By Ernest A. Canning on 8/18/2010, 4:59pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"Dr. Laura's radio career ended in disgrace tonight because of the bigoted, ugly and hateful remarks made on her show. Americans have had enough. Listeners are now holding hosts, affiliates, and sponsors accountable for the offensive and inexcusable content on the airwaves." Media Matters 08/17/2010.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger (Ph.D. in physiology), whose brief television career ended after she referred to homosexuality as a "biological error" and compared LGBT parenting to pedophilia, announced that she was ending her worldwide syndicated radio broadcast in December.

Previously, Media Matters covered "Doctor" Laura's Aug. 10 broadcast in which she castigated an African American woman (“Jade”) who had called in to complain about her white husband’s silence in the face of racist remarks made by his white friends and family. During the contentious colloquy, "Doctor" Laura dropped the N-bomb 11 times. (Audio and transcript below).

While the same content was appropriately addressed by Media Matters, some additional observations are in order…

1. It is never appropriate for an individual to ask someone of another race, “What do your people think?” Merely positing the question reflects a level of racist ignorance that assumes that all people of a given race think alike.

2. “Doctor” Laura apparently sees nothing wrong in suggesting that African-Americans “voted for Obama simply because he was half black. It didn’t matter what he was going to do in office.” One wonders how the likes of “Doctor” Laura would respond if someone suggested that she voted for John McCain only because he was white and that “it didn’t matter what [McCain] was going to do in office.”

3. As someone who is roughly “Doctor” Laura’s age and can all too well remember the ugliness that emerged during the effort to establish justice and equality in the Jim Crow South, I cringe whenever I hear the N-word, even when it comes from the mouth of an African-American comedian. However, as someone of Anglo decent, it is not my place to tell an African-American not to use that word, even as a joke. What is clear is that the N-word is never appropriate when it emerges from a white person’s lips.

To her credit, "Doctor" Laura did apologize, stating that she “attempting to make a philosophical point, and [she] articulated the “n” word all the way out --- more than one time. And that was wrong.”

4. Racism did not end with the election of Barack Obama. To the contrary, the radical-right, which, since the 2008 election has consolidated its power within the Republican Party, has openly and dangerously embraced race-baiting as a divide-and-conquer strategy designed to facilitate their return to power. Brad Friedman's Tea Party Racism? What Tea Party Racism? provides but one of numerous examples of how blatant that racism has become.

5. "Doctor" Laura's "don't NAACP me" is a gratuitous smear of one of this nation's most esteemed civil rights organizations, the representation of which launched the career of one of the finest justices to ever sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall.

Transcript of Dr. Laura's 08/10 Racist Rant

Jade: “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.

LS Can you give me an example of a racist comment because sometimes people are hypersensitive…

Jade: Okay. Last night, good example, we had a neighbor come over and this neighbor every time he comes over it’s always a black comment. It’s oh well how do you black people like doing this and you black people really like doing that and for a long time I would ignore it, but last night it got to the point where it—

LS. I don’t think that’s racist—

Jade: Ah, well the stereo—

LS. I don’t think that’s racist. No—

Jade: The stereotype—

LS. No, no, no. I think that’s…Well, listen, without giving much thought a lot of folks voted for Obama simply because he was half black. It didn’t matter what he was going to 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.

Jade: How ‘bout the N-word? Now the N-word’s been thrown around—

LS: Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO listen to a black comic and all you hear is nigger, nigger, nigger! I don’t get it. If anybody without enough melanin said it, it’s a horrible thing but when black people say it’s affectionate. It’s very confusing.

Not very "confusing," "Doctor" Laura. When an African-American comedian says it, "its affectionate." When the N-word spews from the mouth of the guy wearing the white sheets, it's a reflection of an ugly level of racist hate.

Following a commercial break, we pick up with Jade's response to Dr. Laura's query about what she thought about over the break:

Jade: I was a little caught back by the N-word that you, I’d have to be honest with you, but my point is race relations—

LS: Oh, then I guess you don’t watch HBO or listen to any black comedians.

Jade: But that doesn’t make it right, I mean race is a big—

LS: My dear—

Jade: thing—

LS: My dear, the point I was trying to make—

Jade: Obama has been in office, race has been taken to another level that is unacceptable.

LS: Yeah, we got a black man as President and we have more complaining about racism than ever. I mean I think that’s hilarious.

Jade: But I think honestly because there’s more white people afraid of a black man taking over the nation—

LS: They’re afraid—

Jade: If you want to be honest about it—

LS: Dear they voted him in, only 12% of the population is black. Whites voted him in--

Jade: It’s the younger generation that did it. It wasn’t the older white people that did it—

LS: Okay. All right, all right. Chip on your shoulder. I can’t do much about that. Yeah I think you have too much sensitivity and not enough sense of humor--

Jade: It’s okay to say nigger?

LS: Oh it depends how it’s said—

Jade: Is it okay to say the word. Is it ever okay?

LS: It depends how it’s said. Black guys talkin’ to each other seem to think it’s okay.

Jade: But you’re not black. They’re not black. My husband is white—

LS: Oh I see, so a word is restricted to race. Got it. Can’t do much about that.

Jade: I can’t believe that someone like you is on the radio spewing out the nigger word and hope everybody who heard it—

LS: I didn’t spew out the nigger word—

Jade: You said, ‘nigger, nigger, nigger’ and—

LS: Right, I said that’s what you hear—

Jade: And I hope everybody heard it.

LS: Yes they did. But you—

Jade: I hope everybody heard it.

LS: They did and I’ll say it again, nigger, nigger, nigger is what you hear on HB—

Jade: And so what makes it—

LS: Why don’t you let me finish a sentence?

Jade: Okay.

LS: Don’t take things out of context. Don’t NAACP me.

Jade: I know what the N-word means and I know it came from a white person and I know the white person made--

LS: 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 then don’t marry out of your race. If you’re going to marry out of your race, people are going to say okay 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 a lot of black think. And it’s really distressing and disturbing….I didn’t call anybody a nigger….Hypersensitivity…which is being bred by black activists. I really thought that once we had a black president, the attempts 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…

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Media Matters Audio of Jade/Dr. Laura colloquy follows…


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UPDATE FROM BRAD 8/19/10: Sarah Palin has decided to jump into this kerfuffle and embarrass the hell out of herself --- as she is wont to do. Hilarious details now here...

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Ernest A. Canning has been an active member of the California state bar since 1977. Mr. Canning has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science as well as a juris doctor. He is also a Vietnam vet (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968).