Let’s Talk About Paula Deen, Y’all

HOO-WEE!

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.

Basically, slaves.

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.

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.

Photo Credit | The Cagle Post

Photo Credit | The Cagle Post

In Defense of Honey Boo Boo

College educated, progressive thinking, and addicted to television* are just a few things that could accurately describe yours truly.

*only shows that are available on the internet cause I certainly can’t afford cable.

It may come as a shock to some of my classmates and more genteel friends to know that I am an avid advocate for Honey Boo Boo and her cheese ball-chuggin’ kin. I don’t watch it regularly, but I’ve seen enough to know that I like ’em.

With their 2nd season of shenanigans quickly edging nearer, I thought I would write a couple of words in defense of this controversial show.

It’s true that most people in my ‘hood, Hollywood, cringe at the idea of reality shows in general taking over the airwaves. It’s cheaply made, quick to produce, and easily marketable–in short, it’s what’s selling now. But that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate some of these shows for what they truly are–sheer brilliance.

When Adam Levine, of Maroon 5 and ‘The Voice’ fame, came out with this obscenity laced rant against the itty bitty reality star and her family, I couldn’t help but bristle at this man’s hypocrisy.

“Seriously, Honey Boo Boo is the DECAY of Western civilization,” he said…Just to clarify, I said, ‘F*** THOSE PEOPLE.’”

Really, Adam? Because your song lyrics detailing you murdering a man in a fit of jealousy shows how we as a society have shed our barbarism?

And because your own reality singing spectacle showcases nothing but Americans playing to their highest intelligence: sitting around in motorized swivel chairs constantly judging people?

I’m sure he doesn’t appreciate it when people say his singing voice sounds like a cat-in-heat-wailing-at-the-harvest-moon. Why is he so quick to assume a ‘holier than thou’ attitude?

Enough about him, back to the real message of this blog post: why the Thompson bunch is one of my favorite television families.

Full disclosure, I’ve watched a number of family centered reality TV shows in my time, especially from the TLC channel: 19 Kids and Counting–featuring the ever multiplying Duggar children, Jon and Kate Plus 8–which inevitably self-destructed when both parents ‘jumped off of the deep end’, and Abby and Brittany–the tale of a set of conjoined twins, just to name a few.

Out of all of these, though, Honey Boo Boo is tops. Here’s why:

  1. This family is real. From all of the arguing, coupon clipping, burping/farting, pageant attending on-camera moments, I have come to the conclusion that that’s exactly how that family lives. They don’t turn that crap on just for the camera. I’m fairly certain they’re just as irreverent when the film stops rolling. In essence, they’re exactly what a reality tv family is supposed to be. In the sage words of the family matriarch, June, “it is what it is”.
  2. They preach acceptance. They’re almost all overweight, and last season documented the girls’ struggle to shed the pounds. However, June teaches her daughters that real beauty comes from within. They don’t have a lot of money, but they work with what they’ve got: including June’s proclivity toward extreme couponing to stretch the family dollars. “Uncle Poodle”, the dad’s gay little brother, is not snubbed as one would expect from a stereotypical southern family. In fact, Alana declares vehemently “Ain’t nothin’ wrong with bein’ a little gay! Everybody’s a little bit gay!” safe_image
  3. They are the true representation of a demographic of people in America. I am originally from the south–not the deep south–but the south, nonetheless. I will testify in a court of law that people sharing the Thompson’s rural, southern, non-wealthy, white culture DO exist. Because really, you can’t make that stuff up. Not everyone south of the Mason-Dixon line is the lucky owner of a large plantation complete with weeping willows, sweeping cotton fields full of migrant workers, and a barn to rival the Kentucky Derby. Who is anyone to say that they’re way of life as an American is the real ‘America’. If you are from the states simply living your life, you qualify, just like the Thompson’s.
  4. They’re a loving family. Yeah, they may fight with each other, they may call each other names on occasion but you can tell that the Thompson family would sure ‘throw down’ for any member of their family. What family doesn’t scrap with each other once in a while? They go to events as a family, spend time together often, and have family goals to achieve. Alana’s oldest teen sister had a baby on the show (with an extra thumb…again, you can’t make this stuff up) and it was welcomed into the family with enthusiasm and support for the new single parent. They stick together.
  5. They’re happy. Generally positive and not one bit ashamed of the way they live their life is what makes Honey Boo Boo one of the most relevant reality television programs currently on air.

 

If you need anymore reasons, some with a more humorous bent, here are 40 of them. Or, if you’d like to read another person’s words (who happens to share my opinion) here is another article from one of my favorite websites.

Again, I don’t watch this show religiously, mostly because TLC refuses to stream their prime-time shows on the internet, but that doesn’t stop me from having a true appreciation for the realest-reality show I’ve ever seen. Y’all better REDNECKOGNIZE!

For more insights into the mind of the Short and Feisty, click the “follow” button towards the top of the page.