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The N-word, Soulfood and Paula Deen
‘What I would really like is a bunch of little n******s to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties. Now, that would be a true Southern wedding wouldn’t it?’-
NORTH CAROLINA (BASN)-Paula Deen, the Food Network’s cartoonish cook, with those bright blue, toilet water eyes, who used her southern slang and country cornbread to win the hearts and stomachs of America with her “deadly” soulful recipes, cooked up some more greasy, finger-licking racism with her admission that she used the “N-word” as she busted a “nut” with her sexual fantasy of having a plantation style wedding with Blacks posting as “slaves” wearing black and white tuxedos serving their white owners and masters.
But according to some Black intellectuals, Black people shouldn’t be upset with Deen’s Gone With The Wind wet-dream of Black butlers, Black maids, and white brides.
Why? Because, they feel that we have become too sensitive to a word most of us use or hear every day.
Besides, Paula Deen made those remarks years ago.
Unfortunately, however, if the tables were turned or turned over in this case, how would the “so-called Jews” react in the same type of situation if another celebrity chef confessed that he or she wanted to have a Holocaust themed-party, where the guests attending would be dressed as if they were Nazis.
What would be the backlash?
Let’s not forget, all of this Paula Deen controversy in the kitchen occurred on the 4th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death, who, if we recall, was punished verbally and economically by singing, “Jew me, sue me…” in his hit song They don’t care about us, which in effect he had to remove all of his Cd’s containing those lyrics.
Yeah, this Paula Deen controversy, which has engulfed the country, is coming at a pivotal moment in American history, especially with a Black man in the Oval Office, as the country takes a step back in time, as the Supreme Court ponders eliminating affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Seriously, if we are not careful they might start posting White Only signs in restaurant windows again and begin to implement a “back door policy” for Blacks and Mexicans.
But, unfortunately, some of us would picket them, boycott them, and stand in long lines to patronize them anyway, despite their refusal to let us in after being mistreated, instead of opening our own restaurants.
Some scholars, however, believe all of this attention given to this plantitum haired multi-millionaire, who has authored 14 cookbooks, which have amazingly sold more than 8 million copies, is simply a distraction from more important issues affecting America like the recent scandal involving the National Security Agency’s illegal and unconstitutional surveillance program on all American citizens. (Read my article: Big Brother is Watching on BASN)
Freedom of Speech and the Thought Police
But, on a deeper note, Paula Deen and the scandal involving NSA and Eric Snowden are strangely connected.
I have consistently been on the record every time some Caucasian has had a “brain fart” and used the “N-word” while on the air or in conversation, whether its been Dr. Laura , Don Imus, or Kramer, from Seinfeld, that they shouldn’t be fired or denied the ability to make a living due to their stupidity.
And, I still hold on to that belief in the current public flogging of Paula Deen.
As I have previously stated in an article entitled Broken Pencils are Pointless published on BASN , I believe in freedom of speech, whether it’s from former ESPN analyst Rob Parker, who felt Robert Griffin was a “cornball brother”.
Or whether it comes from country singer Hank Williams Jr, who was fired from ESPN for comparing President Obama to Hitler .
Plus, I repeat, I would rather know what a person really thinks rather than blindly believe what they say in order to maintain their corporate sponsorships.
Matter of fact, Dr.Frances Cress Welsing , author of The Isis Papers; The Keys to the Colors says that is the only way one can truly understand White Supremacy and how it works, is if you hear it operating behind closed doors.
So, firing people for using what we deem inappropriate language in their past, creates sort of a thought police, whom we give permission to patrol the Internet for old e-mails, blog posts, face book messages, and spy on our closed conversations, looking to pass out tickets and handcuffs for someone who has used a certain word, or phrase.
Seriously, we must be careful how we judge one another, especially during this time in history.
Bigger catfish to fry
I mean, open your eyes and see the bigger picture, not just the food on the plate.
Or the cook in the kitchen, for that matter, whether they’re Black or white.
Seriously, we all know that, we have bigger catfish to fry than to worry about whether Paula Deen said the “N-word” today, tomorrow or twenty years ago.
Honestly, this incident could simply be a shakedown for cash.
Because, being a celebrity can be very expensive and costly these days, as people try to use a person’s celebrity status to gain some publicity and financial gain during these harsh economic times.
Case and point, consider the recent arrest of former NBA superstar Scottie Pippen, who was placed under arrest after assaulting a a crazed fan, who while requesting his autograph outside a restaurant, spit on him and called him a “Nigger…”
Yeah, that infamous “N-word” keeps popping up all over the country, even though the NACCP buried it on July 9, 2007 in an elaborate funeral ceremony.
Whether in a funeral or wedding, or in, or outside a restaurant, Pippen decided to open up a can of “Whup ass” when it was spit at him.
RACE AND SPORTS
With that incident fresh in our minds, is it safe to say that the “fan” of Scottie Pippen was a racist, even though he wanted his autograph.
Here’s were some white folks get confused and outraged at being called a racist, because they believe that they couldn’t be racist, due to the fact that, they “love” or “cheer” for a particular Black athlete, who plays for their favorite team, who can dunk, run fast, or hit a home run.
For example, recently during an interview with CNN, Deen’s two sons Jamie and Bobby, tried to convince the world that their mother wasn’t a racist by referring to the time she purchased one of them a pair of Hank Aaron pajamas.
Yelp, I am convinced after hearing that moving testimony.
Unfortunately, this theory of having a favorite Black athlete as your sports hero means you can’t be racist- fails miserable.
And even though, most Caucasians will claim they don’t see their famous athletes or entertainers as being Black, especially if they are winning championships and making them money.
Sadly, when they mess up, start losing, become too political, join forces with someone they don’t approve of, or get too smart, they quickly start to see their true colors. Ask Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, Mike Tyson, Lebron James or O.J.Simpson?
Therefore, I guess, Paula Deen was simply a product of her environment.
A child of the Old South, whose great Grandfather committed suicide after his 30 slaves were set free, whom I assume loved to fly the Confederate flag, and laughed when people call Blacks “monkeys.” (Read my article King Kong Ain’t Got Nuthin’ On Me:More Monkey Business)
I didn’t make that up.
According to the attorney of the ex- former employee suing the celebrity chef, Paula Deen allegedly allowed a relative to address a black staff member as ‘my little monkey’ .
Yeah, that calling Black people monkeys is a common practice amongst racist rednecks.
Just ask ESPN columnist Jemele Hill, who shared earlier this year an alarming letter with her Twitter followers, which she reportedly received after having made multiple appearances on sports radio show “The Herd” from a disgruntled viewer, who called her a “bitch jungle bunny,” “spear-chucker,” and re-enforced that he was “not interested in spending all day listening to some thick-lipped gorilla attempting to properly speak the King’s English.”
Yes, this was the main ingredients that made up Deen’s thought process, formatted her words, shaped her tongue which she served with a tub of sweet-Tea, a diabetic smile, and a big ole Oprah hug with a “honey child greeting.”
Therefore, it was silly for some to try the old “bait and switch” theory that suggest that Hip-Hop music was the blame for Deen’s southern attitude and usage of the “N-word.”
Believe me, she was using “Nigger” long before Jay-z and Kayne West’s “Niggas in Paris” was released and hit the airwaves.
As a result, Pastor Gregory A. Tyson Sr., an African-American pastor at First Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Savannah and TV-One’s Roland Martin’s “Uncle-Tom” like defense of Paula Deen’s corporate brand is no different, in my opinion, than from Samuel L.Jackson’s character Stephen, who excessively used the “N-word” throughout Quetin Tarantino’s controversial movie Django , which mostly white moviegoers watched and laughed at hilariously for almost three hours.
But unfortunately, for all my Black folks, who have fallen in love with Miss Paula Deen, her fate in the end, will be no different than that of the always smiling Lara Lee Candie-Fitzwilly(played byLaura Cayouette)–who in the movie, represents a “good” white woman, that was blown away cartoonishly by Django, who was played by Jamie Foxx when she was shot.( Read my previous article on BASN entitled: Django Unchained: the clash of a spaghetti Western and a Black exploitation flick)
Sadly, Django had to tell the Candie’s house servants to tell Miss Lara bye before killing her.
Because, psychologically they were still attached to her or in love with her.
Well, art imitates life.
Now, before you start to misinterpret my words, I am not suggesting that someone’s is going to kill Paula Deen.
But, someone in corporate America, is slowly trying to “kill her career.”
Because, this perfectly describes this current situation involving the southern-cooking star, who has been making millions of dollar playing a stereotypical country-caricature, who fries chicken on television.
Yeah, Deen, who allegedly uses at least eight sticks of butter in her Macaroni and cheese looked as if she was going to have a heart attack as she apologized over and over again, fighting back tears on the Today Show, while trying to convince the world that she is not a racist.
But, sadly, for Miss Paula Deen, America was built on racism.
RACIST AS APPLE PIE
And if you have forgotten…the school system teaches racism.
The church preaches racism.
The military defends racism.
The police protects racism.
And television promotes racism.
Let’s not pretend you haven’t seen that Old Spice commercial with the white guy cutting the basketball in half that “mysteriously” is a watermelon inside. (We will discuss that later in another article.)
So, it would be hard for her not to have “a little bit of racism in her heart.”
Because, truthfully, in runs deep in her Southern blood.
It hangs from the trees, in which she swung from as a child.
It is part of her southern plantation tradition.
In other words, she can’t help her self.
For instance, in a bizarre moment, when the former Food Network star was talking about a Black employee of hers named Hollis Johnson on television, without even thinking about it, Deen displaced some of her southern hospitality along with her racist sense of humor when she called Johnson on stage and said, ” We can’t see you in front of that dark board!”
And just like one of those horrible comedy skit from HA-HAW, the audience shamefully bursted out loud in laughter.
Maybe, it’s just a case of her being an Accidental Racists like BradPaisley and L.L.Cool J suggested in their horrible song.
And I just walked him right in the room
Just a proud rebel son with an ‘ol can of worms
Lookin’ like I got a lot to learn but from my point of view
I’m just a white man comin’ to you from the southland
Tryin’ to understand what it’s like not to be
I’m proud of where I’m from but not everything we’ve done
And it ain’t like you and me can re-write history
Our generation didn’t start this nation
We’re still pickin’ up the pieces, walkin’ on eggshells, fightin’ over yesterday
And caught between southern pride and southern blame
They called it Reconstruction, fixed the buildings, dried some tears
We’re still siftin’ through the rubble after a hundred-fifty years
I try to put myself in your shoes and that’s a good place to begin
But it ain’t like I can walk a mile in someone else’s skin
But despite all the press given to Deen for using the N-word and Brad Paisley’s song, the lawsuit against her is oddly filed by a former employee named Lisa Jackson, who worked at Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House, which is a Savannah restaurant owned by Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers.
Comedically yet stereotypically, you knew that this story was going to have a dude named Bubba involved in it, who of course, has an alleged drinking problem, a cocaine habit, watches porn, and tells racist jokes.
Shockingly, however, Jackson, a white female, and long term manager, who filed a discrimination lawsuit last year, claims she was sexually harassed for several years while working for Deen and her brother, who created a hostile working environment riffed with racial innuendos and racial slurs.
Jackson also claims Deen’s brother referred to President Obama as a ‘n*gger’ and watched pornography on work computers.
With all of this brouhaha surrounding Deen, unfortunately, she continues to lose endorsements deals and sponsorships from corporations like Wal-mart, Home Depot Inc., Target Corp., Caesar Entertainment, pork producer Smithfield Foods and diabetes drug maker Novo Nordiskand.
Now, one has to wonder whether Paula Deen will reunite with her former freed “slave,” Beloved-Oprah Winfrey, in order to butter her up, cry some “crocodile tears” on her big black bosoms, while begging for forgiveness, as she offers her to stay in the big house and not the guest house for her next interview saying, “Oh, Mammy!! I is so sorry!!!”
“You know, I love my nigras…”
Unfortunately, at this time, Paula Deen is eating a big ole shit pie like the one cooked by Viola Davis in the movie the Help, along with some of her famous monkey bread, she famously made for Whoopi Goldberg on the View, as her $17 million empire, crumbles like the crust off of one of her toxic antebellum southern apple pie.
Eric D.Graham is a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, where he received a B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Radio and Television and a minor in History, with an emphasis in African-American Studies. Currently, he is the Editor and Chief of Black Athlete Sports Network, where his articles appear daily along with his controverisal cartoon character Bobbee Bee “The Hater.” Graham can be reached at email@example.com