Friday, August 13, 2010

No You Cannot Be Racist Assholes. Deal With It

Dr. Laura is the latest in a long line of conservative personalities who are really just pissed off they can’t be intolerant assholes:
On Tuesday’s show, Schlessinger repeated the N-word several times after a caller, identified as Jade, asked if the word was offensive. “Black guys say it all the time,” Schlessinger, who never directed the word at the caller, said. When the woman objected, Schlessinger commented: “Oh, then I guess you don’t watch HBO or listen to any black comedians.”

Dr. Laura has since been forced to apologize for her repeated use of the N word on the air.

This is a really big issue for conservatives. It is, indeed, how Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage and the rest of the right wing talkers gained their fame, by tapping into this nascent feeling among a large number of people that they should be allowed to say whatever racist, bigoted, rude, obnoxious thing they want and suffer no consequences.

It’s the whole “PC” war all over again. They just never got over it, never wanted to accept the fact that white America is no longer the gatekeeper to American culture. Whites have to share a seat at the table with other races, other sexual orientations, other genders. Maybe the N word was used more commonly in the 1960s but so were separate water fountains and segregated movie theaters. If you can't connect those two then you really are beyond help.

I just never understood why people are confused about this. The argument that African Americans use the N word to refer to themselves is completely specious. So what? I can call myself a fat ass all day long, I might even let a family member get away with calling me fat ass, but that doesn’t mean I want someone I don’t know coming up to me and saying, “pardon me, fat ass,” or “hey fat ass, do you know what time it is?” (Disclaimer: I am not equating "fat ass" with "nigger," and am well aware of the institutionalized oppression the latter term represents versus the former. Analogies by definition are inelegant.)

Seriously, this is hard for you people to understand? I have lesbian friends who refer to themselves as “dykes” and you will even hear phrases like “dyke drama”; I know gay men who use the word “queen.” That doesn’t mean they will take kindly to a straight person calling them dykes and queens on talk radio.

Just because some Latinos may use the word “vato,” that doesn’t mean everyone should. Context, people, context. Words can have two meanings. Words can be friendly or derogatory, depending on how they are used and who uses them. When in doubt, don’t. This stuff isn’t that hard, folks.

Look, we have free speech in this country, so say whatever you want. But if it’s offensive to people, then expect to be called on it. And no, you can’t whine and bitch and moan when they do. You just look like bigger assholes.