Dr. Laura Schlessinger is not a racist, claims a prominent African American businessman who described himself as a close friend of the controversial radio psychologist. Dr. Laura Schlessinger.
Dr. Laura used the “N-word” eleven times during a recent on-air discussion with an African American woman.
Jade, a black woman in a mixed-race marriage, had called in to say that she was fed up with the obsequiousness of her white husband in the face of what she deemed overt hostility and racism from his family and white friends. Dr. Laura thought she might be “hyper-sensitive” and used the N-word to prove that it had been mainstreamed by African American comics on TV.
Dr. Laura was engaging in a type of desensitization therapy on Jade. She soon found it didn’t work.
After taking a commercial break, when Dr. Laura came back on the air, Jade venomously objected to her use of the N-word and her characterization that it wasn’t still a loaded term when used by whites.
Accusing Jade of being not only hyper-sensitive but humorless,. Schlessinger said Jade mischaracterized her use of the N-word.
“Black guys talking to each other seem to think it’s O.K.,” Dr. Laura told Jade. “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.”
When Jade continued to insist that Dr. Laura, as a white person, had no right to use a word she insisted was racially charged, an angry Dr. Laura told Jade “Don’t N.A.A.C.P. me!”, a reference to the venerable African American civil rights organization’s charge that the Tea Party movement was racist. Dr. Schlessinger is renowned as a conservative.
Dr. Laura stated that Jade was a victim of “black think.” She eventually cut her off after an exchange about Barack Obama.
Jade had voiced her belief that whites were afraid of Barack Obama and thus were being more overtly racist, an opinion Dr. Laura objected to. She pointed out to Jade that it was white people, not blacks that had elected Obama President. This exchange came on the heels of Dr. Laura accusing blacks of engaging in a kind of group-think by voting overwhelming for Obama.
Lamenting that there was a rise in black hostility towards whites since the election of Obama, Dr. Laura blamed black activists for the phenomenon. She turned Jade’s contention that whites were being more racist since the 2008 Presidential election by insisting that black activists were being more racist since that time.
The blowback from the exchange was immediate and according to the New York Times, Dr. Laura apologized.
“I was attempting to make a philosophical point,” the apology posted on her blog, “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.”
Mike Paul, the president of the New York public relations firm MGP & Associates, defended Laura Schlessinger in a conversation with San Francisco Chronicle blogger Zennie62.
“Dr Laura is not, has not been, and will never be a racist,” he said.
Paul said that Dr. Laura is a close personal friend of his and claimed that she helped him through a very difficult and painful divorce.
MPG & Associates has done publicity work for Schlessinger in the past, but she is not currently a client.
Ironically, MPG & Associates’ trade-marked business slogan is, “Because Your Reputation Means Everything.” Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s reputation certainly has taken a further beating since dropping the N-Bomb so casually, then defending her faux pas in air.
Schlessinger has been publicly castigated for what has been characterized as homophobic comments in the past. While not mentioning this, Zennie62 of the Chronicle said that she has never used the N-word before or treated African Americans in a derogatory way.
Zennie 62 believes Mike Paul, saying that he would not have turned to his friend Dr. Laura for support had she been a racist.
San Francisco Chronicle, “Dr Laura N-word: Mike Paul says Dr. Laura not racist” http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/abraham/detail?entry_id=70109
New York Times, Joseph Plambeck; “Dr. Laura Apologizes for On-Air Epithet”; http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/13/dr-laura-apologizes-for-on-air-epithet/