Really, it was bound to happen. Staring down the end of another long hot summer of right-wing craziness – last year it was the health-care-town-hall insanity; this year it’s mosques and gay marriage – it was just bound to happen. Right-wingers have been race-bating so long, skirting right up to the edge of common decency and beyond … you had do know that one of ’em was going to lose it; that one of ’em was going to embrace his or her Inner Bircher and go full-on racist.
Enter “Dr.” Laura Schlessinger, a self-professed advice-giver/relationship specialist with a PhD in … physiology? Anyway, last week “Dr.” Schlessinger went on a now-infamous rant all full of n-wordy-goodness, explaining to an African American caller who was offended by her white husband’s friends’ racist remarks that black folks are just too darn sensitive about race; that African American comics on HBO (that, apparently, being the gold standard of African American culture to “Dr.” Laura) use the n-word regularly, so it’s okay for a right-wing white radio host to do the same … and ultimately telling the caller, “If you’re that hypersensitive about color and don’t have a sense of humor, don’t marry out of your race.”
Yeah. Um. Sure. It’s only Two-thousand-friggin’-ten. If you’re in an interracial relationship you’d better expect to face racist interrogations by alleged friends of your spouse. So, suck it up!
Of course, even the usually unapologetic “Dr.” Laura quickly realized she’d taken a long walk off a short pier, career-wise; so, she came back the next day, metaphoric tail between her legs, saying:
I was attempting to make a philosophical point, 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.
So she acknowledged she was wrong to say the n-word, but she stood by the rest of her rant – including her comments to the effect that African Americans are too sensitive about race and that if you marry “outside your race” you should expect to face a racial inquisition every time you get together with your spouse’s friends.
Hey, “Dr.” Laura, 1967 called. It wants its racially charged dinner party back.
Meanwhile, “Dr.” Laura’s apology tour continued earlier this week when she appeared on Larry King’s show on CNN. Once again, she said she felt bad that she’d offended people, but nonetheless reaffirmed her view that African Americans are too sensitive, and she went on to tell King she intends to leave her radio program at the end of the year to “regain [her] First Amendment rights.” Oy. Because, you see, conservatives have the First Amendment right not to be criticized for the insanely stupid things they say. Got it?
Anyway, you’d expect “Dr.” Laura to have become a pariah on the right, especially after the Breitbart/Palin/Tea Party wing of the Republican Party spent the entire summer insisting they’re not racists while calling anyone who criticizes them … racist. After all, if they really want to prove their racial neutrality, their “color blindness” as they like to say, you’d think Sarah’d get out her Big Book of Refudiation and throw it at the n-word-spewing, interracial-marriage dissing “Dr.” Laura. Right?
Allow me to translate from Palin-Speak to English: “Dr. Laura – don’t retreat, reload. ([Schlessinger] Step[ped] aside [because] her First Amend[ment] [rights] ceased [to] exist [thanks to] activists trying [to] silence [her] [and that] ‘isn’t American, [and it’s] not fair’).” I’m not sure who Palin was quoting when she said “isn’t American, not fair”; maybe it was the voices in her crazy-scary right-wing head.
But, so, between opposing the construction of the Park 51/Cordoba House project in lower Manhattan – which necessarily means she equates all Muslims with the 9/11 attackers (and that folks, is the very definition of racism) – and endorsing “Dr.” Laura’s views on race and interracial marriage, what else can you say about the Half-Term Wonder? She’s finally showing her true colors (pardon the pun); she’s finally putting down the dog whistle and shouting out loud: I’m a bigot and I’m proud of it!
Glad we got that cleared up.
Garland Jeffreys’ 1973 tribute to New York City, “Wild in the Streets,” also included on his 1977 album, Ghost Writer.