Paula Deen’s Conversation Starter
Ebony and Ivory, they live together and provide us with harmony and beautiful music. Paul and Michael sang this ditty many years ago and even then the song rang hollow and silly. Perhaps the black and white notes make a beautiful tune but in the real world, there is still an undercurrent of racial tension. This isn’t simply a racial thing but a relationship issue with roots that go back centuries. With the recent Paula Deen brouhaha still making news as retailer after retailer drops her like a hot biscuit, CoupleDumb, in an effort to forge new relationships and heal old wounds, is going to give their two cents on the matter.
Paula Deen was accused in a lawsuit of creating an unsafe work environment because she used the N word and made sexually charged jokes. During Ms. Deen’s deposition, she admitted to using the N word and suggesting to use an all-black wait staff for a wedding. What happened afterwards was a flambé and shish kabobing that we have not seen in ages. She has been dropped by most, if not all, of the retailers who sell her cooking-ware. The Food Network dropped her within 24 hours of her admission of using the N word. And public opinion at this point rates her between the KKK and Hitler for her bigotry.
People are taking to their twitter and Facebook to skewer Paula and using words like “loathe” and “hate” and “despicable human being”. People are saying that they “draw a hard line” against anyone who uses that word and this kind of racism is intolerable. So, to put it plainly, people will not tolerate anyone who shows signs of intolerance.
This forces the question, how does this forward the racism conversation? How does shunning an old Southern woman who admits to saying the N word but denies having discriminated against people of color help the cause of fixing race relations? How does being intolerant of people who are intolerant help us progress?
We have been sitting on this powder-keg of unsaid and categorical denials of racism for years. We are forced to accept the Tea Party claims that their issue with our black president isn’t the color of his skin but his policies and made to turn a blind eye to the signs in their rallies that are blatantly racist. We find those individuals to be the real problem because they turn around and try to deny that their motivation is not racially motivated. Even if their original cause was not founded on distrust for the president because of his skin color, why not eradicate that element from the party? The truth is that race is a factor and denying the racist motivation of the birthers, tea partiers and other wackos is just another symptom of the insidious nature of the problem of racism.
Paula will face her consequences but we commend her for actually admitting that she has used the word. We have come to the point in this great nation that apologies are just another opportunity to take a swing at a person. We have become so jaded that we feel all apologies are fake and only done to save face and endorsements. How does this bode for our future when no one will ever be forgiven for any misgivings?
None of this helps race relations. None of this will help race relations. The deniers will continue to refute any accusations of racism while still waving their vile signs. Someone needs to be the bigger person and start the conversation despite the constant denials that there is a problem. Someone needs to stand up and say “OK, Paula, I accept your apology. Now, I want to have a long conversation with you about race. I am going to educate you.” That will show real contrition if she is willing to accept that offer. Regardless of what happens, Paula got us talking and that’s a good thing, right?
And while we are on the subject, don’t you find it odd, weird and downright fascinating that Sarah Palin can refer to Obama’s “shuck and jive” or how he is “lackadaisical”, or Trump figuring that a black man could never attend an Ivy League school and referring to African Americans as “the blacks” and referring to his “black friends” and no one is calling for their ousters? Oh wait, yes, some have accused them of racism but people come to their aid. We don’t know about you guys but we would rather listen to Paula Deen talk about how sorry she is than Palin and Trump deny the obvious racism. With Palin and Trump, aside from checking your intelligence at the door, there is absolutely no conversation on race because all they can do is deny it. We don’t know about you but those are the scariest racists of them all.