Paula Deen: ‘Murrica’s Latest Scapegoat

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Credit: whowhatwhy.com

I’ve been watching this Paula Deen thing with great interest.  (Here’s a link to the information that sparked this whole controversy to start with.  Scroll down for the deposition in which she admits to using the N-word and laughing at or making race-based jokes.)

This country is getting stupid.  Why do we allow such obvious double-standards to exist?  

Paula Deen is the newest whipping boy (girl. person?) for those who outraged (absolutely outraged) that anyone, ever, has used derogatory words, or laughed at off-color jokes.  I wish we could learn to take a step back and recognize the complete and total hypocrisy going on here.  The same people who are absolutely outraged that this woman (who grew up in the south, no less) could possibly use that language, could possibly sink to that level of depravity, readily pay their hard earned money to see live shows performed by the likes of Chris Rock, Ron White, Daniel Tosh, or any other comedian.  Good lord, has anyone seen Lisa Lampanelli’s comedy recently?  (Depending on your taste in comedy, of course), these people are successful and hilarious comedians — and every on of them has told off-color jokes, which nearly everyone in the room laughed out loud at.  

We have a long history of overreacting to stupid things (reference the post I wrote about those ADIDAS Shackle Shoes), but it doesn’t make it right.  We look at stupid, myopic crap like this Paul Deen “scandal” and completely ignore all of the theft and corruption which goes on in our government every single day.  OPEN YOUR EYES, PEOPLE!  We have an insolvent Social Security system, another set of wars we should not have gotten involved in to start with, and still no cure for cancer…yet we are worried about what some lady who puts on a cooking show might or might not have said at various points in her life.  Is there really nothing else productive left to do during our days but bag on somebody who may or may not be (even just a little) racist?  

To quote the great Jack Nicholson: “You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties,” the fact is that we’re all a little racist.  You are.  Yes, you too. We of civilized society all do our best to focus our energies on getting things done together and coexisting in a nice, tidy fashion, and sure, most of us are able to train ourselves to think of people in terms of merit instead of skin color.  But racism extends far deeper in our society than simply skin color.  Some stereotypes are mostly true (or were at one time), and if they weren’t true nobody would laugh at jokes about them.  It’s a simple fact that that human nature tells us to seek that which is familiar and comfortable to us — and living near, or interacting with, or doing business with those who are like you is a pleasurable thing for us.  There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just the way it is.  

We should learn to separate “racism” from “discrimination,” because I think right now those two words are interchangeable in our culture.  Nobody wants to be discriminated against, but everybody is a little racist.  It is quite a quandary, wouldn’t you say?  If we want to be civilized, we would do well to learn that words have actual meanings.  It seems to me like this is one double standard that affects us all, whether we want it to or not.

So instead of spending precious time and energy demonizing someone publicly for doing the same things we ourselves do in one form or another, I urge you to look inward, ignore the hype, and focus on achieving success in your own life.  At the very least, some people enter your life for no other reason than to serve as a cautionary tale.  Have a great week!

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    • Kate
    • July 1st, 2013

    To me, it feels like this circus is just a large-scale version of being at a party where someone drops the n-word and you stop talking, look at them directly in the eye in front of the other guests, and say “that wasn’t okay, and I’m not going to listen to it.” Which is exactly what I’ve done in real life in those kinds of situations. Just because we all make mistakes, doesn’t mean we should pretend they aren’t mistakes. Oh, and I can’t stand Daniel Tosh et al. Shudder. That being said, I think we’ve all gotten the point. Don’t be racist. Let’s move on.

    • I agree about the circus part. I tend to think that we as a country do stupid things like this just to bide our time, because drama is juicy, and being outraged at something gives people a cause to rally behind while putting no effort into anything, all at the same time.

      Thanks for reading, and I appreciate the comment!

        • Kate
        • July 1st, 2013

        yeah great blog! Look forward to following it.

  1. Well said, and so very true

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