brotherpeacemaker

It's about our community and our spirituality!

Racial Insensitivity Can Be A Real Bitch

I’ve been out of the news loops lately.  It wasn’t until yesterday that I heard about Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s nigger rant.  If you’ve been out of the news loops as long as I have, or longer, let me fill you in.  On August 10th, the conservative talk show host was talking to a caller by the name of Jade who identified herself as a black woman married to a white man.  Jade called in to say that her feelings are hurt because her husband doesn’t stand up to his friends and relatives who make racial generalizations and use the nigger epithet.  Rather than empathize with the caller, Ms. Schlessinger insisted that Jade was hypersensitive and pointed to black comics who often use the word.  Ms. Schlessinger then callously uttered the word a dozen or so times.

Jade called into the talk show looking for help.  She gave an example of a neighbor who would come to her house and ask insensitive questions like, why do black people like doing this.  Rather than seeing Jade as an individual in need of understanding, the talk show host saw the caller as a member of a monolithic whole labeled black people.  Ms. Schlessinger responded that black comedians on HBO use the nigger word all the time and the word is no big deal.  It is her theory that as long as there are examples of black people saying the word, black people who are being paid by racially generic entities like the paid programming network corporate giant HBO, then other black people shouldn’t have anything to say when white people use the word.  Essentially, Ms. Schlessinger used the call as an opportunity to say black people can go to hell and she could give a rat’s ass if Jade was offended.  As she wrapped up the Jerry Springer like segment of her radio show, Ms. Schlessinger commented that if black people are that hypersensitive about color and don’t have a sense of humor, then they shouldn’t marry outside of our race.

Ms. Schlessinger has since posted an apology on her website.  She said that she articulated the racial epithet more than one time, and that was wrong.  No fucking shit!

But the problem here isn’t just this woman’s lack of compassion for one of her callers who just so happened to be black or her use of the word nigger over and over again.  The bigger problem here is Ms. Schlessinger’s first class example of the insidious nature of blatant racism.  She didn’t hesitate to use her radio show to make the suggestion that the black community is a single minded entity of people who share equally in the blame, judgment, and/or responsibility for one of our own.  A black comedian uses a hateful word.  Therefore, its okay for all black people to be slammed with the word regardless of how much a black individual says that he or she is offended.

Jade didn’t call in to the show to say that the neighbor’s were calling her a nigger.  She called in to express her frustration with neighbors who she felt were being racially insensitive.  It was Ms. Schlessinger who brought the word to the conversation.

What would have been Ms. Schlessinger’s response if Jade called to say that her neighbors were sexist and made insensitive comments about women in general?  How would that conversation go?  Would Ms. Schlessinger dismiss the caller as just being hypersensitive?  Would she ever bring up the fact that there are women on some network somewhere where women use the word bitch?  Would the “doctor” then go into an arguably hateful tirade reciting the word “bitch” over and over again to drive home the point that the caller’s fear, concern, feelings, self esteem, and/or etcetera, doesn’t amount to jack.  Somehow I doubt it.

Ms. Schlessinger’s contempt for her caller and for black people in general was plain and real.  She goes along with a lot of people who simply refuse to see black people as individuals.  If one black person does it then all black people are culpable.  And because black people who are paid handsomely by white people use inappropriate language, black people need to just suck it up and quit being so sensitive.  Black people need to get some kind of sense of humor to deal with issues of race.  And if we don’t like it, we need to just stay the hell away from white people and quit cavorting outside the black race.

If that’s the best advice that Ms. Schlessinger can give then her show should be yanked as soon as possible.  Personally, I never found the Dr. Laura talk show worth listening to.  And after this episode I wouldn’t listen to that bitch if somebody paid me.  And if anybody is offended that I used such a reference for a woman I apologize.  But by Ms. Schlessinger’s own admission it’s okay.  Women on HBO and television shows everywhere use that word all the time.

Saturday, August 14, 2010 - Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black People, Life, Racism, Thoughts | ,

9 Comments »

  1. “Essentially, Ms. Schlessinger used the call as an opportunity to say black people can go to hell and she could give a rat’s ass if Jade was offended”

    Yes, this is it exactly. I find that that is really the default position of quite a few people once you peel off the surface covering.

    Comment by Shady_Grady | Sunday, August 15, 2010 | Reply

  2. But Brotherpeacemaker, she is a bitch! And when a bitch is a bitch, then she’s a bitch! So let a bitch be a bitch! (I hope that I have offended no one, and if I have then I apologize)
    PS: She’s an old bitch, and ugly bitch, and an unimportant bitch, as well. Shall I continue?

    Comment by Anna Renee | Sunday, August 15, 2010 | Reply

  3. I did a blog about her rants. Here’s the main part of what I typed:

    One thing that has to be noted is that people, people of color or POC in particular, can not rely on the opinions of white conservatives, and even liberals, on the issues of race. White people in general do not have an understanding of race or racism and is afraid to face the issue head on. There can never be a conversation about race when the people who need to learn are unwilling to even let a POC who has been the victim of racism open his or her mouth. Dr. Laura demonstrated this perfectly when Jade tries to utter even one word about her predicament.

    Basically, Dr. Laura took over the entire conversation, interrupted and demeaned Jade for trying to speak her side thoughout the whole ordeal, and ultimately ended the argument the way conservatives with a microphone always do when confronted with issues they don’t like or can not win, by telling the caller “Thank you very much” and disconnect the caller completely so that the host and only the host have the last say.

    Second, Dr. Laura tries to hide her guilt by passing the blame onto black people for using the N-word during casual conversations or when telling jokes. Had she had done research, whites use the word towards blacks as part of their twisted sense of white supremacy for years. In time that word is adopted by blacks as a sign of their internalized oppression at the hands of the American white male. When a group is oppressed for so long, in time they may take on the mindset and mannerisms of the oppressor. In other words blacks using the N-word is a symptom of their history of oppression at the hands of whites, and whites use the N-word as a symptom of their fear and hatred towards blacks, a fear and hatred they continue to avoid and deny. And the conflict as to who gets to use the word proves that America still has terrible race problem.

    Dr. Laura thinks that complaints of racism are funny to her, which shows another disturbing sign of whiteness. Some whites find it entertaining that POC complain about racism mostly because they (whites) are ignorant of the damage racism causes and that racism is not an individual problem. Some whites are even stimulated when POC become victims of racism because it helps boost their sense of superiority, and since whites have never been the victims of racism by non-whites, they believe that racism is no big deal to them or to non-whites. What’s especially cruel is that the suffering at the hands of whites or a system constructed in their favor is largely ignored and shrugged off as mere whining in the eyes of society.

    Lastly, Dr. Laura says that we need to discuss these things, but failed to have a reasonable conversation with the African-American caller. The good doctor conducted herself poorly towards the caller and towards the subject. The whole nexus of the issue is that whites do not want a conversation on race, and in my opinion, it’s because of fear, fear of losing their undeserved privileges and fear of facing truths.

    Even though Dr. Laura apologized, it was too little, too late. The overt, white racist mindset has been caught numerous times in the media, and it will likely slip up again and again. Even so, this is a useful diversion away from the institutional forms of racism by further portraying it as an individual problem. Whites will continue to hide in their privileges and denial for their own comfort, and will dehumanize and demonize people of color for various reasons to ease their guilt.

    The lesson to be learned is that white people are the last people to ask for advice on racism.

    Comment by Will | Sunday, August 15, 2010 | Reply

  4. What Dr. Laura did is inexcusable. However; what bothers me more is how we as blacks, casually use the terms bitches and niggers as terms of endearment for each other. Until we decide to treat each other with respect, how can we expect others to value us

    Comment by Lavern Scott | Sunday, August 15, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Lavern Scott,

      But I disagree. We as blacks don’t casually use terms like bitches and niggers. Some blacks do. And black people who do use these and other inappropriate words don’t make them acceptable to black people who don’t. So I don’t buy your “black people operate as a single collective” line of thinking. I expect respect because I am an individual who happens to be black and I deserve it.

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Sunday, August 15, 2010 | Reply

  5. What I find most offensive when I read the entire transcript of the conversation was the flippant way Dr. Laura discounted Jade’s perspective and feelings about her experiences. A black person’s opinion and feelings aren’t important enough to be considered legitimate. But are we really surprised by this? This is nothing new. History, (especially our own personal history) informs us that this is what we should expect when we continuously seek white people’s approval to validate our “feelings” and/or opinions, especially from pop psychologists/experts like self appointed Drs. such as Schlessinger and Phil. Then we jump up and down and scream when don’t get their blessings! pleeaassse….

    Her use of the word “nigger” 13 times is irrelevant, just as the use of the word by Black rappers and comedians. I don’t expect her, a white woman or black rappers and comedians for that matter, to understand or even care about the offensiveness and destructive power of that word. It’s use is now a HUGE and ACCEPTED money making endeavour and in America everyone is looking to get “paid”… and nothing sells better than controversy, particularly of the lowest and most vicious kind.

    Comment by asabagna | Monday, August 16, 2010 | Reply

  6. What Dr. Laura(I dont’ know if she deserves the term doctor)did was inexcusable. A therap[ist is suppose to be unbiased, reflective, and therapeutic, she was none of those things.
    Despite what she did, I am more upset by how our race(people of color) casually use the terms “nigger” and “bitch” like terms of endearment. It is really so sad. Until we learn to respect each other how can we expect others to value us.

    Comment by Lavern Scott | Tuesday, August 17, 2010 | Reply

    • Lavern Scott,

      By all means, if you feel that black people who casually use those words as terms of endearment is more upsetting than true racism being displayed by high profile entertainers pawning themselves off as some as some kind of authority on human behavior, that is perfectly within your rights. But I will disagree.

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, August 17, 2010 | Reply

  7. well, news in on dr laura….her contract ends this year, it is not going to be renewed

    Comment by Mike Lovell | Wednesday, August 18, 2010 | Reply


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