Thursday, June 27, 2013

Paula Deen Wishlist

Paula Deen Wishlist

Paula Deen wishes she could learn to just shut the hell up. 

So it turns out that Paula Deen is being sued for saying and doing some pretty outrageously racist stuff. 

Deen has built a large food empire serving up tasty soul food and extra rich southern treats to an international audience for a couple of decades. She has restaurants, television shows, books and a catalog of merchandise. Last year she had to eat some crow as it came out that she can't eat most of what she prepares because she is diabetic. 

She is being sued by an ex-employee on charges of creating a hostile work environment and embracing racist policies. One part of the litigation claims that she made the crazy statement paraphrased to a wish that to get an adequate staff for her brother's wedding, she pined back to the days of Shirley Temple when black people knew their place and "all tap-danced together."

So far, she has been humiliated (possibly justifiably) on national TV, and lost several sweet sponsorships and corporate relationships representing millions of dollars in revenue, all before a court decision has been made. Remember that it is not just her. Hundreds of her employees are put in jeopardy as well. 

I think it is every buyer's right to not give her a nickel if they object to her products, services, or character. I have never knowingly spent anything on anything she represents. Nothing racial. I just don't like her. Her food kicks ass, sometimes, though. 

I just object to our collective knee-jerk response to allegations based on sound-bites and innuendo. As a culture we should recoil and call into question public dramas like Deen's right now, as well as NSA whistleblower Snowden and the alleged murdering Patriot tight end Hernandez. There probably aren't twenty people near each case that know enough to make an informed decision, and for sure the far flung media audience that we all get 100% of our information from is not among them. 

We don't know shit and we talk as if we were Paula Deen's house manager while she delegated us to "coloreds only" washrooms and threats of flogging and wood shed time. What makes me crazy is the parroting time and time again, by reporters and third party observers of "facts" of the case and statements treated as first person evidence which are more like fifteenth person rumor. 

I know people will talk. It wasn't invented with Twitter. I don't want to squelch anyone's chance to weigh in on a bit of salacious public gossip. What makes my head spin is the total absence of any sense of awareness that most of what is covered as news is just repeated rumors and bullshit. Also, the imbedded total lack of faith that our systems can and will deal with these situations. 

The constant, melting ice-cap degradation of our substructure by this rampant talk and actions will have its effects. All bad. Eager eyes and ears will drive publishers and producers to fill column inches, click-throughs and ad revenue dollars. None of it serves justice or even expediency. This woman, Deen, deserves her day in court, even if she is as stupid and racist as it now sounds. 

Paula Deen Wishlist

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