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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Paula Deen throws stone back at accusers

Calling a kettle "black" or a "spade a spade" could be misinterpreted in today's world.
Did the pot call the kettle black?  Accused of being a racist by her white restaurant employee, cooking star Paula Deen defended herself in a tearful interview on this morning's Today Show by using a well known biblical analogy: John 8:7. Jesus told the accusers of an adulterous woman to let the person among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. I was very surprised that Dean didn't ask her interviewer, Matt Lauer, if he had ever used the "N" word!

If Deen had called me a "nigger" to my face, I probably would have been fighting mad, but I don't know the woman and will probably never meet her. Words can be hurtful, and being caught using the wrong ones at the wrong time can have disastrous financial consequences for celebrities and business people. Sometimes, though, they can have a tendency to make bigmouths more endearing. I hadn't even thought about Paula Deen recently or watched her show lately, and now I'm writing this post about her. Go figure. Remember Martha Stewart and her incarceration in a federal penitentiary for shady stock dealing?  Stewart's net worth last year was $970m!

In Deen's case, she admitted she has used the word "nigger" before, but not in a demeaning way. After that admission, several of her sponsors dropped her, and her famed cooking show has been cancelled. Deen contends that she is not racist and wonders why people think she is a bad person for using the word "nigger" once in her life. Deen may be the kind person she portends to be; who am I to judge.

Looking back at the word's history, the term was used by people who referred to black slaves from Niger as "niggers." This word later was used to connote persons who were lazy. Many Southerners during the mid-20th century bastardized the word "Negro" to "Negra" which was a slap in the face to African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement when blacks were fighting racial segregation. Comedian David Chappelle uses "nigga" all the time, while The Boondock's Aaron McGruder throws it around in his comic strip and TV show.

I remember a comedy skit during that time in which a black man was asked why he was infuriated when whites called him "nigger" and didn't mind when his sweetheart did. "That's because she wakes up every morning, kisses me, and calls me her SWEET NIGGER," which means intent is everything when communicating politically charged words. My maternal grandma use to wake me up in the morning and tickle my toes, saying, "Good morning, my little nigga toes."  I loved my grandmother dearly, even though she was born in the late 1880's in North Carolina where racism left its toll.

Calling someone "Uncle Tom" or "Colored" is looked upon with contempt today, but once these were familial words. Any words which separate us from each other, which make us feel better than someone else, can become hurtful; however, if everyone who has ever spoken the words "nigger", "spic", "slut," "bitch," "fag," "raghead", "kite," or "wetback" were due to be punished, possibly all of us would be under the jail!

Kettle photo: Holger Ellgaar, GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

5 comments:

  1. The Paula Deen Today Show interview... Contrite, Contrived or Complicit??? You decide.
    After having watched the interview, it is clear that I'm in no position to judge Paula Deen regarding any aspect of her life, including her admissions and denials of using the racial slur, Nigger. What does seem to be clear though is her subtle use of scripture and a "what's good for the goose" type philosophy to somehow explain away any residual of the dirt and grime associated with this type of behavior. In the middle of the interview, Deen described the conduct of employees in her kitchen(s), and expresses her disapproval of the language and offensive terms they "throw around" toward each other. In essence, Deen is saying (as many do) How Dare You Cry Foul, when you (people of color) are complicit in frequently using the so-called N-Word yourselves. Toward the end of the interview we get the John 8:7 reference... Let He who is without sin cast the first stone. I will not castigate Paula Deen, as I said previously, I'm in no position to judge. However, as the face of a brand, if Deen witnessed or observed negative behavior(s) from her staff which would constitute or create a "hostile work environment," it was (and is) her responsibility to correct the behavior, as condoning such conduct is no less than tacit approval. In closing, we again face the very ancient and tired argument... (we've been called out yet again), are people of color complicit in the continued proliferation and use of the N-word??? In 2007, the NAACP symbolically buried the word, but the grave does not seem strong enough to hold it.

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  2. You are an idiot, thanks for displaying it to the world...

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  3. You are one racist cunt bitch, hope you die and take anyone that is related to you along. We don't need anymore white trash shitholes spewing garbage in the name of freedom of speech.

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  4. Today's news... Deen's cookbook #1 on Amazon...black folks have been used again to promote white folk acting badly.

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  5. Btw, I will not be buying Deen stuff on close out.

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