I'm annoyed with the whole Paula Deen nonsense. I'm annoyed because I believe the more we excoriate someone for their blunder, the more unbendable and racist we show ourselves to be. We are so afraid of offending people that suddenly everyone feigns shock and horror over words many of us have heard in our own childhood homes or at one time or another. My generation cannot pretend we have not heard these words.
The woman is a product of old school racism as I would be willing to bet many of us over 35 are.
Personally I don't think I have ever used the 'N' word. I've tried to think back through my life and of all the names I've called people, racist ones are not a choice for me because they are so intimately degrading. I have always preferred generic names that can be applied to everyone, such as 'ass-clown' and 'moron'. For me these words are exceedingly more fun to use, especially if you can conjure up some outlandish mental image with their use, like 'butt-crack'. I've always looked at racist words as fairly meaningless and a bit archaic, though I have heard them used over the years by many different people in my life. I just heard them the other day while I was shopping and a group of young black men can walking through calling each other the 'N' word. Why do they get a pass?
I look back at my great grandparents who were called names and treated like animals because they were Polish. My great grandparents went so far as to change their name from the Polish sounding Danielczak to the more sedate Daniels in court in 1932. My ancestors believed that if they changed their name to something a little more 'American' sounding, they might get better jobs. They were happy to give up their heritage just to fit in and be accepted.
Black people couldn't do that. There was no way for them to fit in to the white world in which they were placed. However they can thank their own tribal elders for selling the best and strongest men, which started the whole practice of slavery. White man is not guilty of creating slavery, they are guilty of exploitation. They started exploitation of the Native Americans and when they became too sick and were dying off, they looked to tap another source being offered up from African tribal leaders. Now they are about to exploit Hispanics on a ginormous level.
Greed is an insidious thing and nobody should have had to endure what black people endured, shackled and beat. Yet today's black people really need to move on and get over the chip on their collective shoulders. My generation did not own slaves. In fact none of my ancestors owned slaves, rather they were harshly enslaved by the Russians. My generation did not do this to your ancestors, yet the generations since are continually beat upon for the mistakes of those before us. Isn't it time to look ahead rather than over our shoulder?
My ancestors did not own slaves. They were enslaved themselves in other ways. I do not bemoan how my Polish ancestors were treated though I could. One of my ancestors will killed in Auschwitz and we all know how equally despicable to slavery that was. Jews have dealt with the burden of a genocidal Hitler an they have moved on knowing that the price they paid was a lesson to the world. Yet black people will not let anyone forget, let alone forgive, what they don't have because of white people. Every day I hear one of the liberal newscasters spinning some racially motivated web because they want to pretend that white people, as Martin Bashir so ridiculously put it, don't like that, "Black man in the White House." Really?
I suppose Bashir is right in one respect, we don't like that black man in DC. However we don't like him because he's inept, a bigot, and power hungry. We don't really give a crap if he's black, white, or purple with pink polka dots. He's a moron and his policies are self-serving. Yet black people voted him in only because he's black - and they accuse those who did not vote for him as being racist. Wow, pot kettle thing. I believe voting for a person merely because of their skin color perpetuates the injustice of slavery. It enslaves the mind; it does not provide freedom. It takes a strong black Obama voter to see the promises this man has not lived up to for them and refuse to vote him in again. Granted the selection of presidential material was really less than stellar, but to use Obama's skin color as your litmus test is racism.
The generation before mine was raised in different circumstances. My ancestors learned to hate those who were different from them just as much as they were hated for being different. Lets face it, Polish is not exactly one of the most beautiful languages to hear and people learned to be afraid of each other because of their differences.
So too my Polish ancestors were beaten down by the Russians and the Germans. Their freedom was taken away as well and Communism was thrust upon them. Anyone who defied this was beaten, tortured, and killed. In fact, even their country was taken away as it was partitioned off several times over history. Yet these people remained resolute and refused to allow their pride to be taken away. They endured and then when it was all over with Solidarność in 1991, they moved forward rather than wallow in what others did to them. To this very day Poland is a great nation following in the Democratic footsteps of America. There is something to be said for moving forward and not looking back.
Day after day I see many black people looking back. This habit is holding them back. For instance, I watched some of my black friends go off about the Trayvon Martin death by jumping that same old black train before anyone even knew the circumstances. I'm embarrassed for them because they tried and convicted and sentenced Zimmerman before they had any evidence whatsoever.
I don't have a vested interest in the case. Neither victim nor perpetrator are my race and I reserved judgment. As the facts present themselves during the trial, I am beginning to form an opinion on the matter and it appears that little Trayvon wasn't quite as innocent as he is being presented by the black community. That's unfortunate but it screams racism is alive and well.
I grew up hearing all manner of racial epithets and I didn't appreciate them. I was a product of a racial home, one where my father was laid off from GM so that a black man could have his job in affirmative action. How fair was that? So too my parents were part of the white flight in Detroit, moving us out of the city when the talk of bussing came about. There was no way in hell they were going to put their lily white kids on a bus for 2 hours to be driven to the inner city.
For all the integration, all it did was cause further conflict. Now white people were seriously hating on black people because this integration was causing them financial burdens. OK, OK, so someone had to pay the price for enslaving their ancestors. I get it. Just like we paid restitution to the Japanese for putting their people into concentration camps after Pearl Harbor. Yet how long must someone pay? When does it become the responsibility of the newly freed to manage their own lives without a crutch? Lord knows if anyone had a right to whine like sissies it would be the Native Americans. Yet they don't.
Sadly, there are too many people who take the whoa is me attitude and wallow in their own self-pity so much that it continues to keep them down. Unfortunately there is a group in control of Washington DC that feel they know better and they are purposely putting policy into place that perpetuates keeping the minorities down.
I see self-made, successful black people all around me that are doing well, and living happy lives, and their struggles are no more difficult than my own. When I meet with them I can honestly say I don't see color and I'm thrilled with that because you don't grow up in a house where there is name-calling and not come out completely unscathed by it. Yet I have done a good job overcoming and not passing it on to my own children.
I doubt Paula Deen grew up in a house that was scrubbed clean of the racial slurs, and I simply cannot fault her for her own ignorance so long ago. Yet for every sponsor that dumps her, I cringe because they continue to perpetuate the idea of 'different'. That woman is a product of her upbringing and with every generation that passes we will have less and less 'differences', that is unless our government and the news media continue pushing the racial divide as they currently are.
Paula Deen is clearly contrite and the experience has helped her grow and learn. Perhaps it's time to stop perpetuating the faux shock and pushing for continued punishment. After all, Deen did not say anything that Kanye West hasn't said.