Sunday, June 23, 2013

Food Network! Lawd hab mercy. Say it ain't so

Yes, I am jumping into the Paula Deen/Food Network/Twitter fray. I say let the woman keep her show. I don't watch her but apparently someone does. My take on the whole thing is if outrage is warranted, it's because of the nature of the discrimination LAWSUIT lodged against her and her brother. Now am I okay with her using racial slurs? No. But I am a big girl and have been on this Earth for more than a hot minute and I am no rookie to racial slurs in my life (be it the giving or receiving end). I am not shocked and surprised that she has used them. Just like I am not shocked and surprised that any number of people I encounter on a daily basis do or have (the cashier at CVS; the bank teller I've used; the cop who told me to move it along). What I'm saying is: She's a White, Southern woman in her 60s who is a COOK (not a CHEF as much as folks want to label her that) who makes her living making food that causes heart attacks and peddles cookware and cookbooks. I have no interest in partaking in anything that would ban her from her doing livelihood based on words she said in the past.

I even offered an addition to #paulasbestdishes on Twitter: HOT BURNING CROSS BUNS. Good, right? Her public embarrassment is enough. I am sure. She will be doing damage control and hiring more publicists. She is just a bigoted person who cooks and got lucky. Period. Stop putting people on pedestals and then finding out they have clay feet. They use the bathroom and sweat just like the rest of us. And use racial slurs. I could care less that Miss Deen ain't what others held her up to be. I am concerned about the quiet, insidious racists who hold public office, who sit on a judicial bench when a park bench is the only bench they should sit on or who hide behind badges and destroy people's lives.

I've used bigoted over racist here. Bigoted means to have a prejudice based on a personal bias against anything (food, people, dogs, etc.). Being racist takes it wa-a-a-y over the line and means that one has power to use one's bias to totally control how another ethnic group will live, work, thrive or wither. The two are used interchangeably and mostly incorrectly. Basically all racists are bigots but not all bigots are racists.

Which brings me back to Miss Deen. What I find disturbing are the particulars of the lawsuit brought by one of Deen's former employees. A White female named Lisa Jackson, I believe, said blacks were made to use separate bathrooms and separate entrances while working for Miss Deen and her family in their restaurants. Plus, there are allegations of sexual harrassment against Miss Deen's brother.

These are the things that are chat worthy. These allegations possibly speak to racist behavior because Deen et al. held power over their staff and seemed not afraid to use it. Bigoted and racist. Umm.

The Twitter parody of her cooking was hysterical and merciless but was just an appetizer for the probable unearthing of some rather unsavory alleged goings-on in her business establishments.

For the hilarious tweets check out #paulasbestdishes on Twitter.

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