Watch Out For That Post….

There’s been an awful lot I’ve been thinking of lately while I’m knitting. I tend to think if you’re in a really good moment of knitting, you’re deep into some meditation, letting the mind pursue little kernels of sub thought that rise to consciousness, allowing you to ponder, not only on deeply internal issues, or the plaguing questions that have philosophically loaded our egos, but often simple things get to flourish in your mind while you knit. This whole issue involving Paula Deen, for myself, was something I didn’t think too much on, until the little whisper of it in the back of my mind started to bloom into a much deeper thought that I couldn’t resist blogging about.

I have no ill will towards Paula Deen. We’re both of that same Savannah brood that reminds us that when you’re in the squares, you’re just Paula. She respects that. She knows that at home on Congress Street or on Whitmarsh Island she’s revered by tourists and fans, but treated like anyone else by everyone else in Savannah. So, for that I give her respect. She reminds me of many women I’ve had in my life. Family members, friends of family, women at church. Paula Deen isn’t any different than the scores of women who cook like her, dress like her, act like her. She’s not that unusual to us. But, to many she’s a hero of some personage. And again for that, I give her credit. It was notable, likeable, enjoyable to see the may women in our Southern midst being represented, so to speak. So, that’s why I have no clear interest in her, because every one of us in Southern homes has a momma Paula, or an Aunt Paula, or a sister Paula. She’s a dime a dozen. Doesn’t mean I dislike her. I’m just overly familiar with it for me to be intrigued. But, this business about her usage of the word “nigger” had me thinking. (No, I’m not calling it the N word. Hard to discuss the elephant in the room if no one will call it an elephant).

I want you to be terribly mindful about destroying someone’s career for something said in a moment of anger and fear  many years before. If you want to destroy someone, do so because of their impropriety, or their actions, or their immoral business practices. But, I am urging to be awfully cognitive about spreading harshness, opinion, and ill will behind anonymous screen names and facebook postings. Its easy for us to sit quietly by ourselves and to destroy someone without the retribution of making such remarks face to face. We probably wouldn’t dare say the things to someone face to face that we easily say in a tweet.

I think we have to be quite aware that the posts we make do have consequence, they do have a particular power that builds and groups into something cancerous. We all have a particular power with our remarks and our comments, but this shield of the internet and the web should not allow that power to be one that can ruin someone’s life and livelihood. Sure, you can do it, sure its easy to do….but, it shouldn’t be your intention.

As far as we know, Paula Deen didn’t fire anyone because of their skin color, didn’t refuse to hire someone because of their skin color, didn’t berate, nor torture anyone because of their race….she used a word, which agreeably was done in bad taste, doesn’t warrant the backlash I’ve seen towards that woman. Our compassion wills us and urges us to be thoughtful of the troublesome things we have all been guilty of, and that judgement doesn’t rests on any of our shoulders. For, if we haven’t behaved in a horrid way, then certainly each of us has said something that was vicious and unkind, I assure you.

Sorry to have gone on an awfully long time on this issue, but its not her admission of using a word that concerns me. Hell, I’ve used the word before and when I did, I was hoping and PRAYING it would have the power in its disgusting use that it was intended. (He called me a faggot, so I called him a nigger to prove a point: “Hurts just as bad, man,” I told him. “So, if we’re gonna do this, it had better be a level playing field”).

I fear that we, all of us, myself included, sometimes forget the power of some simple actions. We’re reminded in childhood, in any spiritual teachings you follow, in good common association with the rest of the world, that our actions have consequences….and I fear that we forget that important and vital truth in life when we set out to tweet, post, and facebook a blockade or boycott against someone, especially when you get to do it with the buffering of anonymity, and the arrogance that we have power, great power in our commentary.

Interesting that so many of these comments I see on various websites about how much of a “fat, racist, southern pig” Paula Deen is, are also some of the same people who make commentary about the problem of bullying.

Isn’t that what we’re doing? Ganging up on someone to hurt and destroy them? Not the humanity I tend to think of. I’d rather the one that forgives, relinquishes compassion without any request in return….without judgements, considering our each and own particular paths of imperfection. That’s the humanity I tend to think we truly are…

Hope I don’t lose any of you over this posts….And I probably will. Don’t get me wrong! I’d rather not! I like healthy discussion, and disagreement. I do! What I don’t like is ill intention for the sake of ego filled power. That you destroy something because you just don’t like it. But, I have a feeling none of you are like that anyway.

Just concerned at how quickly we let the internet allow us to ruin, rather than build. So….just watch out for that post, that tweet, that facebook petition meant to harm, rather than heal.

 

 

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15 comments

  1. I totally agree with you! I have been telling people Paula is from the South and in her 60’s. Things are different in the South and you should never judge someone by something that they may have said at one time. She was being honest because she was under oath. I wonder why more people are not so upset about all the Rappers and Comedians that use the word? I am trying to live by this Motto from the bible: Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

    1. I love this idea that what when I watch a black comedian, I’m bombarded with jokes about stupid white people are, especially Southerners. They’re uneducated, racist, homophobic, bible thumping, republican inbreds that feed on a diet of fat back and lard…..And its perfectly fine to say so.

      1. I think that someone or persons had it out for this poor woman (well she will be poor now with all the cancellations!)….do we have a reverse discrimination case here? Makes you wonder.

  2. Mr. Patrick, both you and “ladybugranch” have expressed the feelings I have had since this situation made the news. Paula Deen was telling the truth under oath–something that should be admired, even if the use of the racial slur was regrettable, however long ago it was. I feel Food Network and the sponsors rushed to judgment and may themselves have something to regret soon.

    1. Well, I have to admit, its my understanding, long before this happened, her ratings had dropped tremendously, PROBABLY because of the diabetes issue, but who knows? I’m sure a network like CMT will be at her doorstep in no time giving her a deal, which would be smart on their end. And you are so right, she could have lied, which would have made her dispicable. But, I do love this idea of asking anyone if they have ever used a racial slur and seeing how truthful they’ll be with you. Even if it is said in jest…

  3. The thing that’s somewhat related and somewhat not that BAFFLES ME is: why does Charlie Sheen still have a career after everything he’s done and Paula Deen is being vilified (ditto for the donald and though I love him, Robert Downey Jr? And the other pretty dude from the 80s on Parks & Rec now…oh, yeah, Rob Lowe – and the dog dude from the NFL – Michael Vick)? I’m neither endorsing nor condemning Paula but questioning why it is we forgive some and not others – clearly we’re all probably more guilty of a sin like Paula’s than one like Charlie’s – maybe that’s the problem? Maybe it’s that she’s female? Maybe it’s none of that but is fascinating to ponder while knitting away on my sock.

    1. You know, Anne Rice released and interesting statement yesterday. As many of you know, she’s a southern woman, from Louisiana. She felt the whole episode, coupled with the Trayvon Martin case, was a solid war on Southern Culture. Paula Deen, being a tremendous image of a Southerner, was taken down to teach a lesson….but, she quickly added, “I don’t know where this war on the South came from….”

      Sadly, neither do I. (Funny, making blacked eyed peas and greens right now….)

  4. If you do something wrong and when you realize it, you don’t do it again, and if when you believe something that you later realize isn’t right, you change your belief, and if you are asked if you ever did something wrong, you honestly say you have, and if when people question you about these things in your past, you apologize…… what else is there to do? You cannot undo something you did. You cannot right the wrong. All you can do is learn, apologize and move on. Which she has done. And she is being crucified for it.

  5. What ever was said 20 years ago, I think it’s unfair. If my past is brought up, and thrown in my face. Geez, what a nightmare. I personally do not like that word myself. But 20 years ago?? Give me a break. Oh, I forgot, still paying for the stuff our ancestors did. It will problably go on for generations to come. But I think, what ever happened to sticks & stones?? When i was a kid, i would come home hurt, but my mom, she would just repeat Sticks & Stones to me.

    There’s alot that happens to other races that goes on to this day that the Media doesn’t throw-up on us. Why, it doesn’t cause conterversary. I am so sick of it all. I hate the media when they try to incite people.

    And this is just my personal opinion. And that’s just it… An opinion.

  6. I am so glad that you posted this. I agree with you a 100%
    Everyone has said/done something in their past that they wish they could take back. I am so glad that you had the courage to speak up in her defense

  7. I recently had a discussion with a teacher I work with, about an art image, http://timeisart.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/banksy-maid-canvas.jpg which I said was very clever because it made you get out of it different things depending on your age and politics! She had just dismissed it as it was politics! It is a ‘non-white’ ‘maid’ brushing the rubbish out of sight! I felt it showed how we are still racist and sexist but now it isn’t unacceptable to talk about it, your elephant in the room.You can no longer imply someone is part a any minority nor point out a group has become a minority as it is not politically correct any more. I have no idea of the context that the words were being used but we get enough thrown in our faces in ‘humour’. My wonderful Dad who has been gone a while now, grew up in a time when many words I wont use were common, so bad was he that the first BF I ever brought home was my first ‘white’ one, he would not have let any of the previous ones through the door! does that make him wrong? yes. does it make him bad? no just out of date. I hope the over reaction passes, no one died! so some were offended, so what were they doing listening to politics in the first place! As the Kids say here ‘So what, so move on!’.

  8. I totally agree with you, I have posted under my local news stations to “let it go” and enough is enough. Although I too am in my 60’s I haven’t used the word often, but I have used it. I find it amazing they can call each other the “N” word and refer to us in ugly terms to our face and in their “rap” music, which is disgusting and they in return catch no flack. Let’s even up the playing ground here and respect people for who they are. I have always lived by the motto “There are good people, and not so good people, regardless of their race, class or male or female.” Paula, I still love you, and am with the others who will no longer watch Food Network, and I couldn’t afford the Smithfield hams anyway, and I don’t watch QVC!! lol

  9. If you lose a few fans, so be it, but your post is so well spoken and honest…it simply caused me to become a fan! So there, you win some, you lose some. I see a “winner” here… don’t worry about losing a few!

  10. Amen! It’s the Natalie Maines (Dixie Chicks) all over again! We all have something in our lives that we are not proud of, some sort of mistake, and frying her like this over a mistake is ridiculous! Remember the Martha Stewart fiasco? She came back after her mistake and I hope Paula can too.

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