Lawyer: What about jokes, if somebody is telling a joke that's got --
Deen: It's just what they are, they're jokes.
Lawyer: Okay. Would you consider those to be using the N-word in a mean way?
Deen: That's -- that's kind of hard. Most -- most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks. Most jokes target -- I don't know. I didn't make up the jokes, I don't know. I can't -- I don't know.
Deen: They usually target, though a group. Gays or straights, black, redneck, you know, I just don't know. I can't, myself, determine what offends another person.
“I mean, it was really impressive. That restaurant represented a certain era in America…after the Civil War, during the Civil War, before the Civil War…It was not only black men, it was black women…I would say they were slaves.”
According to the complaint, Jackson began working for Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House, a restaurant run by Hiers, in early 2005 and left in August 2010 due to the inappropriate behavior she said she was subjected to in her time there
Maybe she should/could have used the phrase my 94yo grandmother used when referring to colored persons: sugar baby
Or it's just the usual connection between something dark colored (i.e. chocolate or licorice) and the darker skin of black people.
sugar can be brown...
According to the complaint, Jackson began working for Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House, a restaurant run by Hiers, in early 2005 and left in August 2010 due to the inappropriate behavior she said she was subjected to in her time there. In the deposition, Deen said she owns half of the corporation that operates Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House. Jackson also said she did some other work for Deen’s company and a restaurant she runs. The complaint alleged “racially discriminatory attitudes pervade” Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House where Jackson claimed African-American employees were required to use separate bathrooms and entrances from white staffers. Jackson also said African-Americans were held to “different, more stringent, standards” than whites at the restaurant and that Hiers regularly made offensive racial remarks.
PAULA DEEN TO SUPPORTERS: STOP HELPING ME
Paula Deen placed Ms. Jackson in charge of food and serving arrangements for the wedding of her brother Bubba Hiers in February 2007. When Ms. Jackson asked Ms. Deen what look the wedding should have, Ms. Deen replied, "I want a true southern plantation-style wedding." Asked by Ms. Jackson what type of uniforms she preferred servers to wear, Paula Deen stated, "Well what I would really like is a bunch of little niggers to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around." Paula Deen laughed and said "Now that would be a true southern wedding, wouldn't it? But we can't do that because the media would be on me about that." (emphasis mine)
Q Have you ever used that term as a way of describing making someone feel better, to massage them?
A No, I massage my meat and I massage my husband sometimes, but that's about the only time I use that word.
[p. 54 line 11]
“But what’s hard for people to understand is that she didn’t mean it as racist. It sounds bad, but that’s not what’s in her heart. She’s just from another time.”
“You still hear people talk that way if people think they are in a group of like-minded people,” said Richard Hattaway, 56, who lives just outside Savannah.
“She’s a cook,” Mr. Hattaway said. “She’s not a Harvard graduate.”
It's Bigger than Paula Deen
St. Alia of the Bunnies: “(I am also puzzled when northerners are shocked I was not offended by the movie O Brother Where Art Thou.)”
There is a secret at the core of our nation. And those who dare expose it must be condemned, must be shamed, must be driven from polite society. But the truth stalks us like bad credit. Paula Deen knows who you were last summer. And the summer before that.
leftcoastbob: It's important to remember that the blister-breaking episode occurred when Paula was 10 years old and that the sins of 10-year-olds really shouldn't be held against them more than half a century later. What a 10-year-old does after having grown up, however, should be examined.
ambient2: Did I miss the part where complaint = facts?
I can see why Deen and her sons would like to live in a world where their intentions always get the benefit of the doubt, where people who call them out on their actions get treated like they’re crazy grievance-mongers, where everyone recognizes that the press just reads ill will into things like plantation-style weddings. It’s an environment that would allow them to live comfortably anaesthetized, free from having to think about how their words and actions might affect others. But contrary to Bobby and Jamie’s constant assertions that their mother is a good person, this is not what good, truly anti-racist people do. They think before they speak and act about how their behavior might come across to other people, and they weigh historical context as well as their own intent in doing so. They don’t expect or demand the most charitable interpretation of their words, and when they’re accused of hurtful speech or bad acts, they can look past their own discomfort at the allegation and try to weigh it fairly, see if there’s something to learn. This is painful. It’s hard. But it’s also far more right than insisting that the real racists are out to get you.
"I believe that every creature on this earth -- every one of God's creatures -- was created equal," she said. She also insisted she's not racist and that there have been "some very hurtful lies said about me."
Lauer asked Deen if "given the same circumstances, would you have fired you?" She paused and then responded "No." He also asked her if she was a racist, which she also said no. "The day I used that word was a world ago -- I had a gun put to my head."
When asked whether people find the n-word racist, Deen said, "I don’t know, I have asked myself that so many times. I go into my kitchens and hear what these young people are calling each other. It’s very distressing for me. I think for this problem to be worked on these young people are gonna have to take control and start showing respect for each other."
Deen appeared extremely distressed at times, but was also adamant about her personal views and ethics. "I know my love for people, and im not going to sit here and tell everything I've done for people of color," she states. "I would never hurt anyone on purpose."
She told Lauer, "I'm heartbroken. I've had to hold friends in my arms while they've sobbed because they know what has been said about me. It's not true."
The interview ended with Deen saying, "I is what I is and I'm not changing." She references the "evil out there" and "horrible lies."
Paula Deen's Downfall
Last Wednesday, the National Enquirer ran a story in print and a teaser story online claiming that Paula Deen had been caught on video in the midst of a "racist rant." Racist rant is a stretch from what it actually is — an oddly candid videotaped deposition — but, then again, what do you expect from a publication that uses so many goddamn exclamation points. It's like each one is instructing you to be outraged. But maybe outrage is warranted this time around.
During the deposition, which was taken because Deen and her brother are being sued for discrimination and inappropriate behavior by a (white) employee, the celebrity chef admitted that she has used the "N" word over the course of her lifetime. And things got decently weird when she admitted to liking the idea of hosting an antebellum South-themed wedding, replete with an all-black waitstaff in formal wear.
I read the entire transcript, and while there are more details to discuss, those have emerged as the highlights. Deen says over and over that she doesn't judge people by the color of their skin (or "what's between their legs" — gross).
But the "shocking racial scandal," as the Enquirer referred to it, blew up online nonetheless, and last Thursday, Deen issued a series of apologies via YouTube. By the following day, she'd effectively lost her job at Food Network.
Paula Deen: Scapegoat du Jour?
The brouhaha surrounding Paula Deen, the Food Network star accused of tolerating a racist atmosphere in the kitchen of one of her restaurants, has sent my scapegoat antennae vibrating. Folks are lining up on opposite sides of the issue, to either defend or condemn this Queen of a Southern cooking financial empire. Dropped by the Food Network, Smithfield Foods, and now Walmart, and with a Facebook page populated by supporters, Paula Deen’s accusers and defenders are facing off like battalions on a battlefield. Extreme polarization like this is a symptom that scapegoating is underway, so I suggest everyone take a deep breath and back away from the deep fat fryer while I offer a few scapegoating observations.
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