is about real life and recognising the consequences hurtful words can have. It’s about existing in harmony in a world that seems to have gone mad."

3:15 PM

Ed here: Mark, Gibson's whole response seemed scripted to me. That's just the way I heard it. Maybe he genuinely feels sorry for what he said. But it didn't feel that way to me. And there was here and there the tone of self-pity. I'm not writing him off a human being. I don't think what he did was unforgivable, though I understand people who can't forgive him. I think a bit of the reaction was over the top. But still and all you can't look at his movie about Christ and see that it's anything but an anti-Semetic screed. I'm sorry if I made it sound so personal. I just thought the tv appearance didn't sound human and that the movie was a hate piece. The same with Michael Richards. It saddens me that somebody whose work I admire has that kind of hatred in his brain. I believe we're all raised to be racists (and I includde some blacks but they've got a hell of a lot more reason to hate whites than whites have to hate them). But it's what Father Hesbergh at Notre Dame always said--we're raised to be racists so our measure is how we deal with those thoughts and impulses. Richards failed the test--as did Gibson--miserably.

Frank Evans wrote me ofline:

"How do you disarm two men with knives?"

My wife and I laughed about that. I didn't mean to sound tough. I'm not tough and never have been, much as I've dreamed of emptying out a few bars in my time. So how do you disarm two men with knives? I should've made it clear. As I recall, it took lots of time and lots of begging. Since they had the knives we had no way of threatening them. I didn't really think they'd cut each other but who the hell knew when they were that loaded. One would trip accidentally and stab the other guy. They didn't drink during our badgering so I think they managed to see how stupid it was to be fighting over a quarter and then they finally put the knives down. I remember clearly that they woudn't shake hands. Life in the small city.

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