The “N” Word and Dr. Laura

Earlier this week, Dr. Laura Schlessinger announced that she will not be renewing her contract. This means that she is effectively ending her radio show. Dr. Laura, as she is more famously known, said that she is ending her show so as to regain her First Amendment rights. This comes on the heels of an incident two weeks ago, where she used the n-word 11 times in a five minute span. A black woman who was involved in an interracial marriage, called her for advice on how to deal with the occasional use of the word by her husband’s relatives. Instead, Dr. Laura went off on her own personal tangent.

Let me preface this by saying that I do not listen to Dr. Laura. Therefore I believe that this disqualifies me from making general statements on whether she is racist or not. What I am going to do is respond to some of the issues she raised.

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.

I agree that this is very confusing. The black community is not united on how to deal with this word. There are people like me who will not use it but I have friends who do use it. A lot of comedians and rappers use it for various reasons. Some feel that by using it, they’re taking what was a negative and turning it into a positive. This is something we’re still wrestling with. Dr. Laura is allowed to comment on this but could have done so without uttering the offending word. It is not her place to figure out how black people should deal with the n-word.

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.

The premise here is very faulty. The issue of racism has nothing to do with a black president and is definitely not hilarious. Dr. Laura here is showing a lack of understanding that considering her job, scares me a little. She should have known better but frankly, she doesn’t. To be fair, this train of thought did not originate from her. I’ve seen it used elsewhere and it was also wrong then.

It really is simple Dr. Laura, black people want respect just like everybody else. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. When you use that word the way you did, you aren’t being respectful.

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5 Comments to “The “N” Word and Dr. Laura”

  1. Good sound analysis. I agree with that. Respect is key. From what I’ve read about this issue. This was definitely not forthcoming from Dr Laura. Who, in my mind, is typically acting from a white privileged responsive position. One which arrogantly assumes her own white awareness (or non awareness for that matter) transcends the everyday Black awareness.

    In other words: she acted racistly, can’t see it but, more importantly, doesn’t want to know it. Ignorance, Arrogance, Disrespect sums her up nicely. All perfectly acceptable when speaking out from a white privileged position. Not really acceptable anymore though!!!

    • Perhaps the biggest thing for me is that not only does she not understand, she doesn’t seem to want to understand.

  2. I am very tired of experiencing people that use the “we have a black president, racism is over now!” argument.

    Also, that’s my favorite clip of def poetry šŸ™‚

    • I love this particular poem too. Thanks for reading and for the comment. To be honest with you, I have no idea on how to respond to people who use that argument. I usually respond with silence and then change the subject.

  3. Agree completely. Thanks for sharing your perspective!

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