Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dr. Laura Schlessinger's N-word rant.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger has expressed surprise that anyone could object to the N-word:

SCHLESSINGER: Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is nigger, nigger, nigger.

CALLER: That isn't --

SCHLESSINGER: 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.
I've always thought that the Black community use that word as a way of taking it back from the racists, in the same way as the gay community has reclaimed the word queer.

Words are terribly powerful, as Lenny Bruce memorably demonstrated:
“Are there any niggers here tonight? Could you turn on the house lights, please, and could the waiters and waitresses just stop serving, just for a second? And turn off this spot. Now what did he say? “Are there any niggers here tonight?” I know there’s one nigger, because I see him back there working. Let’s see, there’s two niggers. And between those two niggers sits a kike. And there’s another kike— that’s two kikes and three niggers. And there’s a spic. Right? Hmm? There’s another spic. Ooh, there’s a wop; there’s a polack; and, oh, a couple of greaseballs. And there’s three lace-curtain Irish micks. And there’s one, hip, thick, hunky, funky, boogie. Boogie boogie. Mm-hmm. I got three kikes here, do I hear five kikes? I got five kikes, do I hear six spics, I got six spics, do I hear seven niggers? I got seven niggers. Sold American. I pass with seven niggers, six spics, five micks, four kikes, three guineas, and one wop. Well, I was just trying to make a point, and that is that it’s the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness. Dig: if President Kennedy would just go on television, and say, “I would like to introduce you to all the niggers in my cabinet,” and if he’d just say “nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger” to every nigger he saw, “boogie boogie boogie boogie boogie,” “nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger” ‘til nigger didn’t mean didn’t mean anything anymore, then you could never make some six-year-old black kid cry because somebody called him a nigger at school.”
Bruce's point was that the word could be robbed of it's power. And that is precisely what the black community attempted to do.

Schlessinger seems confused that the amount of melanin in one's skin affects ones' right to use that word.

She is seriously missing the point. The amount of melanin in one's skin has everything to do with whether or not one can use that word. It's about ownership of a word in order to deprive that word of it's poison. You can only reclaim that racist term if you are black.

She has apologised, but reading her apology, it is clear that she still doesn't understand what was wrong about what she did.


Olbermann translates: "Haven't we done enough for you people?"
SCHLESSINGER: I really thought that once we had a black president, the attempt to demonize whites hating blacks would stop.

She has a track record for using incendiary speech and then issuing apologies.


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