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Episode 184 — Paula Deen: Assumed Racist?


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#1 Brett Arnold

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 05:33 AM

Andrew Ti and this week’s special guest Hunter Covington start off the week by explaining "insensitivity panic" and breaking down the recent Paula Deen racism debacle . As always, leave us a message about anything you think is racist at (323) 389-RACE.

#2 Shariq Torres

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 08:01 AM

But guys, she said that it is 100% okay to stereotype old white people from the South in her interview with Matt Lauer. I was talking to a friend the other day and he hit the nail on the head in regards to this: the incident with Paula Deen is an example of how everyone knows that a person is racist but for whatever reason, it is bad form to talk about it. And when someone else points out a racist is being racist, they are shouted down and a heap of excuses are pulled out of everyone's ass for why it is not that bad.

#3 Luke HENDERSON!

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 05:35 PM

View PostShariq Torres, on 01 July 2013 - 08:01 AM, said:

But guys, she said that it is 100% okay to stereotype old white people from the South in her interview with Matt Lauer. I was talking to a friend the other day and he hit the nail on the head in regards to this: the incident with Paula Deen is an example of how everyone knows that a person is racist but for whatever reason, it is bad form to talk about it. And when someone else points out a racist is being racist, they are shouted down and a heap of excuses are pulled out of everyone's ass for why it is not that bad.


I am unclear on something. Was it common knowledge that she was like this going back? I never heard anything about her but the butter jokes, her diabetes (and the irony therein) and then this. If it was always known she was like this, than her fame should never have come.

#4 seanotron

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 09:06 PM

What confuses me is she offered a sort of apology and cried and such, but then she ended it by saying 'I is what I is and I ain't changing'. That's like me stepping on your foot, saying I'm sorry, then saying get ready I'm going to step on your feet some more because it's part of who I am and you need to deal with it.

#5 Kevin Irmiter

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:29 PM

I kind of do understand the caller's feelings. It's like, yeah, of course a lady like that is going to be super-racist, but the media is so full of shit like that it's almost like who cares? It's easy to get jaded. And sometimes it does feel hypocritical the way they'll arbitrarily pick one person who's just a little too blatantly racist and then persecute them just to make themselves feel better about themselves and excuse all the other, more subtle racism they do every day. Not to excuse Paula Deen, but I don't think people like her are the real problem.

Oh, but make no mistake she is still racist. So there's the whole antebellum-themed wedding, with slaves and everything, which is of course a huge red flag. And even if we believe her side of the story, the stuff she said is terrible. Now look, I'm not saying we can't forgive people for being racist in the past. I don't think you should be persecuted just for, say, using the n-word back in the 60s. But it's like many race-related things: it's not that you did it, it's the way you react when you get called on it.

"I used to say the n-word a lot in the 60s, and it was wrong, and I feel terrible about it." -Probably not all that racist

"I used to say the n-word in the 60s, but so did everybody else." -Probably super racist

#6 Shariq Torres

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 05:36 AM

View PostKevin Irmiter, on 01 July 2013 - 11:29 PM, said:

I kind of do understand the caller's feelings. It's like, yeah, of course a lady like that is going to be super-racist, but the media is so full of shit like that it's almost like who cares? It's easy to get jaded. And sometimes it does feel hypocritical the way they'll arbitrarily pick one person who's just a little too blatantly racist and then persecute them just to make themselves feel better about themselves and excuse all the other, more subtle racism they do every day. Not to excuse Paula Deen, but I don't think people like her are the real problem.

Oh, but make no mistake she is still racist. So there's the whole antebellum-themed wedding, with slaves and everything, which is of course a huge red flag. And even if we believe her side of the story, the stuff she said is terrible. Now look, I'm not saying we can't forgive people for being racist in the past. I don't think you should be persecuted just for, say, using the n-word back in the 60s. But it's like many race-related things: it's not that you did it, it's the way you react when you get called on it.

"I used to say the n-word a lot in the 60s, and it was wrong, and I feel terrible about it." -Probably not all that racist

"I used to say the n-word in the 60s, but so did everybody else." -Probably super racist



See, I sort of agree with you and I sort of don't. Paula Deen is an example of how everyone wants to sweep talk about race under the rug until it comes out in a huge and weird way. You said that "of course a lady like that is going to be super racist", like it was common knowledge. And to people with any sense, yes, it would not be surprising, but yet no one wanted to talk about her in that way while she building an empire on fatback and butter. I saw no article or op-ed about how this woman from Georgia was most likely racist because she came of age during Jim Crow. I heard nothing about she was probably racist because her great grandfather owned slaves. Nothing of the sort. The only thing I heard was how great she was, her struggle with diabetes, etc.

I agree with you that there are a lot of racist people in the media, but I don't think that it is hypocritical for them to call a racist a racist. It was hypocritical of them to let it slide for so long. The fact that they are calling her out now is them doing the correct thing, the thing they should have done in the first place.

Also, she's not getting shit for something she said in the 60s, she's getting shit for racist shit she said to her black employees now. That's why she's getting sued; not for something that happened 50 years ago, but for something that happened now.

#7 Shariq Torres

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 05:37 AM

View PostLukas Holmes, on 01 July 2013 - 05:35 PM, said:


I am unclear on something. Was it common knowledge that she was like this going back? I never heard anything about her but the butter jokes, her diabetes (and the irony therein) and then this. If it was always known she was like this, than her fame should never have come.


Well to hear her supporters and some others in the media tell it, it was very, very obvious that this woman was a racist from the very beginning. These people are very upset that it is coming out NOW that she's a raging racist when it was apparently some sort of open secret in media circles.

#8 Luke HENDERSON!

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:46 AM

View PostShariq Torres, on 02 July 2013 - 05:37 AM, said:


Well to hear her supporters and some others in the media tell it, it was very, very obvious that this woman was a racist from the very beginning. These people are very upset that it is coming out NOW that she's a raging racist when it was apparently some sort of open secret in media circles.


Now that is interesting to me because I was sort of hopeful that crap like that died out with Marge Shot (if I am spelling that right), the owner of the Reds. Do you remember her? Everyone always joking about how racist she was and that people just looked the other way. Then she started to just be openly racist in the media and then she got in trouble. Amazing.

#9 Luke HENDERSON!

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:49 AM

What really bothers me is there is ZERO reason to not just call her on this early on. It isn't like she holds the cure to cancer and we have to tolerate her behavior for the betterment of mankind. She cooked horrible food for terrible people. It's the same for singers, athletes, actors, etc. We forgive their behavior because we think we owe them something because 90% of us think they are better than us, but the truth is they do things that really aren't that useful to society at all.

#10 Kevin Irmiter

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 12:24 AM

View PostShariq Torres, on 02 July 2013 - 05:36 AM, said:

I agree with you that there are a lot of racist people in the media, but I don't think that it is hypocritical for them to call a racist a racist. It was hypocritical of them to let it slide for so long. The fact that they are calling her out now is them doing the correct thing, the thing they should have done in the first place.


I don't have a problem with them calling her out, so much as that they instantly kick her off of TV even though they're doing other racist shit everywhere else. Personally I wouldn't even necessarily mind a racist like her being on TV, as long as it was acknowledged that she was racist and treated like any other personality flaw. But the networks want to keep up the pretense that they don't tolerate racism, so whenever someone crosses the arbitrary line of being blatantly racist enough about it to get mentioned in the media, they act all shocked and outraged and turn the outed racist into a pariah.

View PostShariq Torres, on 02 July 2013 - 05:36 AM, said:

Also, she's not getting shit for something she said in the 60s, she's getting shit for racist shit she said to her black employees now. That's why she's getting sued; not for something that happened 50 years ago, but for something that happened now.


I know, but I've heard people try to defend her by saying this. Paula denies having used the word recently. Of course I don't believe her. The point I was making is that even if her side of the story WERE 100% true, and she hadn't used the word since the 60s, it still wouldn't let her off the hook. I was just saying that even with the most extreme, revisionist, FOX News version of the story, she is still obviously racist.

#11 Kevin Irmiter

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 12:28 AM

View PostLukas Holmes, on 02 July 2013 - 06:49 AM, said:

What really bothers me is there is ZERO reason to not just call her on this early on.


Oh, there are reasons. Racism is a serious charge to make. It's this weird black-and-white attitude we have in our society, where either you are totally not racist, or you are totally racist and no better than a cross-burning KKK member. It's basically just there so certain white people can consider themselves more open-minded and tolerant than other white people. In the end it just makes it harder for white people to own up to the real, more subtle racism, that they are guilty of.

The point is that in some ways being racist is almost treated like being a criminal, and no one in the media wants to be the first to make such a serious accusation. Especially since most of this is just second-hand accounts from people who heard her say racist stuff. Racism is generally a hard thing to prove, and you don't want to be the one source making accusations on someone who is popular and have it backfire on you. Not only can you get negative publicity, but you can even get sued for slander/libel.

But once the silence is broken, everybody comes forward with the stories they've been sitting on. Because now that everybody else is doing it, the danger of making false accusations is gone. That's how the media has always worked, but it's probably worse than it's ever been.

#12 Shariq Torres

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 04:18 AM

View PostKevin Irmiter, on 03 July 2013 - 12:24 AM, said:


I don't have a problem with them calling her out, so much as that they instantly kick her off of TV even though they're doing other racist shit everywhere else. Personally I wouldn't even necessarily mind a racist like her being on TV, as long as it was acknowledged that she was racist and treated like any other personality flaw. But the networks want to keep up the pretense that they don't tolerate racism, so whenever someone crosses the arbitrary line of being blatantly racist enough about it to get mentioned in the media, they act all shocked and outraged and turn the outed racist into a pariah.


But what would be the alternative? That they say she is clearly a racist and she still gets to keep her TV show, her endorsements, her merchandising deals? In that scenario there are no consequences and it might as well be Jim Crow times again, because racists who said and engaged in foul shit had no consequences either. I am still not getting your point on this. Do you believe she is a victim of the media? Is the media wrong in highlighting her racism? Are the companies fleeing from her morally wrong to do so? If most of the media is racist like you say then why do they even consider racism a "serious charge"? Who deemed it so? People of color obviously think it is a serious charge, but they don't run the media.

Edited by Shariq Torres, 03 July 2013 - 04:18 AM.


#13 Kevin Irmiter

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 12:03 AM

"But what would be the alternative? That they say she is clearly a racist and she still gets to keep her TV show, her endorsements, her merchandising deals?"

Well, if it had been known from the start then maybe she wouldn't have gotten the TV show, the endorsements, and the merchandizing so easily. If someone is an asshole, or a liar, they usually don't get the kinds of TV and endorsement deals that Paula does. There are many people on TV that are horrible human beings, but they get to be on TV because people "love to hate" them, and watch them out of morbid fascination or because they're hoping to see them self-destruct. Such as Donald Trump, Charlie Sheen, and most of the cast of the Jersey Shore. If Paula Deen had this kind of success, I wouldn't like it, but I could maybe live with it the way I've learned to live with all the other horrible people that are famous for horrible reasons.

"Do you believe she is a victim of the media?"

Eh, not really. Maybe a little, but then the benefits she has gotten from their racism far outweigh any negative consequences. Also I want to point out that saying the media is hypocritical does not make Deen any less wrong.

"Is the media wrong in highlighting her racism?"

Of course not. I think I made it clear that the only problem is that I wish they would just do it from the start.

"Are the companies fleeing from her morally wrong to do so?"

Well, I'm sure that some of them are probably only fleeing because they fear the damage to profits if her bad image rubs off on their product. And they wouldn't care at all if this stuff were still secret.These companies are just morally wrong in everything they do. On the other hand, there might be some companies that sponsored her because they genuinely didn't know she was a racist, and now are genuinely leaving due to moral outrage. These companies are morally justified, and were just fooled like everyone else.

"If most of the media is racist like you say then why do they even consider racism a "serious charge"?"

So they can see themselves as not racist. They can feel all morally righteous as they decry the obvious forms of racism while not overlooking the more subtle but pervasive forms of racism they perpetrate. Most of them probably don't even perceive what they're doing as racism.

"Who deemed it so?"

White people. They couldn't get away with being overtly racist anymore, but still wanted to reap the benefits.

---

OK, I think I should clarify some things here. When I say I could tolerate racism to some degree, I'm specifically referring to things like saying racial slurs to other white people, or wanting to have a ridiculous antebellum wedding. I am also speaking on the condition that she is keeping these things in her private life, and not, like, using the TV show as a platform to put her racist ideas forward.

Deen most CERTAINLY should be held accountable for any discrimination she has practiced as an employer. Those I consider to be genuinely serious accusations.

In general, the law is that you are allowed to think racist thoughts and have racist attitudes, as long as they do not result in you taking racist actions. Those are the standards I would hold people like Deen to. If she is saying and doing racist things, but not breaking the law, and it's not affecting the work she does... well, I guess I would prefer the networks not to hire her but quite frankly there are a lot of bigger problems when it comes to racism. Underrepresentation, stereotyping, covering up racism when it exists, being slaves to the white male 18-40 demographic, the list goes on and on. These are things that I think NEED to be changed.