do you bleach? #pauladeen #racism (and another rant…)

I’ve been on a roll lately, so why stop now? This is probably gonna ruffle a few feathers, but hey, I have opinions, this is my blog and NOBODY IS MAKING YOU READ MY WORDS!

This has been a big week in news and politics and for progressive thinking. But, I’ve trying to figure out why it’s news that a wealthy, privileged, old southern white woman is a racist. Or, if not a full on “racist” in the KKK-white-robe-burning-crosses way, but at least racist enough that she doesn’t have a problem using racial pejoratives such as “Nigger” and “Little Monkey.”

Anyone from the south knows this isn’t actual news. The majority of southern privileged white women in their 60s and older are racist to some degree…That’s not news; that’s the norm.

What IS news, Paula  Deen,  is that you seem to think it’s okay to use those terms and still try to convince the world that you never have had a racist thought in your life.

Well, honey, Bless your heart.

If you’re white, and you use the word nigger or monkey referring to anyone of another race, then you’re a racist. And if you’d really like to do a “southern plantation style wedding with little niggers dressed in bow ties tap dancing” around while serving the white folk…then you’re definitely racist. And possibly an asshole.

It’s okay if you’re only a little racist, right? I mean, you think there’s a difference between black people and ‘niggers’ just like there’s a difference between white people and white trash.

Excuse me for a second while I clear my throat of the BULLSHIT you’re trying to make me swallow.

Words are powerful. And yes, they are only as powerful as the meaning given to them, however…if they are used in a way to demean or demoralize someone, then that is sometimes a VERY strong power that is hard to overcome.

What about “reverse racism?” OMG. Seriously? WTF is “reverse racism?” Get a GEEDEE dictionary.

rac·ism

[rey-siz-uhm]

noun

1.  a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
2.  a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
3.  hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.
Morons. Just take the blue pill and give the rest of us a break.

Morons. Just take the blue pill and give the rest of us a break.

So it doesn’t matter what race you discriminate against, it’s racism. Please don’t be stupid and use the phrase “reverse racism” again. Seriously, it just shows your ignorance and how you justify your bigotry.

But let’s talk about Black-to-White Racism: Is there anything a black person can call a white person that is even remotely close to as demeaning as the word “nigger?” (or “towel head?” or “Sand Nigger?” or “Wet bacK?” Or “Beaner?” OMG WHITE PEOPLE CAN BE SUCH FUCKING BULLIES!)

Honky? (WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?) White Trash? Cracker? (hahaha. Call me a cracker, watch me laugh.) So are these words less demeaning to me because I’ve stripped them of their power or are they less demeaning because they really aren’t anywhere near the awfulNESS that is the N-Word. (as well as the other pejoratives I listed above)

But, you may argue, black people use ‘nigga’ and ‘nigger’ all the time in reference to their own people. So? That’s their right. Do I like the word? No. Do I think it’s okay to ever be used in any context? No. But, IT’S NOT ABOUT ME. (Even writing “nigger”  is difficult for me, that’s how much it bothers me. When you hear it growing up and you don’t feel the same way as the majority of your family, it brings on many feelings of shame. Because you’re not doing as your parents expect. You’re sticking up for your friends. And you’re ashamed of your family.)  But if a culture claims a word as their own, they’re trying to strip it of it’s power. They’re trying to make it less demeaning.

Kinda like when I use “Bitch” all the time to reference me and my friends. I’ve taken that word and made it mine.  But let me tell you something, you call my people a bitch, and I’ll be on you like ants at a picnic.

Not exactly a ‘perfect’ example, but similar enough that I think you can understand.

So…back to Paula Deen’s faux pas.

It’s hard for older southerners to overcome YEARS of ingrained racism and prejudices. Is it right? No. Is it news? No. Should she be on the receiving end of all this fall out? Eh…I don’t know. I mean, I find it ironic that WalMart is ending their relationship with her, when they discriminate against women on a regular basis.  She called her cook a “little monkey.” That’s not playful, it’s mean. She openly discriminated against the “darker” colors and kept them “in the back of the house.” As a business person, she has failed. And the fall out isn’t exactly unexpected. That’s bad business. It’s also just plain not nice. Especially when part of the brand you’re selling is that of a Sweet, southern, Granny who loves everyone and smothers them in butter and kisses.

What can we learn from all this? Well, racism is a personal choice and every American has the right to be who they are at heart. However, I don’t think there is ANY excuse for this upcoming generation of children to ever know the word “nigger” the way many of us grew up hearing it. It has always been on the banned list in my household. I’ve told parents, in-laws, uncles, aunts, friends, acquaintances and children that they are welcome to their opinions, but that word isn’t allowed around me or mine. And if you use it on a regular basis, you’re really not someone I want to be around that much–and I certainly don’t want you around my children. Especially, if you’re one of those people who justify it with “Well he called me X first.” or “There’s a difference between a black person and a nigger.” Um. No.  You probably call yourself a Christian, too. Don’t you? Damn. I guess Jesus loves all the little children, except the black ones. And the gays. He doesn’t love the gays either.

There are people. And there are assholes.

And when you use that word on a regular basis or justify using it or teach it to your children, then you…are an asshole.

You’re probably even a white asshole. (do you bleach?)

9 thoughts on “do you bleach? #pauladeen #racism (and another rant…)

  1. I have asked people to leave my house for using this word. I dont allow my black friends (an I have an unusually high number of black friends) to use this word in my house and they ALL know it. I dont want Laken to even learn this word much less USE it (whether ist “hey my nigga” or “you are a nasty nigger”) I DONT like the word. Look at the history of the word……….it was made and used to demean and belittle slaves!!!!!!!! NOT something I can get down with using!. I would NEVER disrespect my black friends by using that word even in a joking manner. I am NOT black, therefore I dont think I have earned the right to use that word!!!!!!! If black people want to use it?? Its their word to strip of its power, but when the 41 year old white lady driving the mom van with the Equality sticker on the back window uses it (regardless of context) it isnt taken the same AND could be easily misconstrued as me being a bigot, or overheard by someone who doesnt know me and not thinks I hate black people. NOT a label I ever want to earn and I will go out of my way to avoid the possibility of a misunderstanding of the use of a word I consider degrading and ugly to preserve my reputation of being a person who loves ALL people ( except people who are shitty to me or mine) I dont judge based on race, religion, sexual orientation, handicap………PEOPLE are people and you never know if you are passing up a best friend, or the person who could save your life down the road because you dont like their skin color or what sex they date! I am far too old to miss out on knowing amazing people because Im too damned closed minded to befriend them. Ive gotten off subject but my point is this…………the word has a history of WHITE people using it in a negative manner against BLACK people so NO thank you I am not going to use it. Its one word!!!!!! I have plenty others. Im teaching acceptance and love in my home!

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    • Your black friends are unusually high? Awesome. I’ll be right over.

      This has always been a pet peeve of mind. The ex and I struggled as parents (in Mississippi! at the time) to teach our children better. To like/dislike people based on who they are not their color, creed, religion, sexuality, gender. We taught them that if someone called them a name, not to respond in kind. It doesn’t make things better and it lowers them to that level. It’s a difficult thing for kids (and adults) to learn, sometimes. If someone of another race was picking on them and they responded with a racial slur, I think I would have had a stroke because to me, their response would be worse than the initial action. Thankfully, we managed to rear loving and open kids.

      The N-word and other racial pejoratives are just inexcusable and lazy. It’s infuriating that in 2013 we’re still dealing with this stuff. Honestly. Don’t we have bigger things to worry about? Like the environment? War? Zombies?

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  2. Love this post! I agree here, “What IS news, Paula Deen, is that you seem to think it’s okay to use those terms and still try to convince the world that you never have had a racist thought in your life.”

    And, I, too, don’t think white people should ever use the n-word. (I also having trouble writing it, having lived in NC I know what an ugly word it is.)

    There is nothing that justifies the use of racial slurs, not even old age.

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    • @Deb, yes. Nothing justifies the use of racial slurs, but I can be a little more understanding of the elderly who are stuck in their ways. I don’t get it, and I never will. My parents have really loosened their views of other races and cultures, but they still attempt to justify their skewed views. I remember growing up, my dad had a workfriend who he talked about all the time. His name was Cornbread and his daughter and I were good friends and softball rivals. When Angela and I played in the same tournaments, we’d each hug, then hug the dad’s and we’d make a bet… Whoever hit the most homeruns in the tournament bought the ‘loser’s’ lunch. Well, I won and ran to daddy and told him of the bet. His words to me are still burned into my mind and hurt my heart. “Lissa, I like Cornbread. He’s a good man. But he’s black. And we will never sit at the same table together and share a meal.” I was dumbfounded and physically sick to my stomach. I told dad he was a moron and then I took $20 from him and bought Angela a corndog and nachos and we sat together atop a picnic table and shared a meal.

      Daddy wouldn’t be that way today, but still. The fact that he used to be brings me shame.

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      • HOLY MOLEY MEL………..I literally teared up reading that! Parents can be very cruel without even knowing it. My dad once told me (and I too will NEVER be able to shake that conversation out of my head) you can have an abortion, rob a liquor store, go to prison, you can do anything you want and I will still love you but if you EVER bring a “N” to my house you are no longer my daughter. I mean WOW. So what do you think I did????? Dated black men!! And white, and Hispanic, and Asain and whatever other color fancied me.

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  3. Pingback: Things you may have missed this week if you’ve been living under a rock. #NSA | Mel-O-Drama

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