Paula Deen’s upbringing finally caught up with her. In a deposition for a $1.2 million lawsuit filed against her and her brother Bubba for creating a hostile work environment at their restaurant, Paula answered yes, “of course,” she had used the N-word in the past, as if to say, “Well, hasn’t everybody?”
Paula’s career is built on being a proud product of the South, parts of which are still butt-hurt over the Civil War. Being compelled to stop owning what they lovingly called “N-words” still rankles. And with good reason.
TODAY’s Richmond Times-Dispatch published 3 articles with “Civil War” in the headline. In fact, one of them is a DAILY feature that re-reports the Confederacy’s glory days.
But all bigots aren’t Southerners. My Italian grandmother, who spent her life in Massachusetts (and later years in Florida), always called blacks the N-word. She also hated the French and Jews, although I seriously doubt she ever knew any of them in any meaningful way.
She must have picked up all that racist bullshit from her parents. Just like Paula Deen probably did.
Back in 1972 when I moved to Virginia, I worked at J.C. Penney’s. Forty years later, I still vividly recall a white-haired Paula Deen type who, upon seeing a cute young white girl come up the escalator with a black boy, turned and whispered to me, “I’d like to push her right down those stairs!”
Over the years, black men have asked me for dates a few times, but I always turned them down. It’s just safer. I don’t want anybody feeling tempted to push me down an escalator.
So now Food Network isn’t renewing Deen’s contract, and her advertisers are having second thoughts.
Where was all this outrage after we found out Paula was flat-out trying to kill people with recipes SHE, as a closet diabetic, knew could be lethal?
All these entities turning on Paula now should be ashamed of their belated shock. Anyone can take one look at Deen and her whole redneck family and see you probably don’t have to scratch deep to find some festering Southern ugliness.
But I don’t think Deen would ever choose to be a racist. She’s been conditioned by her culture.
Paula reminds us all that, in spite electing a black president TWICE, racism still thrives. Republicans out to sink Obama no matter what the consequences for the country, and Deen’s loyal fans who are screaming, “What’s the big deal? Bring Paula back!” are just further proof of it.
This country can’t be cleansed for at least a few more generations, and only then if our leaders and people who should know better stop spewing mindless poison.
A few weeks ago, a Southern friend told me how a drunk woman in a bar hit on my friend’s husband, assaulted my friend, and then got herself arrested.
My friend called the woman the N-word.
Later in the conversation, my friend was incredulous when I mentioned I’d worked on Obama’s campaign. Yet she couldn’t give me any good reason she preferred Romney (other than, I suspect, his color).
This was a side of her I’d never really seen before — in 30+ years. But it’s there.
We all have it, to some degree, I’m sad to say. I bet there isn’t a person alive who hasn’t at some point avoided someone “other-looking” because that stranger made them uncomfortable.
Right now, George Zimmerman is on trial in Florida for killing a black teenager named Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman’s defense team has been dredging up dirt from Trayvon’s life to make the case that Trayvon needed killing for something. That way, Zimmerman’s a hero, not a gun-toting weirdo trolling for trouble.
This is how racism thrives.
BONUS: Watch Paula’s attempts to muster a sincere apology to her fans.