Michael Richards: I Believe His Pain Is Quite Real

I'm not here to apologize for what Michael Richards ("Kramer" on the old Seinfeld series) did at the Laugh Factory last Friday where the N word was abused and worse.

But, watching him on David Letterman just now, I very much believe his pain is real and that he's very much trying to figure out how something so ugly came out when he said he does not believe he is a racist. When he said he really needs to explore what came from him, I found myself believing he will.

I do not believe Mel Gibson was ever contrite; only that he got caught.

Richards, however, sounds like a shattered man. To speak tonight as he did by satellite on Letterman, I think anyone who saw it as well cannot question his veracity. This isn't - like the old sad joke which my mother used to invoke when talking about the only woman of color she ever worked with - the old joke about, "Some of my best friends are black."

Those of color who feel hurt or angered about the incident (and I was as not a person of color) will have to reach their own conclusions.