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Allhallowsday
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« on: June 20, 2013, 07:51:08 PM »

Paula Deen Admits to Racial Slurs, (Possibly) Slaughters Career 

Paula Deen earned her fame by serving up home-style Southern fare that goes down easy — but this might be a hard dish to swallow.

Lisa Jackson, a former manager at Deen's restaurants in Savannah, Georgia, is suing the celebrity chef and her brother, Earl "Bubba" Hiers (no we did not make that name up), for $1.2 million for sexual and racial harassment.

So far, Jackson seems to have a pretty good case.

A deposition from May has surfaced in which Deen admits not only to using the N-word, but also to making racist and anti-Semetic jokes.

According to the transcript, when a lawyer asks her point blank if she has ever used the N-word herself, Deen doesn't miss a beat.

"Yes, of course."

Hmm. "Of course," as in … she assumes everyone uses that word? We're still not sure what to make of that.

When the questioning then turns to the subject of offensive jokes, Deen brushes it off with a simple explanation.

"It's just what they are, they're jokes," she quips... 

http://omg.yahoo.com/blogs/celeb-news/paula-deen-admits-racial-slurs-possibly-slaughters-career-231954314.html
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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2013, 03:49:33 AM »

Naturally, I would love to see this destroy Paula Deen's career. It won't. In fact, isn't this a retread of a story involving wedding plans from years ago?

For all of the vapidity of American pop-culture, there has always been the idea that racism is something we've all moved past. We're all cool with N.W.A., right?

Oh no. The son of my state Senator, Jeff Flake, has recently been found out throwing the n-word like it was nobody's business. I happen to think this was a matter of a stupid adolescent and the internet, but trust me, it takes a lot of work to jump to racism if you're not racist.

For that matter, when I moved down to Arizona I worked with a girl who one day stated that she uses the n-word all the time in her house. She told me that like it was the most natural thing in the world. I also lived next to an older couple who were the nicest people in the world. Then one day a black door-to-door salesman showed up at their house, and all I heard was angry yelling. The next day my white roommate happened to be talking to them and our neighbor across the street. Their question, "You don't have a problem with us yelling at those n****rs, do you?"

Racism is one of those things I have no patience for. It's stupid and hateful. If you get down to brass tacks, racism makes you less of a person. Naively, I thought we were beyond all that. But, dear God, there are still a s**t-load of them around.

Here's the weird thing about them, and Paula Deen is a prime example, they don't realize there's anything wrong with their stupid outlook on life. To them, it's the most natural thing in the world.

"Of course."
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2013, 11:00:51 AM »

With some luck her career with go to s**t after this.
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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2013, 03:18:46 PM »

Good grief.  Somebody call Virgil Tibbs.

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« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2013, 04:07:49 PM »

Don't like the woman, never have, but every time I hear of someone being vilified over a word, it makes me wonder, what good is the right of free expression if it only protects pleasant, socially-popular speech? Since Deen has never been heard to utter the language in question in public, isn't it her business what she says in private? Does societal control truly have any business extending that far? I can't imagine much of her customer base of is of African descent, so much of this outrage is vicarious, as I find in these matters it usually is. Yes, this will largely end Deen's career, good riddance to her heart attacking fried slop and her phony Southern graces, but I'd rather have seen her torpedoed for other reasons than her simply making a fool of herself while exercising her right to speak as she chooses off camera.
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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2013, 03:38:45 AM »

Don't like the woman, never have, but every time I hear of someone being vilified over a word, it makes me wonder, what good is the right of free expression if it only protects pleasant, socially-popular speech? Since Deen has never been heard to utter the language in question in public, isn't it her business what she says in private? Does societal control truly have any business extending that far? I can't imagine much of her customer base of is of African descent, so much of this outrage is vicarious, as I find in these matters it usually is. Yes, this will largely end Deen's career, good riddance to her heart attacking fried slop and her phony Southern graces, but I'd rather have seen her torpedoed for other reasons than her simply making a fool of herself while exercising her right to speak as she chooses off camera.

Short answer: Yes. Yes it does.

Paula Deen can believe and say any damn thing she wants. That's her right in this country, and it's one of the few things I believe should be unalienable. However, she doesn't exist in a cultural vacuum where any statements should be free from scorn. She unapologetically made racist comments and then misunderstood why these comments might be inflammatory.

This isn't a matter of free speech being impinged. Nobody is saying that Deen shouldn't have the right to make racist statements in private. The furor is that Paula Deen is racist in her thinking, and there are a lot of people who don't like that. It's the knowing that Paula Deen is racist that rankles, and people are voting with their money.

I have no patience for racists. It always surprises me to find that they still exist. I'm actually sympathetic to Deen in her deposition. She did grow up in South during the '50s. I can excuse some racism from that. It's that she kept on with it to this day that is awful.

But in answer to your original query, of course we should feel free to castigate Paula Deen for her "private conversations." That's the way "societal control" works.

That being said, I know nothing about Paula Deen. I've never watched any of her shows. You can put me in the pro-butter camp, though. Don't eat that way all the time, but her recipes were probably delicious.
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« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2013, 10:33:57 AM »

Free speech does not necessarily mean "consequence-free" speech.
I was out of town when this story broke and had heard nothing about it till late last night, but I think we should all realize, in this day and age, that ANYTHING you say in private will come out eventually. You can be free to say stuff all day long, but that doesn't mean that your utterances will not have consequences, especially in the workplace.

I do think, however, that it is pretty hypocritical when black youths toss the "n-word" around like a toy, but then get outraged when someone who is not black uses it.  If the word is that offensive, it should NEVER be used by anyone, Period!

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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2013, 12:44:47 PM »

      When I first heard of this (tv news, which often doesn't give the whole story; it said that this was a one-time utterance from twenty years ago), I assumed it to be another example of over-sensitivity on the part of certain "knee-grows" with (chocolate)  chips on their shoulders-thanks, AHD, for the straight poop.

      Should people be "big" enough to ignore words? Probably. Thing is, even if they were, it doesn't change the fact that the only purpose of such words is to demean and dehumanize, and serve no positive end; saying,basically, "that isn't how I meant it" doesn't help, and is no excuse.

      I was ready to defend Ms. Deen's right to remain on the air....not now.
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2013, 01:15:04 PM »

Consequences?

How about her and her show "Paula's Home Cooking" having departed ways with the Food Network? The Network just told her that her contract with the Network was not going to be renewed. This after 12 seasons on the air.

While I heard about the racism, I had not heard about the antisemitism. And while I do not want to say that antisemitism always goes with racism nor racism with antisemitism, it never ceases to surprise me how often a racist will also be an antisemitic and an antisemitic a racist.

An expensive learning curve, but hopefully she has learned something from all this.
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« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2013, 03:59:40 PM »

Anti-semitism is just another form of racism, directed at Jews instead of blacks - as if Judaism were a race!
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2013, 02:13:10 PM »

Free speech does not necessarily mean "consequence-free" speech.
I was out of town when this story broke and had heard nothing about it till late last night, but I think we should all realize, in this day and age, that ANYTHING you say in private will come out eventually. You can be free to say stuff all day long, but that doesn't mean that your utterances will not have consequences, especially in the workplace.

I do think, however, that it is pretty hypocritical when black youths toss the "n-word" around like a toy, but then get outraged when someone who is not black uses it.  If the word is that offensive, it should NEVER be used by anyone, Period!

Thank you for that, Indy. Why should one race gets dibs on self-depreciative slurs while it's a crime for others outside that race to do same? Who's worse the person who puts you down,  or you for putting yourself down?

Additionally, I seem to remember a certain Rev. Jesse Jackson who, years back, referred to Crown Heights, NY as "Hymietown" and he was forgiven.  i also remember Eddie Murphy's SNL skit where played jacson, singing "Take Me Down To Hymie-Town."

I also remember a certain Mr. Harry Reid calling a pre-Presidential Obama  "light-skinned, articulate, and lacking a Negro dialect."  He still has HIS job...

I don't like Deen, but this shouldn't ruin her career given the examples I've cited above, and the fact that said individuals I cited still have their respective careers in light of their own verbal faux pas'..

This is all I will say on the matter. Apologies for any offense taken.
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« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2013, 03:17:35 AM »

I do think, however, that it is pretty hypocritical when black youths toss the "n-word" around like a toy, but then get outraged when someone who is not black uses it.  If the word is that offensive, it should NEVER be used by anyone, Period!

I've been hearing this argument increasingly, and it's one I strongly disagree with. I certainly don't have any sympathy for it.

The "n-word" is without a doubt offensive. And the reason for that is because it was systematically used to deny a segment of the population their humanity for hundreds of years. We are not that far removed from slavery to deny that.

However, it was also taken up by blacks in America as a part of their vernacular. A large part of the reason they took it up is because they wanted to destroy the stigma surrounding it. Long story short, black people in America use the term with wanton abandon. In fact, in most cases of black people talking to each other it is a term of endearment. Not the sole reason this happens, but it is a concentrated effort to destroy the effect of racist white people using the term.

Now you can't use the term. I can't use the term. The only people who can use the term consequence free are black people. The reason for that is hundreds of years of history. The only time you will ever be able to use the term "n****r" is when the word has been robbed of all its power.

So, if you're angry about that, "it's clearly a for me, not you moment" I sympathize with you. It must be horrible to realize you're denied access to something solely due to the color of your skin.
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« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2013, 08:22:58 AM »

I just think it is a hateful, ugly word that no one should use, period.

Incidentally, after hearing a bit more about the case and the deposition involved, I am a little more sympathetic to Mrs. Dean.  She said she used the term nearly 30 years ago, for one thing.  The waitress suing her brother is white, for another, yet somehow claiming racial discrimination?  And then there is the fact that the waitress' lawyer, before going ahead with the lawsuit, sent what amounts to an extortion letter demanding $1.25 million from Dean and her brother to drop the suit altogether, and threatening to ruin them if they did not pay up.

As far as "of course" goes - a woman of Mrs. Dean's age, growing up in the South, grew up with that word all around her.  There is probably no one of her generation in the South that has never used that word.  I still don't like it, and I still don't like racism - but I am more inclined to say that she has paid a big enough price at this point.  Especially since the original lawsuit seems to be nothing more than a shakedown operation.
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« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2013, 08:45:41 AM »

What people say in the privacy of their own homes is their own business. I'm more offended by the privacy violating nature of these charges than anything she said. especially when the jokes in question are...jokes!
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« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2013, 11:00:33 AM »

True that.  I mean, honestly, can any of us honestly say we have never laughed at, or even told, a racist joke?
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