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Monday, June 24, 2013

Is Paula Dean really a racist villain?

Four years ago, I was in Los Angeles California for a pageant activity  my daughter was in.  We decided to take one of our free days and go see "Who's smarter than a 5th grader".  It was a celebrity edition.  One celebrity was a racer.  The other was Paula Dean.

Long story short... Paula Dean was not smarter than a 5th grader.  I doubt she was smarter than a 2nd grader.  But she was charming, and self-depricating in a way that made her endearing to the crowd.  I suspect it is that personality that has propelled her through her career and made a celebrity "chef".

I am very sad about the current pickle she has found herself in.  She has been tagged as a blatant racist and many of the same people who have built her up over the years are now tearing her down.  As a black person, I am usually pretty offended by racism when it shows up in the media and in people who are supposed to be role models.  Paula Dean is a great example that you can be lower than low and pull yourself up and accomplish anything.  Now she is an example that if you make one mistake, you will find yourself back in the gutter.

My kids and I talk about racism from time to time.  I have taught them that there are people in this world who are color blind and don't even notice race.  Then there are people in this world who are racist and have no idea that they are... you know- they have black friends and all.  Then there are those who make no bones about being racist.  I believe that if Paula Dean is in fact racist, she may be the type that has no idea.  Unfortunately, she was probably raised in family that made no bones about it.

It's too bad really.  I feel really bad for her.  I pray that she can use this incident to speak out against racial bias and misconceptions.  Heck, if Martha Stewart can go to jail and come out still in full swing of her career, than hopefully Paula Dean can take a few lumps and make something good of it.



Happy Elf Mom said...

I don't know the whole extent of the controversy but I think she was controversial before for eating butter or something.

It is disappointing when people we look up to (even a little) let us down. I don't know that there are people who don't notice race. I notice it a lot and am always afraid of saying the wrong stupid thing.

Some of it is what you are exposed to, though. I did catch my kids saying the N-word to describe a black person after seeing Roots. The kid had to be told, this is an actor, this is not a nice word, and yeahhh I know you just heard it 380 times, but don't say it. And it wasn't a problem, but I also can see where if someone grows up with that, it would be hard to shake.

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