Saturday, August 21, 2010

Back about 20 years ago (good lord I must be getting old, but no problem as I am still a spring chicken in Japan) James Fallows wrote in one of his books something along the lines of "Every white person in the US should spend some time in Japan to learn what it is like to be discriminated against."

The esteemed Dr. Laura, who is very familiar with the need for a sense of humor since someone with one awarded her a doctorate, has announced that she is quitting her radio show. She announced that just a short while after getting in trouble (and later sincerely---I'm sure---apologizing) for using the N-word repeatedly on her program. After listening to her broadcast, one could be forgiven for thinking that her use of the N-word is not the most troubling part of her bizarre, illogical rant.

I would not say that living in Japan as a non-Japanese---especially a white non-Japanese---is equal in the extent and history of discrimination that African-Americans face in the US, but maybe Dr. Laura should spend a little (a lot) of time living here not as a monied expat in a gaijin ghetto, but living among the hoi polloi. Maybe then the psycho psychologist would have some clue of what her caller felt. Of course had the trained expert actually listened to the caller, she might have had a clue without moving here.

Aug 23: As for the euphemism itself, the Washington Post has some thoughts.

Goggle/blogger spell-check does not recognize either hoi polloi or monied as words.


  1. Hey. Using "N" as you said, was the least of the issues with this broadcast. But the broader issue is empathy and awareness of others, which people like Laura S. and her ilk simply do not have. Frankly, I was surprised that she had the foresight to know that she should quit rather than be completely destroyed in the lazy media.

  2. I'm sure she'll pop up again somewhere. Frankly, I was amazed that she was still on. People still listen to that?