there is a derisive delight in the unfolding drama that is paula deen’s reclaimed invitation at the foodies’ ongoing dinner party. her southern accent and liberal use of butter AND bacon grease are being packaged into facebook memes for all to enjoy…and with the announcement that her contract won’t be renewed, the expectation is that she, and her apology, will fade into don imus obscurity.

i’ve read the spectrum of responses from friends. appreciation for her (belated) apology, disgust that this is taking up so much collective brain space, and sheer glee at her firing – in pretty equal measure.

i’m a bit at a loss though. confused because i’m not sure i understand what people want. sure, every non-racist wants the world to be colorblind – or at least color consious without the negative baggage- but short of that?

since we can’t rewind paula and teach her that that “other time” she laments when black men dressed so nicely and served food was not simply an asthetic, or that positions of power, such as owning a business, give more weight to jokes and other language that can create a hostile work environment, what do we want? do we want silence? are we hoping that continued public shamings for racist and/or mysoginistic language will teach people to whisper instead of shouting loudly to co-workers, or maybe think it privately so that we all beleive the hard work is done?

is that hope that someone who thinks that way, has thought that way for a lifetime, will see the error in her ways and join the cursade for a racially tolerant society? after all, she apologized; we are halfway there. right?

only i think apologies have become the lastest victim of political correctness. everyone colors between the lines and says the right words and “poof” magically the stain of whatever transgression is washed away.

i’m not opposed to  lamentations or the grace that makes them possible. i pray my heathen prayers that people will have space enough in their hearts to forgive me for my own transgressions…but i’m actually apologetic. i have the luxury of privacy and lack the indulgence of a guaranteed audience for my acts of contrition.

are people really sorry or are they simply sorry that their fanbase (and employers) have a different threshold for flippant use of deragoatry language and nostagia for a simpler – if less tolerant – time?  paula went from seeming nonchalance and certainty that it wasn’t a big deal to an apology and a “hope that i can learn and grow from this”.

maybe i’m the intolerant one…unwilling to assume that others have the capacity to hear opinions contrary to their own and decide to change their minds. i’ve been there. i’ve done that. why don’t i offer that same benefit of the doubt to celebrities?

and then i remember…i don’t actually care about that. not about secret fantasy weddngs featuring a thousand lawn jokeys and aunt jamimas gleaming in the sun. i don’t care about that because offensive as i might find it (or delusional) her personal preferences are less my concern.

the public manifestation of them in the work place? that is the crux of it. we’ve all been sidetracked by her possible use of the magical n word when really, the issue is her brother. her porn watching, segragated bathroom mandating, racist joke telling, co-owner of the business.

i may not like paula now that i am familar with her vocabulary and thirst for the “old ways” but her brother…her brother seems to have broken the law. and he’ll need more than an apology for that.

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