Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Paula Deen Is More Outrageous Than Racist

Okay, this is my last word on the subject (for today)…We’ve already seen how this skewer-Paula movement has taken on the character of a runaway train. In some ways, it’s understandable. Once one business thinks it may get its hands dirty from an unsavory situation, the rest fall into line like dominos toppling over, one after the other.
This is my problem with the Paula-haters: When you read Paula’s actual deposition AND the deposition of the restaurant manager who is suing Paula, you will see that the woman says she NEVER witnessed Paula using the n-word and Paula never harassed her sexually or racially. The suit is about Paula’s brother and his lunacy in the kitchen and the running of the restaurant. Paula says under oath that she never heard or saw him exhibiting that negative behavior. (Was she lying about that, while telling the truth about the N word?)

Anyway, people have been saying that they can’t support anyone who uses racist epithets. Of course, I agree with that, but, again, Paula is not being accused of using the N word to anyone. During her deposition, she admitted that she used it to her husband to refer to the man who held a gun to her head. Obviously, it’s a horrible word, but if she used it regularly (or AT ALL), wouldn’t people be coming out of the woodwork to lambast her?!! I’m sorry, but I’m just not getting this. And wouldn’t those same people be the ones lining up to sue her? (Late news: In her latest legal Hail Mary, Paula is attempting to use the Prop 8 Supreme Court decision in her favor, contending that Lisa Jackson, the white woman who is suing her, did not suffer racial discrimination and so cannot be the one bringing the suit.)

I look at all the companies that have bailed on Paula and all the social media comments and opinions of “the public” and they all seem like sheep to me…following along with the politically correct thing to say and socially acceptable way to feel. I’m sorry, but I just don’t look at Paula and see a racist. One of the things working against her is that she likes (liked) to be outrageous. She can be bawdy and she likes (liked, who knows now?) to shock people, but in a funny way…not a nasty way.

My blogging buddy, Tom, who is no Paula fan, wonders if there might be some elitism surrounding all the criticism of her. Does it make educated, holier-than-thou, stuffy white people feel good to criticize a lowly born, hard-working southern woman? Of course! And we also agree that if Paula were a man, all of this may never have come to pass. I admit I love to find misogyny in everything (because it’s there!), but would all these sponsors and businesses really have run away from her had her name been Paul?

There’s no doubt that Paula screwed up in her response and her public entreaties have come off horrendously. Yes, I think Paula is protecting her brother, but I don’t think she stood there as he hurled hatefulness around. As far as the unholy working conditions at Uncle Bubba’s, she was there for the first 5 weeks it was open and then NEVER cooked or managed or ran the joint thereafter. She may have run in and said Howdy at different times, but hers were not the boots on the ground! So tell her she runs a crappy business and force her to put remedies in place (AND fire her brother). But do not attack her and assail her at every turn for being a racist.

This public indictment of Paula is not based on facts about HER behavior. Finally, she’s called in some good crisis management, which is long overdue. Up to now, Paula has obviously been woefully and poorly schooled (if at all) about how to undertake an effective public defense. Of course, people who are discriminated against deserve all the attention in the world and to have their grievances addressed and redressed, but I just don’t think Paula is the villain here. 

No comments: