Paula Deen… Because Everyone Else Has.

OK, so now that nearly everybody has pig-piled on Paula Deen, (no pun intended) I guess it’s my turn to weigh in on the matter and get a few things off my mind and chest. I’ve made a couple of comments via Facebook that were received fairly well but then due to some comments made by a few folks I realized I needed to think things through a bit more and better explain myself.

I typically interact with a more “common” group of folks and as “common” folks do they have at one time or another, thought bad things or, dare I say…said bad things. Much to my surprise I also connect with an über elite class of people who are beyond fault or moral turpitude and, well… this is for those assholes.

We are watching a car crash, the daily news on which companies have dropped Paula, and gee-whiz why would anybody keep her?! The whole part about using the dreaded “N-word” got lost days ago for all but the morally superior guilty white who continue the “I’ve never used that word and I don’t know anybody who has” routine.

Everybody likes an underdog and everyone likes to see the local guy/gal do well and be successful beyond their wildest dreams. Unfortunately this same group “everybody” likes it when these wildly successful people fall so they can drag them behind the woodpile and take turns kicking the theoretical shit out of them… “I knew that son of a bitch was no good, and he/she isn’t all that good looking besides!”

Had this whole thing come about by poor ratings and she just disappeared we would have been sad, because everybody likes a car crash.  Lucky for us there was racism, some kind of crazy assed visions of an old plantation wedding complete with an all black staff and…SHE’S SOUTHERN! (Collective gasp) By the way if you read the transcript, the southern plantation wedding was brought up and talked about more by the $300+ an hour attorney than it ever was by Paula Deen, and honestly for $300+ an hour I could make the Pillsbury Doughboy look like the KKK Grand Wizard.

OK so here’s where I do my Jimmy Swaggart… I HAVE SINNED. There, I said it. I’ve said this “word” before, and I’m positive at one time or another I’ve thought worse… and if I’m being honest I’m sure I’ve thought or said shitty things on any number of races, genders and religions. Lucky for me I was young, stupid, didn’t have a 5 book deal, several network shows or a chain of restaurants.

So when I do get those things just remember your time for outrage is now not then, and I can go on living guilt free. Yeah that’s right, I live guilt free. I’ve since learned there’s no need to judge someone by skin color because everybody from every race has the ability to be an asshole in so many different ways that skin color is irrelevant in judging a person or their character. Am I sorry I used that word and thought worse…yes I am. Now let’s build a bridge and get the hell over it.

“But Pav you said a bad word that is beyond forgiveness!” Have I?! I have seen and heard my black friends (yeah, I said black friends… we’re talking about the “N” word who should I be quoting, my gay friends?!) use the words whitey, cracker, white MF, and worse around me with no thoughts of apologies (by the way, I wasn’t looking for one… I know me and know I can in fact be a white MF) and I’ve heard them use “the N word” plenty as well both in joking around and in arguments.

I don’t buy the bullshit argument “well they were oppressed so they can say it, you can’t.” It’s this whole premise that gives the word the power that it has, it’s the proverbial forbidden fruit and no burial by the NAACP is going to magically make it go away.  Don’t believe a forbidden word isn’t more powerful than any other? Instead of “honey” or “love muffin” slip in the forbidden “C” word next time you greet your wife/girlfriend/both and see how well it’s received.

OK so here’s your discrimination test….you’re walking and 50 feet ahead you see a person talking to himself and yelling at passing people. Do you: A) Cross the street. B) Grab your can of mace and put your finger on the trigger. C) Go in for a long hug because you don’t see people in terms of race, gender or shades of shithouse rat crazy.  D) Duck into a store because DAMN…did you see those pumps?! Yeah ok that was geared towards women….or guys that like pumps…. Or aliens that have a shoe fetish… did I leave anyone out? Sorry…Or puppies.

Here’s another example. You have a tray of food at a work conference you had to go to alone and there are 4 tables from which to choose a seat at 1) Predominantly white male 2) Predominantly Minority male 3) Predominantly minority female 4) Predominantly white female.  Example number 3: What did you call Brazil Nuts when you were a kid? Pretty sure this last question only applies to people in the 40+ age group. Ever heard someone use a racial slur and not said anything? Ever make a fat joke? Ever have a woman driver cut you off and you think or say the word bitch? (Does that make you a misogynist?) Ever thought poorly of someone and never said it? My grandfather used to say, to think it is to say it. I think that’s about right, but then again Gramp used to call condominiums “Condoms” and trash cans “Thrash Buckets” *shrugging shoulders and shaking head*.

When it comes to the hyped up moral outrage, the daily news stories of how low can she go, plus everybody and their brother talking shit about her because “isn’t it just awful.” Well yes, it is awful… but making Paula Deen penniless isn’t going to “cure” racism. If this story makes you angry and you feel outrage at me, I hope it’s because you are a morally better person than I am and not because of guilt, and the need to overcompensate for past evils. I sincerely wish I were the only one who had ever used poor judgment… the world would be a better place. Sadly I am not the only one, and it isn’t… we/it are flawed. I like to think we’re… Works in progress. We can always be better.

I lived in the south for more than 15 years…. I can tell you racism is alive and well, and it’s not just practiced by rich white people. Also I’m positive most people north and south, black, white, brown, or purple don’t need to go back 26 years to find viable examples of shitty things they’ve said, thought or done…but we will save that for another story. Just cut the woman a wee bit of slack. I don’t want to swallow her pills or her pork, but pretending I haven’t made an error in judgment and finger pointing at her  just makes me a hypocrite….and that’s something I want to swallow even less.