Dr. Laura Schlessinger has issued an apology for repeatedly using the N-word on her show on Tuesday. But her racist rant isn't really the kind of thing you can apologize for.
Schlessinger used the word when telling a black woman she was being "hypersensitive" about racist comments. Then, she apparently thought better of it. On her blog, she wrote,
I didn't intend to hurt people, but I did. And that makes it the wrong thing to have done.
I was attempting to make a philosophical point, and I articulated the "n" word all the way out - more than one time. And that was wrong. I'll say it again - that was wrong.
This makes her use of the words sound like a misstep, something she did in the heat of the moment but now regrets. However, let's take a look at the context. The caller, who was in an interracial marriage, had called to ask for help dealing with racism among her white husband's friends and family. When Schlessinger asked for "two good examples" ("'Cause sometimes people are hypersensitive"), the caller mentioned that "the N-word's been thrown around." Schlessinger responded that, "Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is nigger, nigger, nigger." Then she added,
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.
It's not actually confusing, but Schlessinger wasn't done. After a commercial break, she told the caller (who identified herself as Jade), "Don't take things out of context. Don't double N — NAACP me." Then she launched into a long rant about how the caller's disapproval of generalizations (like "Do black people really like doing that?") signaled a poor sense of humor:
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 distressting [sic] 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 "nigger, nigger, nigger." I didn't call anybody a nigger. 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?
Schlessinger thinks that black people have a responsibility to dignify any racist question with a polite answer, and if they don't, that's "black-think." They're also — and this almost sounds like a parody of conservative thought — supposed to stop talking about racism now that Obama's in office: "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." Basically, racism is really just uppity blacks being hypersensitive, and if they aren't willing to field the question, "What do blacks think?", they should keep to themselves. Schlessinger can apologize for using the n-word all she wants, but the views she expresses above don't just slip out. They're clearly what she really thinks, and unless she undergoes a complete attitude adjustment, she'll still be a racist.
Talk Radio Host Dr. Laura Schlessinger Apologizes For Repeatedly Saying N-word On The Air [NY Daily News]
My Apology [The Dr. Laura Blog]
Full Audio: Dr. Laura Schlessinger's N-Word Rant [MediaMatters]