In Which I Respond on Facebook to Some Minimizing of the Paula Deen Narrative by Laying It Out and No One Liked It

“Actually, this is not about a single incident that happened thirty years ago. This is about the mounting evidence that Ms. Deen used her position of privilege to directly affect members of her working staff who were, in disparate numbers, people of color. Food Network’s firing her is beside the point — it is simply an economic reaction to what a cable channel determines will be detrimental to their bottom line. (They would have probably reacted this way if it were some other unsavory legal situation.) What IS important to think about here is been our collective unwillingness to hold people accountable, including ourselves. This situation is about how–especially in the South–we perceive racism to be racism only depending on the context in which it takes place. Deen’s deposition exposes the fact that she thinks it is still okay to be racist in certain situations: if you do it in the right dose, among the right people. The deposition even indicates that she believes there is a nice way for white people to use the N-Word, as long as you don’t mean it in any “cruel or mean behavior.” But she’s never used the word on air or in interviews, because she knows better. This whole shebang is about how we are not willing to look at how positions of privilege consciously (and especially unconsciously) affect our cultural response to racist behavior.”

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