“Pa! Come quick! And bring yer rifle! Them uppity blacks are talkin’ pa-la-tics! You gotta do somethin’ about this pa. NOW!”
I wonder if Laura Ingraham realizes that’s how she comes off by running her mouth. Then again if running your mouth were an Olympic sport most of the talking heads at FOX News would be gold medalists by now. So who exactly is this walking pile of vanilla latte? Until she told LeBron James not to talk about Donald Trump and suggested he just should just “shut up and dribble” I had never even given her or any of the other conservative white females in the news much thought. I decided to take a closer look at who and what we’re dealing with to understand what could motivate such an ignorant remark. Before we get down to brass tacks though here’s a clip for anybody who missed her original stupidity.
Laura Anne Ingraham, self styled “conservative commentator” and host of the syndicated (and clearly narcissistic) three hour long “Laura Ingraham Show” on talk radio, was born June 19, 1963 in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Not exactly the rural South, but as a 54 year old right wing white woman, we can’t really expect her to have much depth of experience when it comes to black culture or politics let alone black people. Her roots are Polish and Irish and her education is courtesy of Dartmouth (bachelor’s degree) and the University of Virginia (law degree). She got her start in bigotry early. A faculty advisor for the Dartmouth Review, for which she was editor-in-chief her Senior year, described Ingraham as having “the most extreme anti-homosexual views imaginable” and that she even “went so far as to avoid a local eatery where she feared the waiters were homosexual.” She later recanted those views but that gives you an idea the type of person she is. She was once accurately described as “culturally clueless” and “demonizing black men” on The Breakfast Club.
If you run it back for a moment to her disgusting “shut up and dribble” remarks toward LeBron James, she makes a very pointed use of the word “they” when she opines “Must they run their mouth like that?” Out of context it sounds horrible but I don’t think it would be much better in context. “They” who Laura? “They” as in NBA players, “they” as in black men, or “they” as in both? It’s the modern day equivalent of saying “you people” as far as I’m concerned. This kind of sentiment from a woman once described over 20 years ago as “hard as a diamond” with “killer views against feminists, gun-control advocates and welfare” should come as no shock. Would any of us really expect her to have gotten better in the intervening span? Of course not. The more insular her echo chamber became as her right wing fandom grew, the more strident her anti-black attitude would become. For her though this is all part of the game plan – being offensive and stirring up controversy brings more attention and bigger ratings for her talk show. She thrives on getting a response to her ignorance.
That’s not to say Mr. James is wrong from clapping back at her for her remarks — far from it. In fact his response may turn the entire situation on its head, taking what were previously isolated remarks from one athlete and sparking political solidarity between other players and even team owners. It’s certainly not unprecedented in recent times. Even though speaking out about politics in sports can have personal and financial consequences, it’s for that very reason we should CELEBRATE athletes like Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James for expressing what is after all an inalienable (and constitutionally protected) right to express their views. Just “shut up and dribble” eh Laura? No way that’s gonna happen. If anybody should “just shut up” it’s you Laura, you milquetoast conservative talk show host. LeBron’s gonna say what he wants to WHOEVER he wants and you can’t do a thing about it.