Wednesday, August 18, 2010

THE DR. LAURA AFFAIR - Is she racist?

The title of this blog might be misleading.  I'm not a proponent of Dr. Laura.  I hate her show for the most part.  It's such a holier than thou platform.  However, in light of her show, which has now been made famous for what people are calling Racial Rants, I will re-post some comments I made after Don Imus was forced temporarily off the hair for using the term "Knappy-headed Hos."

First off, I agree that Dr. Laura DID NOT call anyone the N-word.  She didn't call Jade, her caller that name.  Nor was she the first to bring it up.  Jade brought up the N-word and asked Dr. Laura what she thought of it.  And Dr. Laura pointed out it's confusing to tell someone now they can't use the N-word simply because they're not black.  I have no idea if she's racist.  However, I do hear what she's saying and have many feelings that echo those sentiments, which I simply label as frustrating.

For your reference, here is the actual segment from her show.

Here are some of the points I made in the blog about Imus:

There's a reason the Asian, Latino and Jewish communities don't walk around calling each other chinks, spics and kikes. The reason, we don't want to propagate the worst of our language into the common terminology of society. I can only speak for myself as a Jew and say we don't do it in our community because once you do it, the word loses its degrading meaning and sooner or later, someone else is going to use it too in a way you don't like. It's common sense.

Many record executives and producers, many of whom are black, have profited nicely off of music and artists who flaunt and celebrate the worst in society. They use the word nigger and ho to describe each other in the most vehement ways possible. These records and videos and artists are distributed not just to blacks, but to all communities. Thus, sadly, these terms are now common to all. And the terms are not only degrading to blacks and women, but to all of us. Don't give me any of this shit that there's a difference between the word 'nigga' and 'nigger'. They're both awful. And it's mostly, and I say mostly, the black community's fault for tolerating such language from its youth. I'll tell you one thing -- my future son or daughter ever comes home and says nigger, or spick, or hos, as a way to tell me what's going on in their lives, I'm giving them a talking to.

I used to have a joke in my standup about how I never understood any amongst the black community referring to a fellow member as a nigger. Could you imagine a Jew walking down the street and yelling to his friend in the distance, "Hey, Penny-Pinching Heeb, how's it going?".......

....Imus is an entertainer, who has made his name pulling stunts like this. Much like Howard Stern and other shock jocks, he chose to make a shocking statement against the Rutgers women's basketball program. But the words he chose are words that other black entertainers have made a part of the daily lexicon. And the double standard is that it's okay if a black man calls another black man a nigger because they understand it. No one else can. Well sorry folks, that double standard won't fly anymore. Whites, Asians, Latinos -- we all can listen to Power 106, or buy Flavor Flav, Wutang Clan or Eminem's music. Yes, there is power to the ferocity of their lyrics, and they're artists making a statement. And they should be free to do so. But they have to understand that that statement is the reason words like nigger have made their way into the mainstream of young Americans' vocabulary. And unfortunately for racial relations, it's here to stay.

It is my belief and I stand by it, that the culture that has developed in Black neighborhoods (or ghettos or the 'hood, as they're often called) espousing the usage of negative and forbidden terminology as a means of affection is, pardon the direct phrasing here, FUCKED UP!  And they need to start admitting as much.  There is never a good way to use such a negative word as the N-word.  Never.  I don't care if you tell me I don't understand.  I know what it means.  And I know it's not a word that Blacks want in the mainstream conversation.

How are you going to explain to a 10-year old white child, consuming the music of Dr. Dre., Eminem, Tu Pac, Old Dirty Bastard that he isn't part of that audience?  Because the truth is, now he is.  He doesn't understand the historical significance of the race riots back in the 50's and 60's.  He doesn't get the usage of the N-word during slavery all the way up until Blacks got their freedom.  All he hears is rappers using it as cool lingo.  What do you tell this white child? 

So is Dr. Laura racist?  I don't know.  I just know I have the same frustrations about those who run down the street calling after their friend by calling him a N***ER, or having a friend of mine who just happens to be black include me in his group of N***ERS, but then turn right around and freak out when the word is used by a white guy.  The solution is simple - remove the word from the mainstream again, and I guarantee we won't have this issue.

Feel free to voice your comments. Is the N-word okay for use in American society, or in any society? Has the word changed from a nasty derogatory slandering of the black culture to a word that should be used as a fun, hip, modern way to say you're my brotha, homey, or friend?