Dr Laura Schlessinger, radio talk show therapist, announced last night that she was leaving her syndicated show at the end of the year in order “to say what's on my mind and in my heart and what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry.”
She recently made the news for all the wrong reasons when an African-American woman named Jade called for advice in dealing with her white husband’s friends and their racially insensitive comments. The talk show host proceeded to use the N-word, THE whole word, 11 times to an astounded Jade. She defended her usage by saying that black comics use it all the time and then said to Jade before hanging up on her, “If you’re that hypersensitive about color and don’t have a sense of humor then don’t marry out of your race.”
Here’s the deal: It doesn’t matter what you think about the N-word or that comedians use it or that it’s in song lyrics or that there’s a double standard because blacks say it to other blacks. The simple fact is that this word is offensive, carries huge negative connotations and it hurts/angers blacks to hear it said by a white person. That alone should be enough for a caring human being to think, “you know what, I’m not going to say this because it offends folks”, period, end of story. The same would hold if a friend, spouse or co-worker had a particular sensitivity to a topic and you purposely avoid that to keep from hurting their feelings. It’s just basic human kindness.
The problem with Dr. Laura goes so much deeper. She is supposedly a trained counselor who helps people with their problems, and the caller was a woman who was clearly distraught and asking for advice. At that point any trained mental health professional would put their personal opinions aside and try to help.
I have treated hundreds of patients with values that I didn’t necessarily agree with. But my job as a psychiatrist is to provide advice and to help people with their problems, regardless of their personal view on race, sexuality or religion.
The Hippocratic oath that doctors take states, “First do no harm.” Perhaps she didn’t take that exact oath for a Ph.D., but it’s a good rule to live by.
Dr. Laura, heal thyself.
Dr. Dale Archer is a psychiatrist and frequent guest on FoxNews.com's "The Strategy Room." For more, visit his Web site: Dr.DaleArcher.com.
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