Richard Pryor was certainly a troubled, self-destructive comedy genius, but he was also a remarkably bright, insightful, and articulate man who knew all too well the caricature-prison that had been built around people of color in America by stereotypes most often constructed by Hollywood and media elites.
And sadly, as all the years that have passed since this interview, we find so many of those self-limiting caricatures still hold due mostly to far too many who are all too willing to mirror those artificial expectations of what it is to be a minority in America. These artificial expectations have since become rampant in educational institutions that have erased pride and true history with no-fault victimization. Those who demand they be allowed to live beyond the limits of victimization are attacked and vilified, told they are not “really black” or an “Uncle Tom” while the repeating cycle of low expectation persists.
The elites that control so much of the media in the U.S. demand near-total subservience from minorities. Any talk of breaking free from the caricature chains that would make slaves of them all are met with swift and fierce retribution akin to the cracking of the master’s whip.
Richard Pryor knew the sound of that whip and likely felt its inner pain many times. You can see that experience reflected in his eyes here—eyes that hold the interviewer and make him struggle in the churning waters of his own elitist ignorance.
Sadly, that ignorance continues unabated today, made worse by the lighting-fast institutionalized racist caricatures perpetuated 24/7 by the social media complex that divides far more than it unites.