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Less Than Accidental Racist: Why Paula Deen’s Comments Insult Her Fans Too

Deen made a pile of money off a certain idea of old-school southern culture. She had an obligation not to embody its most shameful history and attitudes.

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“I can’t, myself, determine what offends another person,” says Paula Deen in the transcript of a deposition for a workplace-discrimination lawsuit that surfaced yesterday. By today, I’m thinking, she might have a better idea.

For instance: admitting that she has used “the N word” (in her and the lawyer’s words)–“of course,” and probably on more than one occasion. Defending telling racial and ethnic jokes: “it’s just what they are, they’re jokes.” And wishing she could plan a “Southern plantation wedding” for her brother, with African American servers in the part of antebellum slaves. (Deen reportedly didn’t go through with that idea because, you know, “the media” would have twisted it into something. Those media! Always turning folks’ innocent plantation-slave parties into something racist!)

The transcript, published by the Huffington Post after initial reports in the National Enquirer, came in a discrimination and sexual-harassment lawsuit by a former employee against Deen and her brother Earl “Bubba” Hiers. The lawsuit’s specific allegations are still being litigated, but Deen’s on-the-record comments–her rationalization of racism maybe even more so than her admissions–could be even more damaging to the southern cook’s empire, built on media and butterfat.

They may not hurt her business at all, of course. Yes, there are reports that Food Network is reacting warily, pledging to “monitor the situation”–which could mean investigating the facts or waiting for public opinion to tell it what to do. Deen, meanwhile put out a not-exactly-apology saying that she “does not condone” racism. But you never know what people will reject, forgive, or ignore in their celebrities. Maybe Deen fans will decide this is all overblown, or that it’s in the past, or that, whatever, they don’t need to admire her character to want the recipe for fried butter balls (Deen’s recent experience with diabetes notwithstanding). Maybe they’ll decide that regardless of the messenger they still like Deen’s message–an unapologetic defense of pleasure and down-home food culture.

And that would be a sad thing. Because Deen’s comments were an insult and injury to her fans as much as everyone else.

After the news broke yesterday, there was a lot of outrage and condemnation. There was sarcasm: Twitter users christened the hashtag #PaulasBestDishes, inventing recipes like “Separate but equal light and dark meat.” But there was also another strain of reaction: Of course. Of course someone like her would say that.

Of course, some commenters snarked, a deep-accented, deep-southern woman of a certain age was a deep-down racist. Of course someone who stood for old-timey culture (and nutritional values) had a Bull Connor-era racial outlook. Of course that redneck lady cooking that redneck food would be a redneck racist. I mean, just look at those recipes! Shouldn’t we all have already guessed that?

Yes, that’s stereotyping in itself. I have eaten too much barbecue and fried okra to actually believe that pork fat chemically induces bigotry; I’ve lived in the north too long to think the south has a monopoly on racism. But the real blame here belongs to Deen, not her critics.

Deen made a pile of money off a certain idea of old-school southern culture. In return, she had an obligation to that culture–an obligation not to embody its worst, most shameful history and attitudes. Instead, in one swoop, fairly or not, she single-handedly affirmed people’s worst suspicions of people who talk and eat like her–along with glibly insulting minorities, she slurred many of the very fans who made her successful. She made it that much harder to say that Confederate Bean Soup is just a recipe.

And in a way, maybe one side benefit of this spectacle is that its forces a conversation about the connections between culture and history. When Brad Paisley released “Accidental Racist” with LL Cool J earlier this year, a lot of people–me included–made fun of the song’s corniness, or critiqued its white-guy self-pity. But Paisley at least was trying to talk, however poorly, about a real thing: the tension between people wanting to retain symbols of their region’s past and people who have a hard time seeing those symbols as innocent nostalgia.

In the case of “Accidental Racist,” the flashpoint is a Confederate flag T-shirt. The narrator sees it as simple southern-rock fandom, now separated from the people who used to fly it in a war to preserve their right to own black slaves. That’s all history–it’s about other people’s “mistakes” from the past–but now it just means you’re a Skynyrd fan. The black man he meets at a Starbucks, voiced by LL Cool J, can’t write it off that easily. You can’t just separate sweet nostalgia from ugly history.

OK, so a deep-fried pickle is not the Stars and Bars. But what’s offensive about Deen’s rhetoric is that she’s using the same kind of rationalization: I’m not endorsing racism, I’m just respecting my past! In a way, her slave-dinner-party idea is uglier even than her “N word” admission, because it’s thought-through sentimentality for a racist system, excused as being about a love for beauty and graciousness. It’s not racism that makes Deen love the visual of a room of black people serving whites in pre-civil-rights-era garb—oh, no! Indeed, she admires their “professionalism”! And yet, when the lawyer asks if she couldn’t achieve the same effect with servers of various races, she answers: “That’s what made it so impressive.”

That’s what made it so impressive. It would be terrible if the takeaway from this incident is that not only is Paula Deen racist, but anyone who sounds and lives and eats like her must be too. That’s the wrong answer, but, as Deen’s antebellum fantasy shows, you also can’t just assume that nostalgia for the culture of an oppressive time can be neatly separated from the actual oppression. Nostalgic culture–for food, customs, decor, symbols–is not automatically an endorsement of the times in which they were born. But it damn sure can be used that way.

And by doing so, in the aw-shucks way she did in her deposition, Deen didn’t just insult black people and Jewish people and God knows who else. She insulted the present-day south and the decent people in it; she insulted the fans who wanted to like her food and TV shows and not be embarrassed; and she insulted the home-and-hospitality culture she purports to stand up for. Yes, food is food, no matter your color or creed. But it doesn’t matter how much butter and batter you coat it in, ugly is still ugly.

526 comments
Ziyasharma
Ziyasharma

Opened in February of 2009, Etc. Steakhouse offers an intimate and elegant dining experience with uniquely magnificent food and exceptional personal service. 

Kosher Restaurant New York

aawatef76
aawatef76

nice topik

www.uoo4.blogspot.com

Rio
Rio

This is how lawyers "win" cases.  They allow the ignorant public to "hear" it out of context. 

StephenSwain
StephenSwain

Her  best course would be to just totally be quiet.  "You have the right to remain silent.  Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law..."  She has already blown it.  But every time she opens her mouth to try to explain or qualify or excuse, she digs the hole deeper.  We all know what she did or said was at least inappropriate.  Her thoughtlessness tripped her into saying "of course", as if it were the most understandable thing in the world.  

Paula:  Be silent now for a while.

feekoningin
feekoningin

This article starts with the subhead, "Deen made a pile of money off a certain idea of old-school southern culture. She had an obligation not to embody its most shameful history and attitudes." Is that true? Was that spelled out in her contract? If not, then Deen was only responsible for presenting herself and her products in whatever way she chose -- even if there were risks and consequences, which there are with just about everything. There are plenty of people willing to accept a variety of stereotypes, even with whatever negativity comes with them. Heck, Jeff Foxworthy made a whole career of being a redneck, though he obviously chose to stop short of race baiting. Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock have gotten rich by saying some pretty derogatory things bout white people, and Black people, too. Paula Deen's deposition shows regardless of her personal desire to go back to the good old days, she knew it wasn't possible and that she would suffer consequences if she tried. That is where she made the right choice. She may have wanted a wedding served up by middle-aged Black waiters in crisp white jackets and black bow ties, but she clearly understood this would be offensive and chose to make no effort in that direction. Still, she gets no credit for that. If she actually wanted to present the South as many of us have been taught to remember it, she had every right to do so. Many people, from Jesus Christ to our Founding Fathers, have bucked the status quo to advocate for unpopular ideas. The beauty of being American is that our government can't nail us to a cross for it.


Read more: http://entertainment.time.com/2013/06/20/less-than-accidental-racist-why-paula-deens-comments-insult-her-fans-too/#ixzz2XRx7ttTB

oldbutyoung
oldbutyoung

Those of you who state "black" people use the "n" word all the time are missing the point.   I am "black" and I find the word offensive regardless of who is using it.   It speaks to the persons character and demonstrates far more than you're will to give it credit.   It is particularly more offensive when it comes from someone working in the public with the ability to reach a large number families.   Deen has established herself as a role model of a mom, cook, and wife.  The FoodNetwork hired in that role.   I agree with their decision to fire her.   Her character is now tarnished.  She is only regretful now that the offense has been made public.   I feel there is a level of tolerance and acceptance that I am suppose to live with.   I find it all  inacceptable and intolerable.  That is my right and no one should expect me to do otherwise.  Yet, here it is.  Find a way to get over it.  I'm supposedly envious because Deen is wealthier than me.  No, I am not envious.  I am looking at her character and her role on television and believe she had a greater responsibility in her role modeling.   In accepting this character means I have to accept what I find inacceptable.   I can not and will not do that.  Deen can maintain her character.  No one is asking her to change.  She has to live with herself, but that does not mean, I have to find her acceptable and will not support her.  Can I forgive her?  Sure I can.  But she should suffer the consequence of her actions.  The firing was appropriate.  I hope QVC views her character and comes to a determination as well.



pitythefool
pitythefool

A woman goes to work and has a male business owner.  He at times calls women in general another word for prostitute.  He makes  jokes using that word in the workplace.  He asks some of the women at the job if they would like to make a little extra money by serving at his guy's night poker party but the women would be required to wear tight short skirts, plunging necklines, and high heals so they look the part because he thinks it would be impressive.   When he is faced with a discrimination lawsuit his defense is that he doesn't know what offends people.  When the discrimination lawsuit is made public and the male business owner who is also affiliated with a major well known organization is released from his contract with them as they feel his words and actions do not properly represent their organization and would actually hurt their organization.  I am curious what everyone's opinion of this scenario is.

creolemeauxjeaux
creolemeauxjeaux

Paula Deen is being sued only because SHE is 'white' and is smart enough to make her own money . 'Black'  people use the 'n' word all of the time and of course are NOT sued for it . Plantation movies are made with 'black' actors as slaves and are NOT sued . Are 'black' people ashamed of their past ???   'white' peoples have been enslaved in the past also and are not ashamed of it . Can people just make their own money and not try to 'legally'  steal it from someone else .  

lshb
lshb

Everyone makes mistakes...At least she is owning what she said/did...But on another note, Why is it only publicized when a black person is called the "n" word or something is said to them racially, but it is okay for them to make racist remarks about white people...Everyone has the same rights now, so everyone should have the same responsibilities...You can't call white people racist slurs (comedians or not) and then play the racist card when someone else says something about you....I am not racist, I love all people, and I do not see color...What I do see is ignorance...But for once, I would like people to admit it is both sided, and it has nothing to do with slavery...because slavery was abolished in 1865...Was slavery a HORRIFIC thing, yes...But, it has been several generations since then...Everyone has equal rights, so for GOD SAKE treat EVERYONE the same...If don't want to have racial remarks said to you, don't say them to someone else...

ctyjewski
ctyjewski

The very reasoning for WHY should used the N-word demonstrates her racism.  In other words, when one is emotional/upset one is more likely to say things without thinking and demonstrate one's belief structure; a lack of understanding of how things like, for example, racist jokes and/or a "plantation wedding" are offensive merely confirms what her emotional fraught discourse exposed in very bald detail.  She is apologizing for being caught with her hand in the proverbial cookie jar and not for actually going for that cookie (because she sees nothing wrong with eating that cookie -- pardon all the puns).  Those that excuse her behavior should probably check themselves because their defense demonstrates that they are no different from Dean  -- an unapologetic racist.  Thank you, Poniewozik, for writing such a clear discussion of the subject matter.

pitythefool
pitythefool

The N word is off limits.  Can we just agree on that?  If you hear other people using it, they are wrong.  If you hear people of whom that term refers to using it, they are wrong.  If you use it, you are wrong.  If you are a comedian and you use it, you are wrong - you may still be funny but you're wrong.  If you are a pro athlete and you use it, you may still be great at your sport, but are wrong.  If you are a rapper and you use it, you may still have a cool jam but you are also wrong.  If you are an employer who has a legal responsibility to create a safe and comfortable work environment and you use it you are wrong.  But, not only are you wrong but you are legally liable should someone you employ feels compromised in the safe and comfortable work environment you are legally obligated to provide.  If you represent an organization and you use the N word and that organization feels your use of the N word harms their brand then they have the right to terminate you.  You want to sit on your front porch with a cool pitcher of spiked lemonade with your close like-minded friends and spout off N jokes, F jokes, J jokes, etc... you are all wrong but it's a far more suitable place to get it out of your system.

Bvoissem
Bvoissem

This is spot on for how I read her deposition.  The "N" word is offensive enough.  The idea that she wanted middle-aged black men in shorts and white jackets, "tap dancing" around serving wedding guests (but you know, she didn't go through with it because the media would be all over her - just not her own conscience) is just freaking appalling.  And the worst thing to me?  It's the number of people I know -- good friends -- who support her.  They say she "just made a mistake" and "a sincere apology should be accepted and she should be given a second chance".  Except her "sincere apology" came very recently, and her wedding idea was as recent as 2007.  Her answer to whether she used the "N" word?  Immediate.  And on several occasions.  And she's not sure what others find offensive.  So I guess that means that a straight person can call a gay person a slur, or a thin person can call a fat person a pig, because how are we to know what offends someone else?  Sick, sick, sick.  Glad she is off the air.  Wish I didn't know how my friends felt though.

jazzyme
jazzyme

Paula Deen's use of the "N" word sickens me, but her explanation and attempt to justify her use of it sickens me more. If you read what she said in her deposition, Paula glorifies her experience in visiting the  Southern restaurant and experiencing an atmosphere reminiscent of slavery days. She goes so far as admiring the crisp white tuxedo jackets against the wait staff's dark skin. Her recollection of this dining experience was almost orgasmic for her. That's the problem. Who would marvel about a restaurant because it had minority waiters  dressed stereotypically in order to create a certain atmosphere reminiscent of a time period in America History that was extremely hurtful and degrading to a particular group of people? The fact that Paula Deen would not recognize the offensive, demeaning nature of  her comments, if ridiculous! Furthermore, her wanting to recreate that same restaurant vibe for her brother's wedding is inexcusable.


 A mistake is forgetting cancel a meeting with your employee. A MISTAKE IS NOT calling your employee a racist slur.  No big deal is burning the meatloaf, so the family has to go out to dinner. NO BIG DEAL IS NOT saying you'd love to have "N" waiters, but you can't because the media would make a big deal about it. 

The bottom line is, all you people saying Paula "made a mistake" and "its no big deal" suffer from the same disease as Paula....and as with Paula, hidden racism is just like a clogged toilet: its bound to spill out eventually.

coop
coop

The following is for some of the people who is still a supporter of Paula Dean that insist that the N-word is not insulting to Black people when used by White people so I copied and pasted this bit of information for her Jewish supporters.  PLEASE READ CAREFUL BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE ONLY CARE ABOUT WHEN THINGS ONLY EFFECT THEM PERSONALLY. It is to know that when a person is a racist that they are not only a racist toward just black folks but to people of all colors and religion that is different from their own.  Most people don't always know the definition of a racist, especially when they come  from the South so I felt the need to let all the people of color and different religious folks that she is not only making those derogatory remarks against only blacks but you too>>>>>>>>>

 The National Enquirer claims to have acquired a video of a deposition in which Deen admits to using the N-word and making racist and anti-semitic jokes. She also allegedly describes her interest in hiring black waiters dressed to look like "slaves" at a wedding.

JEdmund
JEdmund

The PC police are running amok.  Animal Farm lives....

DianaMaras
DianaMaras

This whole situation is so stupid. She is one woman who represents herself and no one else so why do people insist on caring? She doesn't represent white people. She doesn't represent women. And she doesn't represent the South. She ONLY represents herself. Caring about what stupid people think is in itself stupid. 

RichardAnthonyThompson
RichardAnthonyThompson

If you know that using the "N" word is wrong, then why do you feel the need to use it. In today society with an African American President and professional hard working African American who are working in a professional environment. Why do you need to use this word? Why do you feel the need to use this degrading word? There is no place for this world in today society. She could not talk to this person directly and try to find a base for them to settle their disagreement. People say that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Sorry, but you are not a dog, Humans have the ability to learn, adapt and change.

Why is so hard that you can not use this word. Are you uneducated that you can't stop yourself from using this word. I am an African American professional and I never use the "N" word. Are you saying that anyone over 60 years old learn? You do not have the mental will power to stop saying or using the degrading "N" word from your vocabulary.

IF you know that using profanity offends people, then you have the mental ability to stop using that word. This is not a hard task for an educated society that have the ability to pay bill online. to drive a SUV, to pay your taxes, vote and have a major TV show on a cable network. She doesn't have the mental ability to refrain using the "N" word. This is crazy.

Individuals from all parts of the USA and including the South, A person who make southern cooking and has a TV show, that person can not refrain from using that word. this is ridiculous. I have no respect for her or other people who know better. In the great melting pot of American citizens, when one group is hurting and degraded, then all of Americans are hurting too. American needs to take a personal stand and say ”I am not going to use the “N” word.” If we do not take a stand, then no one will stand and try to fight the evils which destroys American unity.

There is no define reason to use this word in any social/political setting. If a person can not have a direct conversation with an African American person and try to understand one another, then they will use the “N” word to degrade them as a person. When I was in college, someone took a key and scratched the “N” word into the side of my car. I was very hurt.

The only thing I can do is pray that people like Paula, Dog (bounty hunter), George Zimmerman or pizza deliver drivers will learn that using “N” word or using racial stereotypes to put down individuals has unforeseen actions that has not only destroyed them but also destroys other lives.

ctyjewski
ctyjewski

@suzy1493While I certainly agree with some of your analysis of the situation, I also feel that it is a bit more nuanced than this -- and I'm assuming that you know this as well.  For example and to be more specific, Deen's lack of education or the position that she is trailer-park-trash-done-good appears to presuppose that someone more educated (say a Matt Lauer) cannot be just as ignorant and/or unconsciously racist as Deen.  This presumption allows those with education, the non-poor, the not-from-the-South, etc. off the proverbial hook when studies have consistently shown that they shouldn't be afforded this position; as studies, for example, that have been discussed with regard to the Treyvon Martin case recently, police and educated individuals (regardless of race) are more likely to shoot a Black man with a wallet than a white man with a firearm.  This study of U.S. society's construction of race corresponds with (and perhaps/arguably is related to) how people of color (as well as whites) have also bought into this society's construction and perpetuation of racism. Studies, like the Havard's Implicit Association Test, demonstrate that people, regardless of race, tend to have biases that favor whites (those perceived of European decent) and against those who are non-white. To be sure, some within this society have a more nuanced understanding of what is called in academe "unconscious racism" (of all races) but most people do not (of all races).  This is not to suggest that whites, overall, don't need to have this broken down in a manner that is more.... base... for them nor is it to suggest that, for some, the behavior does not, for some, correspond with your analysis.  Rather, it is to suggest that, perhaps, a discussion of the root problem would be more constructive, overall and for all, than to simply analyze white folk's reaction; as Blacks for Paula Deen has demonstrated, the attitude isn't just a white phenomenon.and maybe the larger problem that underpins all reactions to her actions/speech would better serve society. To put it more plainly (I hope), both Paula Deen's actions/speech and the audience's response to it stem from the same problem and, I think, it would be more productive to discuss the problem rather than one symptom of the larger problem.  In solidarity.

reachingtokyo
reachingtokyo

@oldbutyoung 

yes but black people get away with using the "n" word. Why is that? and Deen at least admitted it. Black people say racist things about whites all the time and they are not called on it. Some black people are extremely racist a lot in fact. I believe from what I have seen, heard and experienced the black community fosters racists attitudes toward whites. I don't think black people even know how bad the problem is. White people have to walk on egg shells around black people. How many black people have called a white person a racist or a cracker? why is this acceptable.  Why because of the color of my skin do I have to apologize for something someone I never knew did? Even though the people they did it to are long dead. Who is keeping slavery alive? I think the black community needs to take some responsibility. Some people look for trouble where there is none. Its like people cant have an honest conversation about racism. Black people think " well your white you just don't understand" and you do? how? I have had black people describe to me incidences they have experienced of so called racism and if the situation was looked at without the cultural influence of elders in the black community or gangster rappers the situation could have been seen differently. Sometimes offense is taken and not given.

I have been discriminated against because I am a foreigner. I live in Japan. I was told to my fae because I am not Japanese I cannot enter this or that place and I cannot rent this apartment even though my wife is Japanese. I have been stopped by police several times, fingerprinted, mug shot, without cause and no charges filed. When I told a friend of a friend who is black he said " good now you know how it feels" what a racist thing to say. Basically because of my skin color I deserve to be treated that way! He has never had those same experiences. He was "borrowing" the experiences of his anchestors which is what I believe a lot of black people do. They TAKE the offense on themselves as if it was inherited. Fine if that is what people wish to do but dont burden that filth into my world

Why has nobody asked about the staff at this restaurant that Deen said they went? they were all black and agreed to work at a restaurant posing as slaves? did I read that right? 

feekoningin
feekoningin

@pitythefool My opinion is that this is not the issue at hand. That is what the lawsuit for which the deposition was made may be about. But the issue at hand is the deposition itself. And the contents of that deposition have not yet been used to support the claims of the underlying lawsuit. So everything you described is speculation until it is matched up with facts in front of a judge and jury.

Liz2ard
Liz2ard

The person suing her is white. So maybe before you make the same mistake paula deen did and say bigoted things you should get your facts straight. But hey maybe you think the plantation wedding with people acting as slaves is a good idea too, since you are seeming to imply that black people want Paula's money without having to work for it

feekoningin
feekoningin

@lshb Slavery was no great shakes, but I wouldn't go o far as to say it was horrific for everyone. As an American woman of African descent, I can say that my family's history helped me escape the possibility of being circumcised. And for the many African Americans who call themselves Christian, they would not have had the exposure to what they consider the true faith without the slave experience.

Yahoo
Yahoo

@lshb Oh please, can you give that comment a rest, with I DON'T SEE COLOR.  Everyone sees color and you see it even more when you say you don't.

reachingtokyo
reachingtokyo

@ctyjewski 

you have ever said something you shouldnt?

your very judgmental. That is obvious by your judgement of her state of mind when she apologized. You simply couldn't know. I am guessing you never met the woman. 

I don't excuse your behavior either- Now where should we stop?

why are you better- your not racist but your judgmental. You cant have your cake and eat it too.  the pun is unforgivable as well. 2 strikes. Shall we dig in your closet? 

GoldieHolzer
GoldieHolzer

@pitythefool Well, I agree with you totally.  But let's go a step further since you mentioned.  I find the F word as much or more offensive than the N word.  Why, because it is so darn prevalant in our world!  Even my kids (adults) use it and I tell them to leave my home if they are going to use it.  I have threatened to stop the car and dump them on the side of the road.   It is disgusting and usually those that use it, use it every other word - like they didn't learn the English language in school.   But on the flip side, a joke is a joke.  I'm a female - lots of female jokes out there.  I was blonde as a child - natural.  Lots of blonde jokes.  I've gained weights - lots of fat jokes.   THE PC thing has gotten out of hand.  My dad used to say 'if you can't laugh at yourself, you will never be happy'.   If we all wear our feelings on our sleeves we are going to be pissed at everyone who opens their mouths, and take or twist everything that is said every which way.  Not saying some horrible things aren't said on purpose but sometimes they are NOT.  People need to get a life and realize you aren't going to change racists.  You can prevent then from speaking - but you are not changing them.  Actually, it's scarier to me to be around a closet racist because you don't know about it.

feekoningin
feekoningin

@Bvoissem Actually, what surprises me about the whole Black waiter thing is that no one seems to be asking where this alleged restaurant is and how it's getting away with hiring only Black male waiters. That seems like a discrimination suit waiting to happen. And what about the Black men who are agreeing to participate?


reachingtokyo
reachingtokyo

@jazzyme 

concerning the restaurant- it is not a slavery themed restaurant. it is a historically accurate portrait of the times- yes slavery was alive but there were other things going on in that culture during that . Maybe she was glorifying the Casablanca type romance of the decor. Black skin against white tuxedos if you are an artist would seem very dramatic- 

just because she was admiring the contrast between black skin and the tuxedos does not make it a racist comment. That alone I mean. If a black person said the same thing would you think the same? I mean just the comment about the skin without the media attention. no of course not- You would see a black person admiring  beautiful black skin.Skin is beautiful.  Magazines use skin color in fashion or advertising etc. 

I am not saying she is not racist or at least didn't say something racist- 

Ask yourself why it wasn't offensive for those black waiters to work in that restaurant.

and every point in history was hurtful to some- ask the Irish, Jews, ask anyone who was poor, black people dont have a monopoly on suffering. And no just because I am white does not mean I have to apologize for slavery nor not call you on your own racist sentiments. 

yes hidden racism is very bad and I think you should check yourself

jazzyme
jazzyme

@DianaMaras spoken by a true undercover racist. Only someone who shares Paula's views could downplay the magnitude of this situation. Luckily, laws exist that prevent people from using such language, especially in business environments, and allow some recourse for those who are the target of such abuse.

Rubygirl
Rubygirl

I do not condone the use of this word or any other derogatory word used to insult others. However, she did apologize. Is there not such a thing as forgiveness? I might also bring up the use of American Indian mascots. Whites & blacks dress up & participate in the sterotype of this group. "Redskin" is a derogatory word. Did you know in some states they still have mascots called "savages?" Have you seen the Cleveland Indians mascot? Last time I checked, it wasn't just white men playing for these teams. When big money is involved, people forget. We can call out Deen, Dog, & all of the others, but remember racism & insults go both ways. Racists come in all varities. Why is it acceptable for one group to cry out against racist comments but then participate in the sterotype of another?

nikinaworld
nikinaworld

@reachingtokyo @oldbutyoung  Speaking of "borrowing" past experiences. I saw an Armenian kid, probably about 9 year old wearing a shirt that says "We will never forget." and the back had some other words indicating it was referring to skirmish between the Ottoman Empire and Armenia. This kid is living a good life in Los Angeles and his parents and many like him indoctrinate victimhood into him.

feekoningin
feekoningin

@KodyMullins @creolemeauxjeaux The United States has a history of indentured servitude that involves people from all walks of life, from the Irish to the Roma. And  before someone says indentured servants could buy their way out, first let's remember that while they were under the supervision of white foreman and owners, they were subject to the same abusive treatment as Black slaves. Also, many Black slaves, including my own fourth great-grandfather, also were given mechanisms to buy their way out of slavery, just like the white indentured servants. And even then, whether Black or white, they often were cheated, spending more time and/or money to gain their freedom because they couldn't read the contracts they signed.

GoldieHolzer
GoldieHolzer

@KodyMullins @creolemeauxjeaux Actually, yes, they have and still are - all races - women.  The slave trade is alive and well - particularly the sex slave trade.  So I'm not sure which part she is referring to but yes, whites have and are enslaved.  Not by plantations owners however.  And not to the massive extents that they were.  But please remember that most of the blacks that were sold into slavery from Africa were sold by their own kind to the whites.  So slavery is not indicative of only white slave owners but black slave owners as well.  Slavery is NEVER good, please do not misrepresent or misunderstand my post.   I'm only saying that there is not just one devil in this dance.

reachingtokyo
reachingtokyo

@ariellaabraham19 @lshb 

in the Deen story? political correctness has gone way overboard. Which is why there is a race card and why people make more of a problem of race than there really is. I dont think racism would be such a big problem in America if people weren't so worried about being accused of being a racist- you cant say anything anymore people are way too litigious and they Take offense too easily. the following statement are true to the majority.(see I even have to put that disclaimer)

Everyone knows racism is wrong.

 Nobody likes a racist

Nobody wants to be seen as a racist

Everybody makes generalizations about people based on color, history, experience, family beliefs, economic status, perceived danger etc etc.

Everyone should stop thinking they would are better than Deen or anyone else who makes a mistake.

GoldieHolzer
GoldieHolzer

@Yahoo @lshb I have used that before.  What is meant by it at least for me, is that it doesn't matter.  I have dated blacks - well, all races really, before I married.   I treat all people the same.  NOW, having said that .... if you are a jerk I will treat you the same whether you are white or black!!!!  And I won't be afraid to tell you what you are - WHITE OR BLACK....or purple, yellow or green!   

I worked at the first historically black university for 7 years.  You can't do that and be a racist since 90% of your bosses are black!   However, I will tell you that the maintenance crews called each other the N word in every other sentence and around people who did not understand that apparently is 'ok' for them to do that.  Some very bad things happened to young kids who did that later - not knowing it was not ok.  It was inappropriate for those workers not to explain to their young trainees (kids - not adults) that they could not go out into the world and use that word.  These were kids who were not around blacks except at school - meaning no adults.  They did not know and learned a hard lesson. They were attacked and beaten by a mob of blacks.   The fault lies with the workers.  They should have been sued for instigating abuse of a child.  But they weren't because they were black - had they been white, they would have.

ctyjewski
ctyjewski

@reachingtokyo @ctyjewski Anyone who has an opinion about any subject is judgmental by definition; so, I fail to see what your point would be.  Unless, of course, one thinks that stating the obvious (i.e. that an opinion/judgement is taking a position -- being judgmental) is somehow an insult....  One can meet or not meet an individual and still come to the same conclusion about this scenario because it is the actions (not the individual who does them) that demonstrates intent/meaning.  But, for the record, I have met the woman.. In other words, actions speak louder than words or, in this case, unconscious (not thought through) speech speaks far louder than conscious speech.  I never said I wasn't racist (one should learn to read) and for several reasons (although I'll limit the rationale here to two points): 1. a lack of anything resembling objectivity precludes the ability to perform the task (i.e. one cannot honestly judge one's own character); and, 2. socialization within a society, like the U.S. (and arguably most if not all others), makes it impossible to be completely devoid of racism because, like it or not, right and wrong, this is a racist society (yes, I used present tense).  As for my closet.... have at, I've nothing to hide; so, have fun digging.

reachingtokyo
reachingtokyo

@feekoningin @Bvoissem 

no law suit why dont the staff have a problem with it? They are black. But then I think of Hooters. The women want to work there so why should anyone else pass their offense on to others who are not offended. So if there are black people who are not offended why is it so offensive in Deens case?

Bvoissem
Bvoissem

@feekoningin @Bvoissem No kidding!  I thought the same thing...where is this restaurant, and HOW are they getting away with this?  I also admit to wondering if it even exists, for real.  She was vague about the location.  

reachingtokyo
reachingtokyo

@jazzyme @DianaMaras 

so easy for black people to call white people racist- how racist of you. What did DianeMaras say that was racist? Just because you skin is black doesnt mean you can just run around and call people racist!

ariellaabraham19
ariellaabraham19

@Rubygirl one group??? what of dark skin people??? you lost me...you speak about "redskins"  and "savages"  and racists come in all varieties.....make yourself clear

Bvoissem
Bvoissem

@Rubygirl I've been hearing that question about forgiveness a lot.  I do think there is room for forgiveness.  But I'm not the one to give it - I'm not the one she wronged.  If  I was in a position to offer forgiveness, I'd want to be sure she really was sorry. And I am very skeptical of that, for a couple of reasons:  (1) She held this attitude quite recently (the wedding incident was what...2007?)  (2) By her own admission, she can't tell what is offensive to other people (really???) and (3) according to her employee, she filed this suit because talking to Deen didn't get her anywhere.  If she was truly sorry for offending someone, why wasn't her employee telling her she was hurt enough?  It seems to me that she is very sorry...that she got caught.  These are federal laws.  She had to know them.  

HelenEschenbach
HelenEschenbach

@Rubygirl She DID apologize?  So that makes up for everything she says?  Such as saying she doesn't know when a joke offends people?

Paula Deen is as dumb as a sack of hair (to use a fine Southern phrase).  And tribes of these specific Native Americans WERE asked if the mascots needed to be changed and the Native Americans said it wasn't a problem.  But I have YET to meet anyone black who "didn't care" about being called a N******.

Can you give us an example of "one group [to cry] out against racist comments but then participate in the stereotype of another?"  Actually I have found that most intelligent people are quite able of not stereotyping and flinging racist slurs.

Miss Rubygirl...you are all over the place and you definitely sound as if you are defending Miss Deen and Dog.  If you are, you need to rethink your position.  These are repulsive, racist caricatures of real people.

reachingtokyo
reachingtokyo

@feekoningin @KodyMullins @creolemeauxjeaux 

the world has a history of slavery so America does not have the monopoly.

kind of like working in retail or minimum wage jobs. forced to serve rich people and they can never get out of it- of course it is different. Now people are given just enough so they dont start a civil war.

reachingtokyo
reachingtokyo

@ariellaabraham19 @GoldieHolzer @Yahoo @lshb 

are you refusing to see his point? I think so. The point is black people need to take responsibility for what they say- those workers hold some responsibility for teaching those kids. The other  point of his was- there is a double standard for blacks verses whites- I'll spell it out black people wont get sued for something like that but white people would- black people can for the most part say what they want.

ariellaabraham19
ariellaabraham19

@GoldieHolzer @Yahoo @lshb there's no such thing as purple, green, or yellow people come on be realistic...and about 90% of the bosses being black and things...their are racists blacks working for whites...i hear them all the time on the bus, on the train and the attempts of sounding oppressed are long overdue no one is oppressing you...not calling you a racist but anyone can be anyway whether they associate with certain people or not....but whether they should of been sued for abuse is far out. parents say things all the time that they wouldn't say if they were not behind closed doors should they be sued....my brother has been jumped by a group of kids for repeating what my parents say and???? I dont see your point here

pitythefool
pitythefool

@HelenEschenbach @Rubygirl This is a legal issue, there are penalties for breaking the law.  She broke the law by not providing a safe and comfortable work environment.   Also she never claims any remorse in the deposition (not that she should).  She instead pleads ignorance of not knowing what offends people.

TLPM
TLPM

@iodizedseasalt @HelenEschenbach @Rubygirl 

(And RichardAnthonyThompson)...iodizedseasalt must live in my world. I am from the south, living and working in the south as a teacher. I deal with black students calling each other the "N" word almost everyday. They either like it, or they don't...however they use it, I don't allow it in my classroom. I support Paula, but the word (however it is used, positively-if that's even possible-or negatively) has no place in society at all. Rappers can use it......that's OK, right??? No. White guys can use it as an endearment to each other....that's OK, right?  No, again. I don't accept the reasoning behind a black person calling another black person by the name, and putting a "positive spin" on it. That's just double standard, plain and simple. Don't complain about a Caucasian woman having used it- then pronounce it's OK to use it in a positive way, or for the sake of "art". I don't accept that.

SiriusBlackcat
SiriusBlackcat

They keep making an issue of it, they were just formally turned down by tbe redskins again. You may not be bothered but some clearly are.

Rubygirl
Rubygirl

You are incorrect about that one...that "they" asked the Natives & "they" said said it wasn't a problem.  Some are not offended but apparently you are misinformed because there are many that are. "Redskin" is used as a derogatory term. Your comment shows just how little many people know about American Indian people. Um, have you not seen the Cleveland Indians mascot & American Indians are REAL people not something from the past? Your comment about that bothers me. I've never met a Native person who does a  "tomahawk chop" so any fan or player doing that or wearing a headdress is participating in a sterotype.  I've seen people of several races wearing headdress & painting their faces. Again, the Natives I know don't paint their faces on a daily basis. Paula Deen is not a bad person & I do NOT defend the use of that word by ANYONE....that includes people of all races. She has hopefully learned from it but again, our culture is weird in the sense that it is ok to dress like a Native person & participate in those sterotypes but then we call others out for sterotypinga nother race. All I am saying is it needs to be across the board & this goes for ALL people. It isn't ok to call white people names, it isn't ok to call Asian people names, it isn't ok to call black people names, etc.