“Paula Deen’s Style is Part of the Problem”

“I hail from the swampy fug of Beaumont, TX. My father grew up there amid open racists who were otherwise the salt of the earth. He grew up in a segregated world, with black people working as house servants and expected to be second-class citizens, calling Brazil nuts “n- toes” and all the rest of that crap. He is the same age as Paula Deen, and imbibed the same lessons and tropes. He is now an avowed anti-racist and has been since he became an adult in 1966 or so. There is no excuse, folks. All Americans have had a mass media for some time. They have had access to the arguments for and against racism, and have had the opportunity to become extremely well versed in racial politics, should they choose to. If anything, people who want to remain racist and provide themselves some cover pull this mantle of “oh, but its just my Southern culture” over themselves as a protective membrane. Well, puncture it. Theyve had the same opportunity to observe, think, and make decisions as the rest of America had over the last half century. They have made personal choices within that matrix, and they can be held fully accountable for those choices, no matter what their individual context was growing up. This excuse was the one their parents generation used, and its getting pretty darn thin for people who were teens into the 1960s and simply cannot claim that their unthinking racism was just normal and accepted. They knew it was not acceptable when they personally witnessed civil rights and anti-lynching campaigns coming to their schools and cities. Paula Deens style is part of the problem. She willingly took her place as part of the problem, because she had a wonderful slot in the power structure and it was working for her. Its completely fine to expect her to own up to that.”

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