Friday, August 13, 2010

Dr. Laura Schlessinger...What Was She Thinking!? The "N" Word? Really?!!?

Yesterday as I was catching up on facebook, a friend of mine sent me a link and asked the following; "Amy...what is your take on this?"  The link was a story about Dr. Laura using the "N" word multiple times on her talk show and then later apologizing for it.  You can read the story below: 

LOS ANGELES – Talk radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger has issued an apology for saying the N-word several times in an on-air conversation with a caller that she said was "hypersensitive" to racism.


Schlessinger said on her website Wednesday that she was wrong in using the word for what she called an attempt to make a philosophical point.

"I articulated the N-word all the way out — more than one time," Schlessinger said in comments from the opening of her radio show that she posted on her site. "And that was wrong. I'll say it again — that was wrong."

She said she "realized I had made a horrible mistake, and was so upset, I could not finish the show."
Schlessinger said she pulled herself off the air at the end of the hour.

During the exchange on Tuesday's show, Schlessinger said the woman who called herself Jade was too sensitive for complaining that her husband's friends made racist comments about her in their home.
When the woman asked if the N-word was offensive, Dr. Laura said "black guys say it all the time," then went on to repeat it several times.

Schlessinger did not direct the epithet at the woman, but said she used it to suggest how often she hears it, and that it should not automatically be cause for offense.

When the caller objected, Schlessinger replied: "Oh, then I guess you don't watch HBO or listen to any black comedians."

Schlessinger also said that if the caller did not have a sense of humor about race, she shouldn't have entered into an interracial marriage.

After I read the story, I sat there with my eyes popping out of my head, and my jaw on the ground. I re-grouped, put my eyes back in, picked my jaw up off the floor, and re-read the story to make sure I was reading it correctly, because I just "knew" that I must have read it wrong. Sadly I hadn't. 

First of all I have to say I have never been a fan of Dr. Laura.  I have many friends that are, and that's great, ya know, free country and all, but I think she is very condescending and cruel to her callers.  I remember having a conversation with a friend years and years ago about Dr. Laura. We had recently listened to one of her shows and the subject was daycare. Dr. Laura basically stated that if you put your child in daycare you were a terrible parent. She said you must at all costs figure out a way to stay home with your child otherwise the child will suffer.  Reality check Dr. L...not everyone can do that.  From that moment on I realized she had lost touch, and the things she had said about parents that use daycare were down right cruel.  Never again was I a fan.  So that being said, when I read yesterday's story I was shocked but not totally surprised.
 
I feel so bad for the woman that called Dr. L for advice.  This woman obviously needed help and all Dr. Laura did was apparently make her feel worse.  For Dr. L to use the "N" word at all was her first mistake, to make light of it was her second, and to compare her usage of it to black men using it, was her third.  Let me clarify for the record I don't think anyone should use the word at all.  I've said it before and I'll say it again...it's a hateful word and I don't think it's cute, cool, or necessary.  However when Dr. L stated that if the caller didn't have a sense of humor about race she shouldn't have entered into an interracial marriage, that is what really got to me.  Really Dr. Laura?!  There is a BIG difference regarding having a sense of humor about race vs. spewing racial slurs.  A sense of humor is me calling my hubby a "big sexy hunk o' chocolate," a racial slur would be me using the "N" word at all.  I have been with him for 18 years and that word has never come out of my mouth.  Ever!  
 
Dr. L, when your husband gets handcuffed due to the color of his skin, or gets pulled over because of the color of his skin, or your child gets called the very "N" word that you used....then you can come and talk to me about having a sense of humor regarding race.  
 
The very reason I write this blog is to show people that interracial marriage is just like any other marriage.  However based on the call from a woman who just wants her home to be like any other, we clearly have a long way to go.  I hope Dr. Laura takes a step back and realizes that when people call her they are reaching out and truly need help.  She needs to realize she doesn't have ALL the answers. If she would just listen, and show some respect and kindness to her callers, then she would already be on the way to helping them.  It's fascinating to me that she would even attempt to give advice regarding interracial marriage when she is married to a white man. She should have sympathized with her caller's problem and told her that she didn't understand fully what she was going through because she has never been in an interracial marriage.  It's okay to not have all the answers, but it's not okay to profess that you do and have no basis for it.....what was she thinking!?  The "N" word?!  Really!!?!   

12 comments:

Roschelle said...

Dr. Laura has truly got people up in arms all over the blogosphere. She is ridiculous.

I planned a post about my feelings on the subject. It'll be up tomorrow. Hope you check it out.

BTW, so nice to meet you. you have a beautiful family!!!

Amy said...

Roschelle,

So glad you are here! Yeah!!

Ridiculous is an understatement!
I seriously couldn't believe what I was reading and hearing. She crossed a line that should not have been crossed. Ever.

Can't wait to read your story tomorrow.

Thank you for the lovely comments! So nice to meet you as well!

Amy

kato said...

Now getting on getting on to the Laura comment. Dr. Schlessinger was 100% wrong and I do NOT condone it at all. However, what she said in her comments is exactly my point that I wrote to you about a few weeks ago and have said for the last 20 plus years that we (African American/Blacks) famous and not famous MUST stop using that word in anger or joking. This is why I said that we are in this case our own enemy. Whites, Asians, Latinos and other races hear Blacks using it and think, “well it’s okay”. It is NOT okay joking or otherwise.
After all, I have NEVER ever heard Jewish, Polish, Russian, Italians or Asians using a hurtful derogatory word against their own race in anger or joking. If you recall a few years ago comedy actor Michael Richards (Jewish) of the Jerry Seinfield show was doing a stand up act and used the “N” word many times and he was banded and booed off the stage. Movie star Mel Gibson using racist words about the Jewish people was just as bad or Don Imus on the radio a little over a year ago was just a bad.
Many years ago, I was listening to a serious conversation on the great comedy star, Richard Pryor. He said that after his trip to Africa, he stopped using the “N” word because he realized that he is hurting his own race. If only famous comics like Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and others would stop using.
I totally agree that Laura should NOT speak on a subject that she has not any personal experience with in terms of Interracial dating or marriages. She is Jewish American and most likely so is her husband and she and her family would probably just die if her kids (if she has any would marry into a non White race).
Enough said.

Amy said...

Nay K.

I just can't figure out what was going through her mind. I am married to a black man and would never ever ever use that word! There is no excuse for her behavior period. She should be ashamed of herself. The entire conversation was outrageous. I can't figure out how she has the following that she does. She is just a hurtful woman. Thanks for your comment!

Amy

Anonymous said...

Wow, now that's a sign of complete ignorance.

Bobbi

Amy said...

Ignorance is an understatement Bobbi!

Amy

Anonymous said...

The problem is the poor woman caller was complaining about people being insensitive and Dr. L just compounded it by being that way also. Any way you look at it..I think she lost a lot of listeners.

Maddie

Amy said...

Maddie,

I think she is one of the most insenstive people on air. This is why I refuse to listen to her. It's her way or the highway. Last I checked she isn't God. She needs to get over herself and get a heart.

Amy

Madgew said...

I don't like her ever since her Mom was found Dad in her condo and Dr. L had not spoken to her in ages. Didn't even occur to her to call when she hadn't heard from her Mom. The doorman found her.

Amy said...

Madge,

I just can't figure out why people listen to her. I have heard nothing but bad things regarding how she treats people. It's strange that people will subject themselves to someone like that because they are a "professional." No thanks!

Amy

Anonymous said...

I think she was wrong in how she treated that caller. As was mentioned she's condescending and basically shows she doesn't care about people at all. She shouldn't have tried to use the word. Period. She had to know the reception wouldn't be good. However, to say just because she's never been in that situation she shouldn't or counldn't help is not true either. Psychiatrists don't have to have experienced being crazy in order to treat someone with mental issues. What she needed at that point is empathy for this woman, to realize no one should have someone come into their house and insult them. Period. Race or some other topic.

Amy said...

Anonymous,

I agree with you one hundred percent about her just needing empathy. However, in regards to her speaking to the interracial marriage aspect, I have to disagree with you. People are trained in various areas and there is no one Dr. that knows it all. Dr. Laura could have spoken to the hurt feelings aspect, to the disrespect in the home aspect, to the being angry at her husband's friends aspect, etc., but she had no right, experience, nor professional background to say someone should have a sense of humor about race when being in an interracial marriage. She could help in general but certainly she is no expert on interracial marriage, PhD or not. This is a lesson for her in becoming human again and realizing that nobody knows it all. That's what I was saying in my post. Thanks so much for reading!

Amy