Sunday, June 30, 2013

A tale of two women--take two

Apparently, as many of you reminded me, I posted a semi-defense of Paula Deen without full knowledge. The use of the “n” word came out in court testimony, when she and her sons were sued by a black former employee. I am suspicious of such cases—maybe that former employee saw a chance to make some money. Give Paula credit for telling the truth under oath.

But there is more damning evidence—the remark about black waiters in white shirts was made as recently as 2007. No excuse for that. And there is more I won’t detail here.

A friend told me when she moved to Texas from California fifty years ago, she was appalled at the racial epithets and slurs. But, she added, when you haven’t lived in southern culture, you don’t understand how pervasive that attitude is. Unfortunately we still have it today: as evidence, I offer the unreasoning hate for President Obama.

But back to Paula Deen, I leapt before I looked—or researched (who has time to research for a daily blog?). If I knew I didn’t have the full story, I would have backed off. And I won’t exactly leap back to her defense again, except to say that I think she’s been heavily punished, perhaps too heavily, for what she did… and said. She’s become the symbol for a lot of resentment that has nothing to do with her. And I wonder if there’s not an element of star revenge involved. Don’t some people like to see successful people fall?

The celebrity chef world will survive without Paula Deen…and, bruised ego and scarred feelings aside, she’ll survive on the money she’s earned (if she was a wise investor). Indeed, she may yet rise again, like a yeast-rising dough. But I think we should all learn a lesson from this “scandal.” At the least we should learn to look at ourselves before we criticize others.

As for me, mea culpa. Apologies and a promise to try not to post when I don’t have all the facts.

As for Wendy Davis, her star continues to rise, and following it will be fun. I only saw one of her TV appearances this morning, but she was composed, sure of herself and her views, and determined. Go Wendy. More people are behind you every day.

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