"The tree of liberty grows but in one direction -- by adding rings." -- John Berry

August 17, 2010

The Fall of Dr. Laura: It Only Took Herself to End Her Show

Can't you hear it now? "Ding, dong the witch is dead..."

I would have to say that my first true foray into the "political" realm occurred after the above witch called me a "biological error". Back in the late 90's/early 00's, Dr. Laura had a television show that tanked, partially due to an advertising campaign organized by John Aravosis, now of the oft-visited AmericaBlog and Americablog Gay.  It worked, and we moved on to greener pastures while "the doctor" spewed her conservative opinions about life.

Ten years later, it turns out it wasn't a boycott, or disgruntled listeners, or even a pail of water that would silence this righteous broad, but simply, she herself "done her in". 

Last week, it was aptly covered that Dr. Laura went on a racist diatribe in response to a caller dealing with issues of racism. Here is the now career ending phone call now:

Here are some choice excerpts of Dr. Laura's comments, and my take on them:
Dr. Laura: well, listen, without giving much thought, a lot of blacks voted for Obama simply 'cause he was half-black. Didn't matter what he was gonna do in office, it was a black thing.
Me: First. has Dr. Laura spoken with "many blacks" about how they voted? Did she take a survey? And how can she claim to know the operations of some one's mind? 

Her assertion is that black people would vote for a candidate only be because of his skin color, and because they agree with his political positions, his economic philosophy, a desire to shape the Supreme Court more fairly, or the fact that his wife is amazing. Nope, the only reason blacks for a black candidate is skin color. Dr. Laura, that's a racist comment.
Caller: How about the N-word? So, the N-word's been thrown around --
SCHLESSINGER: Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is n*****, n*****, n*****. 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.

Oh, where to begin? Dr. Laura obviously fell asleep in history class, or more appropriately, ignored hundreds of years of our history. Do I really need to tell her that that word is simply not okay for White people to use, in any context and in any way? Does she need to be reminded that thousands of black people heard that yelled at them moments before their death by white crowds, prior to lynching? Prior to being whipped? Prior to being denied their education, and as they walked into a white school for the first time to get their education?
SCHLESSINGER: We've got a black man as president, and we have more complaining about racism than ever. I mean, I think that's hilarious.
Apparently, in Dr. Laura's opinion, all it takes to heal 400 years of oppression, racism, prejudice and bigotry is to elect a black president. Guess she doesn't watch Fox News?

Dr. Laura goes on spewing more and more vainglorious piffle until she cuts off the caller, who is patiently trying to educate Dr. Laura on my previous "white people shouldn't use that word". She then launches into a reflection on this call, that is the true object of my disaffection for this clueless calamity:

If you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry out of your race. ....
We have to be able to discuss these things. We're people -- goodness gracious me. Ah -- hypersensitivity, OK, which is being bred by black activists. I really thought that once we had a black president, the attempt to demonize whites hating blacks would stop, but it seems to have grown, and I don't get it. 
Yes, I do. It's all about power. I do get it. It's all about power and that's sad because what should be in power is not power or righteousness to do good -- that should be the greatest power.
Please note I heavily edited and used bold print for Dr. Laura's comments.

Dr. Laura's use of the word "hypersensitive" several times indicates to me that she doesn't see race as an issue any longer in this country, and falls back on "blaming the victim" instead of addressing the issue.  It's common for White people to fall into "avoidance", a term defined in this remarkable book, Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools. Dr. Laura indicates to me that she has no understanding of her own race, and therefore, cannot possibly begin to see race after another person's point of view.

Her accusation then switches to attacking "black activists", and goes immediately into the fear statement, "blacks demonizing whites". This is the zenith of avoidance. Now, not only is she refusing to acknowledge race, but she turns African-Americans, who are the recipients of racism in our society, into the perpetrators! She might as well start talking about "reverse racism".... oh, well, she does later, but that's another post.

The one thing I agree with her on. Her final statement. "It's all about power." She's right about that, but wrong about the source of power. It's all about her White power and privilege in this society that supports, feeds, and nourishes her ignorance on race issues in this country. 

I can say this to be definitely true because as a White person in this country, it does the same for me. Every day.

I'll blog more about Dr. Laura's ending of her show, and her appearance on Larry King, in another post.

So, Dr. Laura ends her show because of a single caller. I wonder if this caller wouldn't mind dialing up Bill O'Reilly ... Glenn Beck ... Michael Savage .... the list goes on.

1 comment:

Bunnster said...

All I can say is . . . she brought us together, Kiddo. Sometimes God uses bad things for good.