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. Joe Hartnett

    My mother Margery had a good solution I'd recommend be publicly applied to Dr. Laura – wash her mouth out with soap!

    August 15, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Opinion

    Yes, racism is an issue that may never be settled due to the strong view points on both sides of the argument. However, the main point was the caller's problem. Instead of going off into a tangent about the "n" word, Dr. Laura should have kept focus and just gave the caller, Jade, some words of encouragement and sent Jade on her way. After all, isn't that what Dr. Laura is there for? To give advice?

    August 15, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Aziz

    Dr. Laura’s ignorance was not that she used the word. She is ignorant in thinking that those guys on HBO are the spokes people for all of us and somehow received “permission” to use the word. I don’t respect anyone who uses the word, which now includes Dr. Laura herself. If she needs to apologize for anything, it should be for her narrow minded thinking. Every race has people that they are not proud of. In no way should anyone assume they those are the leaders of their race. I am proud to say that the leader of my race is President Obama. (That would be the" American" race I’m talking about) He is the only one I gave permission to represent me.

    August 15, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • H.W.Tackmann

      I finally get to use the word,ditzy!Because you certainly that"DITZY"did you say the american race?Your overwhelming stupidity is astounding to me.By not saying it you give it reverence and power.What do you know about the word?Only what you have been told to believe I would imagine.In Cuba the traders of kidnapped peoples called them'blacks'thats it,blacks,in cuban negras period.Virginians used it negras was born to the american race,as you call it.You want to call white people blanco?Ah, thats white,the word white/blanco,you blanco you!Hay get all them blancos out uf the american race!My sides hurt from laughter,bye,bye,blanco!

      August 16, 2010 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  4. EJ

    Some of the comments on here make me laugh, Any who, Dr. Laura was completely out of line because she didn't even address the caller's dilemma. She indicated that on a consistent basis unsavory comments are made by friends and family. The key word is CONSISTENT. It's one thing to try to learn about someone's point of view on their race, but to also make comments as if they're not in the room is another story. I am an extremely easy going and friendly person that was raised with an international world view, and I have been in the same situation. What she should have told the caller was that she needs to have a real open talk with her husband. She also should have asked the caller if the family and friends approved of their wedding, and if her husband understands what she's feeling. In other words, Dr. Laura should have addressed some of the things that could have been a source of strife in the relationship. And to think she's a licensed counselor? LOL.

    August 16, 2010 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. Theory

    WHITE PEOPLE , you can't use the N – Word , GET OVER IT !

    August 16, 2010 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Kade

      DON'T CALL ME "WHITE", its offensive! I'm a light-skinned human of European ancestry. But I'm not white. I'm an American.
      And technically, I'm an AFRICAN-AMERICAN.....as my species evolved upon & migrated FROM the African continent.
      SO PLEASE, GET IT CORRECT & drop the RACIST labelling of my skin color. If you continue to do so, you are a prejudicial, narrow-minded, hate-filled BIGOT.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  6. gene

    When will the political correctness pendulum swing back to center! CNN will not even allow posting of the "word". What's next, you look up in the dictionary and don't find it – you find n-word in its place, how many words are going to be replaced by -word. When the "word" isn't being used in a derogatory fashion targeting anyone, do we really have to say b-word, c-word, n-word. Why don't we just replace them all and say Voldemort instead.

    August 16, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bill Gates

    Dr. Laura is a foul creature. Period.

    August 16, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. watanabe

    Is that horrible woman still around? She hasn't been relevant to the world since about 1996.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  9. TheAnswer

    The real answer is in the spirit of which the word was used, just like it is on the streets.

    Additionally, if you don't hear 'it' from a 'real' doctor, disregard 'it'.

    -DOC

    August 16, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. LudlowPalmer

    I can't believe that in 2010 we still have to deal with this kind of racism. A lot of public figures have been spouting the most hateful and insane stuff lately – and there's always someone there to defend them. She could have made her point without spewing the n-word, but this way she gets the spotlight in the news & probably a boost in her number of listeners (that "no publicity is bad" thing.) Well, she has the right to express her opinion just like anyone else; but she should also expect to take the heat when others express their opinions of her. Don't want to be called a racist? Then stop sounding like one.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. sam311

    There is a lot of history associated with the so-called "N-WORD." The word is deeply rooted in hate, injustice, death, segregation, hurt, and pain. This word has been passed down from generation to generation simply because we have done nothing to eradicate it. You can't burn, drown, shoot, kill, hide, bury, or sweep it under the rug. So how do we get rid of it? You can't get rid of it. To eradicate this word would be to eradicate the history, in part, of an entire class of people. The word clearly demonstrate and represent the supreme injustice endured by my ancestors. The word has a DNA type of effect. It goes on, and on, and on, from one generation to the next. The most unfortunate thing about it today is that we have failed to adequately teach the entire history of the word to our children; its cause and effect. Rappers and comedians don't speak for me. Dr. Schlessinger does not speak for me. She is now an open contributor to a very painful history. She did a disservice to herself, listeners, blacks, whites, and to this country by aligning herself on the wrong side of history. She failed to use this opportunity to teach rather than creating hostility and discord. Outside of a teaching environment, this word has no integral or intrinsic value. Remember, the word alone is not as big as its history. The word represents a systemic means of enslavement, human deprivation, injustice, wrongful deaths, and profound suffering. Therefore, it was a foolish attempt by Dr. Schlessinger to look to rappers and comedians to validate such a word. As for the black man in the video, I'm not quite sure of his motivation and how well he is educated on the subject matter. Dr. Schlessinger's radio show is an inappropriate forum for a meaningful discussion on such an volatile word in our history. The transcript of the conversation between Dr. Schlessinger and the caller will validate my observation.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. pinkey

    As we know there is a double standard for black/white women. Black women, can not feel, cry, hurt, think, show any emotion at all. I woner if this was a White woman calling in with the same issues/concerns she had with her Black (minorty) or Black husband, would Dr. Laura's response be the same, "too "hypersensitive", or" should not have married outside of thier race". I think so many people are in LA-LA Land, or wanting the issue of interracial marriages/ the bi-racial humans that are being concieved from the marriages to go away. In the very near future, bi-racial folks are going to really become the majority and what then/ You are going to have white parents, in this case white women, defending thier bi-racial children and grand children. Wake up world the world is changin, race relationships will be differnt-more respectful and acceptig of one another. Change is going to be diffcult for those that are still stuck on the majority, superiorty and minorty as it relates to race. At some point our society will reconzies that we have more in common than what meets the eye. Dr. laura did prompt a dialouge regarding race, respect, acceptance, individuality, and the reality that the more we as a society fight about race, the more race relationship changes for the good, inspite of sometime painful, disrepectful situation like this one. Dr. Lauar, being in a position of power, I think got carried away with the power/control she has on the radio. That in it self is racist, per the topic of discussion. her best friend may be Black, and that is a good thing, but her best friend is an individual, who may not have encounter the eperiences that other who are Black encounter, such as the callers, situation. We sometimes group people of a specific race together, and assume they feel and think excatly alike, As a professional soical worker, you know that everyone is an individual and not a "clone" of a specific race of people. Wake up folks, the young people who are much more accepting and respectfull of one another , are going to change the whole race thinking, they are going to put an entire different twist to what it means be of a specifi race, they are going to see the human race. Music is the universal langage and it has brought young folks together in accepting people as indviduals, ITS COMING FOLKS, CHANGE IS COMING, AND THE CHILDREN WILL LEAD US, THATS FOUND IN THE BIBLE AND HIS WORD IS TRUE. WE NEED TO QUITE FIGHTING THE CHANGE THAT IS COMING, ACCEPTANCE AND RESPECT FOR OUR DIFFERENCES AS 'HUMANS'.
    TO ANSWER THE QUESTION IS THE N WORD APPRORPIATE TO SAY, WHEN IT IS NOT USED IN A NEGATIVE CONTEXT OF DEFINING A PERSON, OR TOWARDS A RACE OF PEOPLE. DEPENDS. THIS WAS A WORD that was used to DEFINE A RACE OF PEOPLE OVER 200 YEARS AGO, THEY DID NOT KNOW WHAT THEY WERE DOING, As TIME WENT ON IT WAS USE TO DEGRAD A GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT THEY HATED, AND FELT they WERE SUPERIOR to that group of people. SO IT REALLY DEPENDS. WITHIN BLACK COMMUNITY it has been USED BECAUSE OF "LEARNED BEHAVIOR' FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION AND EVOLVED INTO "BLACK SLANG" AND HAS BEEN USED BY BLACKs IN A DERROGOTORY MANNER TOWARDS ONE ANOTHER. I THINK ALL RACES HAVE A SLANG LANGUAGE USED WITHIN THEIR COMMUNITY, AND MAY BE USED IN A NEGATIVE WAY TO ONE ANOTHER WITH IN THIER COMMUNITY. SO IT REALLY DEPENDS ON HOW, WHEN, WHERE AND WHOM MAY BE USING THE N WORD. HOPEFULLY PER THIS DIAGLOUGE I HAVE PROMPT SOME THINKING AS TO THE DR. LAURA SITUATION HAVE A NICE DAY.

    August 16, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. russell

    niggga please

    August 16, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smoovplayer

      That's Funny! I wish I had thought of it first. Yeah, yeah, I know. My ancestors.... yada yada. That's classic.

      August 19, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. whatever

    Good luck with whatever is left of your career Laura because your career is likely over after that ignorant rant. You can not tell me that she didn't know not to use the "word" I won't even type it – that is the best way I can relate to it, "That word" – ugh she makes me angry.

    August 16, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jay

    I usually find Dr. Laura a bit too harsh on many of her guests and her viewpoint a little too hardlined, but in this case I think the point she was trying to make was valid. To my knowledge, we don't have anyone left alive that was a pre-civil war slave, and the people who were slave holders are also no longer alive. It's time we moved past this people. Blacks cannot continue to hold it over white's heads for atrocities committed generations ago, yet It never dies. Dr. Laura was right in the sense that as long as blacks want to have double standards and the N word is just one example, then all they do is foster continued racism in this country. I too have never understood how the N word can be considered endearing by blacks amongst themselves and yet so vile if spoken by whites. I too have never understood why they can call whites anything they want and its not considered a racist comment. As long as society allows such double standards to continue, we will never be without racism ... on both sides of the fence.

    August 17, 2010 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
    • whatever

      Very well written and articulated.

      August 17, 2010 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Izmir Ted

      Excellent post. Writer sums up the whole situation in one paragraph. I totally agree with everything. Bravo !!!

      August 19, 2010 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
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