Hey hey Paula

I should have seen this coming….Paula Deen is the right-wing noise machine’s martyr du jour.

The liberal anti-South media is trying to crucify Paula Deen. They accuse her of using a derogatory word to describe a black person.

Paula admitted she used the word — back in the 1980s – when a black guy walked into the bank, stuck a gun in her face and ordered her to hand over the cash.

The national media failed to mention that part of the story….

I don’t find the Paula Deen story so interesting except as it illustrates funny things about our society — the persistence of backwards attitudes about race and the ability of conservatives to fit everything into their victimization narrative.

148 replies
  1. 1

    Eugene Robinson has a good op-ed on her. Me, I’m already bored. Don’t care if it’s Deen’s mug or Rachel Raye’s that adorns that deep fryer.

  2. 2
    Violet says:

    The Today Show interview was weird. She said she had used the n-word only once, but apparently she’s said under oath that she’d used it multiple times. So Matt Lauer asked her about it and she said she’d told the truth, or something like that. So which was it–used it only once or used it multiple times? She didn’t clarify.

  3. 3
    Alison says:

    And of course, they’re focusing on this supposedly single instance of her using the word (which, bullfuckingshit it was only one time) as though that’s the only thing people are upset about, and not the whole horrible atmosphere she created and the terrible treatment of employees.

    But again, this is the “it’s only racist if you’re wearing a white hood and burning a cross” crowd.

  4. 4
    MikeJ says:

    You always know a dishonest argument is coming when they say, “yeah, she said one bad word 20 years ago” while skipping over the whole making black employees use a separate entrance.

  5. 5
    Tokyokie says:

    Paula will have reason to have butt-hurt once the Supreme Court rules as constitutional the voting restrictions promulgated by her state legislature that prevent her from participating in elections.

  6. 6
    Woodrowfan says:

    And if you believe the “bank robber” story then you’ll believe Paula Deen’s recipes are healthy. Yeah, if some bank robber who was black stuck a gun in my face the first thing I’m going to do is call him a “N****R”. That’d also probably be the LAST thing I ever did!

  7. 7
    James E. Powell says:

    Who didn’t see it coming? People who point out racism and those who criticize people for racist statements and acts, those people are the real racists. Just ask Chief Justice Roberts.

    And another thing. That robbery story sounds like a truckload of BS. Is there any truth to it at all?

  8. 8
    Roger Moore says:

    @Alison:

    But again, this is the “it’s only racist if you’re wearing a white hood and burning a cross” crowd.

    I always think of them as “n*ggers are the real racists” crowd.

  9. 9
    c u n d gulag says:

    I don’t think anyone is really surprised that someone of her race, age, and overall intellect, used the “N-word.”
    I know I wasn’t.
    What’s surprising, is her honesty in admitting it.

    As many other have done, and will continue to do, she could have lied under oath, and made this a ‘white she-said v. black she-said,’ situation.

    For her honesty, and willingness to admit it, I applaud her.

    But let’s face some facts, even though she’s apparently a smart/shrewd business woman, and made a ton of dough over the years, on subjects outside the food-business, she’s about as sharp as warm bread dough.

    As for her, and her family, “We banish thee! Get thee to a trailer-park! SINGLE-WIDE!!!”

  10. 10
    scav says:

    Her vision of Awwww-thentic Southern Culture as gathered from Shirley Temple Tapdancing Movies is also passing as appropriate and non-controversial.

  11. 11
    NickT says:

    I am mostly surprised that this story hasn’t turned into an outraged discussion of Michelle Obama’s attempts to drag “your children” to a FEMA re-education camp and force them to eat arugula and practice homosexual technique.

  12. 12
    Alex S. says:

    I read some of Deen’s apologies and found them quite believable. Each generation carries its own values throughout its life, so Paula Deen carries the segregationist South with her and it will be this way until she dies. She can recall it when the situation calls for it, for example, when she really wants to insult a black man, even if she knows that racism is not acceptable anymore.
    And this is why these backwards attitudes don’t dissappear. People carry this social baggage around with them for their whole lives. It takes one or two generations to fade away completely ad these generations really have to die away.
    At first, racism was a societal paradigm, then it was an ideological wedge, then it was (is?) a weapon to be used only in certain circumstances, then it became (has become?) a signifier of backwardsness, and then it disappears.

  13. 13

    Never underestimate the ability of the Orcosphere to exploit the greed, fear, and paranoia of the American people.

  14. 14

    Yes it really is a tragedy the injustices Ms. Deen is being asked to suffer through.

    Trayvon Martin won’t get a chance to say sorry for telling someone he was being followed by a “creepy-ass cracker”.

  15. 15
    MikeJ says:

    @Alex S.:

    At first, racism was a societal paradigm, then it was an ideological wedge, then it was (is?) a weapon to be used only in certain circumstances, then it became (has become?) a signifier of backwardsness, and then it disappears.

    Which, to cross the streams[1], is what scares the right shitless about marriage equality. I actually read one of them saying that they’re afraid that in 50 years the anti-equality crowd will be viewed in the same light as white supremacists. I hope he’s right.

    [1] Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

  16. 16
    Alison says:

    @Alex S.: Not everyone hangs on to that baggage forever, though. That’s a conscious choice you make. Plenty of older white folks from the south grew up in the same environment she did, but they witnessed the civil rights movement and they expanded their circles and lives and they changed. Saying someone is who they are because of where and when they were born is a totally bullshit cop-out. We change everything else about our lives as the world around us changes – we can change our views and behaviors too, if we want to.

    She didn’t want to. That’s HER active decision to hold onto all that. It’s not a “southern” thing or a “older person” thing, it’s her thing.

  17. 17
    Tokyokie says:

    @Roger Moore: Back when I had the worst job of my life, I worked with a bunch of guys (they were exclusively men) who knew they weren’t racists, because all that low-brow cross-burning KKK crap was conducted by redneck trash from lower socioeconomic strata, and hey, these guys were college grads. And then they’d sit around and make racist jokes all day long. It wasn’t everybody in the place — there were a couple or three genuinely nice guys, including one who actually WAS from a lower socioeconomic stratum, who didn’t strike me as racist — but a lot of them, and certainly the loudest of them, sure as hell were. But they were really good at convincing themselves they were otherwise.

  18. 18
    PeakVT says:

    Conservatives see themselves as masters of the universe who are constantly victimized by minorities.

    Non-mentally-ill people might spot a contradiction there.

  19. 19
    A Ghost To Most says:

    For me, it isn’t using niclang. It’s wanting to have an antebellum wedding dinner, complete with slaves as waitstaff.

    I see lots of ‘folk’ condemning ‘political correctness’. They have no problem with ‘religious correctness’ though.

    “It is to laugh”.

  20. 20
    NickT says:

    @PeakVT:

    It’s the flipside of the way they view Obama as hopelessly weak, stupid and cowardly – and yet a demonic Machiavellian genius who exploits their every mistake.

  21. 21
    Josie says:

    I am no fan of Paula’s (don’t like her food or her recipes) or of Bill Maher (supreme egotist), but Bill made some very interesting points about the brouhaha. He thinks that several political people and a certain Supreme Court justice are more racist than she is.

    ““Just the fact that he talks about black people voting as an entitlement, that is so much more racist than anything Paula Deen ever said,” Maher said on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” “We have replaced having a conversation about race with ‘oh OK, liberals feel good about themselves if they make the bad person go away,’” Maher said. “Who’s the bad person? The one we caught saying that one word. Donald Trump is a worse racist but he gets to keep his show because he never said the word. Sarah Palin is a worse racist, she said Obama was shucking and jiving his way to victory. Newt Gingrich said he was the food stamp president. This is real racism.”

    Of course, as several have pointed out, it was more than one bad word. We should not be surprised, however, if some of the populace feel okay about such language when political leaders of one major party get away with it.

  22. 22
    ET says:

    I had heard sales of her cookbooks were up after the dirty laundry airing and I just knew who was buying them. Of course they were likely always a strong component of constituency anyway.

  23. 23
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @MikeJ: Do you have a link on that about the separate entrance? I’ve been having an argument with my parents over the whole thing, and I haven’t been keeping up with a lot of the details. My argument has basically been “You have a right to say it, but you don’t have the right to be criticized, or kept on your job.”

  24. 24
    RaflW says:

    I feel about Paula Deen how I feel about New Yorker covers.

    Gobsmackingly bored.

    The Voting Rights case, the Wendy Davis + Leticia Van de Putte throw-down, record heatwaves and drought and fire…

    There’s much, much more interesting and/or dangerous things going on.

    But the carnival barkers want to keep us distracted.

  25. 25
    MikeJ says:

    @Josie: (quoting Maher)

    OK, liberals feel good about themselves if they make the bad person go away,

    Except I never heard any outcry from anybody demanding her head. Food network didn’t renew her show.

    Not getting picked up for an eighth season is just like being sent to the gulag now?

  26. 26
    scav says:

    @ET: Fried cheese cake works with the tin foil to protect aganst the dreaded rays. And that layer of splodgy fat — in offspring especially — signals defiance to the begardened oppressors in the White House and will moreover tide you over a few years in the FEMA camps with their mandatory organic torture rations.

  27. 27
    eric says:

    also, when asked about the use of ernie and bert on the cover of the New Yorker, Deen replied “Fag puppets. Though some of my best friends are puppets.”

  28. 28
  29. 29
    Tokyokie says:

    @Alison: Like, for instance, Jimmy Carter. Look, my mother and her father were stone-cold racists, and my great-grandmother, along with her four sisters born shortly after the Civil War, was named after a Confederate hero. But I can say that other than quoting lines from Blazing Saddles and such, I haven’t used the n-word since becoming sufficiently cognitively developed to understand how wrong it is to do so, despite my upbringing. Deen’s a few years older than I am, so although I may sympathize with her, I don’t especially feel sorry for her.

  30. 30
    James E. Powell says:

    @Alex S.:

    It takes one or two generations to fade away completely ad these generations really have to die away.

    You’re more optimistic about this than I am. The apparently universal human tendency to fear and despise the “others” is like a hungry animal, always ready, always hunting for something on which to feed.

  31. 31
    efgoldman says:

    Rude pundit has a long and interesting take:

    Paula Deen was asked if she had ever said “nigger” in her life. She said she had. She was honest about whites in the South during a certain time period in a way that few whites in the South are. It doesn’t meant that she or anyone gets a pass. But she should not lose her livelihood for that (and, remember, she’s got something of an empire – if she goes down, others employees go down with her).
    However, the deposition also makes perfectly clear that Paula Deen is a desperately stupid but lucky person whose vile family members, especially her brother, Bubba, fer fuck’s sake, are the kind of ignorant, hateful motherfuckers who deserve nothing less than being forced to live in a ditch for the rest of their depraved lives. It is her blind loyalty to these cretins, people who, by Deen’s admission, regularly spout racist shit now (not in the past) and are, at best, drunk, redneck shitheels who think their proximity to Deen makes them special.
    See, the Rude Pundit has also read Lisa Walker’s complaint. And if even half of what is there is true, Bubba Hiers should have been fired and made to wash dishes in a backwoods catfish joint. Deen’s defense of Hiers and his racism at work is far, far worse than her admission of her own in private. Frankly, it’s more offensive that she dismisses his use of “nigger” than that she herself said it 25 years ago.

    http://rudepundit.blogspot.com.....ed-by.html

  32. 32
    raven says:

    Ever see this scene with Tim Roth and the “n-word” from Gridlock’d with Tupac as his side kick?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGsgIVoQjB8

  33. 33
    gnomedad says:

    I was mugged by a couple of black kids years ago. I thought of them as “muggers”.

  34. 34
    Suzanne says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Concur. The wedding horrified me. I had heard the bank robbery anecdote, though, so I don’t know why the writers of that story think that detail has been swept under the rug.

    I will never understand why people, even a contingent on this blog, object to being politically correct and modifying one’s language as such. It’s just basic thoughtfulness and consideration of other people’s feelings.

  35. 35
    MikeJ says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/1487.....-Complaint

    Everybody is sorting skipping over all the stuff in there about the way women were treated too.

  36. 36
    Stella B. says:

    One of her cookbooks is #1 on Amazon right now.

    I’m not sure that I understand the story. If it’s a Shirley Sherrod I-was-a-racist-but-then-I-learned-better story, then by all means she deserves the benefit of the doubt. What someone said in1980 hardly seems relevant. Robert Byrd and all that. However, if she is still making contemporary insensitive remarks (even without using the n-word), then she deserves condemnation. OTOH, she’s a TV celebrity and I can’t work up enough interest to read about the time line. I’ve seen her TV show a couple of times and I hate, hate, hate the word “y’all” and her food is heavy and unappetizing.

  37. 37
    NickT says:

    @gnomedad:

    Back in the day I got mugged by 4 white kids in New Haven. Can’t say I called them crackers though.

  38. 38
    MikeJ says:

    @Stella B.:

    I hate, hate, hate the word “y’all”

    Y’all is a very useful word that makes up for standard English’s lack. I have no problem with people using it in conversation, even in somewhat formal circumstances. It’s a perfectly cromulent word.

    What I don’t like is its use as a shibboleth. When people go out of their way to use use it to demonstrate their southern-ness it’s very grating.

  39. 39
    kc says:

    I’m sick of hearing about this stupid shit.

  40. 40
    Plantsmantx says:

    @c u n d gulag:
    I have sisters who were born in 1945, 1947 (like Deen), and 1950. They came of age in the modern era. The time that a 66 year old could be given a pass on this sort of thing because they “are from a different era” is past.

  41. 41
    MLC says:

    Has anyone confirmed that this alleged bank robbery actually happened? As in, ask her “what bank, what town, what year” and then go check with the bank? Or go check at the police department for reports?

    Anyone? Anyone?

  42. 42
    Anya says:

    I don’t know why most people are choosing to forget that Paula Deen was being sued for creating a toxic racist environment for her staff. She acknowledged in this lawsuit deposition that she used a racial epithet in the past. Why the fuck are people choosing to forget all the other stuff and are focusing on the N word?

  43. 43
    Violet says:

    @RaflW:

    The Voting Rights case, the Wendy Davis + Leticia Van de Putte throw-down, record heatwaves and drought and fire…

    Agreed. I’d much rather talk about any of these. Here’s some info on the Texas stuff:

    Juanita Jean’s has info on protests at the state capitol on Monday.
    Here’s the Facebook page for the rally on Monday — High noon on the south steps of the Capitol.
    Wendy Davis’s website, with a nice Donate link at the top.
    Official Stand with Texas Women Facebook page.

    The Tea Party will also be in attendance on Monday.

  44. 44
    eric says:

    @MikeJ: the use of comulent in this way embiggened my vocabulary. well done

  45. 45
    Violet says:

    Crap. Forgot about the three link limit. Got sent to moderation. Will separate into two posts:
    @RaflW:

    The Voting Rights case, the Wendy Davis + Leticia Van de Putte throw-down, record heatwaves and drought and fire…

    Agreed. I’d much rather talk about any of these. Here’s some info on the Texas stuff:

    Juanita Jean’s has info on protests at the state capitol on Monday.
    Here’s the Facebook page for the rally on Monday — High noon on the south steps of the Capitol.

  46. 46
    Alex S. says:

    @Alison:

    Well, her apologies gave me the impression that there is some reflection going on, maybe even regret. Now, that might be a marketing ploy, but I can understand if she makes reflexive use of that baggage. But that’s all I want to say in support of her.

    @James E. Powell:

    And there are always new “others” to hate: Indians, Irish, Blacks, Hispanics, sometimes Germans, sometimes Japanese, muslims, so it could be that each of these processes takes a couple of generations alone.

  47. 47
    NickT says:

    @MLC:

    You expect our media to ask anything like a follow-up question? That would be committing journalism in public!

  48. 48
    mouse tolliver says:

    The only N-word that’s pissing people off is “nostalgia”. One other thing that came out of her deposition is that she wanted to give her brother a plantation themed wedding with black slave waiters. She thought that would be cute. There’s also a video where she defends her slave-owning ancestors — where she tries to trivialize the horror of slavery by suggesting the slaves were considered family.

    Most of her defenders — the ones who aren’t completely clueless about all of the allegations — are resorting to race-baiting rhetoric. Anne Rice, for example, said Deen was the victim of a “lynch mob.” And when she got called out for using such a loaded term, she stood by it.

  49. 49
    Violet says:

    And here’s the second half:

    Wendy Davis’s website, with a nice Donate link at the top.
    Official Stand with Texas Women Facebook page.

    The Tea Party will also be in attendance on Monday.

  50. 50
    Julia Grey says:

    And if even half of what is there is true, Bubba Hiers should have been fired and made to wash dishes in a backwoods catfish joint. Deen’s defense of Hiers and his racism at work is far, far worse than her admission of her own in private. Frankly, it’s more offensive that she dismisses his use of “nigger” than that she herself said it 25 years ago.

    Exactly.

    And then there was that comment she made in her deposition about her husband’s offensive jokes, “which are always about ‘groups,’ you know, jews, blacks, and such.” (She apparently had simply “quoted” some of those jokes, which accounted for some of her other uses of the n-word.) When the complainant’s lawyer asked her, didn’t you find them offensive, Deen puts on her little-girl innocent voice and said, “why, no, he’s my HUSBAND and I love him,” or some such nonsense, as if the offensiveness of a joke depends on whether you have a relationship with the person telling it.

    And another fascinating and sickening quote from that deposition when she was defending her pig of a brother and her continued employment of him was, “How am I supposed to know what’s going to offend another person?”

    No, I’m sorry, it’s not her single use of the n-word referring to her assailant 25 years ago. Or even that she apparently used the word way more than once. It’s her entire attitude. That whole bit about wanting a “plantation style” wedding for that beloved racist brother, with “boys” dressed up like house slaves doing all the serving at the reception just made my blood run cold.

  51. 51
    debbie says:

    @gnomedad:

    Well, I confess that when I was home invaded by a white kid, the best I could come up with was “asshole.” Not particularly polite, but cracker’s not in my vocabulary.

  52. 52
    Violet says:

    @MikeJ:

    Except I never heard any outcry from anybody demanding her head. Food network didn’t renew her show.

    Not getting picked up for an eighth season is just like being sent to the gulag now?

    I think the Food Network used the situation as a convenient excuse. The ratings for her show were down so this worked well for them.

  53. 53
    Jay says:

    Todd Starnes, the person DougJ blockquoted in his post, is a steaming turd. When a left-leaning writer I follow on Twitter retweeted an ugly comment Starnes made about Muslims as proof that rich former editors of The New Republic aren’t the only ones who say such crap, Starnes then blocked me for Tweeting to him: “You do realize that there are countless hardworking, patriotic Muslims right here in America, right?”

  54. 54
    Plantsmantx says:

    @Alex S.:

    Each generation carries its own values throughout its life, so Paula Deen carries the segregationist South with her and it will be this way until she dies.

    What’s the starting point in time at which someone doesn’t get a pass because they’re “from a different time”? Why haven’t my sisters who were born in ’45. ’47, and ’50 in Texas carried the segregationist South with them? They’d find the very idea of that to be ridiculous.

  55. 55
    Botsplainer says:

    Just got a puppy! Ten weeks old, he’s a Tervuren, we named him Leo!

  56. 56
    👽 Martin says:

    Paula Deen deserved to lose her job because she makes shitty food that is designed to kill you. This should have happened years ago for those reasons alone.

    That said, Paula is a spokesperson for any number of corporations from Food Network to Sears. They’re going to manage their image however they want. This isn’t a censorship case but a ‘what image sells shit’ case, and when you’re a spokesperson everything about your image from what you say to what you wear matters. That’s the risk of having a job that pays millions of dollars for doing completely nothing but having your name slapped on some Chinese cookware. That Paula lost her job over this, and Ellen DeGeneres didn’t lose her job at JCP speaks volumes for where corporate america sees this nation going.

    I can’t feel bad for someone with a net worth of $20M losing a job which requires no labor. She’s not going to starve. She’s not going to lose her home. And someone new can now come along, make non-shitty food, and take that income and hopefully not say stupid shit along the way.

  57. 57
    Amir Khalid says:

    @MikeJ:
    English lacks a pronoun like the German “ihr”, the plural of “du” (“thou”, which has itself fallen from common English use). So I guess “y’all” has arisen to fill the gap.

    Interestingly, I’ve heard Malaysians use “y’all” (often pronounced as two separate words, “you all”) as an informal second-person plural pronoun, but only while speaking Malay.

  58. 58
    Punchy says:

    Fat white old Southerner is a racist. Man bites dog. News at 11.

  59. 59
    NickT says:

    @Jay:

    Todd Starnes is slime on feet.

  60. 60
    scav says:

    @Violet: The companies were nearly bailing faster than the so-called anti-south media could gin up opposition (they were rather busy), let alone be reacting to grass-roots outcry. That seemed to be lawyers reading details with PR sorts and accountents looking on, with a bit of everyone for the exit! bandwagon effect.

  61. 61
    Matt says:

    Classic RW hackery: ignore the “slavery-themed wedding”, ignore the separate entrances for black employees, ignore the “you can’t work in the front if you’re too dark-skinned” crap, ignore the “my little monkey” shit and pretend that “TEH LIBRAL MEDIUH” is mad solely about a word.

    After all, these are the same trolls who can straight-facedly assert that the Civil War was about tariffs and “states’ rights”, despite the actual participants going on record QUITE CLEARLY regarding what it was about:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornerstone_Speech

  62. 62
    Violet says:

    @scav: Yeah, the companies were bailing quickly, and continue to. Wal-Mart dropped her yesterday (or was it Thursday?). As someone upthread said, it’s all about image and if her image doesn’t work for them, then out she goes.

  63. 63
    Yatsuno says:

    @Stella B.: I think that printing got cancelled.

    @MikeJ: I picked up y’all from my formative speech years in South Carolina. But my very yinzer college band director also used it, and yes it’s a good fill-in for an English grammatical deficiency.

  64. 64
    James E. Powell says:

    @Plantsmantx:

    What’s the starting point in time at which someone doesn’t get a pass because they’re “from a different time”?

    If you ask me, that time passed around 1970 something.

    If you ask the bigots and their apologists, it’s always some uncertain time in the future.

  65. 65
    quannlace says:

    My goodness. Chick-Fil-A, George Zimmerman, and people who refuse to say ‘Happy Holidays.’ And now Paula Deen. Will the holocaust never end?

  66. 66
    scav says:

    @Violet: The RandomHouse pulling the book deal one, not publishing a pre-order Amazon #1 book and dropping a five book contract. . . bit of a wow.

  67. 67
    A Ghost To Most says:

    I was born in 1956, into a family of stone-cold racists, gun fanatics, and (now, because it is part of the program) religious bigots. That shit never took with me, so I don’t see why people should get a pass just because ‘they wuz brought up that way’.

  68. 68
    quannlace says:

    I wonder at that whole ‘shes from another time.’ line. Did she suddenly arrive here through a time machine? Hasn’t she lived and experienced all the decades we’ve had?

  69. 69
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Matt: THIS.

  70. 70
    Suzanne says:

    @Botsplainer: Pictures, pleez!

  71. 71
    pokeyblow says:

    She has the right to earn $17,000,000 per year no matter what she says.

    Besides, it’s not like America is full of fatassed uneducated white hillbilly chicks who could replace her.

  72. 72
    beth says:

    @Amir Khalid: In NJ, we said “youse”. I can’t tell you how many times someone down here in the South has corrected me to say “y’all”.

    I watched an interview with Deen talking about her relative who killed himself after the Civil War because he couldn’t handle losing all his “helpers” on his plantation. Helpers, yeah, that’s what they were. Just good old samaritans.

  73. 73
  74. 74
    quannlace says:

    Todd Starnes, the person DougJ block

    Googled him cause he’s new to me. Goodness, he looks almost exactly like Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, poor hapless Beaker’s boss.

  75. 75
    raven says:

    @A Ghost To Most: My old man started out the model of racial tolerance. High school coach, had the b-ball team, black and white in our house. He really went nuts when Arizona refused to recognize the King Holiday and lost the Superbowl. Because there were examples of other such behavior by other states that didn’t get that kind of treatment he descended in a racist asshole. It really hurt to see it happen but I couldn’t reason with him.

  76. 76
    Alex S. says:

    @Plantsmantx:

    I didn’t say that they still live according to these values, it’s just that they still experienced racism first hand and are able to use the vocabulary if necessary. The remnants remain, so to say, only each successive generation has less of that.

  77. 77
  78. 78
    quannlace says:

    killed himself after the Civil War because he couldn’t handle losing all his “helpers

    Mary Chestnut went into the butter-and-egg business with one of her former slaves. Gotta adapt, y’all

  79. 79
    Svensker says:

    I got into it with a Southern Repub on a food chat board who claimed that negros and liberals were the real racists and Paula was just getting the PC treatment because she’s an oppressed victim of negros and liberals. Feh.

    TNC’s post seemed just exactly right to me. The Guileless Accidental Racism of Paul Deen.

  80. 80
    pokeyblow says:

    @beth: I saw that interview too.

    Poor Paula’s ancestor. Just couldn’t face life without a few dozen (or a few hundred) men and women doing work for him, under pain of beatings or worse.

    Made me tear up.

  81. 81
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @raven: That would be worse, to watch a reasonable man slide into hate and intolerance. My family have always been crazy racists, and I grew up in western NY (Timothy McVeigh country).

  82. 82
    Plantsmantx says:

    @James E. Powell:
    I think it passed a long time before that. As I said before, there are many, many people in their Fifties who attended integrated schools from kindergarten on.

  83. 83
    Yatsuno says:

    @Botsplainer: PUPPEH!! PICS NAOW PLZ!!!

  84. 84
    raven says:

    @A Ghost To Most: I wrote it off to late onset PTSD from the Pacific but I don’t really think that was it.

  85. 85
    burnspbesq says:

    @NickT:

    Michelle Obama’s attempts to drag “your children” to a FEMA re-education camp and force them to eat arugula and practice homosexual technique.

    I guess every youth-league and high school basketball and lacrosse coach in America is also part of this Satantic plot, because they are constantly badgering the impressionable youth entrusted to their care about the importance of being able to go both ways.

  86. 86
    jrg says:

    Jimmy Carter is saying that the backlash has been excessive. Jimmy Fucking Carter. Meanwhile, I’m guessing the BJ butthurt parade will march right on by the Alec Baldwin train wreck. Tribalism at it’s finest.

  87. 87
    Keith says:

    Yeah, yeah, yeah…we’re discriminating against Paula Deen’s right to discriminate. Heard this song and dance before.

  88. 88
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Could be, but my late father in law, who was a B-24 pilot and had a brother die on the beach on D-Day, was to the end of his life the most tolerant and progressive man I have ever known, and I think the war was the reason. Everybody deals with it differently.

  89. 89
    Violet says:

    @Svensker: Great post from TNC. Thanks for the link.

  90. 90
    pokeyblow says:

    I really hope Fox gives her a show. It’s a good trolling opportunity they’d be silly to miss.

  91. 91
    Suzanne says:

    @jrg: What Alec Baldwin said wasn’t okay, either.

    I will now boycott buying his cookware and making any of his butter- and lard-laden recipes.

  92. 92
    Pogonip says:

    Paula will make more money out of this than she would have from her deals with the stores. And I would not be surprised to see her on Fox News.

    I agree with the other cook about her accent. Wherever it is, it’s not Georgia. To me it sounds more Kentucky/Virginia border than anything else.

  93. 93
    jacy says:

    One of her cookbooks is #1 on Amazon right now.

    Those are pre-orders for a book that’s never going to be published, because Ballantine just cancelled her lucrative 5-book deal. Ballantine said that since so many retail outlets aren’t going to carry her stuff, they don’t think actual total sales are going to be all that good. And once she’s rightfully delegated to backpage news (can’t be soon enough) the people who were ordering her crappy cookbooks as a protest to show their racist solidarity are going to move on to the next big poutrage. So there’s not really going to be a market for the next four books. Simple economic reality.

    And what Martin said at #55.

  94. 94
    muddy says:

    @MikeJ: Really, the complaint was awful! What was going on at that place had scarcely anything to do with someone saying a word. There was severe sexual and racial harassment, even physical violence.

    It’s funny the media just goes on about the word and the color coded wedding plans. Who cares? The rest of this story is a nightmare. I thought I had gotten the gist of what was complained about, but when I read this I found I had hardly heard a bit of it.

    Check it out.

  95. 95
    Rathskeller says:

    @PeakVT: absolutely fantastic. thanks for boiling it down.

  96. 96
    Anya says:

    @quannlace: THIS! A thousand times!

  97. 97
    Jay says:

    @jrg: actually, Carter didn’t say the backlash has been “excessive.” He only said that Deen spoke to him and that he advised her, basically, to shut up and go to work on the anti-hunger programs (whatever they are) she has in Savannah. Tiger Beat on the Potomac has more.

  98. 98
    pokeyblow says:

    @Jay: Jimmy Carter is great. Still, it pisses me off that someone like Paula Deen has him on speed-dial.

    Celebrity trumps all.

  99. 99
    Anya says:

    @jrg:

    “My heart goes out to her, but there’s no condoning the use of a word that abuses other people,” Carter said in an interview with CNN. “I’ve known Paula Deen quite well for a long period of time. I advised her to let the dust settle and make apologies.”

    Carter suggested some of the “oppressed and poverty-stricken” people that Deen has helped through programs in Savannah should speak out about her work in the community, as a way to show how “she has changed in her relationship with African-American people” over the years.

    He said nothing about an “excessive” backlash.

  100. 100
    gene108 says:

    @muddy:

    The rest of this story is a nightmare. I thought I had gotten the gist of what was complained about, but when I read this I found I had hardly heard a bit of it.

    You have to understand, the media servers our overlords and their thinking goes like this:

    Damn it, when your overlords are kind enough to pay you money for your labors, you should just be grateful and shut up and quit whining about your petty problems, like how you don’t like them groping you and shit.

    You get paid, what more do you want?

  101. 101
    jrg says:

    @Anya:
    “I think she has been punished, perhaps overly severely, for her honesty in admitting it and for the use of the word in the distant past. She’s apologized profusely.”

    ETA: so, you’re right – not “excessive”, “perhaps overly severely”… Which means more or less the same thing.

  102. 102
    Ruckus says:

    @Alison:
    This is a very important point. I’ve know persons who grew up in horrible circumstances and used this to change, I’ve known people who used any excuse from their past not to change. To think that we are only a product of our environment is to say that we are not sentient beings. Our environment may help shape us, it doesn’t define us unless we want it to.

  103. 103
    pokeyblow says:

    It is fucking 2013. It might be one thing if Paula Deen grew up in some swamp-ass trailer park and never left there, but she has become a major media figure, familiar with New York and other places with indoor plumbing.

    There’s no excuse for her racist language. I’m not saying she has no right to use it: she does. But companies have the right to fire her ass for doing so.

  104. 104
    KmCO says:

    @Alison: No, this is the crowd for which it’s only racist when you shine a light on actual racist behavior.

  105. 105
    rikyrah says:

    folks can’t possibly be believing all these companies are dropping her because of something she SAID.

    seriously?

    have you even read the complaint.

    maybe you haven’t, but the legal departments of these companies have…

    and they have said to their companies – GET AWAY FROM THIS WOMAN.

    in case you didn’t read the complaint..

    yes, she’s a racist..

    and?

    it’s the HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT THAT SHE CREATED.

    she had her own modern plantation…

    with only WHITES and LIGHT-SKINNED BLACKS being allowed on the floor of her restaurants…

    while DARK-SKINNED BLACKS were only good enough to cook in the kitchen..

    then, there was the SEPARATE ENTRANCE for BLACK EMPLOYEES.

  106. 106
    becca says:

    I live in the South. In 1979 a black guy tried to kidnap me in a parking lot in Nashville.The weapon he wielded? Barbecue fork.

    It never occurred to me to refer him to any other way than major asshole or, later, after the anger subsided, Tenderizerman.

  107. 107
    mainmati says:

    Like the Led Zeppelin “Black Dog”, reference, Doug. I’m a little skeptical of the “racism is on the way out” glibness. It’s been embedded in the culture of the South for 400 years. I don’t see it going away in just a generation.

  108. 108
    mouse tolliver says:

    @beth:

    I watched an interview with Deen talking about her relative who killed himself after the Civil War because he couldn’t handle losing all his “helpers” on his plantation. Helpers, yeah, that’s what they were. Just good old samaritans.

    Those helpers was jis like family, ya’ll. Family that had to live in a shack down the road from the main house. Family that cain’t eat at the same table as the rest of the family. Family that cin git horse whupped for givin’ sass mouth. Family that we could always git a good price for if we wuz ever short on cash.

  109. 109
    TR says:

    I hope conservatives rush to patronize all her deep-feied establishments and purchase her butter-laden shit out of spite, and hate-eat their way to an early grave.

  110. 110
    WereBear says:

    I already was down on Paula Deen for concealing her diabetes for years while not sharing the changes to her diet she was using to lose weight and control it… all so she could sign up to shill a diabetes drug.

    To find out she’s a racist who tolerates oppression of workers and makes light of a very hurtful history of black and white relations?

    Not exactly surprised.

  111. 111
    Chris says:

    @MikeJ:

    Y’all is a very useful word that makes up for standard English’s lack.

    This.

    The lack of separate singular and plural words for “you” is one thing that’s always bugged me about English, and as a result, I use “y’all” fairly often despite not being a Southerner myself.

    Hey, it’s better than “you people.”

  112. 112
    Chris says:

    @Plantsmantx:

    I have sisters who were born in 1945, 1947 (like Deen), and 1950. They came of age in the modern era. The time that a 66 year old could be given a pass on this sort of thing because they “are from a different era” is past.

    No kidding. “He’s from a different era” is what my grandmother (born in the twenties) used to say about her father as a euphemism for “he’s a fucking racist” (something she, despite her age, isn’t). Its expiration date was long ago.

  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    Plus the extra super fun of sexual harassment — apparently her brother and business partner thought it was his right to pinch the women employees’ asses and make sexual remarks to them.

  114. 114
    mouse tolliver says:

    @jrg: No, Alec Baldwin can go fuck himself too. When you call somebody a queen and follow that by saying you’d put a foot up their ass, but they’d probably enjoy it too much, you are making a homophobic insult. When you deny that your comment is homophobic, you’re lying. But Alec Baldwin’s bigotry has nothing to do with Paula Deen’s bigotry.

  115. 115
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jrg:

    Was Alec Baldwin sued for creating a hostile workplace? If so, please link to the lawsuit.

    Baldwin is an abusive asshole, and always has been. It sickens me that his kind of behavior is enabled in the entertainment industry as long as he makes money for them, but it will continue to be that way until people boycott the movies and TV shows he appears in.

  116. 116
    mouse tolliver says:

    @Svensker:

    I got into it with a Southern Repub on a food chat board who claimed that negros and liberals were the real racists and Paula was just getting the PC treatment because she’s an oppressed victim of negros and liberals. Feh.

    That’s the Anne Rice defense. Old, fat southern white ladies are the real victims of racism. According to the kooky ex-Christian vampire queen, white people should be allowed to act racist in private, because they’re not really hurting anybody. But anyone who calls them out for being racist — they’re the worst!

  117. 117
    Pogonip says:

    @rikyrah: You can take the girl out of the trailer park…

    (Apologies to decent folk trapped in trailer parks.)

  118. 118
    WereBear says:

    I didn’t even know about the “dream plantation wedding.” That’s really sick.

    After all, my “heritage” includes Mongols sweeping down on villages for lots-a-pillaging, but I’m not about to model my wedding dinner on it.

  119. 119
    NickT says:

    @WereBear:

    At least your best man’s speech would be lively and action-packed.

  120. 120
    muddy says:

    @WereBear: At least you should have archery.

  121. 121
    WereBear says:

    @NickT: @muddy: And imagine the cake cutting!

  122. 122
    Mnemosyne says:

    @WereBear:

    The bride and groom’s table could be set on top of a pyramid of the skulls of the conquered.

  123. 123
    Ruckus says:

    @WereBear:
    My heritage includes racists and mafia members and they were positive role models. I am positive that I didn’t need to keep their bad habits.

  124. 124
    muddy says:

    @Mnemosyne: No, no! A cake made to look like a big pile of skulls! One of the amazing ones you see on cakewrecks Sunday sweets.

  125. 125
    NickT says:

    @muddy:

    And at least one cauldron of molten gold for crowning your enemies with.

  126. 126
    Mnemosyne says:

    @muddy:

    OMG. A croquembouche with the cream puffs decorated like little skulls!

    We should totally go into the wedding planning business.

  127. 127
    muddy says:

    @NickT: We should start a wedding planning business.

  128. 128
    Ruckus says:

    @NickT:
    Gold has some actual value. Why not use molten velveta?

  129. 129
    mai naem says:

    @efgoldman: I agree with Rude Pundit. If you read the complaint and the deposition, I really feel she was trying to save her brother’s bacon which created a huge problem. I’m not excusing the brother, but the brother comes across as a totally nasty alcoholic racist misogynist piece of garbage. Paula Deen is either really stupid or one of those people who’s so out of touch with current times that she doesn’t realize how out of touch she is. I don’t get why she would admit to some of the stuff she did. The plantation wedding is downright creepy. Oh, and BTW, I do think there is a little bit of a shakedown going on here too from Lisa Jackson. Not saying all the stuff didn’t happen and I’m not saying she shouldn’t sue Deen and her brother, but I find it hard to believe she couldn’t have quit and gone to work for somebody else much earlier.

  130. 130
    muddy says:

    @Ruckus: Isn’t there a commercial like that? For mac-n-cheez or something.

  131. 131
    muddy says:

    @mai naem: Do you think that asshole would have given her a decent reference?

  132. 132
    Botsplainer, fka Todd says:

    He’s refusing to hold still for photos.

  133. 133
    Iceskatingschnauzer says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Here is the link to the Complaint – using the “N” word is the least of her offenses – and that’s saying something. http://www.atlawblog.com/wp-co.....plaint.pdf

  134. 134
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mai naem:

    That’s the insidious thing about that kind of workplace, though — if you go along with the bullshit, you just might be able to advance higher and move on to something better. The harassment is a pain in the ass, but the opportunities are just good enough to make you willing to put up with it … up to a point, anyway.

  135. 135
    Mike E says:

    Proves that provincial person should never get so big as Deen has gotten; you’ll have all your idiosyncrasies put right out there the moment you go for mass appeal. She had quite the run, considering how many of her tentacles were out there.

    People like her have to reverse-engineer quite a bit, too; having to explain some pretty shitty behavior, it’s hard to make it look as effortless as apologists can sometimes do. Poor, pitiful Paula.

  136. 136
    Ruckus says:

    @muddy:
    Don’t know, I’m one of those commie liberal bastards who doesn’t watch or even own a TV. But I could easily imagine someone making a commercial for mac and cheese made with no actual food ingredients. It’s not like real mac and cheese has a whole lot of nutritional value. Tastes good sure but nutritional value? So yeah a commercial about a useless product that costs a few cents to put in a store and most everyone likes? Sure.

  137. 137
    muddy says:

    I think it has an envelope of fake cheez goo instead of fake cheez powder.

    Here, I found it.

  138. 138

    Days ago I saw a RW conspiracy theory that Michelle Obama was bringing this on Deen because Deen’s cuisine was unhealthy. The problem is you think that they are joking, but a lot of them have problems differentiating between the figurative and the literal. And reality.

  139. 139
    muddy says:

    Clever how Michelle did it before Paula’s new (now canceled) healthy cookbook came out. That’ll teach ’em.

  140. 140
    Hal says:

    I’ll take a pass on feeling sorry for Paula Deen. I watch the Food Network and actually like her personality on air, but am I really supposed to believe this woman isn’t racist?

    She wanted a slavery themed wedding, referred to her “son by another mother” as so dark you couldn’t see him against a black back board, but yes, the only time she ever used the n-word is when she was being robbed.

    Oh, and the black people who work for her in her kitchens (eye roll) use it all the time, so my gosh, they’re the real racists!

    I’ve grown up with people like her, I’m related to people like her. I used to hang out with and eat dinner with, people like her. In a million years they would never see themselves as racist. No matter how many times they talk about lazy n**gers, or throw that word around like most people use hello, they are not racist. Except that they are, and if others can’t point out something so obvious, what’s the point in even having a discussion on this subject at all?

    Though I should say the random twitter jokes about how even diabetes was severing it’s ties to Paula Deen were pretty funny.

  141. 141
    hitchhiker says:

    @mouse tolliver:

    Anne Rice???

    She should go back to writing porn. As I recall, most of it involved the hotness of being shamed sexually. Lots of emotional and physical abuse. Young women and men naked with horse tails up their behinds, on all fours in public, that sort of thing.

  142. 142
    Ruckus says:

    @muddy:
    That sounds delish.

    Not.

  143. 143
    mai naem says:

    @muddy: Well, I am making an assumption which I don’t think is unreasonable that it was common knowledge in the Savannah restaurant biz that Bubba was an asswipe and that she was responsible for a lot of the turnaround. I’ve been in two different lines of work, both where there’s poaching of employees, so the gossip among employees and vendors is common. Sorry, I just don’t see her job absolutely needing a reference, especially if she accomplished what she said she did.
    @Mnemosyne: I am not excusing Bubba’s behavior but she was there for seven years. I would get it if she was there for 3-4 yrs.

  144. 144
    AxelFoley says:

    @Matt:

    Classic RW hackery: ignore the “slavery-themed wedding”, ignore the separate entrances for black employees, ignore the “you can’t work in the front if you’re too dark-skinned” crap, ignore the “my little monkey” shit and pretend that “TEH LIBRAL MEDIUH” is mad solely about a word.

    After all, these are the same trolls who can straight-facedly assert that the Civil War was about tariffs and “states’ rights”, despite the actual participants going on record QUITE CLEARLY regarding what it was about:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornerstone_Speech

    Cornerstone Speech? And we have a poster here named…Cornerstone.

    Coincidence? Hmm…I think not.

  145. 145
    Wally Ballou says:

    @Tokyokie:

    who knew they weren’t racists, because all that low-brow cross-burning KKK crap was conducted by redneck trash from lower socioeconomic strata, and hey, these guys were college grads.

    A self-serving and classist delusion in which, it must be admitted, guys like that are aided and abetted by a large chunk of mainstream media and culture. Much of it produced by soi-disant “progressives” who ought to fucking know better.

  146. 146
    AxelFoley says:

    @WereBear:

    I didn’t even know about the “dream plantation wedding.” That’s really sick.

    After all, my “heritage” includes Mongols sweeping down on villages for lots-a-pillaging, but I’m not about to model my wedding dinner on it

    Dude, that would be the PERFECT time to do the “What is best in life?” line.

  147. 147
    Sasha says:

    Upside: Good quality cookware going on clearance soon.

  148. 148
    fuckwit says:

    Wow, Jimmy Carter is a class act. Exactly the right advice: nevermind all this crap, just go do some good for people. In other words, it’s not about you, lady, it’s about all the people in the world who could use your help. Tamp down your ego and go help other people, selflessly, that’s what we’re here for.

    I’m trying to get over my kind of reflexive bigotry towards bigoted religious christians, which I’m becoming embarassed of these days: bigotry plus bigotry does not equal tolerance. And people like Jimmy Carter and the late Fred Rogers seem to make it a lot easier for me– they’re like beacons of how-to-do-it-right, and would be considered righteous people in any religion or no religion at all, anywhere on earth.

    Deen, however, needs to get on a program, and I’m glad Carter told her so.

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