Talk about your classic “take foot –> insert into mouth” scenario.
The Queen of Butter has officially given her brand a nose dive thanks to a lawsuit that asserts her recent usage of racial slurs and sexual harassment (c/o her brother) in the workplace. People are shocked and shaken that Walmart, Target, Smithfield Ham, etc have booted her from their endorsement deals.
Maybe I can help shed some light on this particular racially charged kerfluffle:
Paula has admitted to, and apologized (however insincerely some people may consider it) for her use of such language past and present.
Allegedly, while talking to a former restaurant manager, Paul described her perfect idea of a plantation themed wedding party for her brother–one equipped with “n*ggers” (Paula’s word choice) dressed in pre-Civil War era costumes as waiters.
Slaves as waiters at a wedding.
This isn’t like Colonial Williamsburg where having paid actors perform as slaves helps educate the masses. This is a hypothetical event that wants to bring back the south’s “Glory Days” where blacks were oppressed into serving meals on silver platters to people that truly believed that they owned them. She’s romanticizing slavery.
Newsflash: RACISM IN AMERICA IS ALIVE AND WELL.
She said it, admitted to it, and people are coming to her defense.
“I get it, believe me,” Ms. Green [a patron of Deen’s GA restaurant] said. “But what’s hard for people to understand is that she didn’t mean it as racist. It sounds bad, but that’s not what’s in her heart. She’s just from another time.”
Y’all, she is an old Southern White Woman. What do you expect? <– is basically what that defender is saying.
And I agree. I believe that for the older generation, and some of the younger, racism is ingrained.
But that doesn’t mean that all of the companies that hired her brand have to associate with that. I’d drop her like a hot tamale.
“Oh, but rappers say it all the time and black people say it to each other, too.”
1) I am insulted by your generalization–not all black people choose to use that pejorative term, and
2) Many people held Paula in a much higher regard than your 10 top rappers combined. Does that mean she should stoop to using racial slurs? No, because it changes people’s image of her and, in essence, changes our image of her brand, and
3) It’s all about context. Rappers claim to use that word in order to dull it’s meaning–to claim it as their own to lessen the sting when it’s used by racists. Youngin’s these days don’t remember a time when that word was hurled from whites to blacks more powerfully than a 90 mph curve ball to the gut. Paula meant it in it’s original form, and the fact of the matter is: it is NEVER ok for anyone to call someone a racial slur. So Paula does not get a “pass”.
I really do like this lady’s cooking shows and I don’t doubt that Paula Deen is a nice woman. However, being from the south, let me just clarify that it’s completely possible to be a nice person and a racist. Just like it’s possible to be a homophobe and a nice person.
Considering the Supreme Court’s recent decisions re: the gay community, what do you think the backlash would have been if Paul substituted the “N” word for “fa*got”? I am one to think it would have had the same results–as it should.
I happen to agree with the message all of her endorsement partners are sending: bigotry doesn’t sell.