Dr. Laura Schlessinger has apologized after a shocking rant on her radio show this week during which she said the n-word 11 times over the course of five minutes.
In conversation Tuesday with a black female caller who was complaining about her white husband's racist friends and their use of the word, Schlessinger said:
LISTEN (via MediaMatters):
Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO and listen to a black comic, and all you hear is n****, n*****, n*****. 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 break, the caller said she was appalled by Schlessinger's use of the word.
"Oh, then I guess you don't watch HBO or listen to any black comedians," she said. "My dear, the point I am trying to make...we've got a black man as president and we've got more complaining about racism than ever. I think that's hilarious."
Schlessinger and the caller then got into an exchange about the use of the word:
CALLER: Is it OK to say that word? Is it ever OK to say that word?
DR. LAURA: It depends how it's said. Black guys talking to each other seem to think it's ok.
CALLER: But you're not black, they're not black, my husband is white.
DR. LAURA: Oh, I see, so a word is restricted to race. Got it. Can't do much about that.
CALLER: I can't believe someone like you is on the radio spewing out the n***** word, and I hope everybody heard it.
DR. LAURA: I didn't spew out the n***** word!
CALLER: You said "n*****, n*****, n*****" and I hope everybody heard it.
DR. LAURA: Yes they did, and I'll say it again: n*****, n*****, n***** is what you hear on HBO.
DR. LAURA: Why don't you let me finish a sentence? Don't take things out of context. Don't NAACP me, leave them in context.
"If you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry outside of your race," Schlessinger said after hanging up with the caller.LISTEN (via MediaMatters):
She apologized the next day, opening her show with an apology.
"Yesterday, I did the wrong thing," she said. "I didn't intend to hurt people, but I did. And that makes it the wrong thing to have done. I was attempting to make a philosophical point, and I articulated the "n" word all the way out - more than one time. And that was wrong. I'll say it again - that was wrong."
Schlessinger said she "was so upset [she] could not finish the show."
"I pulled myself off the air at the end of the hour," she said. "I had to finish the hour, because 20 minutes of dead air doesn't work. I am very sorry. And it just won't happen again."