Wow. I never thought I'd be giving Michael "Kramer" Richards my Mel Gibson glasses-pulled-halfway-down-my-nose-glaring-displeasedly-over-the-frames look as I drag him by the earlobe for a proper whupping out by the woodshed. But here I go.
Michael Michael Michael. One NEVER uses the N word. One should never even THINK it. It takes a special kind of person to even have that word in their arsenal, to be pulled out when felt needed. I've had run-ins with people of all races and it has never occurred to me to ever call someone that. I'll cop to "b*tch" and whatnot, but not that. Maybe it's because you are of a previous generation? Where the word was heard and not met with a total social freeze-out? My parents would have beaten me senseless if I'd ever said it, on the theory that they raised me better than that, but not so well that I couldn't benefit from a little corporal reminder of right and wrong.
Michael dearie, my biggest fear for you is not that this shows your racism but rather that it shows your total lack of comedic talent. You had no humorous or disarming arrows in your quiver when faced with hecklers. You didn't even try to switch the humor to that old standby of the lowest common denominator: sex. You just went straight to the racial attack, which is not even comedy. It's just the hallmark of an undeveloped conscience.
I think you did the right thing apologizing, as I also told Mel. My only hint in ensuring that your apology is received in, I'm sure, the spirit you intended is to not direct it to "Afro-Americans" as if this was 1974. Although, something tells me that somewhere in your diseased psyche, it actually is.