|Guys at the Camellia Grill from Kitchy Cooking|
1. Paula Deen is nearly 70 years old and raised in the deep South. One would be hard pressed to find a 70-year-old Southerner (or 60 or 50 or 40 for that matter) who hasn't used a racial slur in some form or another. (It is not right, but it is a fact.)
2. All week "brand" consultants said Deen should have just lied under oath. (That is the kind of brand one wants, the kind that lies under oath. Though most Southerners would be inclined to lie about it.)
3. The woman who caused Deen to be deposed offered to drop her harassment suit... if Deen would pay her 12 million dollars. (Who's harassing who?)
4. While Deen was being dropped by the Food Network, Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich, and Graham Elliot, the three judges on Masterchef were accused by several female contestants of sexual harassment. This was not featured on CNN. P.S. Masterchef is thinking of dropping the segment that it filmed with Paula Deen. (As an aside, Masterchef is show about home cooks. Most of the people on the show are like Paula Deen, they are trying to find a way to improve life for their family. Many are single parents. Recently, Joe Bastianich stood next to his mother and threw food at one of the contestants because he didn't like his pasta. (If Bobby Deen had thrown food at someone, I'll just bet his Mama would have slapped him!)
5. Speaking of the Food Network, it seems a bit ironic that they are "horrified" by a racist comment but rarely feature African-American chefs on any of their shows. Only one of their regular programs is hosted by African Americans. As Mama might say... Deeds not words.
6. The Camellia Grill in New Orleans has all male, predominately African-American waiters. The dress code is white jackets and black bow ties. Hooters employs and all female waitstaff who are required to wear short shorts and skintight Hooters shirts.
7. Edward Lee spoke out about Deen. He had filmed a show for her and was not glad that it would not air. He said of Paula Deen,
"In my infinite innocence, I was excited for it. I was flattered that Mrs. Deen would even ask me on her show. I felt like we connected the Old and New Southern values through a dialogue of food – albeit in light-hearted and sugar-coated cooking skits. I dare say, I felt proud. In light of all the noise that surfaced this week, I realize there is still a deep ravine between the two and the opinions of many this week was an exercise in tearing apart rather than building bridges. Mrs. Deen was gracious, friendly and funny. Unfortunately, none of those qualities trumps racism."
I am sure Lee is in no way innocent. He learned to cook from a Korean grandmother and if he is honest, he heard some pretty racist things in his kitchen. Clearly instead of gracious, funny, friendly, Deen should have shouted obscenity at Lee and thrown pasta at him. Then maybe she would be respected.
8. If the "N" word is the most horrific pejorative in the English language, why do people in their teens, 20's, 30's use it so often? For weeks I hear Kanye West and Jay-Z sing Niggas in Paris. At the 55th Grammy Awards the song won best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song. Perhaps if the word is so offensive EVERYONE should stop using it. (I do understand the intellectual argument for reclaiming, but Jay-Z wins a Grammy?)
9. In case you missed it because you were too busy watching Paula Deen, the United States Supreme Court struck down the Voting Rights Provision and sent Affirmative Action back to the lower court. Chief Justice John Roberts will, however, keep his job.
10. There is no dialogue about race in America because no one wants to be called a racists. Because it easier to fire someone from the Food Network (who admits to telling the truth) than it is to look at the racial makeup of the Food Network. Because using the "N" word can get you fired or win you a Grammy. Because the South is hotbed of lingering racist behavior if you cook there, but if you vote there, it is one big melting pot devoid of any racism.