So, Paula Deen’s admission that she once murdered someone, er, I mean used the word ‘nigger’ as a young-un (this shocking fact emerging from a discrimination suit filed by a white woman — proving, once again, that stuff like this offends liberal whites more than blacks as a whole), has led to her quick ouster from the Food Network by it’s politically-correct, nervous-nelly brass. The NYT is on it, with a very weekend-NYT-y piece.
The predicament that Ms. Deen finds herself in began when a former employee — a white woman who is now managing restaurants in Atlanta — filed a discrimination lawsuit in March 2012. She claimed that racial epithets, racist jokes and pornography on office computers were common while she managed Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House, one of the restaurants in Ms. Deen’s empire…
Most of the diners in line on Saturday morning were white and more than ready to defend one of their favorite cooking stars. But at the very front was Nicole T. Green, 36, an African-American who said she had made a detour from a vacation in New Orleans specifically to show up in support of Ms. Deen.
“I get it, believe me,” Ms. Green said. “But what’s hard for people to understand is that she didn’t mean it as racist. It sounds bad, but that’s not what’s in her heart. She’s just from another time.”
The strong reaction to Ms. Deen’s pickle reflects a simple truth: race remains one of the most difficult conversations to have in America. And here, where antiseptic nostalgia for the antebellum South is not uncommon, the conversation is even more complex.
It’s a difficult conversation to have for just one of the interlocutors, because if (like Paula Deen or Jason Richwine) you’re white, and you make one single misstep in that ‘conversation’ (according to the hypersensitive standards of the P.C. crowd), well, you can lose your job. And because NYT writers will routinely characterize an entire white southern culture as one of “antiseptic nostalgia” for the good ‘ole days of slavery.
So, on a most important subject like this the NYT calls upon ‘experts’ like this:
“The memory of slavery and Jim Crow and civil rights is still very much alive,” said William Ferris, a University of North Carolina folklorist and an editor of the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. “We carry those burdens through our lives. How we deal with them measures who we are. It’s always there lurking over our shoulders.”
Ms. Deen, 66, many say, did not carry her burden well. “Deen is inarticulate about race because she doesn’t have to be articulate,” said Roxane Gay, a writer who explored the cultural conditioning behind Ms. Deen’s comments in Salon. “She hasn’t had to have any critical awareness.”
The article continues with yada yada, “cultural awareness”, etc.