August 13th, 2010
04:45 PM ET

Dr. Laura's rant: In her own words

Racial comments made by talk radio host Laura Schlessinger during an on-air conversation with a caller this week have created a national furor. The issue has spawned heated responses from commentators and her listeners. iReporters are also weighing in.

In an apology posted on her blog, Schlessinger acknowledged she "did the wrong thing" in using the N-word several times during a conversation with a caller on Tuesday. The African-American woman had called to seek advice on how to deal with racist comments from her white husband's friends and relatives.

The conversation evolved into a discussion on whether it's appropriate to ever use the word, with Schlessinger arguing that it's used on HBO and by black comedians.

"I was attempting to make a philosophical point," she said on her blog. "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."

Here is a complete transcript of the exchange after the break, with the exception of the full N-word when used by Schlessinger and the caller.

SCHLESSINGER: Jade, welcome to the program.

CALLER: Hi, Dr. Laura.


CALLER: I'm having an issue with my husband where I'm starting to grow very resentful of him. I'm black, and he's white. We've been around some of his friends and family members who start making racist comments as if I'm not there or if I'm not black. And my husband ignores those comments, and it hurts my feelings. And he just acts like ...

SCHLESSINGER: Well, can you give me an example of a racist comment? 'Cause sometimes people are hypersensitive. So tell me what's, give me two good examples of racist comments.

CALLER: OK. Last night - good example - we had a neighbor come over, and this neighbor, when every time he comes over, it's always a black comment. It's, "Oh, well, how do you black people like doing this?" And, "Do black people really like doing that?" And for a long time, I would ignore it. But last night, I got to the point where it ...

SCHLESSINGER: I don't think that's racist.

CALLER: Well, the stereotype ...

SCHLESSINGER: I don't think that's racist. No, I think that ...

CALLER: [unintelligible]

SCHLESSINGER: No, no, no. I think that's, well, listen, without giving much thought, a lot of blacks voted for Obama simply 'cause he was half-black. Didn't matter what he was gonna do in office, it was a black thing. You gotta know that. That's not a surprise. Not everything that somebody says. ... We had friends over the other day; we got about 35 people here. The guys who were gonna start playing basketball. I was going to go out and play basketball. My bodyguard and my dear friend is a black man. And I said, "White men can't jump; I want you on my team." That was racist? That was funny.

CALLER: How about the N-word? So, the N-word's been thrown around ...

SCHLESSINGER: Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is n-–, n-–, n-–.

CALLER: That isn't ...

SCHLESSINGER: 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. Don't hang up, I want to talk to you some more. Don't go away.

I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger. I'll be right back.

[Commercial break. Segment opens with Sly and the Family Stone's "Everyday People" playing]

SCHLESSINGER: I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger, talking to Jade. What did you think about during the break, by the way?

CALLER: I was a little caught back by the N-word that you spewed out, I have to be honest with you. But my point is, race relations ...

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, then I guess you don't watch HBO or listen to any black comedians.

CALLER: But that doesn't make it right. I mean, race is a ...

SCHLESSINGER: My dear, my dear ...

CALLER: ... since Obama's been in office ...

SCHLESSINGER: ... the point I'm trying to make ...

CALLER: ... racism has come to another level that's unacceptable.

SCHLESSINGER: Yeah. We've got a black man as president, and we have more complaining about racism than ever. I mean, I think that's hilarious.

CALLER: But I think, honestly, 'cause there's more white people afraid of a black man taking over the nation.

SCHLESSINGER: They're afraid.

CALLER: If you want to be honest about it ...

SCHLESSINGER: Dear, they voted him in. Only 12 percent of the population's black. Whites voted him in.

CALLER: It was the younger generation that did it. It wasn't the older white people who did it.


CALLER: It was the younger generation ...

SCHLESSINGER: All right. All right.

CALLER: ... that did it.

SCHLESSINGER: Chip on your shoulder. I can't do much about that.

CALLER: It's not like that.

SCHLESSINGER: Yeah. I think you have too much sensitivity ...

CALLER: So it's OK to say "n-–"?

SCHLESSINGER: ... and not enough sense of humor.

CALLER: It's OK to say that word?

SCHLESSINGER: It depends how it's said.

CALLER: Is it OK to say that word? Is it ever OK to say that word?

SCHLESSINGER: It depends how it's said. Black guys talking to each other seem to think it's OK.

CALLER: But you're not black. They're not black. My husband is white.

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, I see. So, a word is restricted to race. Got it. Can't do much about that.

CALLER: I can't believe someone like you is on the radio spewing out the "n-–" word, and I hope everybody heard it.

SCHLESSINGER: I didn't spew out the "n-–" word.

CALLER: You said, "n-–, n-–, n-–."

SCHLESSINGER: Right, I said that's what you hear.

CALLER: Everybody heard it.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, they did.

CALLER: I hope everybody heard it.

SCHLESSINGER: They did, and I'll say it again ...

CALLER: So what makes it OK for you to say the word?

SCHLESSINGER: ... n-–, n-–, n-– is what you hear on HBO ...

CALLER: So what makes it ...

SCHLESSINGER: Why don't you let me finish a sentence?


SCHLESSINGER: Don't take things out of context. Don't double N, NAACP me. Tape the ...

CALLER: I know what the NAACP ...

SCHLESSINGER: Leave them in context.

CALLER: I know what the N-word means and I know it came from a white person. And I know the white person made it bad.

SCHLESSINGER: All right. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Can't have this argument. You know what? If you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry out of your race. If you're going to marry out of your race, people are going to say, "OK, what do blacks think? What do whites think? What do Jews think? What do Catholics think?" Of course there isn't a one-think per se. But in general there's "think."

And what I just heard from Jade is a lot of what I hear from black-think - and it's really distressing and disturbing. And to put it in its context, she said the N-word, and I said, on HBO, listening to black comics, you hear "n-–, n-–, n-–." I didn't call anybody a n-–. Nice try, Jade.

Actually, sucky try.

Need a sense of humor, sense of humor - and answer the question. When somebody says, "What do blacks think?" say, "This is what I think. This is what I read that if you take a poll the majority of blacks think this." Answer the question and discuss the issue. It's like we can't discuss anything without saying there's -isms?

We have to be able to discuss these things. We're people. Goodness gracious me. Ah, ah, hypersensitivity, OK, which is being bred by black activists. I really thought that once we had a black president, the attempt to demonize whites hating blacks would stop, but it seems to have grown, and I don't get it. Yes, I do. It's all about power. I do get it. It's all about power, and that's sad because what should be in power is not power but righteousness, to do good. That should be the greatest power.

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Filed under: Race
soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. Kala

    I am African American and I personally was not offended by what she said, but rather how she said it. I've grown up around a lot of white people and have gone to predominantly white schools my whole life. I think Dr. Laura was very disrespectful in the way she spoke to the caller. The caller simply asked advice, she didn't ask to be talked to in such a rude manner. And I can also understand where Dr. Laura's questions came from about the double standard. While I do see the negative in the word, I would be lying if I said that I don't use it too. I personally don't have a problem with white people or any other race using that word either. But the problem enlies with "how" they say it. I've known plenty of white people to use the word, and they were genuinely not racist at all and had grown up around black people all their lives. But I've also heard it from the other end where white people have used it in a way to catch attention from other black people. Even my best friend has said some racist things to me before about my race, but it didn't stop me from being friends with her. I simply took it as ignorance for something she doesn't know about. The problem with this whole situation is that black people and white people don't know so much about each others cultures to respect one another when talking about certain things. If that bridge was gapped (sp?) then there wouldn't be the need to say that this is racist or that is racist.

    August 13, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |

    Sounded like an extremely angry, racist woman! I will never listen to her show or any station that airs it.

    August 13, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kim

    This is incredibly sad and irresponsible. Jade called Dr. Laura for help with a very REAL issue that AA's face every day, and Jade and other AA's were the ones victimized by Dr. Laura. Apparently, Dr. Laura and Mel Gibson need to start seeing the same psychiatrist. Dr. Laura needs her license pulled – assuming she has one.

    August 13, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. pedro

    If you listen to the interview, the lady calls in with a story about this neighbor who just wants her to speak to whether black people really do/say/like X, Y or Z – the point she's trying to make is that she feels dehumanized – no "how are you doing" or other human to human small talk. So Dr. Laura jumps in with a rant, ignoring her original reason for calling, and does exactly what this woman is trying to say she hates – just uses her as a token black person – and then accuses her of being hyper-sensitive without hearing another word from her! I thought she was taking it very stoically – I would have been all over her racist ass! What a jerk!

    August 13, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. EJS

    the visitors are calling this woman out to defend every black stereo-type they can. IT is vey rude and disrepectful to call out you friend for every racial issue/jab/joke that arises. ITs very rude and racist to do. that is what the poor woman wanted to talk about. DR Laura Mel gibson wanted to make her point, regardless of the poor woman. Dr lara was very wrong to treat this woman this way.

    August 13, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. truthie

    I used to listen to Dr. L several years ago. She often was spot on with her advice I felt. But...she can be very rude. Anybody that has ever listened to her at all knows this. Ninety nine percent of the time she told people what they did not want to hear. That's just her nature. I guess this caller had never listened to one of her talk shows. I think Dr. L was right...if she' so sensitive to people talking to her about her race, then she should not have married a white man.

    August 13, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. happ27

    I was sitting next to a couple on a plane. They were making out. Why is it OK for the guy to kiss her but if I try to kiss that same woman I could get arrested? Is she being overly sensitive?

    August 13, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • boomer

      Huh? sorry, but that question kind of..well..stupid.

      August 13, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • happ27

      If you let me touch your wife's boob you can call me anything you want!

      August 14, 2010 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  8. CommonSense

    This is Dr. CommonSense's advice to the people that offended by racism in this country.....LEAVE! Nothing is making you stay here!

    August 13, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • happ27

      Can I choose anywhere?

      August 14, 2010 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  9. reaper

    August 14, 2010 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. Hal

    Dr Laura is intelligent, sharp, witty. Yet I can't stand to listen to her because, just as this diatribe (not dialogue) illustrates, she abuses her listeners all the time, cutting them off so she can arrogantly spout off all her great "wisdom." She does have some good nuggets to share, but her manner is just as arrogant as most talk show hosts. Why do we have a fascination with haughty, self-important, pompous people ranting in the media? Once we've allowed these kinds of people (along with vacuous "celebrities") to be our heroes, should we be shocked that our political system and economy are spiraling downward? We've got to elevate character and integrity above the ability to shout down anyone who doesn't agree with us.

    August 14, 2010 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Cynthia S.

      I couldn't agree more!

      August 18, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  11. james

    any one who still follows the Willie lynch thinking is still ignorant and they are just as stuck on stupid as many people who think about all the problems we are having in this world and think they have the power and the answer if you put rocks in your bed you lay in them if you do not start problems there would not be any keep peace/love and god in your heart and leave hate and foul thoughts and greed behind . by the way who came with white/black there pink or dark brown i have not yet met a person the color of a white sheet of paper or the color of a car tire. who's you teacher.

    August 14, 2010 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. Theodora

    On many occasions I have listened to Dr. Laura on radio and on many occasions would have to turn her off. There have been numerous times when I have actually felt sorry for her callers. Not only did I find her advice off the wall, but she can be very mean spirited, cruel and controlling. I believe Dr. Laura has suppressed her own anger and female frustration for many years and pretends to be this wonderful together person. I am not surprised regarding the above way of how she handled this caller. I was just wondering when this would happen.

    August 14, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. jaguar

    Until we as blacks stop using the word in all our conversations. I will no longer be offended when whites do. Dr. Laura was dead wrong. Because this caller needed to hear it from an professional. And she did not think about her caller.

    August 14, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  14. Willie

    OH niagra, please!

    August 14, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. russell

    dr.laura wasnt in the wrong,she should never of apologized.these kind of people take apologizing as a weakness,they feed off of it like wild animals.lets say monkeys in this case,in a feeding frenzy

    August 14, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Well by the sound of your written expression of your persona... I'll say you are a high graduate... or GED graduate

      August 14, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel Savane


      Is it possible that your parents descended from this same group of wild animals (lets say monkeys, in this case)? Your views indicate that you have an intelligence level that ranks substantially below that of the wild animals (monkeys in your case specifically) to which you refer.

      August 16, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Mo

      russell, you must be an adolescent, and an ignorant one at that. I think it's lame how some of you can sit behind a monitor and let out your true views and beliefs, but would never have the "BOLAS" to say it in someone's presence. True stupidity/ignorance should not be allowed to get behind a computer; you shouldn't be allowed to get behind a computer. I almost pity you...

      August 18, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
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