Audio: Jesse Jackson interviews Michael Richards

Here’s a cultural moment to hang above America’s fireplace: a vicious racist mumbling New Age psychobabble at the feet of a man who made the word “hymie” famous and whose latest crusade is to criminalize offensive speech by expanding the “fighting words” exception to the First Amendment.

I do think Richards helped himself here but not in the way he intended. He’s so high-strung and kooky — witness the bizarre “the words the words the words” and “the names the names the names” business at the beginning — that you’re left wondering if he’s fully in control of his faculties. He talked at one point about all the “rage” he feels, too, although I had to cut that as part of the fair-use culling.

Jackson, to his credit, did respond later on to Richards’ point about the ubiquity of the word “nigga” and said he wants to change that lest kids get the idea that it’s okay. I had to cut that too, unfortunately.

The whole segment is heavily edited for brevity.