Dr. Laura, the N-Word, and P.C.
Article by Gene Lalor
Dr. Laura Schlesinger, the liberal-turned-conservative talk/advice show hostess who admits on her blog that she “preaches, teaches, and nags about morals, values and ethics” is no stranger to controversy. However, she bit off much more than even she could possibly chew yesterday when she used the dreaded and verboten N-word on the air.
She not only used the word, the only word in the English language that is forbidden to be written, spoken, or even thought about throughout the vast expanse of the United States of America, she used it 11 times, 8 times with a black woman caller and 3 more following the call.
Although she was curt, as she often is, she wasn’t rude to the caller, who was married to a white man and had called for advice on how to deal with racial comments made in her presence by a neighbor and others. One racist comment that disturbed her dealt with, “How do black people think about doing this… or that,” which Dr. Laura didn’t perceive as racist but rather as an instance of hypersensitivity on the caller’s part.
She upset herself so much she was barely able to finish her show and shortly after the word hit the fan, she apologized on her blog: “I talk every day about doing the right thing. And yesterday, I did the wrong thing. 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.”
However, she wasn’t wrong at all.
Now, there are many words that are vile, repulsive, unacceptable, frowned upon by society. The late comedian George Carlin’s funny skit on “The Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television,” or on the radio for that matter, comes to mind. Were he alive today, I’m not sure Carlin would have the nerve to include the N-word in a comedy bit, although there weren’t any other words or subjects that were off limits for him.
Four years ago Michael Richards, aka Cosmo Kramer on “Seinfeld,” used the societally-proscribed N-word doing stand up in a comedy club and got into an argument about it with a patron. After the skit went viral on YouTube, Richards/Kramer learned the toxicity associated with using the taboo word. He disappeared from the entertainment scene and was heard from no more and may not be heard from ever again.
As a seemingly with-it type of person, Schlesinger should have anticipated the reaction after she had the foolish temerity to evoke the N-word, not once but 11 times, for all her audience to hear. Despite the upheaval it caused, I think she was right and I wish she had stuck by her guns, held her ground and not subsequently confessed to a grievous wrong.
She wouldn’t have been right had she pejoratively used it to describe the caller, which she didn’t. She used the word after validly pointing out that nigger-oops, I said it-is commonly used by black comedians on television as well as by some blacks in conversation. If the word has such evil connotations, Laura asked, why is that acceptable and not universally condemned by the African-American community?
Joined by the MSM and as would be expected, that “liberal”community, the same community that succeeded in cowing the media rose up en masse in protest against Schlesinger.
A leader of the African-American flamethrowers, Al Sharpton, called it “extremely disturbing.” CNN’s oh-so-erudite Rick Martin said it “was way over the line.” MSNBC’s terminally-lame Keith Olberman referred to Schlesinger as the worst person alive and decided that her failure to apologize (which she had done) for “genuine, blind, ignorant racism” was more offensive than N-word rant. The left wing MediaMatters.com demanded advertisers drop her posthaste.
The two-segment audio of Dr. Laura’s show can be heard here: http://tiny.cc/u7vhh
As stated, Dr. Laura Schlesinger should have known better. What she said was in the context of a reasonable question and certainly wasn’t in the category of Imus’ “nappy-headed ho’s.” But in our super-sensitive, politically-correct, post-racial age, one certain word may not be uttered.
Kike, guinea, dago, spic, mick, et al. must still be acceptable since they have not been stricken from the English lexicon by the P.C. Police but nigger is not.
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