Opinion

Dr. Laura has a point

Dr. Laura Schlessinger boldly went where no one but the hypocritical black elite can boldly go.  For that, she deserves respect, not ridicule.

While the good doctor used a word so forbidden that it has been relegated to rappers and street slingers, she brought attention to an issue worth addressing once and for all. It’s talked about in beauty salons, barbershops, urban radio shows and at black family reunions. But not out loud.

She may not be the “right” messenger for some. But it’s about time someone other than self-righteous finger-pointing liberals brought this issue out into the open.

Most blacks I know loathe the n-word, no matter whose mouth it comes from — Dr. Laura’s or Lil’ Wayne’s. It makes most of us cringe whether we know people who use it regularly or not — we all wish it would go down as fast as beltless baggy pants in a cop chase. But no one would dare say, much less do, anything about it. It is far easier to demonize a little old white woman with a sharp tongue who makes no apologies for her candor (though she did in this case.)

Why is it permissible for blacks to call ourselves ni**as and then get indignant at the very thought that someone of a lighter hue even mouth the word negro? When will we get indignant about the fact that so many of us still use de-humanizing lazy slang as common-speak instead of calling a “brutha” or a “sista” by a more appropriate moniker? Sometimes, we’ll even give permission for a white person who has an urban sway to sing it or say it. But it’s generally off-limits.

So, why is it that anyone should be allowed to use the n-word? If, as the argument goes, it’s not acceptable for some, it shouldn’t be acceptable for anyone. And that is the point that Dr. Laura was trying to make. If her use of the word (over and over) got the public’s attention, well that was the point now, wasn’t it?

It’s ironic that the collective “we” spend so much time feigning outrage over a non-approved politically-incorrect person’s use of the n-word, without considering the context in which that person uttered it. Dr. Laura was bold enough to bring a very pertinent issue to the surface. Yet, as usual, all pundits (including some conservatives) and snake oil civil rights puppets can do is divert attention away from her point in order to make theirs. Even if you believe that Schlessinger is a racist, which no really believes, isn’t the point she made — that no one should be able to say the word ni**a — a valid one?

It is particularly hard for me, as a black person, to hear other blacks refer to themselves this way. I’m quite certain President Obama doesn’t drop the n-bomb with his Chi-town homeboys. Why is it that the black community allows blacks to refer to one another by such a degrading term? We don’t hear Hispanics calling one another “wetbacks” or white people referring to one another as “honkeys?” It is truly sad that this is the best we have to say about one another — and that we accept its use.  That it is often used to show affection is no excuse.