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. Mappy

    What a bunch of ignorant asses. If you get upset of language – go crawl back into your hole and get out of our f'n way while we run the F'n world. You are too sensitive to relate with the human population. God forbid you have to deal with an actual issue in your lives. Idiots, yes, idiots...all of you F'ks

    August 18, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. Alaskop

    The Nazi's killed my relatives in Slovakia. Does this give me the right to hold a grudge against Germans? Blacks who bring up slavery as justification for white racism are looking for any excuse to hold a grudge. How about looking at the individual and that person's actions? Maybe you would have a better clue if the person is racist or not. A prior poster was offended when someone said 'if you're going to use big boy words' and the response was ' I'm a black man, not a boy' . It's clear to me that some blacks are just looking for a fight and will use any excuse they can find to be offended.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. george

    The caller is still a black racist although she married to a white person. Based on the book "The Dream Of My Father" written by Obama, It is very obvious that Obama is also a racist...there is a deep rooted racism in his head.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Snohomishpete

    Dr. Laura was spot on and should not have apologized for her comments. You people should lighten up! And yes, black people did vote for President Spock because he is black, actually he's 1/2 white!! So if we say the President is a mulato, are we racist?

    August 18, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. Larry

    Why is my post not showing up?

    August 18, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  6. David

    I have always liked Dr Laura because she is honest, and tells things like they really are. Too few people have the courage to do that, because they get attacked, as she did. What an odd, sinful world we live in. It just proves how patient our God is with us, to let us continue in this destructive insanity of ours. All people have been "saved", most reject it.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. dancinintherain

    Thom. Jefferson was right. They should have sent them all back to Africa when they had the opportunity. It's disturbing that with a black prez we are no closer to a race war in this country than we've ever been.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mo

    I'm not black or white, but people are too freakin sensitive. The other day I was walking with my children from the parking lot into Costco and well, most parking lots don't have "side walks" so apparently i was walking incorrectly because this white lady pulled next to me and told me that "in this country we don't walk in the middle of the road." I'm a Latin male, and a war veteran. I was not going to let that overwight, poor white women probably going through menopause, ruin my day with my girls simply because she's an old bitter woman. My wife was really upset but I told her that i was over it a second later. I just smiled at the woman, which i think made her more angry. she must have thought i didn't understand English or something. Anyway, people need to treat people as individuals. Yes, there is racism, but amongst eveyone and towards everyone; including within our own races.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • jaz

      thanks for your service! And patience!

      August 18, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Adrienne

    Dr. Laura is rude, arrogant, and insensitive. She frequently behaves like this, then turns on the "sincere old lady stuff" when her bullying gets her into trouble. I am not sure if she is sick or just plain mean. I am happy she is finally gone from the air!

    August 18, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. RightWinger

    There will NEVER be racial peace in America. NEVER. Just like there will never be peace between the Muslims and the rest of the world, whom they kindly refer to as "infidels". Forget equality, blacks want to be treated as "separate and superior", and whites naturally resent that.

    August 18, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ida-Maria

    WHAT people either don’t know or don’t care is “Dr.” Laura has her doctorate in exercise physiology, not psychology. I have always found it offensive that she is able disguised herself as a mental health specialist. (There is a BIG difference!!) No one questions her about this, not even Larry King?????

    August 18, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Justin

    There's obviously a double standard here. There are lots of double standards in race relations. In fact, any time "people of color" are involved in a societal issue, anyone who disagrees with them gets labeled a racist. It's intellectually dishonest. The oppression that today's blacks' ancestors experienced is now being visited upon our country. Affirmative action, only blacks can say the N word, whites can't dislike illegal immigration without being racist, lopsided hate crime verdicts, the list is endless. At one point in time, like the word "gentleman", the N word's root word had a real meaning other than skin color. It was a way of talking about a lifestyle. When rappers run around saying "my N____", how is that appropriate?

    It's an obvious double standard, that fits in nicely with the rest of the double standards that seem to haunt race relations in the US. My ancestors here in the US NEVER owned slaves. They were literally dirt poor farmers.

    So get over it already.

    August 18, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Thomas

    First of all i think Dr. Laura is a great individual and have listened to her rant and rave over the radio waves for many years. She has called men "boy's" women "shrews" and the list goes on. I don't think she did anything wrong,except for continually cutting off the caller. Reading all the posts and looking at a lot of the ignorance on this page really puts things into perspective for me as to where people stand on the whole race issue. I agree with most people in saying that if the "N" word is SO offensive then stop using it, period. It doesn't matter if you are Mexican, White, BLACK, Asian, whatever, stop using it period. As to the writer "Theory" if i am not mistaken Slavery was abolished many years ago, and as for "YOUR PAIN" if you remember history, blacks weren't the only slaves, there were mexican, the Asian's took a beating, and yes the Irish were held as slaves and were made to clean the slave ships as the came in, hell Jewish people had it equally as rough. It just seems to me though that above all these races, it is the blacks that continue to use this as a crutch to try and "guilt" the non-black community into shooting out some sympathy when really non is due. I have traveled all over the united states and have heard many things, and apparantly if you are a black individual you can not only belittle each other by using the "N" word but you can also spew forth a rant of racist remarks toward every race out there and not expect and flack from it because your great, great, great grandparents were slaves and that has given you the right to disrespect every race out there, and not only is there nothing we can do about it, but we also should find these uneducated rants hilarious. People grow up, if it was a black comedian on that radio show answering calls and the same conversation took place it would have been accepted ten fold, and people probably would have found it to be amusing, but instead it was a white woman who says whatever is on her mind and she gets yelled at. Try replacing her name with someone like Chris Rock, Cedric the Entertainer, or even Monique and i bet you will not only get a laugh out of it but you will accept it as well.

    August 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Austinbaby

      Thomas......that was the best comment I have read ALL day! Very well put!

      August 18, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |

    Well well,

    iIf you think that Dr. Laura should not have the right to use the term then you are not American. As a high school teacher and coach I hear the N word ALL the time. It makes the kids sound IGNORANT. People like 'Theory' should take a minute and think about the word 'hypocrite' and decide whether it is better to be a N or a Hypocrite. Think about it.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Um.

    So many people are having a hard time understanding that context contributes to the meaning of language. White people and black people DO have different rights regarding the use of this word because the word itself is not the only thing that creates meaning. Who is using it and how it is used are both factors that cannot be ignored.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
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