Well known Dr. Laura Schlessinger, conservative talk show host and author, has done it again. Recently, in an on-air conversation with a Black female caller who was calling into the show to ask Dr. Laura for advice on how to handle issues of racial discomfort with the racially charged rhetoric of her White husband’s friends and family members; the host, as my good mother would say, “lost her damn mind” and displayed her intolerance and oppressive mindset toward people of color. This is not the first time she has exhibited intolerance and blatant ignorance toward a marginalized group. In 1998, she was quoted on her website as saying:
1. A huge portion of the male homosexual populace is predatory on young boys.
2. If you’re gay or lesbian it’s a biological error.
3. I call homosexual practices deviant.
4. When we have the word ‘homosexual,’ we are clarifying the dysfunction, the deviancy, the reality.
5. ….[reparative] therapies which have been successful in helping a reasonable number of people become heterosexual.
6. …I believe that homosexual behavior is deviant; that when homosexuals adopt children, these children are intentionally robbed of a necessary mom and dad…
7. I’m sorry, hear it one more time perfectly clearly: If you’re gay or a lesbian, it’s a biological error that inhibits you from relating normally to the opposite sex. The fact that you are intelligent, creative and valuable is all true. The error is in your inability to relate sexually intimately, in a loving way to a member of the opposite sex – it is a biological error
While I express my opinions from the perspective of an Orthodox Jew and a staunch defender of the traditional family, in talking about gays and lesbians, some of my words were poorly chosen … Many people perceive them as hate speech. This fact has been personally and professionally devastating to me as well as to many others. Ugly words have been relentlessly repeated and distorted for far too long …
In The Boston Herald, Schlessinger said was quoted as saying her words were not an apology, but simple “clarification.”
In terms of the recent Black female caller, there are several points of importance. First, Dr. Laura began by asking the caller for an example of a racist comment, “Cause sometimes people are hypersensitive.” Later within the conversation, she says, “…hypersensitivity, OK, which is being bred by black activists.” The said quotes are examples of her in ability to take acts of racism and oppression serious. She devalues the plight of Blacks. Next, Dr. Laura says the N-word eleven times while debating that it is alright to use because Blacks use to word so freely. My final and most important point is that using the word was horrible enough. But when one listens to the actual conversation, one will be able to notice her “devil may care attitude” she takes. She seems to have no fear or disinclination with using the N-word or other degrading racist rhetoric. Researchers Leslie Picca and Joe Feagin discuss and explain explains the racial attitudes and behaviors exhibited by Whites in private vs. public settings in their profound book, Two-Faced Racism: Whites in the Backstage and Frontstage. Simply, their case studies proved that Whites will discuss oppressive and racists words in regards to marginalized people more so in private when surrounded by other Whites they feel are liked minded. Well, you might be thinking, “Dr. T, what she did was not in private, but on a publically national syndicated talk show.” What is interesting and escapes many that have attempted to discuss this issue, is the fact that a majority of those who dial into her show weekly, those that sponsor her show, share a like mindedness in regards to her social and racial ideology. She felt so freely to degrade the caller’s concerns while spewing the N-word because she knew the majority of her audience was simply like her. She felt feely to discuss interracial marriage in a degrading manner because she knew the majority of her audience was simply like her.
On her website, she said,
“ 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. I ended up, I’m sure, with many of you losing the point I was trying to make, because you were shocked by the fact that I said the word…
Well Dr. Laura, I am sure Plato is rolling around in his toga due to your attempt to “philosophize.” Next, in regards to losing the point; THIS FACT IS TRUE! This is obvious by the views of news media coverage that has taken place on CNN, and other venues. The media once again exemplifies their fear to have real scholars on to discuss the matter. Instead they go to their shoe box of so-called experts who have no idea what exactly they are witnessing (who always happens to be Black). Sorry Rolland! To me, they all missed your point due to their inability to dissect your overall argument, words used, and tone. But do not worry, Dr. Laura. I got it…I got it.