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. David

    I am a black American, and can we please stop saying N-word and just say the word. The word is n!gger. Say it. I think we sound like little kids going around saying N-word. Like our tongues will fall out if we say the full word. It isnt like when someone says N-word that we dont all think n!gger. My God it is just a word. We as blacks give it the power. So what someone called you a n!gger. I am sure you will be called worse and treated even worse in your life time. Put on your big boy paints and live with it and move on. How do you think a woman feels when they are called b!tch or the every forbidable c-word. You dont see them taking the streets and media everytime someone uses those words. Really we as a country need to forgive and move on. Grow up America. We have worse problems going on then to debate over the word n!gger.

    August 18, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Brocco Bahma

      STANDING OVATION ! !

      August 18, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • dagny

      Using a silly descriptor " the n word" is beyond absurd. This practice of using the first letter started with the F word because you actually could not say it on tv or radio. Everyone knew what the word was without going afoul of the FCC. This has evolved into everyone using a first letter instead of a word that is considered to be socially unacceptable. But think about it! If you didn't know the word, you would have no idea was implied. So what on earth is the point?

      August 18, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Kade

      You hit the mark more soundly & loudly with your solidly logical, no-nonsense approach to this whole shameful & infantile matter. You are incredibly insightful, mature, & enlightened. Thank you, sir.
      You make me proud to be your fellow countryman & the only colors that I'd see as I stood at your side as one American standing tall next to another, would be those that adorn the "Stars & Stripes", forever.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Mo

      David my man got it right. The other day some white dude said, "great pass by the mexican," and all the whited dudes were in shock and well, I am mexican and it was a great freaken pass i made! so what. I grew up in Oceanside CA and it was a 50/50 split of mexicans or Latinos and blacks. We're not much different there... black people loved the cali burritos and well, i love all food because EVERYONE loves chicken or whatever else some people make to be black people's food. If you think racism is bad in the US of A, try going to othe countries...

      August 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • ebystrom

      Hooray for David! The most straight-up, honest and incisive comment on the thread yet. Take that, Eric Holder! Call us cowards, willya?

      August 19, 2010 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. myself

    Hillary Clinton had the black vote until Obama through his hat in. Instantly blacks jumped on his side. What does that say about howpeople vote and does color matter?

    August 18, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. Patrick

    I think Laura is absolutely right on her point. She should not have apologized at all. Obama got over 90% of the black vote, clearly there were some people that were black that voted for him simply because he was black. Anybody who says otherwise is either stupid, naive, or a liar. It's not surprising though, ethnocentrism is alive and well in this country. When a minority has ethnic pride, it's considered a good thing, when a white person shows ethnic pride it's lambasted as a clear show of racist favoritism. That very unfair sentiment is what is in fact driving the real push towards racism in America. Ask yourself this, how can we enforce and encourage "equality" by dividing us up into little segregated groups (defined by race or ethnicity), and giving each group different rights? That is way the NAACP is the largest racist organization in America, because that is what they try to do.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Izmir Ted

      Absolutely correct. Double standards reinforce the problem. More rights for the minority instead of equal rights for everybody. Show me any other country where the minority have GREATER rights than the majority !!! People outside the US don't believe me when I tell them that as a white male I am at the bottom of the totem pole in things like hiring. This is incomprehensible to them. There is no concept of "affirmative action" (reverse discrimination). Plus they see the propaganda on U.S. TV shows and movies about the "oppressed black man". Give me a break. Glad I don't live there anymore.

      August 19, 2010 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mr Natural

    When I read these comments, I understand why America is in such dire straights - morons all.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. sean

    Good god, this blog makes me want to shoot myself. Why am I devoting my career to the prosperity of this country when its populated by idiots like everyone on this board? You all make me sick.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Kade

      Well stated, friend! Well, stated, indeed!

      August 18, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kade

    @David:

    You hit the mark more soundly & loudly with your solidly logical, no-nonsense approach to this whole shameful & infantile matter. You are incredibly insightful, mature, & enlightened. Thank you, sir.
    You make me proud to be your fellow countryman & the only colors that I'd see as I stood at your side as one American standing tall next to another, would be those that adorn the "Stars & Stripes", forever.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. Steve

    I agree that Dr. Laura is frequently 'Rude' to callers. So What??? Change channels...
    (She failed to follow the advise: 'When you find yourself in a hole, it's time to quit digging...')

    It's past time that everyone retire the 'N' word, from any kind of conversation.
    I also think we should retire the terms 'Black' and 'White', when talking about someone. The color refers to skin tone.
    I am 'white', but dark complected. I am darker than some folks who refer to themselves as 'Black'.
    Lets leave race out of our everyday conversation. Example: Refer to a 'Guy who lives down the street', rather than a 'W' or 'B' guy down the street. It's gonna take everyone's cooperation to eliminate racial descriptions from general usage. When folks hear the terms used on TV they are influenced to use it themselves.
    Let's describe ourselves as American, not 'B','W','N','C'...
    (Skin tone enters into description on things like Police Reports, not the color of a clerk at 'Wally-World')
    If we each refuse to use any derogatory term, it will be eliminated from general conversation.
    NUFF SAID.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. sean

    How many of you have graduated from high school? And no, geds don't count, sorry.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. Rima

    First of all, I did not vote for President Obama. I am 100% Afr. American. I always say I am a Christian first meaning God word is more important to me then the color of any person skin. Also, I knew many whites that voted for Obama just because they wanted change (And look where that got us). But it was nice to see a 1st time black president. I do agree with many of you. I don't like the N-word period even though I may want to use it, but I dn't. I'm so sick of these rapper, comedians, t.v. show and radio shows that uses any kind of hateful and ignorant words and I do believe it is the reflextion of your upbringing or for the love of money(Hollywood world). Yes, there is racisim in this country and it will never end. It is sad to say that Dr. Laura did not have any common sense or discernment. But, that's what happen when you think you have all the answer to someones life, you just keep running your mouth and don't know when to stop talking. Like one man said " I can talk about my mother, but you can't". The same rule apply when it come to the N-word or any racial sler that may be offensive to another race.

    ***excuse any spelling errors or grammar issues. I don't have alot of to fix errors, but you got the point.***

    August 18, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  10. J-ME

    Dr Laura was clearly using this callers problem to try and make a statement, and all she did was make an idiot of herself. Her comments were irrelevant in relation to the issue. Also, there can be NO "outlawed" words, we may not like certain words and out of sensitivity to those who they hurt not use them, but in this country we still have freedom of speech.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. Brian

    @Theory
    "OUR SLAVERY"?
    Wow you must be old! You were a slave? I don't know anyone today that was ever a slave – other than those who continue to dwell on things they never experienced and make themselves slaves to the government. Embrace your freedom not enslavement. You continue to make yourself a slave.
    Blacks use the N- Word amongst themselves? I hear it on the street corner, in the market, on HBO, on the bus when groups of white and black are together. What a load of crap!

    August 18, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. ADJOHNSON

    Here is my credential, I'm a white man married to a black woman with kids that are gorgeously brown.

    Dr. Laura is spot on with her assessment and does not deserve to be crucified.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. TSSM

    After reading the transcript I found absolutely NOTHING wrong with what was said. Why is it that when someone other than a white speaks using disparaging words they're given a free pass and God forbid should a white use those same words they're nailed to the wall. If there's to be equality then there should be equality in Freedom of Speech. Regardless of what race the speaker, the use of disparaging words only degrades themself and adds to the stereotype.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  14. Guy

    Dang n1ggers are too stupid to understand anything

    August 18, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  15. American

    Please read the transcript. Not only did Dr. Laura not permit the caller to finish her comments, she was condescending and racist in her statements she made. I'm glad that the conversation has made national headlines and that Dr. Laura will no longer be a radio presence. Regardless of my personal opinion on her conservative stance, there is no place for someone of any influence to spew such vitriol without consequences. Spreading discord, racism (it is a plague in all communities that should not be tolerated), hatred and support of violence as a means to an end cannot be condoned. This country and our world will never co-exist peacefully and with tolerance until people refuse to embrace prejudice and sweeping generalizations. Judge all individuals based on character and actions.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
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