Sarah Palin has shocked and angered many in recent weeks with her bigoted opposition to the so-called Ground Zero mosque, but her views have just taken an even more sinister turn.
Palin took to Twitter last night to launch an extraordinary defence of the DJ Laura Schlessinger, who quit her talk show this week after using the N-word on the air 11 times in five minutes. In an exchange with an African-American caller married to a white man, she told the woman that she shouldn't take offence at racial taunts, even if they contained the word "nigger".
"Black guys use it all the time," she said. "Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is 'nigger, nigger, nigger'. I don't get it. If anybody without enough melanin says it, it's a horrible thing; but when black people say it, it's affectionate."
After a shocked response from the caller, she added: "I'll say it again: nigger, nigger nigger . . . If you're that hypersensitive about colour, and don't have a sense of humour, then don't marry out of your race."
Schlessinger subsequently apologised for the comments and quit her show a few days later. But Palin, for one, is urging Schlessinger not to "back down".
Last night she tweeted:
As usual, one struggles to decipher Palin's semi-literate prose, but there's something immediately disturbing about the words "don't retreat . . . reload!". The gun analogy alone is rather unfortunate, but does Palin really think besides that Schlessinger should throw a few more racist taunts around? Apparently she does.
Then there's her complete misunderstanding of the First Amendment. That Schlessinger has a right to free speech does not mean that she has an inalienable right to broadcast her racist views on national radio. She was not "censored" in any sense of the word: the (correct) decision to resign was entirely voluntary.
But, as if to avoid any suspicion that she "misspoke", Palin tweeted:
Dr.Laura=even more powerful & effective w/out the shackles, so watch out Constitutional obstructionists. And b thankful 4 her voice,America!
Will Palin's many admirers on the British right now finally disown her? Let's wait and see.