While some black ministers have reportedly refused to accept the apology of former "Seinfeld" star Michael Richards, who had gone on a tirade of racial remarks at a popular comedy club, one outspoken black leader put the blame on black culture.
The Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, founder of the Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny, issued a statement Wednesday calling for an end to racial double standards.
"If the word 'nigger' is so offensive and shocking to blacks, then why do black people themselves continue to use this word?" asked Peterson. "The word is kept alive by black comedians and rappers, and is a part of the everyday language and fabric of the pseudo 'black culture.' Yet, whites are forbidden from uttering this word."
Richards' verbal barrage began when two clubgoers at the Los Angeles Laugh Factory shouted at him that he wasn't funny. Richards then went into a rage and said "some pretty nasty things about Afro-Americans," as he acknowledged on the "Late Show" with David Letterman, including the "n-word."
"I'm really busted up over this," said Richards live on video from Los Angeles, "and I'm very, very sorry to those people in the audience - the blacks, the Hispanics, the whites, everyone that was there that took the brunt of that anger, and hate, and rage and how it came through."
The apology was not enough for Pentecostal minister the Rev. Al Sharpton and other blacks, according to a news release. Peterson, however, explained the difficult circumstances that whites face when addressing blacks.
"A growing number of white Americans feel as though they are forced to wear a politically correct muzzle when it comes to discussing race issues," he said. "Whites are growing increasingly frustrated about being labeled 'racist' whenever they disagree with blacks."
"Black people cannot continue using this word, yet label others as 'racists' when they do the same in a fit of anger, as Michael Richards did," he added. "By not allowing whites to express themselves, it only drives the problem underground and forces people to keep these emotions bottled up-in essence, the politically correct culture is helping to create people like Michael Richards!"
Richards' apology on the Letterman show was the first time he spoke publicly about his remarks.