Dr. Laura is the type of person whom I wish would find a little a glorious black hole and simply disappear. She has a history of homophobia as well as racism. Dr. Laura recently quit her syndicated talk show after protest arose when she used the N word 11 times during a call in which and African American woman was complaining about the racism displayed by her White husband and his friends. Why this woman chose Schlessinger of all people to reach out to is beyond me.
I must admit that I was absolutely thrilled when she reported that she leaving her show because she felt that her free speech rights were being impinged upon by listeners who had the nerve to call the station and her advertisers to complain. In an interview with Larry King Schlessinger had this to say:
Yes, but I don’t have the right to say what I need to say. My first amendment rights have usurped by angry hateful groups who don’t want to debate they want to eliminate. So that’s why I decided that it was time to move on to other venues, where I could say my peace and not have to worry that sponsors and families are going to be upset, radio stations are going to be upset, my peeps as I call them are going to be upset.
At the time I wrote that Schlessinger is not interested in free speech. What Dr. Laura truly desires is the ability to spread her hate speech without having to care about it effects others. No one interrupted her show during her hateful tirade to tell her about the damage that happens to Black people every time the word nigger is uttered by a White person, on the contrary she was allowed to go on a racist tirade with the only intervention coming from the Black woman she was assaulting.
When Dr. Laura announced the end of her show I was happy. This after all meant that one less hate filled bigot on the air, it seems however that my celebration was premature. Dr. Laura is returning to the air on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
“The first and most important thing that appealed to me was the freedom to speak my mind without advertisers and affiliates being attacked by activist groups that just love to censor anything they don’t agree with.” She then added, “That just about made my heart and head explode.”
To bad that explosion was simply a play on words. Once again Dr. Laura proves that what she is interested in is not free speech, but the ability to verbally attack whomever she chooses without dealing with any repercussions. Schlessinger, like many conservatives wants free speech for herself but not anyone else. The so called activist groups that called to complain were simply utilizing their first amendment rights, but since it their opinions were in disagreement with her, it has to be classified as an attack.
The one thing that I have learned about obviously racist White personalities like Dr. Laura is that they never seem to run out of venues to spread their hate. Duane Chapman went on an extremely racist rant and he was punished by having his show Dog The Bounty Hunter canceled for a few scant months. It also did not take long for Imus to land on his feet after the nappy headed ho commentary. I think Whiteness likes to make it looks like it is doing something about racism, which is why we these short censures occur, but real and lasting change is certainly not on the agenda.
When people of colour talk about the institution of Whiteness we are often accused of generalizing or being racist but the ability of Whiteness to always ensure its hegemony or in this case, its ability to be heard is proof of the power of White supremacy. Obama is often held up as proof of how post racial the U.S. is and yet not even the most powerful man in the world has the freedom to speak freely or fill out his census report without censure. Consider how quickly right wing media personalities accused Obama of inflaming emotions for his initial response to the Gates arrest last year, or the angst when it was discovered that he chose African American as a descriptor on his census. No matter how much power Obama has, as a Black man he must still answer to Whiteness and it is this very same accountability that is not enforced on Whiteness when it chooses to attack POC. So much for equality.
Free speech does not exist because there is always a cost to pay. When Whiteness employs hate speech and hides behind the first amendment it is people of colour who must deal with the fall out. When people of colour decide to speak truth to power, Whiteness is quick to silence, and attack. How can anyone even pretend that free speech exists when it is always the marginalized that must pay the cost? Everything that Whiteness has ever taken for granted as existing as free has come on the backs of people of colour and the racist media power structure is not different.