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August 15th, 2010
01:30 PM ET
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. David

    There is a lot of history associated with the so-called "N-WORD." The word is deeply rooted in hate, injustice, death, segregation, hurt, and pain. This word has been passed down from generation to generation simply because we have done nothing to eradicate it. You can't burn, drown, shoot, kill, hide, bury, or sweep it under the rug. So how do we get rid of it? You can't get rid of it. To eradicate this word would be to eradicate the history, in part, of an entire class of people. The word clearly demonstrate and represent the supreme injustice endured by my ancestors. The word has a DNA type of effect. It goes on, and on, and on, from one generation to the next. The most unfortunate thing about it today is that we have failed to adequately teach the entire history of the word to our children; its cause and effect. Rappers and comedians don't speak for me. Dr. Schlessinger does not speak for me. She is now an open contributor to a very painful history. She did a disservice to herself, listeners, blacks, whites, and to this country by aligning herself on the wrong side of history. She failed to use this opportunity to teach rather than creating hostility and discord. Outside of a teaching environment, this word has no integral or intrinsic value. Remember, the word alone is not as big as its history. The word represents a systemic means of enslavement, human deprivation, injustice, wrongful deaths, and profound suffering. Therefore, it was a foolish attempt by Dr. Schlessinger to look to rappers or comedians to validate such a word.

    August 15, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
  2. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Words dont hurt people unless they want them too .

    August 15, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  3. Dennis Linville

    We teach our children as we were taught as children the sticks and stones poem and over the years it has held true for everyone with the exception of blacks.The "n" word as you put it is a social death notice to any non black that says it when they refer to themselves in that manner all the time.
    Talk badly about any other race,their mother,sister,daughter son and it is no big deal but when referring to a black it becomes a major crime to humanity.
    You want people to get along? Heres an idea. Stop blowing up every situation to be a racial one! If you are determined to demand respect how about first earning some.
    a honkey,cracker,white boy,hillbilly,redneck piece of trailer trash,
    thank you,
    Dennis Linville

    August 15, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  4. Christina

    This lady has always had a disrespectful rude mouth and it's no wonder she didn't get in trouble sooner. Who is she anyway to give people advice over the phone....weak people go get real help and quit calling a rude idiot lady on the radio!

    August 15, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  5. Doris

    Actually, I was more upset about the comment she made, and I quote
    "all you black people voted for Obama because he was half black"
    As if he was wasn't qualfied to be President,but we voted for him simply because he was considered black. That's racism.Everytime she opens her mouth,you hear a racist remark. Another comment she made that was racist, she wanted a black guy on the basketball team,because he was black. "you know white men can't jump"
    What make her think all black men can jump.

    August 15, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  6. AJ

    While I find the mind state of Dr. Laura despicable, I think it provides America as a whole a unique oppourtunity to focus in on what the history of the "N Word" really is in this country. I think it is true that white America will never fully understand the true "sting" of the N word I also feel that black people in America need to put a stop to trying to make the N word something its not. Its an insult, thats always been the meaning behind the word thats what it will always be.

    August 15, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
  7. amina

    Dr. Laura did not answer the Black woman's question about the racial charged verbal abuse she suferred from her white in-laws but instead used to occassion to go on a ant- Black tirde, She then told the caller she basically deserved the abuse because she married outside her race

    The clip you featured did not include the original call from the Black female.

    August 15, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
  8. Heidi

    So, why do some folks say it is ok for African Americans to say this word, but not Caucasians? Is this idea not inherently racist? Are the people who say that Caucasians cannot take part in the practices of African Americans saying whites are 'separate but equal'? Should we be forced to drink from a different water fountain? See the irony yet?

    I am Caucasian, should I be automatically be associated with a group of people whose ancestors once held slaves? How is this not prejudice and racism? My ancestors never took part in slavery and did not immigrate to this country from Finland until that abominable practice had been abolished.

    That said, I would never want to use such a word - or any word that would so belittle another human being. Human beings spend too much of their lives trying to build their fortunes on the belittlement of others.

    August 16, 2010 at 8:38 am |
  9. Ken S.

    1 – Dr. L's apology was not sincere because she said "that was wrong". She never said "I was wrong".

    2 – She completely invalidated the woman's feeling her by calling her hypersensitive and made the whites using the word the victims.

    3 – She went on an anti-black rant "blacks voted for Obama because he is half black. Blacks overwhelmingly vote Democrat no matter who is running.

    4 – While I agree that comics and rappers and hip-hoppers need to stop using the "N" word If I hear a man call his wife the 'B" word, I don't automatically assume it's OK for me to call her that name. That is between him and her.

    Any credibility that Dr. L. had is completely gone.

    August 16, 2010 at 9:29 am |
  10. fafnir242

    @Ken She never had to say "I was wrong." She wasn't wrong. She brought up an excellent point. Certain words should not be retained to just certain people.

    August 16, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  11. Marissa

    though it is well know that the 'N' word is used amongst people , i think it was very irresponsible for someone with that kind of power to publicly call African Americans that. it is very disrespectful. another thing is when this so-called Dr Laura decided to go as far as to tell the caller not to have an inter-racial relationship. my parents are an interracial couple and they have a wonderfully happy marriage.

    The bottom line here is that what Dr Laura said was very very wrong and i don't think she should even THINK about telling her callers to do the 'right thing' when she sends the WRONG message to others.

    A word of advice – lead by example

    August 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  12. Dado

    At Miss Heidi,

    It would not behoove you or any other white person to go around thinking it's your right to say the N-word in front of black people. Just not a wise thing to do regardless of your views. We don't pronounce the word with the "er" on the end and that's how we take the "sting" out of the word and make it into what we want it to be. It's really simple. It's not for anyone else to particularly agree with or support. We have our own dialect that is unique to our race just as any other race. The truth is that our race has been dealt a great injustice for hundreds of years and though things have gotten much better, racism still lives and breathes in our society today. And no matter what you feel about being associated with people who's ancestor's once held slaves, the facts are that you are who you are and your ancestors are who they are. If you have an early American blood line there is a good chance that your ancestors owned slaves. That does not mean that you were supportive of slavery and directly involved with it, it's just in your history. And if you don't hate black people and believe that we all are equal, then let that be that. There are going to be good and bad people every where we go in the world. Just make sure you are on the right side.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  13. dino

    Im a black male and the don't offend me because its a word. america will never get rid of the word because like most other nation. the people share the same food, music, traditions, and culture. america is the only culture where the people doesnt share all the above. Until u get rid of afro american chinese american latin american all those sub american names and just be american without the classifications of what type of american then we will be one. No matter what someone call u if u let affect u then some where in ur heart you feel thats u are. if someone call me white why would give a reaction. i know im not white so why would i get all mad.

    August 17, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  14. Aliou, Florida

    If whites are allowed to call blacks names, then we just legalized bigotry.

    August 17, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
  15. fafnir242

    @Dado The point is that, and I agree with dino, the word has only become offensive because after its first uses a wide amount of people took it offensively, and thus decided that the word shall become offensive. I mean, I don't use it directed at people, but I have had discussions with one of my friends about the offensiveness of the word and why that is so, and we do use the word in those conversations. We're not directing it at anyone, but we don't use it in public because of how badly it has become censored in our society. Don't get me wrong, we just don't single out the n-word, we go over the offensiveness of EVERY obscenity in our society. We both think it's absolutely ridiculous how certain words are not allowed to be used in our society. I think if they exist, they should be allowed to be used. It's not like if I spout off the f-word in front of a young child, their mind is going to immediately become corrupted. The reason I say this is because corrupt, like most adjectives, is completely relative. These adjectives are just labels we, as a society, have put on words, and just because we can does not mean we should.

    August 17, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  16. Rod

    What bothered me most about Dr. Laura was not just that she repeated the 'N' word so many times. It was that she was picking a fight. If she were responding to someone who called in to say that he uses that word with friends or when talking to fellow blacks and that he forbade whites from using the word, then I could accept her throwing it back in the caller's face. That was not the case here. She received a call from a listener who wanted advice; someone who had a sensitive issue.
    What does Dr. Laura do but throw this rant in her face and then tell her that if she is so sensitive she should not have married a white man.
    Wow, that was mean!
    That Dr. Laura then went on to gratuitously comment about a black president and that most blacks voted for him really shows she has issues. How about the fact that 90% of the blacks voted for Gore as opposed to Bush? Or that a whole lot of Irish Catholics voted for JFK?

    She's got issues. It is for that reason that I feel Dr. Laura has problems with the likes of me for no other reason than my color, and why I would not go out of my way to support her sponsors.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  17. Darryl Watson

    First off I am Africian American and I personally do not use the N-word as it is so popularly used now but to crusify someone over it when it is taken out of context of what Dr. Laura actually said is a poor display of your journelistic values. Lets start with the problem Black culture which uses the word just like any other is your problem not a radio talkshow host who happens to use it to make a point. I don't recall anywhere in the show that Dr. Laura uses the word towards anyone but as a refference to the word being used. Now lets idolize Mrs. OH MY GOD I'm so offended a white person just said the N-word get over it , and to listen to TJ this morning and not mention the root cause of Dr. Laura using the word to begin with poor journelism. Let us as Americans get over this hyper sensitive subject and move on and for me I would love to talk to Dr. Laura about the state of Black comics using the N-word over and over and over again

    August 19, 2010 at 7:14 am |
  18. Darren

    I am a white middle-class male, and I have to agree with both Dino and Mr Darryl Watson. Words are so easily taken out of context these days, and everyone, everywhere has an opinion on what they believe to be appropriate. I am sure I use words regularly that would offend many people, likely most people of higher religion, but that doesn't stop me from having an opinion. I am a free living, breathing, American. Freedom of speech is something we have fought for over the centuries. Why are we going to let our feelings overwhelm the ideas of others? Since when did we become a police state? The USA was founded on principles of freedom and now, it seems, we are doing whatever we can to bring our freedoms to an end...

    August 20, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  19. Anthony Cray

    I myself think that like minded groups of people can identify with certain things like this N-word issue. Also to be frank, people will do things that they feel comfortable with. Those people white or black who for some reason are offended with this word will be that way. I can't say they should not be. Also at the same time if you have a young or older african american that feels like only people from their neighborhood should use that word because of their life experience than I can't say that person is wrong either. Both experiences exist. I personally feel like the best thing to do is just speak up if you are personally offended or just exit the conversation. Really however people are going to have to grow in their understandings. This will be the step in the right direction.

    August 21, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  20. Cayman

    So why can't we adapt the N-word like Hollywood has adapted the F-word into nicety's like Friggin and Frackin. These seem to be acceptable to the masses.

    August 23, 2010 at 1:18 pm |