This Is Just Tacky

There has been some awful violence in this country recently. Some of that violence has been race-related. Some of that racial tension has been ginned up by government officials making statements that made things worse rather than better. Television could play a positive role here, but evidently it has chosen not to.

Yesterday the U.K. Mail posted a story about an upcoming episode of Law & Order SVU.’ The story involves a famous southern chef who shoots an unarmed, hoodie-wearing black teen she thought was following her on the Upper West Side.

The article reports:

According to TV Guide, Castille claims she killed the teen in an act of self-defense because she knew police were chasing a rapist of the same description.

Let’s get a few things straight. The publicity for the show implies that the famous chef character was inspired by Paula Deen. I am sure the writers have made the resemblance subtle enough so that Paula Deen cannot sue for defamation of character, I wish she could. We need to remember that Trayvon Martin was not an angelic teenager out buying iced tea and skittles–he was buying Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail and skittles–two of the ingredients of ‘purple drink.’ Evidently he already had the robitussin, which is the third ingredient. Purple drink is a well-known recreational drug in the hip-hop culture.

This television show will not help race relations in America at all. In fact, it may make them worse. It is a shame that the media and now television have gotten so comfortable painting false pictures of events for the American people.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Paula Deen Story Is All About Money

The Savannah Morning News has posted a story detailing the history of what actually happened to Paula Deen. It is not a surprising story, but there are an awful lot of lessons to be learned. The first lesson is that it is risky to draw a conclusion based on what the mainstream media is telling you.

The article reports:

When Deen refused to pay $1.25 million in hush money last year to a former employee of her brother’s restaurant — a white woman who claimed, among other things, that Deen’s brother was guilty of racial discrimination — the lynch mob began forming.

“Exposure of the racist and sexist culture of her corporate and personal life is going to permanently, and irreparably, damage the value of the brand,” Savannah attorney S. Wesley Woolf warned in a Jan. 31, 2012, demand letter to Deen’s lawyer. He stated that “if we are unable to settle, the Complaint will not be quietly filed. I am making arrangements for a press conference on the day of the filing. I have identified the journalist for the New York Times who covers civil rights matters and he will be provided a pre-filing exclusive. A nationwide press release will be issued to the major networks, newspapers, newsmagazines and news websites across the country.”

And finally, the closer: “I hope that upon full and deliberate consideration of this offer, (your clients) will come to understand that the small price they quietly pay and that my client quietly accepts will allow Paula Deen a chance to salvage a brand that can continue to have value.”

I think the lawyer who wrote the letter requesting the hush money should be brought up on blackmail charges.

The second lesson here is how the media can make or break a story. If the media had ignored this lawyer’s press conference, his blackmail threat would have been moot.

Frankly I think Paula Deen should sue for damages. I have no idea who she should sue, but as long as lawsuits are threatened and flying, she should at least be able to recoup some of her losses.

There is a warning in this story. A successful business person is vulnerable to our legal system and to the media. It doesn’t matter what the actual circumstances are, if the media decides to ruin someone, they can easily do so. Part of this tale is the media’s fault for not telling the entire story, but part of this is the American public’s fault for buying into the class warfare narrative of the media. If Paula Deen were still a struggling single mother, the lawsuit would never have been brought and the media would not have made such a big deal out of it. This was never about civil rights–it was about blackmailing a successful business person, and the media played right along.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Fools Rush In…

There is an old song, “Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread).” I feel as if I am about to be a fool by writing the following article.

Paula Deen admitted under oath recently that she used a word that is politically incorrect (it is also a racial slur, demeaning, and should never be used). However, she is under attack because the word is considered the ultimate sin in political correctness. I am not going to mention that the word is used in rap music and movies all the time and no one seems to care. But Paula stepped on the toes of political correctness. As a result of admitting to the use of this word (and possibly for telling inappropriate jokes at one of her businesses), the Paula Deen empire is collapsing. Walmart, Target, and the Food Channel are cutting their ties with her. She is no longer considered a “good person,” something our society seems to think is very important. I haven’t heard anyone comment (it may have happened, but I haven’t heard it) on how many people who were offended by her use of a politically incorrect word will lose their jobs as a result of what is happening. How many restaurant workers will be laid off because of reduced business? How many television production people will be out of work because her show is no longer being produced? What will be the impact on commerce in the State of Georgia. I’m not being funny–I suspect her enterprises paid serious taxes to the State of Georgia in various forms.

With all that on the table, I want to bring you back to a previous time in America. America has been, at various times in its history, a racist nation. I believe we are doing better now, but I also believe what is happening to Paula Deen is not helpful to the country.

PBS posted an article about Anti-Semitism in the 1930’s on their website which states:

By 1939, the anti-Semites had two causes: keeping America out of the European war, and keeping European Jews out of America. And they had two famous men in their ranks. Henry Ford was a true rags-to-riches hero. He was also an anti-Semite, who railed incessantly against “the Jewish plan to control the world” in his newspaper, the Dearborn Independent (circulation allegedly 700,000), which Ford dealerships distributed free of charge. A collection of Ford’s ghostwritten columns was published as The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem — a best-seller in Germany.

The other famous American was Charles Lindbergh, who may have been an anti-Semite, but most certainly claimed publicly that Jews were trying, partly through their ownership of the media, to draw America into the war. Lindbergh represented America First, the powerful isolationist organization that, in fact, ejected Henry Ford for his anti-Semitic views. (See The Isolationist Movement.)

Henry Ford was also know to be distrustful of black people–that is why he hired immigrants from the Middle East to work in his manufacturing plants in the mid-West. That immigration during the early days of Ford Motor Company is one reason for the large concentration of Muslims in Michigan. I am sorry that Henry Ford was a racist, but I still love my Ford Mustang!

So what is the point? Racism and racists will always be with us–whether they are rightfully or wrongfully charged with racism. I believe that in most ways we are a more integrated society than we were fifty years ago, but I also believe that there are people among us whose livelihood depends on keeping the illusion of racism alive. Paula Deen needs to be allowed to continue her successful business ways without being condemned for reflecting the views of the time and place where she was raised. There is a true double standard here–the word she used is used routinely in rap music and movies. The politically correct police need to take a deep breath and get over themselves.


Enhanced by Zemanta