Does Using Racial Slurs Make You A Racist?

And the saga continues. Unless you have been sleeping under a rock, I’m quite sure you have heard about longtime radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger and her national on air N-word rant. I mean really, what’s good with all of these mad-rapper style “tell em why you mad son” N-word sessions. To be quite honest I’m over the N-word , so upon hearing foolishness like this, I quickly place the individual in the “crazies” box and keep it moving.

I was talking to another one of my colleagues in the blogosphere, and I was telling him how he should run this story on his social/political commentary based blog. I explained to him that this story would be a good way to get those who have a hard time seeing that certain words, actions, and behaviors are insensitive and are not to be touched by those on the outside of that group.

I understand there are those who believe that racism is a thing of the past, and we live in this euphoric society where one can use words with hate and discrimination attached to them and see no harm. To those people I come to either one of two conclusions. Either they are not well versed in history and don’t understand the context, or they are a “ist” (place the subject of your choice in front).

In this case the subject is race. Dr Schlessinger is way before my time, so I am not totally up on her and her personality, but by all accounts she has been acclaimed for dishing out straight talk. The highly conservative Schlessinger, is no stranger to controversy and has been a radio favorite for over 30 years.

After having conversations with a few minorities who are familiar with her, they stated their love affair for Schlessinger, and that they were surprised by her ignorance. Upon hearing that, I promptly retrieved her from the before mentioned box, and I asked myself a question that has conflicted me for a while now: Does using racial slurs make you a racist? To some, the answer is clear cut, but I am really pondering mine.

For years I associated discriminatory hate-based slurs, especially the N-word, as the vocabulary of a racist. But after living a little longer, and experiencing a little more, I realized it’s much deeper than that. After all, ethnic groups use racial slurs against themselves right? Seeing that, I’ve concluded racial slurs make you more ignorant than racist.

That said, I am a firm believer that who’s mouth it comes out of makes ALL the difference– and totally understand why. Although equally ignorant, it is more acceptable for me to talk about my mother than it is for you to talk about my momma– Because if you talk about my momma it’s on and poppin like a cut off stockin.

That is what Dr. Laura and others who feel like they have the “right” to do and say certain things fail to understand. Although not popular, there is a certain sense of entitlement that comes along with being apart of a certain group– especially race. Because I’m quite sure Dr. Laura would not have went to the middle of Harlem, West Baltimore, East Cleveland, South Side of Chicago, Compton, or any other African- American centered place talkin bout no n*gger, n*gger, n*gger.

Plainly put, history tells our society’s strife, and the least we can do is take time to grasp that because its bigger than just us and our opinions. In my young life, I realize there are certain things that I am just not going to understand, and that’s okay. Misunderstanding is tolerable, but disrespect is not.

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11 Responses to Does Using Racial Slurs Make You A Racist?

  1. Nikole says:

    Okay I totally don’t agree with this lady at all, but in the context she was using it, it was not racist. She was not directing the word at anyone, she said “When you turn to HBO and listen to a black comic, all you hear them say is nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger.” Hearing a white woman use the word nigger will give any black person pause, that’s a given. But in the context of her argument, it was not racist. In effect, it was a quote.

    Now whether you agree with her statement that all you hear out of black comics mouths is the n-word, that’s a different story. This was actually my first time listening to this controversial statement and I don’t see anything wrong (besides her opinion that is) with what she said.

    My two cents.

  2. I agree that the context was not racist, in fact it was very harmless. However, she made a comparison in which she virtually compared herself saying it to a black comic saying it, therein lies my beef. I respect her opinion, but I respectfully disagree with her perspective. I hear gay men using derogatory language toward each other all the time, does that mean I should use it on them?(pause) absolutely not. I hear women use derogatory language toward themselves all the time. Does that mean I should go around addressing them as such? Hecky naw.

  3. Jeff says:

    Now i must say. This def has me feeling some kind of way. Both of you are %100 right with your statements. Now let me just say that what makes me upset about this conversation that these 2 ladies were having is that when the wife was speaking about her husband and how she is begining to feel upset about the things that are going on with in their particular household the comentator slam cut her off to basically tell her she was stupid for feeling such a way!! YOU DONT LIVE WITH THEM might be wrong but thats what i heared. Now the comentator is right in regards to what she is saying but for her tell someone to call in and hold on the line to not even really let them voice their opinion is WRONG!! Then she brings up OBAMA…that had nothing to do with a wife simply saying that she wants her husband to just stand up for her and say look, my wife is not comfterable with the comments that you are saying…WHICH A HUSBAND SHOULD DO REGARDLESS ONCE HE FIRST HEARD THEM REGARLESS OF HIS RACE!! She tells the caller she has a chip on her shoulder and the caller isnt even hype on the phone or anything…if you ask me the comentator has the chip on hers….and she tries to make the woman feel stupid about people coming into her household and disrespecting her in slick ways, “no sense of humor” lol ..HA>..racism and ignorance are two different things and this was an ignorant conversation by both parties!! my question for all of you is WHAT DID YOU GET OUT OF THEIR CONVERSATION? Ill tell you what, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING>..lmao.. just the same things we always hear so it was totally pointless

  4. Jeff says:

    She called her Hyper yet she hung up on her upset..lmao…all man…None of this was racist but the convo was out of text and stupid

  5. Nikole says:

    I totally agree with both of your comments. I personally don’t know how they went from talking about things this woman’s husband’s family says about black people that make her uncomfortable, to “nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger.” Then she got the nerve to say if you’re a sensitive black person or don’t have a sense of humor, not to marry outside of your race :-|. Now if a white caller was on some “my wife is black and everytime we’re at her family’s house they say things like ‘the bacon arrived’ or ‘no babies yet? guess it’s that tiny white man penis'” it would’ve been a problem. All she should’ve done is tell the woman to speak to her husband or her husband’s family about it if it makes her uncomfortable. But of course, shock jocks won’t just let something go over that easy.

  6. Mo Williams says:

    I disagree with all of yall. this woman is not only a racist but she is extremely ignorant which im not surprised because those 2 things go together. This old h0e basically said that once obama was elected, racism was over. That might be thee most ignorant $hit i heard since the election. Thinking nigger and nigga is the same thing and that the context its used in doesn’t matter is also ignorant. I will tell you what that old h0e is…she’s one of those white people that gets mad when black people say something is racist even if it really is. she OBVIOUSLY went into that discussion with a chip on her shoulder because she was basically saying racism doesn’t exist and she gets tired of black people saying it does. Its sad that someone been on the radio THAT long and could/would say some $hit that crazy. and about her “hypersensitive” comment. ALL black people are hypersensitive about racism…racism (which contrary to popular belief is still alive) made us that way!

  7. vic p says:

    The context that she used the word “nigger” in was not racist. Where her ignorance showed was in her stereotyping black people on certain life issues. She doesn’t know ish based on her very broad categorization.
    BUT, as someone who is an avid talk socio-political shock jock radio listener, I realize that 90% of the host on the top shows act this way for ratings. The difference with her is that she is not as good at playing this vice her peers.
    @Jeff – all “shock jock” radio personalities cut off their callers the way she did. The difference is that she didn’t respond with anything clever. The callers need to be ready to get to the point as fast as possible because these host will air you out LOL!

  8. vic p says:

    No, her use of nigger was not racist. The ignorance came in when she started making dumb generalizations about black people.
    ALSO, the fact that she cut the lady off was normal. She just didn’t do a good job at being clever and one uping her with her response. ALL “shock jock” radio personalities cut off their callers when they take too long to get to their point. The show is about ratings not real life changing intervention LOL! Listening to this lady vice some of the other socio-political shock jocks I listen to shows me that she just isn’t that good at being on the radio. The caller was over sensitive and the host isn’t as clever as she thought she was…I guess that’s why she quit.

  9. austin says:

    Upon further evaluation and taking those highly sensible comments in consideration, I believe that this lady is extremely ignorant, and if she is not a racist then she damn sure has a racist costume on. As jeff so eloquently stated this caller called in talking about the insensitivety and discomfort she was feeling. Dr. Laura somehow munipulated that into an attack on Obama, chastised the woman for not having a sense of humor, then hung up on her when the caller took offense! Dr. Loudmouth took something that had more to do with a man standing up for his woman, and made it racial/racist. totally out of line. And Jeff your right I didn’t learn too much from this situation.

  10. Jeff says:

    @Vic…i know that cutting off people is what they do…BUT (lol) what got me was that she told the other person to STOP cutting her off…lol..i just strted ROTF when she did barely let the other woman get a word in and then got mad when she actually tried to and told her to stop cutting her

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