Greer McVay’s Web Log (BLOG)
Volume 1, Issue 14
August 17, 2010
Laura Schlessinger aka Dr. Laura came under attack recently when she repeatedly used the “N-word” in her response to a question posed on her radio show by a caller. The caller was a Black Woman, married to a White man, who felt offended by what she perceived as disrespectful language by her husband’s friend’s and his willingness to allow the language in her presence. Essentially, Dr. Laura told her to “get over it” and develop a sense of humor about it. This sparked a national outrage.
Everyone is missing the point here. The caller's question essentially boiled down to this: "My husband allows his friends to say and do things in our home that I find personally disrespectful." Nothing beyond that is even pertinent.
But instead of answering a relatively benign relationship question with a reasonable answer (i.e., talk to him about how you feel or leave the marriage or whatever), "Dr." Laura seized the opportunity to make some weak point about the use of the "N-word" that really didn't fit the context. She didn't ask the caller if she was offended when rappers and comedians used the word, but she did declare that because comedians and other’s use the word, as a “term of endearment,” that it is now up for grabs for anyone else who chooses to use it, in any context. She basically told the caller that she needed to be less sensitive about the comments because of the behavior of individuals external to her marriage. Huh?
Then, in some inexplicable segue, Laura went on some diatribe about the ‘fact’ that Blacks voted for President Obama only because he is Black and that is racist. Huh? What did I miss? Laura clearly was looking for a chance to bash Black people for having the audacity to vote for Obama. There was no logical link between the caller’s question and Laura’s theme about Blacks voting for Obama. Did she ask the caller if she voted for Obama? No, she did not. Would that question have even been relevant in this dialogue? No, it would not.
As if that wasn’t enough, she then recounted some lame event in her life where 35 of her best friends, one of whom is Black, and on her payroll, decided mid-BBQ to break out into some basketball challenge; she asserted that she had to have the Black employee (I mean friend) on her team because “white men can’t jump!” Presumably, Laura and this one Black teammate that she hand-selected (and pays) would beat the bejeezus out of the entirety of the opposing 33 member-white-non-jumping team. (?) To Laura, this team-choosing choice and proclamation was a laugh-riot and anyone who thought otherwise lacks a humor chip.
Needless to say, shortly after this disastrous phone call, Laura issued an apology. "I articulated the N-word all the way out — more than one time, and that was wrong. I'll say it again — that was wrong."
Laura’s apology is irrelevant because she didn’t need to apologize. Her use of the N-word (within this context) isn’t the problem. Her attitude about Black people, their voting patterns, their hyper-sensitivity, etc. are the problem. However, she shouldn’t apologize for her attitudes. She is allowed to have them. However, she does need to admit to her attitudes and own them wholeheartedly.
Her statement about her “dear friend and bodyguard” is very telling. Most people don’t have to pay people to be their friend. That she has one Black person in her world that she thinks can jump is an obnoxious accomplishment to prove her point about the use of or need to have a sense of humor.
Laura has been irrelevant for years and she is trying to stir up controversy to get back into people’s consciousness. Well, she picked a good time in history to do so. Hate and race-baiting are so prevalent right now that she’ll get new fans and followers. I only wish she’d get ostracized by people on the right who genuinely want us to move toward a post-racial society. And by the way, having a president who is Black does not give anyone permission to demonstrate racial intolerance. Pointing out race, racial inequality or discrimination is NOT playing the race card. It is making an observation that might be factual and in need of discussion and resolution. Some people do identify race as a problem when it is not, but more often than not those instances are based on misinformation or ineffectual communication, not flagrant abuse of identification of race (aka “playing the race card").
Laura clearly has an issue with integrated marriage, as her last comment related to this call illustrated. So to the caller, just because you are racially sensitive and Laura thinks that you have no sense of humor does not mean that you shouldn’t marry outside your race. Marry whomever you want but don’t let him behave in a manner that is disrespectful to you. And stop calling the Dr. Laura show. If you lay down with dogs you will wake up with fleas.
UPDATE: Dr. Laura announced that she will end her syndicated radio show so that she can focus on regaining her First Amendment Rights. Again, huh?