Since Dr. Laura Can’t Give Advice To Black People Without Being A Racist Twit, We’ll Give It A Shot

since-dr-laura-cant-give-advice-to-black-people-without-being-a-racist-twit-well-give-it-a-shot

I would have written an angry rant about Dr. Laura’s crazypants meltdown on air in which she just enjoyed saying the word nigger so much she had to say it about a dozen times while telling a black, female caller that she was hypersensitive, except I keep getting the feeling that a lot of this is about publicity. How many years has it been since Dr. Laura said anything anyone cared about? Her gay hate pretty much erased her from polite company. And while I’m sure she still has high radio ratings, it doesn’t take much to have high radio ratings amongst the kind of trogladytes that would listen to her silliness day after day. But now every network and talk show is up in this shit. I don’t have much to add.

Instead, I thought that I would devote the comments section of this blog to a couple of issues. The first being: if anyone out there is at all confused about why what Dr. Laura said is wrong on every level, please let me know and I will explain it to you. It’s more than just that she used the word nigger. She wasn’t just making a philosophical point. She was being an ass and engaging in racism. And her weak apology doesn’t erase it.

The second, and more important, is giving some good advice to the woman who called in. Jade is married to a white guy and apparently has to field a lot of clueless questions from her white in-laws or her husband’s white friends. They even use the word nigger around her1. She was calling to ask the good doctor how she should go about getting these people to stop and point out to them how racially insensitive their remarks are.

This is a not uncommon problem. Probably every black person in America has been called on by some clueless white person in America to speak for an entire race of people and answer for stuff that the individual in question may have absolutely nothing to do with. But it’s especially sticky when it’s a  bit tied up in your relationship.

Those of you that have been in situations like this, do you have any advice for Jade? Dr. Laura obviously didn’t, so someone has to pick up the slack.

Since Dr. Laura Can’t Give Advice To Black People Without Being A Racist Twit, We’ll Give It A Shot — Originally posted at The Angry Black Woman

Footnotes

  1. Click here for the full transcript and audio of the conversation Jade had with Laura, if you can stomach it.

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12 Responses to Since Dr. Laura Can’t Give Advice To Black People Without Being A Racist Twit, We’ll Give It A Shot

  1. 1
    mythago says:

    Sure. What the fuck is with Mr. Jade? His friends and relatives are the ones making racist comments – why isn’t he stepping up to tell them to zip their lips? Jade says her husband ignores it. Maybe it’s time to divorce his lame ass so he doesn’t have to deal with the terrible, terrible burden of letting his friends and relatives shit on his wife.

  2. 2
    Sisou says:

    First she should try telling the husband exactly how she feels. Start by telling him to “just listen.” Tell him how much this behavior hurts, how uncomfortable and disrespected she feels. Then, tell him he needs to tell his friends & family this behavior isnt acceptable. And the words should come from him. That he doesn’t like that they are disrespecting his wife.

    If he doesn’t want to confront his people or thinks she being sensitive. Tell him that she refuses to be around people like that. He can deal with them on his own. But she will not go anywhere they are. That she doesn’t even want them in the house if they can’t respect her. He got a problem with that say its my house too.
    Finally, if he keeps bringing them around. It’s time for marriage counseling. Stay with friends. Tell him to decide what’s important. If he wants a happy wife, he got to MAN UP.
    ~advice out~

  3. 3
    Elusis says:

    Alternatively, one might suggest couple therapy with a culturally-competent Marriage and Family Therapist skilled with interracial relationships.

  4. 4
    Evelyn Kelly says:

    I agree with comments 1 and 3 and the last bit of 2, counseling being the go to option. But…

    Hello!! Marriage is supposed to be a sacred institution, as in forever, as in until you die, deal!! It’s called dating people! I mean I would question if they had a “shotgun” wedding because if she met the in-laws before getting married then she had a clue that part of that deal was to be blatant on going racism.

    The question is what’s the deal breaker for her? Do they have kids yet?

  5. 5
    mythago says:

    Evelyn, allowing your friends and family to be racist fucks to your wife is a deal breaker. Please don’t impose your religious views on others; you have no idea if they believe marriage is “sacred”.

  6. 6
    Kevin Moore says:

    I have no idea why anyone would call Dr. Laura for advice on anything. My only guess is that Jade was desperate for help — really desperate, given whom she called — so she may not have access to better sources of advice, or may be unaware of them. That said, it seems marriage counseling from a culturally competent mediator is the best route. Her husband may be utterly chickenshit in the face of racism from relatives and friends, but he needs to either recognize that his wife is worth the risk of losing their approval or agree to a separation, if not divorce. We don’t know the actual depth of their love, but if it is deep, they should be able to work these issues out together. I suspect there are deeply ingrained insecurities they both suffer — racism-related and otherwise — if they have such a hard time confronting the bigotry, racism and cluelessness from his friends and relatives; as such, individual and couple counseling may be needed.

  7. 7
    lorelei frolick says:

    I would agree that marriage counseling would be beneficial for their relationship, but that’s assuming they have the money for a marriage counselor.

    I think Sisou’s advice is good. In general, though, I think it’s a good idea to stay away from ultimatums unless they’re absolutely necessary.

    Providing the husband with some reading material about why his friends/family’s comments are racist, why black people can use the n-word and white people can’t, etc. might be helpful too. He should listen to his wife and straighten his friends/family out anyhow, just because it’s important to her, but educating him about racism may deepen his understanding of what his wife is going through. Kind of like this person I knew who thought Jews were just feeling sorry for themselves and considered themselves special because other people were/are oppressed too and don’t make as big a deal about it as Jews do… and crap like that, and then he finally watched Schindler’s List and that was all it took for him to finally get it and shut up. Not only that, but he became really interested in learning more about the Holocaust after that. So my point is that a little bit of education can go a long way towards opening someone’s mind.

  8. 8
    Dianne says:

    My advice, FWIW:
    1. What everyone has already said about getting your husband involved: you’re his wife and therefore his closest relative. If he is unable or unwilling to help you then you need to think about following Dan Savage’s frequent advice and DTMFA! Don’t live in a situation that’s making you miserable and in which no change is coming.

    2. Don’t go to Dr. Laura for advice. If you want advice from a quasi-professional, try…almost any other advice columnist-radio personality. Can’t get much worse.

    3. Since you did ask Dr. Laura for advice, I’m going to guess that you’re living in a pretty conservative milieu and may need the following advice as well: There is nothing wrong with you. Your in-laws ARE acting like racist twits. Obama’s election did NOT end racism. You have every right to expect your husband, your in-laws, and casual acquaintances to treat you with respect and not use derogatory terms about your race, gender, sexuality, religion, etc in front of you or behind your back.

    I threw the last bit in because the caller sounds like she is surrounded by people who are acting racist and getting no support or validation for her complaints. It’s easy in that sort of situation to convince oneself that the problem is internal.

  9. 9
    Freemage says:

    Comments that the husband should be stepping up to address this are both correct and irrelevant–this woman needs strong strategies for dealing with the situation herself, just in case he never figures it out and she doesn’t want to leave him for any of a variety of other reasons (it doesn’t matter whether those reasons are religious, moral, romantic or what–it’s still her decision to make).

    So, for starters, she needs to memorize this spiel: “I can’t speak for all black people, or even all black Americans. I can tell you what my own experience, which has a lot of common points with other black Americans, has led me to think about this, and if that’s what you want, I’ll happily talk about it. But if you actually want to know what all black people think about a subject, you’re going to need a lot of time and good phone plan, because you’ve got a lot of calls to make.”

    A shorter version: “I can tell you what blacks think as soon as you tell me what whites in [insert state as far from the one you're in, both culturally and physically] think.”

  10. 10
    mythago says:

    Freemage @9: it’s not irrelevant given that they are his friends and relatives. The problem is less that clueless people are making racist comments as her husband expecting her to tolerate them.

  11. 11
    Dianne says:

    A couple of other thoughts I had with the caveat that they are 1. almost certainly impractical and 2. may lead to negative consequences:

    1. Move. I assume from your calling Dr. Laura that you’re probably an American. Move out of the country. Bonus points if you can move to some place where people of African origin are the majority, but that’s not necessary. After a few years of being asked to explain what Americans think of X, learning all the local derogatory words for Americans, and being held responsible for every stupid thing any American does or ever did, your husband might get a clue about why you find being the designated black person so tiring.

    2. You probably don’t want to do this for people you want to maintain a relationship with, unless they have a sense of humor, but you could also start concocting elaborate stories about black culture. Example: A friend of mine was once an exchange student coming from Germany to a little town in Iowa. A local person asked him if they had electricity in Germany. He said no and pretended to be amazed at how a light switch worked. In other words, if the people around you are hopeless in terms of educability, you can at least have fun playing with them.

  12. 12
    Freemage says:

    mythago @10: The problem is, that leaves her dependent upon him wising up. Sure, it’d be wonderful if he did, but waiting for it to happen isn’t going to get her anywhere. At the same time, it’s likely she would prefer to stay in the relationship (anyone who calls Dr. Laura is likely to at least have some degree of dedication to the idea of sticking to their marriage vows).

    That said, I rather appreciate Dianne @11′s second suggestion. One of two things will happen–either the friend/relative will realize how stupid the conversation was, and at least address the subject better, or they’ll get mad. If her husband complains about how she irritated his brother at the family BBQ, she can then retort that since he left her to stand up for herself, he’s got no grounds to complain about how she does so. It at least gives him an incentive to actually take corrective action on his own.