Dead Honky

You would think, almost two years since John McCain Released the Krakpot upon Our Fair Nation, we would cease to be amazed distressed disgusted amused by the proclamations of America’s Quitter. We’re not worried about her — worried, that is, that she has a polar bear’s chance on a globally warmed ice floe of regaining official power — but Talibunny’s ability to steer the national discourse into new depths of ugliness remains unparalleled.

Yes, Pam Geller gets credit for lighting a fire under the Not-Ground Zero Not-Mosque, and Newt did his best to raise the temperature. But it took Sarah Palin to fan the flames into unrelenting bigotry.

And now, it appears, she was only getting started:

SarahPalinUSA Dr.Laura:don’t retreat…reload! (Steps aside bc her 1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence“isn’t American,not fair”)

SarahPalinUSA Dr.Laura=even more powerful & effective w/out the shackles, so watch out Constitutional obstructionists. And b thankful 4 her voice,America!

Those two tweets showed up in quick succession Wednesday night. If you’re unfamiliar with the backstory, we’ll get to it in a moment.

But here’s the executive summary: Sarah Palin is applauding the insulting use of “nigger” by a White person to a Black person in polite conversation.

Not just applauding — encouraging.

And no, we’re not being satirically hyperbolic. If only.

Our story begins a week ago Tuesday, in the studio of Laura Schlessinger’s call-in radio show. We’re running the transcript in full (as we almost did last week), because that’s the only way to do justice to it:

SCHLESSINGER: Jade, welcome to the program.

CALLER: Hi, Dr. Laura.


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 comments.

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 —

SCHLESSINGER: I don’t think that’s racist.

CALLER: Well, the stereotype —

SCHLESSINGER: I don’t think that’s racist. No, I think that —

CALLER: [unintelligible]

SCHLESSINGER: No, no, no. I think that’s — 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. You gotta know that. That’s not a surprise. Not everything that somebody says — we had friends over the other day; we got about 35 people here — the guys who were gonna start playing basketball. I was going to go out and play basketball. My bodyguard and my dear friend is a black man. And I said, “White men can’t jump; I want you on my team.” That was racist? That was funny.

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 nigger, nigger, nigger.

CALLER: That isn’t —

SCHLESSINGER: 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. Don’t hang up, I want to talk to you some more. Don’t go away.

I’m Dr. Laura Schlessinger. I’ll be right back.

At the very least, Schlessinger is being insensitive here. (Also, patronizing. And, intermittently stupid.) But when the show returns from break, she charges right back into it:

SCHLESSINGER: I’m Dr. Laura Schlessinger, talking to Jade. What did you think about during the break, by the way?

CALLER: I was a little caught back by the N-word that you spewed out, I have to be honest with you. But my point is, race relations —

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, then I guess you don’t watch HBO or listen to any black comedians.

CALLER: But that doesn’t make it right. I mean, race is a [unintelligible] —

SCHLESSINGER: My dear, my dear —

CALLER: — since Obama’s been in office —

SCHLESSINGER: — the point I’m trying to make —

CALLER: — racism has come to another level that’s unacceptable.

SCHLESSINGER: Yeah. We’ve got a black man as president, and we have more complaining about racism than ever. I mean, I think that’s hilarious.

CALLER: But I think, honestly, because there’s more white people afraid of a black man taking over the nation.

SCHLESSINGER: They’re afraid.

CALLER: If you want to be honest about it [unintelligible]

SCHLESSINGER: Dear, they voted him in. Only 12 percent of the population’s black. Whites voted him in.

CALLER: It was the younger generation that did it. It wasn’t the older white people who did it.


CALLER: It was the younger generation —

SCHLESSINGER: All right. All right.

CALLER: — that did it.

SCHLESSINGER: Chip on your shoulder. I can’t do much about that.

CALLER: It’s not like that.

SCHLESSINGER: Yeah. I think you have too much sensitivity —

CALLER: So it’s OK to say “nigger”?

SCHLESSINGER: — and not enough sense of humor.

CALLER: It’s OK to say that word?

SCHLESSINGER: It depends how it’s said.

CALLER: Is it OK to say that word? Is it ever OK to say that word?

SCHLESSINGER: It’s — it depends how it’s said. Black guys talking to each other seem to think it’s OK.

CALLER: But you’re not black. They’re not black. My husband is white.

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, I see. So, a word is restricted to race. Got it. Can’t do much about that.

CALLER: I can’t believe someone like you is on the radio spewing out the “nigger” word, and I hope everybody heard it.

SCHLESSINGER: I didn’t spew out the “nigger” word.

CALLER: You said, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.”

SCHLESSINGER: Right, I said that’s what you hear.

CALLER: Everybody heard it.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, they did.

CALLER: I hope everybody heard it.

SCHLESSINGER: They did, and I’ll say it again —

CALLER: So what makes it OK for you to say the word?

SCHLESSINGER: — nigger, nigger, nigger is what you hear on HB —

CALLER: So what makes it —

SCHLESSINGER: Why don’t you let me finish a sentence?


SCHLESSINGER: Don’t take things out of context. Don’t double N — NAACP me. Tape the —

CALLER: I know what the NAACP —

SCHLESSINGER: Leave them in context.

CALLER: I know what the N-word means and I know it came from a white person. And I know the white person made it bad.

SCHLESSINGER: All right. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Can’t have this argument. You know what? If you’re that hypersensitive about color and don’t have a sense of humor, don’t marry out of your race. If you’re going to marry out of your race, people are going to say, “OK, what do blacks think? What do whites think? What do Jews think? What do Catholics think?” Of course there isn’t a one-think per se. But in general there’s “think.”

And what I just heard from Jade is a lot of what I hear from black-think — and it’s really distressing and disturbing. And to put it in its context, she said the N-word, and I said, on HBO, listening to black comics, you hear “nigger, nigger, nigger.” I didn’t call anybody a nigger. Nice try, Jade. Actually, sucky try.

Need a sense of humor, sense of humor — and answer the question. When somebody says, “What do blacks think?” say, “This is what I 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 power.

Good golly, there’s a lot to unpack there — much more than we’ll be doing here.

But let’s start by saying that there is a legitimate civil conversation that can be had about the history and contemporary use of “nigger”. Only that’s not what Schlessinger was doing. Instead, she was using “nigger” to belittle and dismiss the caller’s legitimate concerns.

How do we know those concerns are legitimate? Well, let’s ask the White wife of one of those Black comics:

Q. Can you tell me about the time… you said the “n” word…

A. Well, it only came out once. That was that time I talk about, when everybody was sitting around and snorting dope and being very hip, and I thought I’d be very hip, too, and of course I was the only white person, and I thought he was going to kill me. But as I said in the story, he just took me outside, and showed me the stars, and said, “Which one is a n-i-g-g-e-r?” And that was quite a lesson I had in humility.

That would be Jennifer Lee Pryor, telling a story she also tells on Comedy Central’s frequently repeated Richard Pryor tribute. Even when you’re Richard Pryor’s wife — even when you’re among his friends — it’s definitely not cool to say “nigger”, even when they do. And that was before Pryor famously disowned the word himself.

Schlessinger might want to TiVo that next time it airs.

What happened in the days after Schlessinger’s “N-Word Rant” can be recounted quickly: She apologized, Media Matters called for a Beck-style advertiser boycott, and then she appeared on Larry King to announce she’s quitting her show at the end of the year.

That, and wrap herself in the First Amendment:

Well, like “Media Matters” and some of the other groups that have lined up to decide that I should be silenced because they disagree with my points of view. I never called anybody a bad word. I was trying to bring — and obviously, it has become a national discussion now — I was trying to make a philosophical point and I made it wrong.

But I wasn’t dissing anybody. I was trying to make a point. And for that to say I should be silenced is the reason that I’m saying to you, I obviously am losing First Amendment rights.

We don’t recall the FCC adding “nigger” to the Seven Dirty Words. And far from being silenced, Schlessinger pulled a Carrie Prejean by complaining about her lack of free speech on a national broadcast. She still enjoys the same free speech we do, although she still gets paid a lot more for it.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin isn’t the first to herald Laura Schlessinger as the Nigger Martyr — the Usual Suspects have been howling about it for days. But the Usual Suspects howl about a lot of things, including the Not-Mosque, without anybody else paying attention. It takes an impeccably mangled 140-character volley from the Mama Bigot to raise the profile of an issue like this.

And where Palin insists that the Not-Mosque developers consider the feelings of Concerned Demagogues before exercising their First Amendment rights, she’s more than happy to ignore the still-lingering effects of centuries of slavery and discrimination in America while standing proud for Dr. Laura’s sacrosanct right to nigger-nigger-nigger on national radio.

Oh, and Jade?


Because, y’know, that “doctor” part? Physiology.


There is a larger question here that is being overlooked. It’s not comfortable to think about and I understand that we’d all rather ignore it but sometimes we can’t sweep what’s uncomfortable under the rug and drag the piano over it and make believe it’s not there. Sometimes we must confront what’s buried. So, since no one else seems ready to shine the bright light of truth upon this ugliness I’m going to give it a shot. Not because I’m better than anyone else but because I need to sleep at night. Just remember. I do this in a spirit of love. Because I love you all. I do not judge. I can only love. OK. Here goes.

WTF is up with Palin’s highlights? I mean, good God, people! Who is putting those streaks in her hair? Piper? Doesn’t she know any gay men? What the hell is going on? Because it’s getting almost impossible to watch TV. You never know when she’s going to show up next with those damn yellow bits in her hair. How is anyone supposed to take her seriously when all you can think is Clairol?

There I said it. I feel I have done my part to advance the national dialogue.

Awesome post, noje. I applaud you for actually reading anything uttered by ‘Dr’ Laura.

I’m shocked. It’s as if Dr Laura wasn’t really listening to the listener’s problem and decided to get political about race relations instead.

Race isn’t an easy thing to deal with even in the, er, sainted air of Canada City.

I grew up in a white bread town (again with the childhood trauma.) When I moved to the big city, I went to a high school that was 50% white bread and 50% “urban” aka tinted. I had friends in both groups. My non-white friends and I were quite comfortable insulting each other’s ethnicity only because us tinted folks had pretty good racism detectors and knew we were only joking. However, we did not really joke among white folks we had doubts about though and even then we didn’t use the N-word or P-word or C-word (chink, not what Dr Laura is usually described as.)

I went to university and encountered political correctness for the first time. The idea that banning words or books or ideas because of racism offended my anti-communist/quasi libertarian /*eye roll*/ leanings at the time. Of course, the PC types went to offend people that agreed with their leanings but not their methods or reasoning. I encountered a subset of the PC backlash who had different reasons than my own.

These folks were usually white, always politically RW and llit off my racist detectors because they seemed too damn eager to describe folks with the “banned” words.

It struck me that Freedom meant different things to different people. “Libruls” wanted Freedom From the N-word while “cons” wanted Freedom To say the N-word.

Dr Laura’s rant is the usual speech of someone who wants Freedom To say it. Not shocking, the very “uncomfortable around tinted people” Talibunny is Team Dr Laura.

What the fuck does ‘reload’ mean? She wants the crazy lady to just start screaming niggadagokikefrogspicslant all over the radio? Demand that the niggadagokikefrogspicslants be deported?


Of course, publicly she’ll say that it’s all about “freedums of speech” not the “freedoms to yell /insert racist descriptor here/” which in her mind is the same thing.

Apparently the First Amendment in the teabagger Constitution includes an extra clause wherein you not only can *say* racist shit, but no one else is allowed to call you a racist cunt and/or boycott your advertisers for *sponsoring* a racist cunt.

I wish I could get a copy of *that* version; it’d be great reading, on par with the mythical “Homosexual Agenda”… ;)

“Dr.” Laura is the crazy aunt who drinks too much Mogen David at Passover and starts ranting about the schvartzes, except that some fool gave her a microphone.

I don’t know … last time I checked the First Amendment protects citizens from the government stifling speech.

If the Talibunny and her fizziologist friend are correct — that the First Amendment guarantees an audience — my free-speech right has definitely been infringed as I have never been given a radio or TV show or a book deal.

@ManchuCandidate: Talibunny and Dr Laura should just refit the teabaggers as a white power party. They can merrily sieg heil all over the place and take over Hal Turner’s old shortwave radio show.

The Talibunny knows her audience: a bunch of white cracker honky retarded olds who are frightened by the idea that a black man is president and that this country will eventually be majority minority. She is playing to their fears of “political correctness” and wanting to go back to the old days when Negroes knew their places, faggots were jailed for unnatural acts, and women were chattel.

The best hope for America is that these old bastards keel off relatively soon. Time is not on their side, and they know it. They want one last chance to have their political influence felt and 2010 might be the last time they get it.

@Dodgerblue: I bump into her on the radio when I travel and rent cars and am trying to find the local orchestral music stations. Fucking lady sounds like a crank you’d meet on an inter-state bus. “You know what sucks? Letting the fucking Irish into good restaurants. They have a short colon so they fart easily. Cup a soup in them and, wham!, they start lifting a cheek and sneakin’ ’em out. Why the fuck should I be subject to that shit? I’m tearing into a steak and the fuckin’ mick hits me with a fucking SBD. What the fuck is happening to this country?”

I just read the whole transcript. The least of her transgressions was shouting a racial epithet. Basically, she just called Jade a stupid, self-pitying person exhibiting these characteristics as racially programmed behavioral deficits – and then found a lame-ass excuse to start shouting racial epithets. The caller was looking for a strategy to deal with some cruel stereotyping from her husband and his friends that had nothing to do with racial epithets and the radio lady decided she just needed to be put in her place for interpreting this vile abuse accurately as emotional violence. This is where she crossed the line into white supremacist rhetoric: “And what I just heard from Jade is a lot of what I hear from black-think”

@FlyingChainSaw: The part about the neighbor (“Do black people really like doing that?”) reminded me of, and this actually happened to a friend, a Christian asking a Jew whether they celebrate Thanksgiving. (Or, since there’s a David Cross reference appropriate to any situation, whether Jews eat oatmeal.) It bespeaks an ignorance that goes so much deeper than slurs.

Great job, Nojo

@karen marie: No shit, where’s my radio show and book deal?

@Benedick: I don’t think there are any gheyz in Wasilla. Besides, I remember during he 2008 campaign that they had stories about the local beauty shop she went to that looked as if it were in someone’s trailer.

Not much to add to the above analysis – particularly Karen Marie, Mellbell and FCS comments on the most insane/troubling aspects of this. As FCS noted, the epithets are far from the worst parts of this rant.

I will note that the Obama threads are the kind of garbage that will keep this front and center in our political food fight. It’s sort of the 21st century version of Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” – appeal to racism by pretending victimhood.

@SanFranLefty: That’s impossible. We are everywhere. And 2008 was before she got styled for the convention. GF has since shopped Saks. She has worn Valentino take-out. There’s no excuse for a woman who makes as much as she does going out in public looking like that. Reload!

@Benedick: What’s your take on the boob-job question? Inquiring, juvenile minds want to know.

@Dodgerblue: She needs to go on TV, toss the shirt and bra and lift the bags so we can be sure there are no operation scars. We can’t take a chance on an having dishonestly mammaried christofascist hatecasters on TV.

@FlyingChainSaw: I would totally watch that. With the sound off.

@Dodgerblue: There is a serious question of legitimacy.

@Dodgerblue: Of course Talibunny had a boob job/lift! You don’t squeeze out four or five kids and not get some droopage. Then again, she wasn’t breastfeeding Tripp (Tugg? whatever the 2008 prop baby was named) so maybe she didn’t breastfeed any of the other kids and so her girls didn’t get tugged and worn out.

@SanFranLefty: This post from the Stinque recordbook suggests that you are correct. They are flying pretty high for a woman of her age and spawning history.

@Dodgerblue: I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. She’s barely middle-aged and bra technology is pretty advanced these days.


I feel you are discriminating against Benedick, OA, Cubbie, HF and I because no where in your neoepithetism do I see a reference to queers.

@mellbell: “bra technology is pretty advanced these days.” This is what my wife tells me. Yet, she is always searching for a better fit.

@mellbell: Or Ian, or CheapBoy — although I’m still not entirely sure where he landed with his latest twist.


Oh yeah, Howdy is a big queen too, forgot about that.

ADD: And Cheapboy AND Ian. Yeesh, how could I forget about Ian, that big girl’s blouse. It’s like listing Republicans and leaving out Nixon and Regan.

Speaking of Palin, I can’t find the exact one, but the other day a fellow Metro rider was wearing a t-shirt with this text and this image. I LOLed.

@mellbell: Brilliant. If there was room within my breast for more jealously today, I’d fit that in.

My latest favorite Twitter God JC_Christian flags this Dr. Laura transcript from 1999:

DR. LAURA: Your [autistic] son may not be fixable. In which case you’re going to have to think of some kind of placement. He might even become dangerous to himself or somebody else — and that’s not going to be unreasonable either because he would be in a more controlled environment where there are experts in dealing with him…

So at some point you have to think about alternative situations so this family can have a life and please that’s fair to everyone.

So, Sarah? Put Trig away. Do it for your family. It’s only fair.

“dishonestly mammaried christofascist hatecasters” you may have surpassed yourself, dear darling FCS

@nojo: And now Dr Laura will perform a little ditty sung to the tune of What I Did for Love titled “Stuff the ‘Tard Away”, take it away Dr Laura.

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