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Dr. Laura Punches A Tar Baby

Allowing people of different races a free pass, is racism.

By Hobbes  |  August 26, 2010

ABC News reports:

Usually, she gives advice. But after broadcasting a five-minute-long rant in which she used the N-word 11 times, Dr. Laura Schlessinger is now on the receiving end...

Schlessinger ignited a firestorm of criticism after Media Matters posted audio from a Tuesday conversation she had with a black female caller. The caller was complaining about her white husband's friends and their use of the N-word. In response, Schlessinger said:

"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.

When the caller said she couldn't believe Schlessinger was "on the radio spewing out" the N-word, Schlessinger said she "didn't spew out" the N-word and repeated, "n****r, n****r, n****r is what you hear on HBO."

She then criticized the caller, saying "Don't take things out of context. Don't NAACP me."

Their conversation ended there. Schlessinger offered an epilogue to her audience: "If you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry outside of your race."

We are not fans of the N-word; in fact, it is banned from Scragged (so, commenter, use **s or expect deletion.)  The last thing we want to hear when we turn on the radio is foul putrescence - which, as Dr. Laura alluded to, is why we don't listen to the rap stations.

No, this isn't a free-speech issue; nobody is suggesting that Dr. Laura should go to jail or that the government should throw her off the air, which is where the First Amendment would get involved.

It's a matter of taste and decency.  With her customary inimitable directness, Dr. Laura stabbed a dagger straight into the heart of the issue: If something is rude, crude, and socially unacceptable, it is so for everyone; and if not, then not.  To say that what you're allowed to say or do depends on your race as all too many liberals claim is nothing less than racism, pure and simple.

America has sadly become used to rampant racism throughout the media and the dominant culture wherein favored groups are permitted to say and do things that members of disfavored groups would be pilloried or exiled for saying or even thinking.  Black rappers can call people "crackers" and worse without fear of censure; here, we have Dr. Laura using an equivalent insult, not aimed at anyone at all but merely as an example, and people are all but throwing rocks at her.

Black people, to be specific - and one has to wonder if they even read what they write before they post it.  Listen to this shaking display of naked racism which goes entirely unchallenged:

When will white people just accept the fact that black folks can use the N-word, but they cannot. Why is this such a complicated life rule for them?

Why are white folks so intent on rationalizing their use of the word? You can't use it, period. Get over it.

We don't have to explain why you can't say it, we don't have to defend our use of it and we don't have to tolerate you saying it. You just can't.

Let's try it in terms which that or any bigoted author might understand: We don't have to explain why white people can call black men of any age "boy."  We don't have to defend our use of it, we just can, period - get over it.  Now how does that sound?

Evil Communications Corrupt Good Manners

Of course the race-baiters on the left are throwing around racism charges willy-nilly; that's their sole stock in trade.  Far more disturbing is when people generally considered to be conservative make the same mistake, as witness Kathleen Parker's utterly wrongheaded column in the Washington Post:

Dr. Laura's stated point was that since blacks frequently use the N-word, whites should be able to as well. She was correct that the word gets lots of exercise -- and her use of it was in the prosecution of that point. Even so, the N-word stands alone as too injurious for whites to use, period. Everyone knows this.

When blacks use it, they are reclaiming the word, robbing it of its power to intimidate by making it their own. The same spirit was behind Eve Ensler's "Reclaiming C---" in "The Vagina Monologues." Used by a man against a woman, the word is vile and threatening. Used by women among women, it becomes something else. Silly, if you ask me, but benign.  [emphasis added]

Only someone who has spent far too long marinating in the polluted Ganges-esque intellectual waters of the mainstream establishment could even compose a paragraph as transparently fatuous as this, much less put it forward with a straight face as an actual argument.

The use of a dirty word in a filthy "artwork" of pseudo-intellectual pornography somehow not merely justifies its use there but elsewhere too?  You might as well argue that because various exotic sexual acts were "artfully" depicted in Debbie Does Dallas, that makes them equally appropriate for the streets of Dallas.

The demeaning acts equally with the demeaning words are equally verminous no matter where they appear nor by whom they are used; anything else is rankest bigotry and illogic.

Dr. Laura's Overlooked Landmine

In all the furor over Dr. Laura's point about the N-word, nobody is talking about something else she said which is even more inflammatory while also being true.

When an African American caller asked her for help in dealing with what she considered racist remarks by friends and family of her white husband, Schlessinger mocked her as being hypersensitive and repeated the offending N-word several times... Dr. Laura repeatedly interrupted, even suggesting that the woman shouldn't have married outside her race if she was going to be so thin-skinned. [emphasis added]

Everyone with eyes to read or ears to hear knows perfectly well that vast numbers of blacks do, indeed, use the N-word with great frequency.  Some whites do as well.  Some whites are also racists; so are some blacks.  Everyone also has a family member who is not really fit for polite company, don't we?

Is it any surprise that Dr. Laura's black caller had encountered a racist buried in her husband's family tree?  It would be interesting to hear the opinions of the black woman's family regarding her white husband, but nobody dared share those.

Of course you need to expect potential problems when you marry outside of your culture - of which race is only one variable.  Would we rationally expect things to go swimmingly around the family table if a feminist married a Saudi Arabian sheikh?  How about a vegetarian and an Argentinian?  This doesn't mean such unions should be illegal, but only a fool would be as sanguine as when two childhood sweethearts that grew up together get hitched.

In America, we are all supposed to be Americans first and foremost.  The last fifty years have seen a concerted effort to drive us apart instead of unifying us - celebrating "multiculturalism" and "diversity" instead of one unitary common culture we all share, or ought to share.

The more different we become, the more fault-lines and strife there will be; the Democratic party has specialized in exploiting these conflicts to increase its own power and wealth.  Is Dr. Laura the villain for pointing out obvious but painful truths?

No.  While she wrestles with the tar baby, we wish her every good fortune and persistence.  A sticky and nasty mess this may be, but it's long past time someone took it on.

Please don't retire from the field, Doctor; we'll need your harsh but effective medicine for many years to come.