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What exactly did Dr. Laura do wrong?

And why is she apologizing?

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is under fire for using the N-word on her radio show to make a point...about the N-word.


"It's unacceptable," said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League to ABC. "There's no way that it's acceptable. It's not funny, it's offensive to African-Americans. She should know better. There should be consequences."

Schlessinger troubles began when she had a debate on Tuesday with a black female caller. ABC reports the caller was asking about her white husband's friends and their use of the N-word.

From ABC:

Schlessinger replied:  "Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO and listen to a black comic, and all you hear is n****r, n****r, n****r. I don't get it. If anybody without enough melanin says it, it's a horrible thing. But when black people say it, it's affectionate. It's very confusing."

The caller then expressed shock at Schlessinger's use of the N-word.

Schlessinger then replies: "Oh, then I guess you don't watch HBO or listen to any black comedians. My dear, the point I am trying to make ... we've got a black man as president and we've got more complaining about racism than ever. I think that's hilarious."

Schlessinger added she "didn't spew out" the N-word and repeated, "n****r, n****r, n****r is what you hear on HBO....Don't take things out of context. Don't NAACP me."

Schlessinger finished her thought after the call ended: "If you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry outside of your race."

She later aplogized: "I talk every day about doing the right thing. And yesterday, I did the wrong thing," she said. "I didn't intend to hurt people, but I did. And that makes it the wrong thing to have done. I was attempting to make a philosophical point, and 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."

No... in this context, it wasn't wrong.... at all...  and sadly, the point that was attempting to be made is now lost in the apology.


Once again, sanity and logic succumbs to the influence and power of the race pimps and race baiters.


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Comments (30)

Of course she is exactly ri... (Below threshold)

Of course she is exactly right. And the oh-so-typical reaction by the race nazis to what she said is exactly why we CAN'T have an honest, open discussion about racial issues in this country.

The race nazis would have no reason for existence or source of income and power. The only thing that is "offensive" to them is the idea that people of different colors might ACTUALLY be able to sit down and rationally discuss matters of race (and their inconsistencies as Dr Laura pointed out). The race nazis can't have that.

I quit listening to Dr. Lau... (Below threshold)

I quit listening to Dr. Laura years ago, but in this case she was right the first time. AG Holder says we're a "nation of cowards" when talking about race. Dr. Laura's mea culpa about her own perfectly accurate statement regarding the language on HBO and other cable outlets airing black comedians' routines suggests that any attempt to speak openly and honestly about troublesome issues will be met with such irrational hostility that the speaker will quickly be forced to retract her statement. With this atmosphere, no wonder many are too timid to speak up.

So....what exactly is the l... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

So....what exactly is the legal or moral basis that 'one group may use foul names, but if another group uses the same foul names they get boycotted or fired or publicly denounced by the race-baiter industry'?

I'd really like to have someone seriously explain the legal or moral basis for this.

I think the Dr. is a biatch, but she was right the first time. Frankly, she was a coward for later apologizing; though if her livelihood was in jeopardy I can understand why she backtracked. Most people would do the same.

Never apologize for speakin... (Below threshold)

Never apologize for speaking the truth.

Dr. Laura forgot that we've... (Below threshold)

Dr. Laura forgot that we've gone backwards to a time when there were magic words and evil words. I think n---r is a magic word. Say it once and *poof* your career disappears.

"I think n---r is a magic w... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"I think n---r is a magic word. Say it once and *poof* your career disappears."

Again, it disappears only if you are of a certain group. If you are of an anointed other group, it can be a career enhancer.

That's a real logical, moral and societal problem, there. One that will continue to cause friction and problems until it is addressed.

I think as Iwog say's. _igg... (Below threshold)

I think as Iwog say's. _igg_r is a Taboo word. As 'jigaboo' is to some extent. Unless half black comedians use it.

If you are white like Imus or Laura then it is always used poltically to advance or end career's or hate to say it. 'blackmail' you.

I recall reading a piece by... (Below threshold)

I recall reading a piece by an elderly black news commentator from southern Florida several years ago (sorry, senior moment, can't recall his name). He wrote about an incident where he went into the local neighborhood market. As he waited in line at checkout, a young black teenager pushed past him in line saying "What's up ol' N......." The elderly gentleman said he grabbed the kid by the collar, knocked the items from his hands that he was going to purchase, and kicked his ass out of the story. He stated that he was furious that a black person thought they could use that term with impunity. In a followup article, he said that he'd received letters where people had defended the teenager. The remark was meant to be "affectionate". The old guy wasn't buying it.

I don't think that the word... (Below threshold)

I don't think that the word in question is ever acceptable as it has always had a pejorative connotation. But why then is the word from which it derives also "black-listed"? "Negro" is the correct descriptive word and distinguishes someone of sub-saharan African heritage from any other ethnicity -- as opposed to a North-African Arab, the central-African Pygmy, or the Southern-Africa Khoisan (Bushmen), all of whom are "African".

I've spent many years in Liberia, Africa's oldest Black Republic -- founded in 1847 by freed American slaves. So if anyone has a right to say what is definitively the right word to use, they should be unimpeachable.

Article 27(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia:

"In order to preserve, foster and maintain the positive Liberian culture, values and character, only persons who are Negroes or of Negro descent shall qualify by birth or by naturalization to be citizens of Liberia."


Stick to "cracker." That's ... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Stick to "cracker." That's always safe.

I heard the clip of this ye... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I heard the clip of this yesterday. Schlessinger's problem was that the lady was asking her for advice on how to handle her husband's boorish relatives, and Schlessinger wanted to make the call about black people's alleged "hypersensitivity." She seemed to smell blood, and went too far. If I was black, I'd probably be "hypersensitive" too.

Schlessinger is not a "Doctor" of psychology. She's a radio talk show host who uses the patsies who call into her show as fodder for her ultraconservative 1950s arguments. The LAST thing she wanted was an "honest, open discussion." She wanted to shock - she wanted controversy. And she got it. Now she can portray herself as a victim of political correctness. And many will be duped by this schtick, including you guys here.

As far as how offended one should be when words are used by this group as opposed to that group, I have a vaguely similar analogy: When I use the word "cracker," I hear "people like me, who were born poor, white, and struggling in the Southeast." When a black person says the same word, I hear, "ignorant peckerwood racist prick." See the similarity?

"See the similarity?"... (Below threshold)

"See the similarity?"

No. I hear "I'm freaking ignorant", same as when anyone uses the other word, be they black or white.

Dr. Laura should answer all... (Below threshold)

Dr. Laura should answer all her calls by first saying "whats crackalackin, homey?"

Well, Mr Fan, when I was gr... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Well, Mr Fan, when I was growing up in North Florida (born 1954), "Florida Cracker" and "Georgia Cracker" were terms similar to "Hoosier" or "Buckeye" or "Tarheel."

The word was, even then, a pejorative in some circles. But not in all.

Maybe it's kinda like "redneck." Once ALWAYS an insult, many have embraced the term and wear it as a point of pride, like in Gretchen Wilson's song.

When I use the word "cra... (Below threshold)

When I use the word "cracker," I hear "people like me, who were born poor, white, and struggling in the Southeast." When a black person says the same word, I hear, "ignorant peckerwood racist prick." See the similarity?

When I hear the word 'cracker', I think saltine. Or Nabisco. Guess it's what you grow up with...

And though I now live in the Southeast, I don't hear many people going around saying "Hey, Cracka! How's it hangin'?" Or "You stupid fargin' Cracka!" But then, maybe I just don't hang around with the proper low-lifes.

Is it still OK to say Maria... (Below threshold)

Is it still OK to say Maria and Arnold's last name? Especially since "Swarzen" means Black in the Austrian Language.

Burt, I'm curious on what's... (Below threshold)

Burt, I'm curious on what's the translation for "cracker" in Austrian?

Re # 15:I think, M... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Re # 15:

I think, Mr Lawson, that the term "cracker" in the sense I remember from my childhood is out of style. Just like "I declare" or "My stars!", it's something you just don't hear anymore.

But, back to the topic, I don't think Schlessinger is really a racist. "Rude, insensitive, impolite harridan," now, that comes closer to describing "Doctor" Laura. Or maybe, "CYNICAL, rude, insensitive, impolite harridan."

"CYNICAL, rude, insensitiv... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"CYNICAL, rude, insensitive, impolite harridan."

All those are probably true.

None of those means she was incorrect on this issue, though.

" "Rude, insensitive, im... (Below threshold)

" "Rude, insensitive, impolite harridan," now, that comes closer to describing "Doctor" Laura. Or maybe, "CYNICAL, rude, insensitive, impolite harridan." "

I used to listen to her on occasion on drive-time radio. Could get her and one other station that didn't totally suck. What few music stations I could stand would have one or two songs, then three commercials, a traffic report, two commercials, a weather report, two commercials, a dumb-ass DJ - and then two more songs. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Dante would have used it as a punishment in the Inferno. Sat radio saved my sanity... what there was left of it.

Dr. Laura was pretty abrasive and hard to take - but I noticed after a while that she was telling people things they already KNEW, but didn't want to admit to themselves. They knew their actions were stupid, they knew their feelings were wrong - but they seemed to need validation that they KNEW they were being stupid, that they KNEW their feelings were wrong - and she provided that. Once people got to "Oh, okay, I'm being a dumbass about this", it seemed to give them the tools to deal with it.

Let's face it - you don't call a show like that because you know everything's right with your world. You know something's messed up, and you need to find out just what. Dr Laura hits 'em hard in the face with a clue-by-four, and that helps. There is no time to be gentle (It's radio - another commercial is ALWAYS coming up... dammit) - hit them hard, shatter their defenses, and get them to realize what they already know, and THEN be gentle and sensitive.

It's pretty clear the woman's got husband problems - if he's aware she doesn't like the word, but not standing up for her when the friends use it, then she's got three choices - either work on the hubby until he DOES, stay the meek, silent, continually insulted wife, or dump him. (Or stand up for herself and kick the bums out.)

Whichever way she goes, the woman's going to need a thicker, um... skin.

It's been about two or thre... (Below threshold)

It's been about two or three years since the last "niggardly" explosion. We're overdue for another one.

Dang:<a href="http... (Below threshold)
Now I demand an apology for... (Below threshold)

Now I demand an apology for her apology.

Barry sure is niggardly ... (Below threshold)

Barry sure is niggardly in the job creation department.

I'm white. Well mostly. Wh... (Below threshold)

I'm white. Well mostly. When we see someone act like "White Trash" we call it white trash. And when we see..... so there you go. Call it like it is.

".... I didn't intend to hu... (Below threshold)

".... I didn't intend to hurt people, but I did ...."

No you did not.

As a little reflection on the expression: "to TAKE offense," might make clear to all but the most stupid Americans -- and to the rest of the "Democratic" potty's "base."

I don´t use the word, but d... (Below threshold)

I don´t use the word, but does anybody seem to realize what the word means and where it came from?
Two countries in Africa are named Niger and Nigeria and the are based on the the French word which means black. The word nigger came from that origin and referred to black people. It was not meant as an offensive term back then.
What´s so offensive about calling someone black in another language?
I am a missionary overseas in South America and the people often refer to me as a "Gringo". Sometimes they mean to offend, and sometimes they don´t. I like to think that I have a good enough self-esteem to not feel offended in either case.
Obviously, some other people don´t think highly enough of their own value as a person made in the image of God, and are easily offended.
If we could stop having a chip on our shoulder of whatever color or gender, perhaps we could get a long a lot better.

Hey whats become of FREE SP... (Below threshold)

Hey whats become of FREE SPEECH what dose that blabbering big mouth JESSIE JACKSON and AL SHARPTON have against FREE SPEECH? typical liberals

You are all right about the... (Below threshold)

You are all right about the N word usage in proper context, BUT her comments attempting to mitigate real racial tensions by reminding us of our (half) black president was exactly the kind of ignorant racism we would expect of someone from this generation-

Just because we elected a black man does not mean the country is cured of this disease we call racism.

Oh Bullshit Tony!...This Li... (Below threshold)
Gerald Young:

Oh Bullshit Tony!...This Liberal view of one sided Racism has got to stop..only white people are Racist according to you and Jesse Jackson...I suppose if Dr. Laura had killed 20 people, you'd be on her side, screaming to let her go...






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