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http://mediamatters.org/action/drlaura/
(you can listen to what she said here, it's 7 minutes long)

Media Matters wants to chastise Dr Laura Schleissinger who spoke about racism on the radio, calling her comments racist and "breathtaking". She is a bit feisty and sometimes rude, but I don't think she is a racist. Apparently she has said some things that "attack" lesbians as well, but I haven't heard them to know what I think of her position there. I have never listened to Dr Laura before, FYI, so the clip above is all I know about her. I essentially agree with her point with regard to racism and black activist culture, but it is such an unpopular position as to cause trouble. Most people can't wrap their heads around it. The truth that she sees is that the black PC position on racism has become "hypersensitive" to isolated words/references, and is too easily triggered by comments which are not actually racist. Some blacks become unable to see that not every remark that mentions blacks or contains the word nigger is inherently racist. For example, I'm not racist, but by agreeing with Dr Laura (or putting "nigger" in print) I could be labeled such. Even Media Matters didn't get it. Media Matters is a useful media watchdog that busts A-holes (Beck, Limbaugh) in the news constantly, demanding apologies and inciting public outcries against public figures. Media Matters calls Dr Laura insensitive and over the top. But I think they need to look in the mirror, and think a little bit harder. I would call her cranky and tired of reverse racism. PCness limits our ability to communicate frankly about important issues by making some words taboo. I want the media to listen and hear and report on what they understand, not to enforce PCness.

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
bodylove
Aug. 16th, 2010 11:05 pm (UTC)
I think the point you may be missing is that it's not about how comfortable You feel w/ the word.

"Some blacks become unable to see that not every remark that mentions blacks or contains the word nigger is inherently racist."

....I think that was an inherently racist statement...why didn't you write "some people"....of course I don't know your history, but it seems like you haven't experienced much prejudice

Call me hypersensitive, but if someone used the term "kike" I would be offended b/c it's a derogatory term and would be putting me down.
liveonearth
Aug. 17th, 2010 01:29 am (UTC)
Words only have the power that we give them. Nigger or kike or any other derogatory term can only hurt if you permit it to. And talking ABOUT such a term is not the same as directly applying it to someone. YOU brought up the term "kike" and I don't even know what it means----but now if I say it you will be offended? Isn't that a waste of time?
bodylove
Aug. 17th, 2010 01:57 am (UTC)
kike is a derogatory term for a jewish person. similar to the "n word." yes of course there is most definitely a difference in talking about a term vs applying it directly to someone, but in the context dr laura was replying to, she wasn't simply talking about the term...the caller jade had said her husband's friends were using the term and it upset her, and dr laura went on her rant about how using the term should be acceptable. the point is that it's a racial slur and offensive to many people.

saying racial slurs only have the power that we give them is like saying a gunshot wound only has the power we give it ..... a wound is a wound and hurt is hurt.....you can take all the power away from the gun and the bullet but you're probably still gonna feel a sting when you get shot. people can heal and not let the wound bring them down, but it's still gonna hurt
liveonearth
Aug. 17th, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
As long as you give others the power to hurt you with words you are going to be suffering. A word is not the same as a bullet. Of course words have immense power. They have substantially more when people allow their conditioned responses to govern their reactions to them.
liveonearth
Aug. 17th, 2010 09:43 pm (UTC)
I don't agree that Dr Laura was arguing that the use of "nigger" should be acceptable. She was pointing out that when black men use the word with each other, it can be a term of endearment, and that the negative interpretation of the word seems to have a lot to do with the color of the lips it passes through. In other words, the offensiveness of the term is dependent on the race of the utterer.
bodylove
Aug. 18th, 2010 06:12 am (UTC)
I understand the point but where I disagree is that I heard Dr Laura using it in a derogatory sense in that she had labeled the caller as hypersensitive to something that obviously offended her and then continued to use the word over and over in her face.

I think where we disagree is in the context of the word being used in this particular interaction. It could be debated that she was just trying to prove a point, but the fact is that the caller specifically said it made her upset (that was the reason she was calling) and so to continue using the racial slur was offensive.

Many people find the word offensive no matter who is saying it, and I think it's of the utmost importance to respect the individual than to try to prove a point. In fact, by offending your listener, your point is also often more likely to be lost so I really don't see how her use of the word could be justified. She could discuss that all she wants w/out using a word that is highly offensive to the person she is speaking to. It's about respect and I felt her approach was disrespectful, insensitive, and not to be applauded.
liveonearth
Aug. 18th, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs personality inventory? You're sounding like an SF (the middle two letters). I'm an NT. We value different things, and will likely never come to agreement on this question. To me truth is more important than someone's feelings. To you someone's feelings are more important than truth. Both perspectives are legitimate and valuable. And people who are as different as you and I are rarely close in a personal way.
bodylove
Aug. 18th, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC)
I see it as......what could be more true than someone's feelings?

I've come up before as INFJ, but other times it's different. It's not a very reliable test, so for someone who values truth, why use the MBTI? I don't think the MBTI says much as people tend to change, act differently, and answer questions differently under different circumstances etc.
liveonearth
Aug. 18th, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
I understand your valuation of feelings as being of utmost importance and truth. And I see feelings as emotional states that arise, and pass, and have little bearing on what IS.

As for the MTBI, I have found it to be very useful, and reliable enough for my purposes. It is also true that we humans change over time, and many of us (myself included) score near the midline on some continuums, making a representation based on one extreme vs the other less useful.

I'm sort of relieved that you are an N. Did you know that only approximately 25% are N's? We're notably different from S's and are likely to form social circles amongst ourselves. =-]
machmed
Aug. 16th, 2010 11:08 pm (UTC)
Dr. Laura might be right on this topic, but she's still an enormous tool. Furthermore, I don't know what she specifically said against lesbians, but I do know that she is generally extremely anti-gay.
liveonearth
Aug. 17th, 2010 01:30 am (UTC)
She's definitely bitchy, I got that point. Oh, am I an anti-feminist because I think she's bitchy? These subjects make everybody ultra sensitive.
machmed
Aug. 17th, 2010 06:08 am (UTC)
Well, this subject doesn't make me ultra sensitive. I don't care about empty words like "nigger." What I do care about is people like Dr. Laura who go out of their way to encourage legislation that negatively affects gay people and same-sex couples. She has, for example, explicitly expressed support for legal bans on same-sex marriage and adoption. Offensive words don't matter much to me; offensive actions most certainly do. And Dr. Laura is undoubtedly a bitch. I would even venture to say she's an outright cunt.
machmed
Aug. 17th, 2010 06:08 am (UTC)
Dr Laura is undoubtedly bitchy*, I mean.
liveonearth
Aug. 17th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
sticks and stones
Exactly! It is the actions that matter, words are just words.
bodylove
Aug. 17th, 2010 02:03 pm (UTC)
from the linked article..
"We see below that in such cases the charge is often reversed: the person who accuses the other as racist is in turn accused of inverted racism against whites, as oversensitive and exaggerating, as intolerant and generally as `seeing racism where there is none', as Right-wing British newspapers like to put it (van Dijk, 1991). Accusations of racism, then, soon tend to be
seen as more serious social infractions than racist attitudes or actions themselves, e.g. because they disrupt ingroup solidarity and smooth ingroup encounters: they are felt to ruin the 'good atmosphere' of interactions and situations. Moreover, such accusations are seen to impose taboos, prevent free speech and a 'true' or 'honest' assessment of the ethnic situation. In other words, denials of racism often turn into counteraccusations
of intolerant and intolerable anti-racism."
bodylove
Aug. 17th, 2010 01:24 pm (UTC)
I feel so strongly on this issue I woke up thinking about it. I think it's b/c I sensed a "blame the victim" mentality that perpetuates racism. Here's an old article that may be of interest to you:

http://www.discourses.org/OldArticles/Discourse%20and%20the%20denial%20of%20racism.pdf
liveonearth
Aug. 17th, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC)
Everybody is a victim when there are disputes like this. I am the victim of your pinning mentalities on me, when to me people are people are people. We have all manner of visible and invisible differences, and if we know that we are all different and all worthy, the whole fight evaporates.

Good quote. I am mostly in agreement except that I don't think it has to be about blaming the victim. It's about getting to where we can talk frankly with each other and do some self-soothing. When someone hits one of our buttons, instead of taking it out on them, we work on our buttons.
liveonearth
Aug. 18th, 2010 09:55 pm (UTC)
note to self: bigot = forming opinions without just cause, prejudiced, intolerant, attached
Today's subject line on the email from Media Matters is: Dr. Laura quits: Bigotry has consequences.

They are calling her a bigot.

Bigot =

a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigot

bigotry - the intolerance and prejudice of a bigot
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

bigoted - blindly and obstinately attached to some creed or opinion and intolerant toward others; "a bigoted person"; "an outrageously bigoted point of view"
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

bigoted - Being a bigot; biased; strongly prejudiced; forming opinions without just cause
liveonearth
Aug. 18th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
Fox is not a news network -- they are simply part of the Republican machine.
--Ari Rabin-Havt
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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