The case of Paula Deen, who referred to a man of color with the term “Ni**er,” is an example of the worst kind of race-obsessed, vile, filthy discrimination I have encountered in more than six decades on this planet.
No, not the single word she used more than 30 years ago to describe a black man who held her up at gunpoint and threatened her life. I am talking about the craven and sanctimonious reaction of the intensely urban, intensely liberal and generally xenophobic members of the US news media.
Three points to make from the outset. I grew up in a world that was relatively free of the racism that marked much of America up until the Seventies. I grew up as a military brat in the years after Harry Truman declared the US military to be free of prejudice. I won’t pretend that I did not grow up with strong opinions, but a hatred of other races was not part of it. Growing up in the Sixties on a military base overseas, inter-racial dating was part of the norm, and racial tensions were something outsiders brought into our world.
As the second point, I have to note that I am not generally fond of Paula Deen. I find no reason to dislike her or her cooking style, but I don’t care for some of the things she has accented on her shows on Food Network and elsewhere. Like pointless calories, an over-abundance of sugar and butter, and that ungodly amount of salt in the guise of “seasoning.”
Finally, we have not overlooked the fact that these self-appointed political correctness tyrants so easily give a pass to members of their own elitist circle a pass for their homophobic, racist and sexist remarks and beliefs. It’s fine if you are one of them, but not if you are a rural American.
The truth is that Paula Deen’s current problems are not the result of racist or discriminatory actions on her part, but rather her efforts to be completely honest in a world in which the charges of racism and sexism are leveled all too easily for all the wrong reasons.
Smarmy, self-absorbed, so-called journalists gleefully rip into a successful Southern woman who has overcome amazing odds to keep her family intact and build a business…simply because she is Southern. In the minds of these largely urban liberals, being Southern is the same thing as being ignorant, uneducated, redneck and racist.
It’s not up to me to change their minds. History will do that for me, as the prejudices of these ignorant journalists causes their publications and broadcasts to suffer continuing losses of readership and viewership as real people grow weary of their wrongful attacks on honest people in support of their political beliefs.
Nor is it up to me to defend Paula Deen. She is a strong and resourceful woman who has survived much stronger attacks than this. I may not buy her next cookbook or even go to her restaurants, because I don’t need to. Ms. Deen is not going to take this nonsense laying down, because she is a tough and resourceful Southern gal.
But as a Southern man, I will tell you that I will fight for her, for her honor, and for the South.
I have seen your disparaging and disrespectful utterances about Southern life and its people. I have seen how you look down your noses at honest working people in the rural parts of America, and I have only this to say. If y’all disrespect a Southern woman, you risk the wrath of the South and its men. It’s how we were raised by our mommas, and how we react to acts of deceit against our women.
Just sayin’. Bless your hearts.