Is Paula Deen The Subject Of A Witch Hunt?

The facts that I’m aware of (disclaimer, I haven’t followed the case very closely; I’m not big on food shows on TV and celebrity bashing):

During a legal deposition Paula Deen admitted to having used racial slurs (aka known as the n-word, or, more accurately, “nigger”) in the past.

She also said she wanted a “plantation-style” wedding with black waiting staff dressed as slaves.

Was it in poor taste? Yes. Should she have known better? Yes.

Do I think  Ms. Deen is a bonafide racist with a white supremacy bent, blacks being an inferior race? I strongly doubt it.

Will I give someone who was brought up in the South in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s some leeway? Yes. Meaning I understand how she got to be that way, but still demand that she self-corrects.

Have I myself on occasion used racial slurs (not for quite some time now), either because I didn’t know better or was in a pissy mood and wanted to poke somebody where it hurt the most (and regretted it later)? Yes.

Do I consider myself a racist due to the previous point? Not really, but we all have a seed of something in us. The object is to suppress that seed and see people for what they are, i.e. judge them by the content of their character, not their appearance. I could throw in a little anecdote here:

Some years back I went on a business trip to Philadelphia, PA. I needed a room for  the night and picked a hotel at random that was close to the place I had dealings the next day. After entering the hotel I noticed right away that I was the only white person there. Different shades of black and brown every where, except for me. All black staff, all black guests. Not a single one raised a curious eyebrow at my appearance, but I must admit that it was a totally alien experience for me and I felt a tad bit uncomfortable. Not because the place was seedy or I felt unsafe, but because it was different from anything I had felt before. Now I have some semblance of understanding of what it must feel like for a black person to exist in a mostly white world.

Does the above make me a racist? To some small extent, perhaps, yes, but certainly not in the KKK/Aryan Brotherhood league. It was a wake up call for me and I have since strengthened an already acute sense for racism and civil rights issues of all varieties in our society and around the world.

Do I have any black friends? No. Hardly even acquaintances, it’s just the way things worked out, but I do have a casual association with a couple of Jews. They seem like nice people, though, despite having murdered Jesus.

Do I think black people, especially young ones, use the words nigger/nigga loosely and without repercussion, partly as a term of endearment, partly in pop culture/music (if you can call that hip-hop shit music!) and partly to take ownage of the words and declare every white person who uses it a racist? Yes.

Do I believe that some blacks were insulted by Paula Deen’s remarks? Yes, and justifiably so, but being angry and vindictive doesn’t do anything to fix the problem.

And YES, I do understand that in the vast majority of cases there’s a big difference between a white person saying “nigger” and a black person doing the same. However, understanding isn’t necessarily agreeing.

Do I think everybody should stop using the word and any other racial epithets? Yes.

Do I think anybody over the age of 10 who claims to never have let a racial slur of any kind pass through their lips is a liar? Yes.

Was it right of the Food Network to fire Ms Deen over the “incident”? It was a business decision, I have no opinion. She’ll land on her feet.

Do I think the media is overreacting on this case, willing and eager to throw Paula Deen under the bus for the single purpose of increasing ratings? Yes. I have a strong feeling many reporters over the past few weeks have acted very hypercritical.

Should there be some kind of repercussions for Ms Deen? I don’t know, but in my not so humble opinion I think she has learned her lesson and we should give her a break.

What would a suitable punishment be in case you’re hellbent on her having to suffer some consequence for her ill thought-out behavior? Give her a slight rap on the knuckles with a ruler and get on with your life.

Do I think Paula Deen is at heart a decent person? Yes!

Finally, America suffered though 250+ years of slavery, followed by a century of Jim Crow and organized discrimination. We can’t wipe the slate clean within a few generations. If we all don’t step up to fix the problems, men and women of all races, we’re looking at hard times ahead.

Sweden Burns – Multi Culturalism A Failure?

Salman Rushdie‘s Norwegian publisher, William Nygaard, shot in Oslo after Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against the author and all his publishers; arsonist attacks against Mosques in Germany; Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh assassinated by radical Islamist in Amsterdam; repeated riots by Muslim minorities in France; a Norwegian right-wing Christian extremist bombs and guns down 77 people, mostly teenagers, in a self-proclaimed defensive war against Islam overrunning Europe; a British soldier is hacked to death with a meat cleaver and knives in broad daylight by British-born Muslims; disenfranchised rampaging Muslim immigrants and 1st generation Swedish Muslims riot and torch in Sweden, attacking police and firefighters. Call me crazy, but I see a pattern here.

Muslims and immigrants throughout Europe choose ghettofication and isolation rather than assimilation. Native, ethnic Europeans feel animosity towards immigrants for receiving disproportionate benefits and preferential treatment from their own governments. From personal experience I can say that racism and xenophobia in Europe is much more bitterly felt and expressed than in America.

sweden muslim riots

Model society Sweden plagued by disenfranchised Muslim rioters torching cars, buildings and attacking police and firefighters going on fourth day.

I am not going to speculate as to the reasons that may have led to the current clusterfuck in Europe. I won’t discuss whether or not Islam is a hateful, violent religion (as an observant atheist, however, who normally is an equal opportunity religion mocker, I will say that I have concluded that Mohammad currently sucks more than Jesus). But it seems to me that we can say with certainty that the model used for integrating cultures completely alien to each other, has failed, and that responsible politicians and social scientists need to take a second look and re-evaluate. While it may be politically incorrect, the question of whether “multi-culturalism” will ever work in Europe, is quite legitimate. Maybe some cultures simply don’t play that well together when forced to co-exist in close proximity.

Accidental Racist – A Story Of Four T-Shirts – If You Wear One, You Are One

Brad Paisley and LL Cool J recently teamed up to release the song “Accidental Racist” in an effort to cure racism in America and bring the Country and Western crowd and the Rap people closer together. Good intentions, yes? Maybe…

Not being much of a fan of either C&W or rap I think the song stinks from a musical point of view. Much worse, however, is that it completely fails as a Kumbaya piece and makes a mockery of our nation’s history, comes very strongly across as an apologia for Southern racism, and stereotypes blacks as saggy-pantsed gangstas.

The theme of the song is a black Starbucks barista who is offended by a rebel-flag t-shirt wearing patron. We find out through the song that it’s just a big misunderstanding on both sides, the t-shirt only means the redneck likes Lynyrd Skynyrd, we should all hug and try to respect each others’ backgrounds and  just get along.

Well, it ain’t that simple. The flag of the Confederate states was conceived solely as a symbol for those who so hated the idea of giving up their right to own African-Americans as chattel, that they were willing to go to war and secede from the Union. It is just as disingenuous to brandish the rebel flag and claim racial innocence based on “southern pride”, “cultural heritage” and other such nonsense as it would be for someone to fly the Swastika and say it’s just a symbol of Alpen Pride or Lederehosen History. Worse, actually, because the swastika is an ancient symbol hijacked by Nazis; the rebel rag has never meant anything other than white supremacy and enslavement of blacks.

There is no substantive difference between the four t-shirts pictured below. If you wear either one, you are all of them.

If you wear this you are a racist.  slavery-tshirtIf you wear this you are a racist.  jews--tshirt

I Am Trayvon Martin

If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention. Paraphrasing Edmund Burke: All it takes for the assholes to win is you not giving a shit.


Trayvon Martin, February 5, 1995 – February 26, 2012

Symptom of the Universe. I see some people are exploiting this opportunity to make a 2nd Amendment argument, both pro and con. But this isn’t about guns or the right to bear arms; it’s about the spirit of Jim Crow still haunting the South, it’s about racism, law enforcement misconduct, if not criminal negligence or even an outright cover-up, as well as class warfare.

George Zimmerman needs to prosecuted, the entire police force of Sanford fired and investigated, and the rest of us should try to salvage what is left of justice in America.

Sign the petition to prosecute Trayvon’s murderer here.

Intelligence Study Links Low I.Q. To Prejudice, Racism, Conservatism

Racism - Sometimes it's bad!

Are racists dumb? Do conservatives tend to be less intelligent than liberals? A provocative new study from Brock University in Ontario suggests the answer to both questions may be a qualified yes.

The study, published in Psychological Science, showed that people who score low on I.Q. tests in childhood are more likely to develop prejudiced beliefs and socially conservative politics in adulthood.

I.Q., or intelligence quotient, is a score determined by standardized tests, but whether the tests truly reveal intelligence remains a topic of hot debate among psychologists.

Dr. Gordon Hodson, a professor of psychology at the university and the study’s lead author, said the finding represented evidence of a vicious cycle: People of low intelligence gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, which stress resistance to change and, in turn, prejudice, he told LiveScience.

Why might less intelligent people be drawn to conservative ideologies? Because such ideologies feature “structure and order” that make it easier to comprehend a complicated world, Dodson said. “Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice,” he added.

Dr. Brian Nosek, a University of Virginia psychologist, echoed those sentiments.

“Reality is complicated and messy,” he told The Huffington Post in an email. “Ideologies get rid of the messiness and impose a simpler solution. So, it may not be surprising that people with less cognitive capacity will be attracted to simplifying ideologies.”

But Nosek said less intelligent types might be attracted to liberal “simplifying ideologies” as well as conservative ones.

In any case, the study has taken the Internet by storm, with some outspoken liberals saying that it validates their suspicions about conservatives and conservatives arguing that the research has been misinterpreted.

I can’t remember from where I aggregated this article. Thanks anyway.