This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," November 5, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: We get right to our top story tonight. There is continuing fallout tonight from the comments made by Duane "Dog" Chapman last week. A&E, the cable network that airs his show, has stopped productions and yanked reruns of the show that were scheduled to air this past weekend. Now, tomorrow night on "Hannity & Colmes," the world exclusive first interview with Duane "Dog" Chapman since this controversy erupted last week. It's going to be an interview you don't want to miss.
Joining us now from Bucknell University, Dr. James Peterson, and from the Congress of Racial Equality, Niger Innis.
Dr. Peterson, let me begin with you. Just because you're using bad language, reprehensible language, you don't know what's in somebody's heart, right? Do we sometimes jump too quickly to call people names, call people racist, judge them before giving an opportunity for things to kind of air out?
DR. JAMES PETERSON, BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY: No, I don't think so. I think you have to call a spade a spade here. I mean, if you're using that kind of language, then you probably are racist.
Now, let me be very, very clear here. If he's using that language in the privacy of his own home and he wants to be a racist in his own home, that's absolutely fine. But, unfortunately, his son leaked this private conversation to the public...
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Sold it.
PETERSON: ... and now the station has to take action because it's in the public sphere.
COLMES: Niger, I'm very troubled by this. You know, I'm always hesitant to point fingers at people and call them names. I don't know what's in his heart. And when he says he didn't mean to add another slap in the face to people who have brought so many gifts to the world, and he vows, you know, I'm not going to talk like this anymore, do we give him another opportunity to maybe correct his ways if, indeed, he's talking in that manner?
NIGER INNIS, CONGRESS OF RACIAL EQUALITY: Well, based on that alone, I don't know that I'd give him another opportunity, but — and I was offended as much as James or anybody else, any decent American, by the words that Duane said. But I've had the opportunity to talk to him, my father and I. We had a three-hour, heart-wrenching conversation with the man where he poured out his soul to us.
COLMES: But what do you think — what was he thinking when he was — when we heard that audiotape, which was troubling...
PETERSON: He was being his usual self.
INNIS: What he was saying was that he, in the genre of the type of business that he is in, there's certain types of language that he uses, and the last thing he wanted to do is for that language to be leaked out because he would be misunderstood by America.
COLMES: But if you use that language...
INNIS: And he would be misinterpreted for being a racist, when he's not.
COLMES: Is that language, though, a signal or a sign of what's inside, of what's going on for you inside, if you use that kind of language?
INNIS: Well, language is a very powerful thing, and it depends on the context. I mean, there are all types of individuals that use that language, black and white, Latino and Asian, and use other types of language. I think we have to be very careful here. Here's a guy who has a $75,000 bounty on him by the White Aryan Nation because they don't believe that he's demonstrating enough white pride, because he refuses not to arrest blacks the same way he does whites on his show.
COLMES: Dr. Peterson, did A&E do the right thing by canceling his show or at least temporarily putting them on hold? Or should we have a chance to air this out, as I said earlier, and get the full story before we jump to conclusions here?
PETERSON: Well, there has to be both here. We need to be able to air it out, have the dialogue about it. I don't think we need to defend him. He should be able to be racist in his own home and use whatever language he wants to use in his own home. The bottom line is that his own son leaked that to the public. If you go to the tone of the conversation, though, the conversation is...
PETERSON: ... very traditional, racist. Yes, his son sold it, yes.
HANNITY: He sold it.
COLMES: Dr. Peterson, let's say you're right and he had these tendencies. Could this be a wake-up call where he maybe reevaluates his position and says, "You know what? I really need to rethink how I've approached this stuff"?
PETERSON: Maybe, but I think he still is going to feel the same way about his son dating outside of the race.
INNIS: If I could, James, if I could, James...
INNIS: ... and I respect you, but I beg to differ. When he talked with my father and myself, he talked about, in a heart-wrenching, tearful way for three hours — I mean, he cried several times talking about how he was trying to rescue his son, not from a black woman, but rescue his son from drug addiction, rescue his son from a crisis, and trying to bring his son back in.
HANNITY: I want to emphasis. The actual tape said...
HANNITY: Hang on, hang on, Dr. Peterson, wait a second.
PETERSON: ... the N-word in that situation.
HANNITY: He actually said, "I'm not taking a chance" — he said — "not because she's black, but because we use this language." He admits he uses the language, of "street." And every other word on his TV show — not every other word, but a lot of these words are bleeped out here.
INNIS: And, James, I'll let you get in, but he also said to me and to my father, that he also used that term, reprehensible term, because a lot of his black friends, he thought that he was becoming closer to his black friends because his black friends allowed him to use that ...
HANNITY: Are you saying, Dr. Peterson — I have a specific question for you. Are you saying that anybody that uses the N-word, whatever the context, even African-Americans if they use it, that that's racist?
PETERSON: I'm saying that there's a public-private split. Whatever you say in private...
HANNITY: I didn't ask you that. You assumed it's racist. Not...
HANNITY: Wait a minute.
PETERSON: Let me finish. Let me finish. Once it enters into the public, it can't be divorced from its etymological history...
HANNITY: You're not answering my question. If an African-American, you said because he used the word, if an African-American uses the N-word, do you apply that R-word that you've been using against them?
PETERSON: What I apply is the public-private split.
HANNITY: You're not answering my question. You don't want to answer that question.
PETERSON: If an African-American uses it — listen to me. If an African-American uses it in the public sphere, then it has its same historical meaning. No rap...
HANNITY: So they're racist, too? So they're racist? Anybody that uses it under any context is racist, in your view? No, I want to ask you a question.
PETERSON: Listen to me very closely, Sean. Listen. Listen.
HANNITY: You're not answering.
PETERSON: If it's in private, certain people can use the term — I am answering. You can use the term in private. It can be racist or not racist. But once you're in the public, you can't divorce the term from its history.
HANNITY: Niger, I've spent time with him. I'm going to fly out to L.A., and I'm going to interview him tomorrow. And there's a whole story, as you know, that has not been told yet.
INNIS: Oh, sure.
HANNITY: And he said he's going to reveal a lot of this on the program tomorrow. But here's my question. Can you be a racist, and yet his pastor and many people that are the closest in his life are African- Americans? And he would even say, without mentioning names, you know the people, that would say, "Hey 'N,' hey 'N," as part of a culture. His African-American friends and him would say that together.
INNIS: They absolutely would. More than that, he said he moved out to Hawaii. He wanted to raise his family in Hawaii, in a diverse racial environment, because he wanted to break out of an all-white environment.
HANNITY: But you believe him, don't you? You don't think he's racist.
INNIS: If I had not met him, I might have had my doubts, like James. But I had the opportunity to talk to him.
HANNITY: And it changed you.
INNIS: Absolutely it changed me. And I think, when he does the interview with you, he's going to change a lot of hearts and souls. And I'll tell you, we have to be very careful. Those of us who throw stones can't do it from glass houses.
HANNITY: He also promised one other thing. He said he would stop cursing and using this completely. Do you think that's good advice for everybody?
PETERSON: Good for him.
INNIS: I think that's very important and powerful advice. And, you know, he's going to come to the Congress of Racial Equality...
HANNITY: In January.
INNIS: ... in January for a dinner. That's when you'll be on...
HANNITY: I'm emceeing.
INNIS: And we'll invite James, too.
HANNITY: All right, that's good. We'll all be debating that. Thanks for being with us. And that interview will be on tomorrow night, right here on "Hannity & Colmes."
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