NASHVILLE, Tenn., November 22, 2006—Former “Seinfield” star Michael Richards’ tirade of racial slurs and obscenities at a comedy club in Hollywood shocked Americans this week. In the first decade of the 21st century, how could someone with the cultural sophistication and pluralistic societal exposure of a television star like Richards harbor such vile and hateful feelings and thoughts in his heart and soul?
The answer is the depravity of the human heart. While far fewer children in America are being taught racist prejudices at home or in society than in the past, only an extremely naïve person would say racism does not continue to exist in American culture. Racism and the ugly destructive prejudices it spawns are still with us, and will continue to be. Why? Fallen, sinful human hearts are always going to be subject to the temptation to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, which is the root of all prejudice. Michael Richards' meltdown, as well as the recent Mel Gibson episode, reminds us that racism will always be with us. We must be ever vigilant to its presence within our fallen natures and our fallen society, as well as mindful of our duty to renounce and denounce it whenever and wherever it appears.
To view the full article written on this issue, go to http://erlc.com/erlc/article/theres-nothing-funny-about-racism .
p(notes). The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest non-Catholic denomination with more than 16.2 million members in over 43,500 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.