Conservative talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger sparked controversy earlier this week when she used the N-word repeatedly on her call-in radio program. The incident incited outrage from listeners, and criticism from activists like Al Sharpton.
On Wednesday, Schlessinger, commonly referred to as Dr. Laura, received a call from an African American woman who was married to a white man, and needed advice on how to handle racial comments aimed at her from her husband’s friends. Although the woman, named Jade, felt that some of their comments as well as the use of the N-word were racist, Dr. Laura disagreed.
“Black guys use [the N-word] all the time,” she responded. “Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is nigger, nigger, nigger…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.”
After a short break, Dr. Laura and the caller argued back and forth. The caller expressed that Schlessinger’s use of the word was unacceptable, and again, Schlessinger disagreed, continuing to use the word 11 times in her show.
“If you’re that hypersensitive about color and don’t have a sense of humor,” Schlessinger said, “then don’t marry out of your race.”
Al Sharpton went on CNN’s “AC 360” denouncing the talk show host’s statements. “She said the word over and over, and in a very animated way, I might add, but that she actually, if you listen carefully to the logic of what she was saying was that the N-word was not offensive.”
Dr. Laura apologized for her comments the next day. “I talk ever day about doing the right thing. And yesterday, I did the wrong thing,” she said on her radio show Wednesday.