Ah what a shame!
After the dustup over her handling of a phone call from an African American woman, which ended in her repeatedly using the N word, Dr. Laura has decided she will leave her radio show at the end of the year. This is how she announced (or should I say ‘positioned’) the news last night on Larry King Live.
The reason Good Enough Mother uses the term ‘position’, is because this still all feels like PR spin. Oh sure Dr Laura likes to pays lip service to being contrite, responding to the media uproar, and issuing an apology. Guess what – turns out it’s NOT a cool thing to shout the N word 11 times at a caller! But the thing that makes my blood boil is that Dr Laura still doesn’t understand why this whole controversy started.
Let’s go back a minute. An African American woman, married to a white man, called in. She said he has several white friends who, in front of her husband, will ask her questions about black people; “Do blacks like this? Do blacks do that?” as if she were the appointed spokesperson for all things Black.
Anyway, I could hear in the woman’s voice that she was quite concerned; this is her HUSBAND, the man who pledged to love and keep her, and yet he was not standing up for her in front of his friends. Did Dr. Laura “hear” that? No, all she heard was the woman complaining, so she accused her of being overly sensitive. Shortly after that she dropped the N word. Again, again and again.
To reiterate, I am squarely in the camp that does not believe the N word should be used by anyone, anywhere; it’s linked to such an awful ugly time in our country’s history. I hate to hear the word and when Dr. Laura said it, the way it sounded coming out of my speakers, was just horrifying and hurtful to me as an African American woman. She proved what so many suspected, that she was at the very least, racially tone deaf.
Dr Laura told a story of how she plays basketball with her “black bodyguard” and when they’re choosing teams she says, “I want to be on your team because white men can’t jump. That’s not racist, that’s funny!” Good God, she truly believes that! Again, as I pointed out initially in my first Dr Laura posting every member of a minority group knows that trick. Someone says something racist or insensitive, then tries to act like it’s a joke. Yeah. Funny.
Dr. Laura says she is leaving her radio show so that she can “regain her First Amendment rights”. She wants to be able to say what’s on her mind without somebody getting angry. I never knew she WASN’T speaking what was on her mind. If this is truly the case, we might want to be on stand-by for more of “Dr. Laura’s Desensitizing Training”, which could include more name calling, perhaps not limited to African Americans (after all this was the woman who called gays ‘biological errors’)
My hope for Dr Laura is that she has learned from this experience; somehow I doubt she has though as Schlessinger’s apology sounds hollow without even a trace of contrition. But I also hope this opens real and rational dialogue about race in this country and that more people decide the N word is one that should remain off limits to everyone.
What do you think? Should anyone be using the N word? Should Dr. Laura leave her show? And was her apology sincere? Start commenting