‘We have to be able to discuss these things’

Wow, it’s like the 90s all over again, without Winona Ryder’s awesome haircut and me being 20 pounds lighter. Newt’s being listened to like a serious person, and via the Crack Den, “Dr.” Laura’s being a hideous wench:

CALLER: I’m having an issue with my husband where I’m
starting to grow very resentful of him. I’m black, and he’s white. We’ve been around some of
his friends and family members who start making racist comments as if I’m not
there or if I’m not black. And my husband ignores those comments, and it hurts
my feelings. And he acts like

SCHLESSINGER: Well, can you give me an example of a racist comment? ‘Cause
sometimes people are hypersensitive. So tell me what’s — give me two good examples of racist

CALLER: OK. Last night — good example — we had a neighbor come
over, and this neighbor — when every time he comes over, it’s always a
black comment. It’s, “Oh, well, how do you black people like doing
this?” And, “Do black people really like doing that?” And for a long
time, I would ignore it. But last night, I got to the point where it —


humor —
“What do
think. This is what I
read that if you take a poll the majority of blacks think this.” Answer the
question and discuss the issue. It’s like we can’t discuss anything without
saying there’s -isms?

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

Right. We have to be able to discuss your race, andon my terms. This is what “Dr.” Laura’s saying: that her black caller can’t discuss race whenshe wants to, but must do it when every stupid fucking moron at a party wants to, and “Dr.” Laura’s prescription for this is that her caller not be so damned sensitive and be willing to serve as Guide to Black World for everybody. I have never seen anyone miss the point so aggressively.

Her caller should just accept being a zoo exhibit and not a person.
She should just accept having to be the National Ambassador from the
Exotic Country of Blackness whether she wants to be or not, because
it’s not important what she wants. It’s important what the white people around her want. What they want is for her to beanswerable to them, and she should be. Clearly. I mean, God forbid she just eat some pie or something and talk about work or school or her house or whatever else she’s got going on. She should understand her life is a command performance called Being Black for Dummies.

You know, I am so Caucasian I’m practically transparent, and I freely admit that I could use a great deal of tutoring in the lives of people who are not me. It might be nice to have a Personal Protocol Vending Machine to explain to me how I should deal with X, Y or Z situation so I don’t stick my foot in my mouth. However, that does not entitle me to make everybody who happens to be around me my Speak and Spell. For one thing, it’s fucking rude. For another, it puts the burden on people who should be interacting with me as a fellow human being to be my teachers, and gives me an undeserved pass for any ignorant or hurtful comments I might make because hey, I was trying to learn!

Most people, not being idiots, can tell the difference between the sincere desire to understand something and the off-putting desire to make them The Other in a conversation, and it’s pretty clear which is happening to this caller. Of course, when you’re “Dr.” Laura, it’s all just one big opportunity to talk about how racist black people are for not wanting to answer to white folks all the time.




4 thoughts on “‘We have to be able to discuss these things’

  1. And you know, it’s really not that tough. I can tell the Dr. Lauras of the world everything they need to know in four words: Don’t be an asshole. That neighbor with the “do you think black people” problem? He’s being an asshole and he knows it. The black lady needs a diplomatic way to tell him he’s being an asshole, period. Maybe something like “Well, at last month’s Secret Global Black People Meeting we decided that…” In the event that doesn’t make it through the asshole’s willful ignorance, be direct: “Black people don’t think or act as a bloc any more than white people (or anyone else), and I’d appreciate your not talking to me as if we do.”
    Instead, Laura decides to up the asshole quotient and turn it into a Big Societal Thing, all about hypersensitivity, power and race relations when it really just boils down to one guy being an asshole and Laura affirming the assholery.
    And if both of them are so keen to really figure out What They Think, here’s a little method I’ve learned for getting your mind around some unfamiliar Other. It works about 90% of the time and requires zero asshole behavior: Shut your fucking pie hole and just listen for a little while.

  2. One thing you should know about Dr. Laura. She hates her callers. Especially women. It’s very clear they disgust her. She is nicer to guys who are calling. You can hear the venom in her voice.
    Why do people she hate call her? Because they want big bad mommy to yell at them.

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