Paula Deen And the Inexplicable Support of People

There are some very strange people out there.

Some very strange white people…

Okay that’s a bit racist. But it’s not as racist as the kind of things Paula Deen has said and done.

Listen it’s simple. 20 years ago it was unacceptable socially to refer to black people as “niggers”. Not the “n-word” but “niggers”.

It’s important. That word has power. That power was once the absolute life and death of black people. I am sorry. Black PROPERTY. A  man had no qualms at the point about raping, torturing or even killing his property.

We live in a better world. A world where we understand why the word nigger is a hateful term. We can see it’s history. We can see what black people are trying to make it mean. They are finding empowerment where they can.

Racism isn’t dead. Let’s look at Trayvon Martin. WND and many conservatives are in glee over his marijuana use. Why? Marijuana makes you unwilling to fight. The most famous users of the stuff were terrible in fights. Yet that excuses the very racist George Zimmerman’s actions in their mind. It’s okay we shot a black kid, he smoked weed.

Racism is very much alive. Yes, if we stop complaining about racism there will be no racism. If we stopped filing reports about burglaries there would be none too.

And no, we are appalled by her use of the word “nigger”. But we understand that she lived in a culture that was racist and still is racist. And that she would not have known how to behave when confronted with this dilemma of adults using racial slurs.


I know who she is. We got TV here you know. We know what a Honey Boo Boo is. I understand that’s not the “real America” and that’s just TV stations laughing at poor people… But we know who Paula Deen is.

Paula Deen is a TV Chef infamous for flogging unhealthy food. Oh that’s not a problem in itself. We have Nigella Lawson for that too. But here is the thing. Nigella doesn’t claim her food is good for you. Nigella’s food is a treat. A dirty little secret. It’s the olive in your martini and the parmesan on your linguini. It’s never been flogged as anything but that. Nigella repeatedly emphasises that her portion sizes are important (As in. Anything in gigantic portions is unhealthy) and even pushes for exercise.

Paula Deen does not. In a nation where obesity and related disorders are reaching epidemic levels Paula is firmly fighting the battle of health as if she has invested in Big and Tall.

She herself suffers from Type 2 Diabetes. And is in fact a spokesperson for a company that produces anti-diabetic medication. Rather than be more tempered with her cooking she carries on pushing it while making the claim that Type 2 Diabetes is “easy” to treat.

No, Paula is in deep shit because she ran a restaurant where racist and sexist abuse was the norm.

And it came out. She was allegedly making black people use separate bathrooms…

And the usage of the word Nigger 20 years ago? Let’s let that slide.

“Well what I would really like is a bunch of little niggers to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around, Now that would be a true southern wedding, wouldn’t it? But we can’t do that because the media would be on me about that.”

This was in 2007. I am pretty sure that’s it’s still racist to call black people niggers.

Except? There are people who don’t think so

Yeah… About that racism thing…


  1. DyslexicHippo says

    Her use of that word, appalling as it is, pales in comparison to what she said about “true southern wedding”.

    That’s pure, unadulterated racism at its finest.

  2. says

    Twenty years ago.. let’s see.. that would have been, oh, 1993.

    Maybe I’m just getting old, but I do remember how *very* politically correct the 90s were, to the point that Rush Limbaugh and his ilk co-opted the term “politically correct” to mean “now we have to not call people by pejorative names and we don’t like it one bit.”

    No. We were aware that this word was bad in the 90s and we are aware today. And if someone suffered a hostile work environment at the hands of Paula Deen, then that person has every legal right to take her to court over it. Her words and actions can’t be justified because she’s “aging” (she’s 65; my 80+ year old Texas born-and-bred grandparents don’t talk like that) or because she’s “Southern” – it makes all Southerners look bad if you’re going to excuse her behavior with that one! “Oh, she is from the south, don’t pay her any mind, southerners are like that only.”

    We have come a long, LONG way toward making racism unacceptable in society, but we haven’t eradicated it. Not even close. When Paula Deen was born, there were different water fountains for ‘colored’ and ‘white’ people. But it is easier to eradicate racism from the law books than it is to eradicate it from people’s hearts and minds.

  3. Francisco Bacopa says

    While black men in white shirts are something of a 1930’s-early 60’s stereotype, never forget that these men used that image to claw their way to the top and effect real change. And they often formed labor unions.

    The Montgomery Bus Boycott wasn’t just Rosa Parks acting alone. She had the Pullman Porters Union behind her. Yes, some black people conformed to stereotypes, but many of them were badass.

    Deen has no excuse. I have Old South roots and know better.

  4. lorn says

    Use as an insult the word nigger is hurtful and loaded with racism, bias, and hate. Its origin is from Spanish for black. Used to describe a social system, as opposed to an individual or group, it is the doorway to understanding the recursive hate structure expressed through the duality of the feared/hated/chained field nigger in comparison to the feared/self-hating/psychologically chained, but trusted, house nigger.

    The use of the term “Shirley Temple days” implies an unhistorical, mythical, quaintness to antebellum society. Clearly Hollywood has shaded her understanding of historical fact.

    If she was a friend of mine I would likely note the lack of malice and give her a break. As a corporate entity she has earned north of 60 million dollars. If she doesn’t make another nickel neither she nor her children will ever suffer or starve. She has had her turn at the trough and is only losing it now because she was careless with her public image. This sort of thing is why most corporations have a PR department. Public image has to be constructed, groomed, and protected. As head of her business she either has to do the job herself or hire someone to do it. She has failed as a brand and a business and deserves to disappear from the marketplace.

    Shed no tears. She leaves with sacks of money.

  5. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    If she was a friend of mine I would likely note the lack of malice and give her a break.

    Then you are part of the problem. It being said with a lack of malice is a reason to gently point out why they are wrong rather than flying immediately off the handle; it is not a reason to let them go on thinking it’s OK.

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