Warning: This post contains ADULT content that some may find offensive. Please carefully consider reading further before you do so.
I’ve held off on blogging about this for several reasons. First, the whole thing infuriates me. Second, and perhaps more importantly – I’ve been quite under the weather and irritable because of it – which tends to color my observations and lower my tolerance points CONSIDERABLY. That said, and because my going on 3+ day headache from hell and 2 day fever won’t let me sleep the way I would like to – I’m about to sound off. So get ready…..
First of all, I am a proud New England-er and a proud female. To some, that makes me cold, rude, and bitchy. Of course, I can be all those things. I can also be loyal, funny, loving, and generous. What I am NOT is perfect. None of us are. We have, ALL of us, done, said, or thought things less than kind – or even dare I say hateful – about other people. Paula Deen did so approximately 3 decades ago, according to her testimony in a legal deposition stemming from the ongoing civil matter of her brother vs an ex employee.
Now for those of you who have not ever been legally deposed here’s a thing: If you are caught lying you can, and usually will, be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for perjury. Am I clear on this fact? CRYSTAL. ( I was deposed as a witness in a rape case many years ago and this was made very, very, VERY clear to me at the time) It was certainly not in Ms Deen’s best interests to lie. Especially given that said comment(s) were made WELL in the past and certainly hardly relevant to the case at hand. Indeed, any well brought up person will tell you that it is always best to tell the truth as you will get in FAR less trouble for doing so; if there is any trouble to be had. However this does not seem to be happening with Paula Deen. And I wonder why…..
In my feeble mind, I truly believe it is because she is a Southern WOMAN. Mel Gibson made hateful, spurious, racist, misogynist comments while under the influence and while castigated in the media for a relatively short period of time, has managed to both retain his career and his business holdings. (And, he correctly and rightly APOLOGIZED)
The media gives it page 3 coverage and everyone yawns. I have yet to see that THEY have apologized for their offensive remarks, by the way. Please tell me there’s a difference between calling a woman a cunt or a twat – and calling an African American person a nigger? Because I don’t see one. All are EXTREMELY demeaning, hateful, and downright nasty – negatively targeting a specific group of people based on either race or gender. Usage of these words creates a very visceral reaction as well. I actually had to take a really deep breath just to type them. And yet our patriarchal society seems to gloss over these social infractions when it comes to directing these terms at females. It is also important to note that Ms Deen spoke the n- word almost three decades ago. Shouldn’t there be a statute of limitations on hate speech, once someone demonstrates they know better? Obviously Paula Deen has not used said word recently, but KUDOS to her for her honesty. It has cost her much. So why is it OK for several men (and northern men at that) to basically get a free pass to disparage women, and the Jewish people RECENTLY. And for a Woman to be vilified, pilloried and castigated for a very poor choice of word DECADES ago? And she has rightly APOLOGIZED numerous times. My maternal ancestor came from Salem -arriving in 1634 and was friendly with Giles Corey –
so if there’s one thing this Massachusetts woman knows about – it’s a Witch Hunt. And Paula Deen is the Victim – with a capital V – of the latest one.
Also important to note: Here in the Northeast, it is quite common to refer to one’s “bro’s” or friends, as your “niggas”. (emphasis on the spelling and pronunciation here) I would not be caught dead saying that, but I am also a white female over the age of 50. It is apparently acceptable for those under 25 to do so, but I shudder each and every time I hear it. I also shudder when I hear the word “Bubba”. Up here in the north it connotes an “ignorant, uneducated person who lives in the rural south” (ie a “hillbilly”) My southern friends inform me that it is in fact just a name down there. A legal name – on many people’s birth certificates. I still shudder though, because I’ve been taught these words are hate speech and they make me very, very uncomfortable. And the word “cracker” also makes me wince, just so you folks know.
To be honest, I think everyone is focused on the wrong person here. Ms Deen’s BROTHER Bubba (really, that’s what they call him) is the one being sued for harassment, hostile work environment etc. And yet, not a breath about how HE talks, or talked, about women, or about people of color. That’s really where the news is, folks – but not where the money is. Paula is the cash cow – or was. “Bubba” would seem to be a hanger-on, at best. The sharks – er, lawyers- are going for the green. And sadly, one can’t pick their relatives. Nor apparently, can they tell them to shut their stupid mouths, and act like a decent human being…… If Paula made a mistake, it was in not kicking her dumbass brother to the curb awhile ago. But then again, she’s a WOMAN, and a woman should never dictate to a man, should they? (sarcasm)
The message here is clear. If you’re a man, particularly one from north of the Mason/Dixon, you can say just about anything disparaging or demeaning about women or other races/creeds; and hardly anyone’s feathers will be ruffled. But be a successful southern woman who misspoke thirty years ago – we should all immediately get the stocks ready for the public whipping and humiliation. I think that is unfair. Ms Deen has correctly and rightly apologized – which is ALL that was required. That should be the end of it.
Even Al Sharpton – no stranger to this type of controversy himself, would agree. It would be nice, great even – if we could all just refer to one another as people, as human beings deserving of dignity and respect. But anyway, seeing as how that’s not happening (sarcasm) – Can we move on now?
- Carter: Paula Deen should be forgiven (cnn.com)
- Paula Deen’s business partners vow to support her (fox6now.com)
- Would You Work With Paula Deen? (theresaarnold.wordpress.com)
- Concerning the Paula Deen Scandal…. (craftythriftydecoratingwifemom.wordpress.com)
- Paula Deen, Uncle Bubba, and the Silence Over Sexual Harassment (southinpopculture.com)
- In Defense of Paula Deen: How a Righteous Call for Blood Turned into Good Old Bullying (observer.com)
- The Story of Paula Deen: She Once Said the “N” Word (americanclarion.com)
- Local Black Chef, Paula Deen Friend Rushes To Her Defense (losangeles.cbslocal.com)