So, all this jazz is flying around about Paula Deen, racism, and what have you. So I read the articles, the deposition information, watch her interviews, and read what the trolls on the internet have to say.
At the end of the day it doesn’t really affect me on a day-to-day basis one bit. I never watched her shows, never bought her products, or do anything to support her monetarily or otherwise. I remember her scandal about hiding her diabetes, and as a type 2 diabetic myself, I wondered why? I get it, the media and society often vilify the disease as one only for the fat and greedy. The truth is, a lot of it has to do with heredity in addition to lifestyle. Some of us are just predisposed. But I digress. I felt like her style of cooking was a pretty hypocritical way to live considering her condition, and the fact that she is promoting it to others.
In this latest scandal, I view her actions at the very least as disrespectful. At the most, bold-faced racism. She is being sued for being because her employee found the working conditions to be hostile. The employee I might note is white. I point this out because people are quick to conclude it’s just another black person playing the race card. In fact, is it a non-black person that found her behavior and treatment of others so offensive that she sued.
A plantation themed wedding? Give me a break. That’s not okay 20 years or last week. The time frame that some of these incidents took place is irrelevant. You continue to be a racist if you don’t change your outlook AND behavior. In addition, if you read the direct quotes from Deen herself, she was aware that if this information got out, that the media would have a field day with it.
That day has come.
I just don’t feel bad for her. We all make bad choices in life at times and suffer the consequences. The same way that she has free speech to be a racist, the companies that pay her to be a representative for them have the right to no longer associate their brand with her bad choices. It doesn’t make them jerks and mean; it makes them business-minded. Free speech goes both ways.
To those defending her I ask, if you had a co-worker that came to work saying racist things, your employer would probably fire them. Would you be starting a Facebook page in support of them because of freedom of speech? Or would you understand that kind of speech has no place in a work environment, much less anywhere else? If you don’t understand the parallel, then I hope you never encounter that kind of disrespect. You might not even recognize it when it hits you in the face.