Thursday, June 27, 2013

No Offense...

I kind of laugh when I hear that phrase.  People say that to kind of soften the blow of their words when they know for certain it's not a good thing to say.  Seems like words are getting more and more offensive.  You can hardly say anything without a watchdog group or a special interest group sending protesters to your front door.  Every other phrase causes a boycott, petition, or rally to pop up.  It's really starting to get annoying.  However there are a few words that don't need to be said, ever.  There is no excuse for it.  There is no reason for it.  There is no justification for it.

Lately, it's been about Paula Deen and her words.  Apparently, Paula Deen recounted in a court case how she's used the N-word in the past.  As a result of her admission, she was vilified by the public and fired by Food Network.  This has caused an outpouring of support by Paula Deen supporters as well as applause by those who felt her words were unforgivable.

I'm pretty glad that Food Network did what they did.  I'm glad they took a stand against this kind of behavior.  I'll go into more detail on why I'm glad they did it, but it's not because of her use of the N-word.  I'm going to say this about the N-word.  It's a terrible, awful, horrendous, and evil word.  It tears people down.  It rips people apart.  It's a word that causes strife and brings to mind the terrible atrocities done to Black people since they were brought to America as slaves.  I know I wasn't there for slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, or segregation; however the remnants from those times before are very well prevalent.  I'm bothered that Ms. Deen used those words, however I'm even more bothered that people in general use that word.  Rap artists, kids on the streets, racists, and bigots all use that word as loosely as my jeans are since I did Insanity.

The use of that word is terrible.  I can pretty much guarantee you that if Ms. Deen used that word once, she's used it 1000 times.  How would I know?  I grew up in the South.  Anyone who can use that word once, can use it over and over again.  And not just Paula, but the rest of the people I listed have probably used that word easily.  So yeah, I'm going to go ahead and call it like I see it.  If Deen used that word like that, I'll venture to say that at the very least, she feels black people are slightly inferior to her.  I couldn't care less what the circumstances are.  I work with a young man with Autism.  He has done some things to me that hurt, a lot.  It sucked.  However, if I were to call him the R-word because he's hurt me, I'm no better than Ms. Deen.  Being hurt by someone is no justification for using any totally offensive words.

Now to why I think Ms. Deen was rightfully fired.  It really has more to do with her attitude about Black people.  The reason I believe her firing was justifiable was because of her plans for a family member's wedding.  She felt it would be a good idea to hire a bunch of African American wait staff and dress them as 19th Century slaves.  Please give me one way that that is a good idea.  For someone to have that kind of flippant attitude about a whole group of people is shameful.  That's why I'm glad Paula Deen was fired.  She doesn't think everyone is on equal ground.  She believes her group of people are better.  That's my issue.  Her treatment of an African American general manager at her restaurant is the reason her firing was good in my book.

I do think that Paula's actions are just a small problem.  There is a terrible epidemic of people thinking other people are beneath them.  There is a terrible problem of Black people treating other Black people wrongly.  The use of the N-word probably being the most evil of all.  How in the world can we expect other people to treat us with respect if we can't do it ourselves?  You know how we avoid saying bad words around our kids because we don't want them to repeat them?  Well, I think Black people should do the same.  Avoid using things that upset us so that other people don't do the same.

Paula Deen didn't make a mistake.  She chose to use that word.  Let's stop calling it a mistake.  Let's call it what it is, sin.  It's a sin to say horrible things about other people.  It's a sin to consider people lower on the totem pole than you.  It's a sin to consider people less than you.  Paula Deen's problem isn't a use of a word "once."  Paula Deen's problem is her believe that she is superior simply because she isn't Black.  Like I said, if she's said it once, she's said it too many times.  And from past experience, that once isn't all.

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