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.

SCHLESSINGER: Hi.

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.

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, OK.

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?

CALLER: OK.

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. russell

    caseman you would be doing that station a favor less riffraff

    August 14, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Anna Victoria

    Dr. Laura should not have used the n-word, even if she was referencing something and/or someone else. The n-word should be used by anyone. It is NOT a term of endearment. For those who don't want anyone else to use it, but themselves, you are wrong. Those who use the word are legitimizing it for others. It is not synonymous with Black/African-American or the like. It is hateful when non-Blacks/non-African-Americans use it. It is hurtful, shameful, and self-depreciating when Black/African-Americans use it. BTW: I am Black.

    August 14, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jaw312

    Its a BAD WORD – no matter who uses it.

    Why do Blacks use it?

    Well, they (we) shouldn't, but the reason they do is a testament to the effects of centuries of sustained oppression (physical, mental, socioeconomic). So deeply effective that the oppressed race actually embraces, condones, and defends the use of a word that embodies their worst possible self image for multiple generations. A perfect example of the damage done to an entire race of people both born and yet to be born.

    August 14, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • how come

      I am amazed the the Jews have been able to overcome centuries of being treated horribly....in Egypt as slave...the Nazi concentration camps etc....but the blacks cannot over 200 years of slavery.......

      August 14, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • jaw312

      Different flavors/methods of oppression. Ours has been the slow sustained comprehensive methodical brand. Common language and families completely dispersed far and wide. Left with little to nothing to call your own, to carry you through. Different than a single act of barbarism (albeit huge), like the Holocaust. Just look at black hair care products. An entire multi-billion dollar industry based on repairing our natural image – straightening hair. We don't even like our natural selves anymore – another example of just how pervasive the damage is.

      August 14, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Alfred

    Moronic rants like those of "Dr." Laura need to be buried in concrete. While holding a Ph.D., it is not in the field from which she has made a fortune. I have never understood the fascination with radio/TV/blogging talk show hosts that are from the extremes of liberalism or conservatism. "Dr." Laura and Rush Windbag are decubitus ulcers on the face of American politics and the intelligent discussion and exchange of ideas, concepts and values. Of particular annoyance was her total disregard for anything the caller was trying to say or express, instead going off on a tirade that is more offensive than anything she refers to in the HBO comedies. The caller had a genuine issue and her husband was an ass for not understanding and coming to her defense. "Dr." Laura made the situation worse, but maybe the caller's issue might provoke the much needed discussion on race in America.

    August 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sounding Board

      Ok Alfred, you want to discuss race in America? I am listening. Tell what it is you want to say>

      August 14, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Sands

      I must let you know that your post is sooo right and kind in spirit and I commend you. it is really very simple and easy to see the truth if a person wants to. I loved your post , thank you.

      August 14, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Proud American

    RE: Dr. Laura. In the game of life we can't play by different rules and have it both ways. What's good for one should be good for all. We all have to abide by the rules and caveats of racism so if we don't like one group to do it, we shouldn't be a party to it either. Being racist doesn't always have to include outside of your own race. But then it has been allowed for so long it has reached the level of all people should obey the same rules and not have 50 rule books of who or what is allowed by different groups.

    August 14, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. lweave

    Dr. Laura has a very good point. People and the media have blown up out of proportion and out of context what was said; and made Dr. Laura out to be a racist. But she made her point very well. People should read the whole discussion instead of being so reactionary. Her point was – we need to be able to be open to intellegent discussion.

    August 14, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JOHN B

    OK SO BLACK AND WHITE DO NOT LIKE EACH OTHER SO WHAT IS NEW? WHO CARES THE DR SHOULD HAVE POINTED OUT THAT MIX RACE COUPLES DO NOT MAKE THINKS BETTER AND IT IS NOT NATRURAL AND SHOULD BE A CRIME FIT FOR BOILING IN HOT OIL AS A BLACK MAN IF MY CHILDREN DID THAT OR MARRIED A JEW I WOULD PUT THEM IN HOT OIL

    August 14, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • normal

      you're an idiot

      August 14, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fingers

      JOHN B – You are one of the sole reason's this country is failing in its racial battles. Move away. Please.

      NORMAL – You're right, he's an idiot. It is unfortunate we have to put up with people like this in our nation. *sigh* Sure look forward to the day when we can all be adults and forego this garbage.

      August 14, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • george

      Did somebody get into Daddy's 'puter? thanks for bringing such intelligence to the forum.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. George Sands

    I believe she just wanted to over power this decent lady caller so that she could expound on he own opinion. schless was very very very nasty I believe. and I believe schless knows she was wrong and knows she is not sorry at all but she is giving this feable thing about how she was wrong so what we all allready know she was wrong there is no need to tell us that she was wrong at all. She needs to save her sanity and call the dear lady and tell her that she is not only wrong but Very Sorry for this attack which was unwarented. that is how a decent professional with a decent heart would respond so as to keep her heart and mind in good condition.

    August 14, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. normal

    jaw312
    There comes a time when you need to look into personal accountability and stop blaming someone else or another group for your troubles. Think of what Bill Cosby has said on this. The pity party is over. Time to face the fact that you are responsible for your actions.

    August 14, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jo

    Dr. Laura's whole show is about hate. She hates gay people, calling them "biological errors". She hates feminists and
    blames them for the breakdown of the nuclear family. In fact, many women HAVE to work for their family's survival.
    The breakdown of the family is the lack of living wages so that a family can survive on one income. It's a capitalist
    thing, not the fault of feminism. But, she hates women who stand up for their rights, which is all that feminism is. Now, she
    she shows her hatred of African Americans. She says that black activists promote hypersensitivity. Is she saying that
    being a victim of racism is acting "hypersensitive"??

    Finally, she is not "describing " the use of the N word as stated by Rachel. She yelled it out with the clear intent to insult
    Jade. I know...I listened to Dr. Laura's tone. It was angry and out to insult. And it goes without saying that that word
    is very painful for African Americans and they should never be subjected to hearing it, especially from some
    ignorant white lady who acts like she is some holier-than-thou moral compass.

    I think she needs to be fired. She is filled with hate and subjects it onto her callers daily through the guise of "moral advice".
    She is no different that other religious zealots who hide their hate through moral posturing.

    August 14, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Theodora

    Jo, I totally agree with your comments. I have heard this lady belittle and humiliate some of her callers. This woman has such a passive aggressive personality. I am sure she has hurt more than helped. Imagine how she must be at home. I feel sorry for her husband, but then again, she is making him a lot of money.

    August 14, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ramesh Manghirmalani

    Dr. Laura is racist, she should be asked to leave TV and Radio programs , Laura needs medical help."Dr." Laura need to leave public stage to some one else

    August 15, 2010 at 3:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. Carmen

    I only have one thing to say. The N word should NOT be used at all! I'm white but I flinch every time I hear African Americans use it when talking to one another, and yet if a white person uses it they go up in arms. It makes no sense! It's as if you're daring white people to use it just to evoke a reaction. GET OVER IT!

    August 15, 2010 at 4:46 am | Report abuse |
  14. Vince

    First of all we need to get rid of all the nationalities in front of American. Example. African American. Why can't we say American only. Unless you are not a American Citizen then we need to point out your heritage. I'm a proud American that is an American Citizen and I'm also an Italian.
    The N-word please, really... It's been overly used and I'm not offended by it. I have black friends that calls me the N-word with respect. And, I'm like yup your my N-word. I have Hispanic friends that says my N-word what's up. I have Jewish friends that use that word too. So, I don't get it. Unless you use the N-word through hate. Then, it's racist.

    August 15, 2010 at 5:43 am | Report abuse |
    • H.W.Tackmann

      A mean racist can look at a black person and say,"Hay puppy,"and it would,the word,that hurt.Its the intent.The word black in latin lingo,is negra,plural negras,blacks.Its the usage that counts.

      August 16, 2010 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. russell

    nigggas'please

    August 15, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
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