Dr. Laura Schlessinger is at it again. Appearing on The Today Show this morning to promote a book about revenge, she dug up her infamous n-word controversy from last August. For those of your who don’t remember, Dr. Laura repeatedly hurled the n-word several times at a black caller who was clearly offended by what she was saying. She then told Today Show host Matt Lauer that the controversy was a “blessing”, because she is now on Sirius/XM, where she can use the word all day long and not be sanctioned for it. Good for her.
Adding further insult to injury, Dr. Laura seized an opportunity in a later segment to irrationally compare herself the comedian Bill Cosby. She claims an unnamed “they” (presumably progressive African-Americans) “Uncle Tom’ed” Cosby because he spoke out in favor of traditional values.
I watched the interviews on The Today Show and again listened to her n-word rant on the radio to get a take on Dr. Laura and her concept of a double standard. During the rant, Dr. Laura seemed angry about the fact that black people can use the word and she cannot. She also comes off as a self-righteous, incredibly arrogant demagogue who believes she possesses a degree of moral authority that trumps everyone else. Maybe that’s why her network likes her, but I certainly do not.
I find it ironic that Dr. Laura considers herself to be the victim, rather than the beneficiary of America’s double standards. The host seems to believe that it’s inappropriate that she as a white conservative is unable to use the n-word without getting the same response as a liberal or person of color. All the while, she has no problem with the double standard which says that a white person who offends the black community gets to write another best-selling book, gets a new job on another network and is invited as a distinguished guest on television. If Dr. Laura were a black radio show host who’d offended whites in the same way, she’d be in the unemployment line right now. So, Dr. Laura needs to remove the silver spoon from her mouth in order for us to audibly hear her whine about how double standards keep her caught in the grips of oppression.
WATCH DR. LAURA’S APPEARANCE ON ‘THE TODAY SHOW’
In fact, if you look all throughout the media, you see a slew of white Americans who’ve done unspeakable things and been given another chance. Marv Albert was re-instated after a freaky incident in which he was accused of sexually abusing a woman. Don Imus was given another job on a different network after referring to young black women as “nappy headed hoes.” Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer now has a show on CNN after the anti-prostitution crusader was caught using hookers himself. But while fundamentally problematic figures like Dr. Laura get one opportunity after another, most of these networks almost never hire African-Americans who’ve done nothing wrong. That, Dr. Laura, is your double standard, but I don’t hear you complaining about that.
What’s interesting about Dr. Laura and conservatives like her is that they want all the benefits of white privilege as well as the benefits that might sometimes come to minorities. Dr. Laura’s argument that ‘black people can call each other ni**ers, so I can too,’ is built off the illogical presumption that the context and commentator mean nothing when processing the nature of a comment. While most of us would find the use of the n-word to be objectionable, the reality is that Dr. Laura is part of a constituency that has historical roots in the harassment, murder, mutilation and enslavement of black people.
By engaging in such insulting language to try to make her point, Dr. Laura has proven herself to be a person who has no interest in understanding the challenges of being black in America. Her insistence upon fighting for her right to use the n-word comes off as the standard paternalistic lecturing that white conservatives tend to thrust upon people of color as they try to tell us what it means to have good values and why Jim Crow and racial inequality is clearly all our fault.
Rather than allowing the black community to find it’s own path toward understanding the damage of our past, Dr. Laura, the almighty radio show host, with no stake in, or understanding of the black experience, continues the proud conservative tradition of harassing people of color to avert her own responsibility for maintaining racial inequality in America. Dr. Laura should be ashamed of her behavior, but she has no reason to be, since there are no penalties for being a bigot.