Walter Mencken 9 a.m., May 23
- Community Blog
O.J. Obama and Dr. Laura--Different Rules Apply
I'll admit I haven't heard Dr. Laura's tape. I suspect that if I heard her rattle off the n-word about a dozen times, I'd probably agree that she should leave her show--at least for awhile.
But there are several things to consider before casting her off into radio show pergatory. Two years ago, Jeremiah Wright, Obama's spiritual advisor, spewed hatred towards whites, and Obama was elected to the presidency anyway. In light of this, does Dr. Laura deserve to lose her show?
She isn't a public official, and is under no obligation to represent everybody. Markets, not voters, determine whether she stays or goes. The caller Dr. Laura was addressing on her show, is an attractive black lady, who said on Larry King Live, that Dr. Laura's words hurt her feelings. As a white person, Jeremiah's Wright's words hurt mine. Am I supposed to have broader shoulders simply because people of my color have traditionally subjugated the black race?
Why was Obama allowed to shrug Wright's comments off as stuff he has heard his whole life? He didn't feel obligated to make a hasty retreat from the campaign trail, and was subsequently elected to office anyway.
On the other hand, Dr. Laura walked away with her tail between her legs, because our standard for equailty isn't the same for whites as it is for blacks. The truth is, people of color can get away with saying things that white people can not.
Like O.J. Simpson, Barack Obama is a white man in a black man's skin. But at a time when a black talk show host is one of the wealthiest people in the world, when black doctors, lawyers, politicans, athletes, and entertainers are among our most celebrated, it is time to change the rules of political correctness. Racism does still exist in America, but it is not what it used to be, and the same standards of what is appropriate to say, should apply to everybody.