Monday, July 1, 2013

On Paula Deen, Circumstances, and Proportionality...

It seems the circumstances of Paula Deens so-called verbal mis-step in using the dread "n-word" are coming to light, courtesy of Inside Edition. If this is the case referenced in all of the hullabaloo, that Deen used the "n-word" in the context of a former bank-robber sticking a gun in her face in the course of an armed robbery - I think, just perhaps, Deen need not apologize. That in fact, her detractors should be getting down on their knees begging her forgiveness for putting her from what all appearances is a personal hell as well a fiscal one.

Let me be clear - ethnic and other slurs are tacky, rude, often hurtful and generally poor form. That said, if I am given a choice between associating with an otherwise good person who occasionally drops such a slur and some sanctimonious hyper-politcally correct twit constantly in search of something to be offended with - I will consistently choose the generally good person and enthusiastically reject the twit.

Worthwhile people do not come without flaws.

Further, if someone is busily engaged in a criminal assault the intended victim is excused from any social faux pas they might engage in - whether it involves filling the assailant full of lead or saying what Arlo Guthrie would describe as MEAN AND NASTY THINGS unto the assailant while being assaulted. I will go so far as to say that if a proposed victim of assault is able to come up with words so pungent as to cause the attacker to spontaneously combust in a flash of heat, light and sulfurous smoke - they will only get my admiration and a request for the specific verbal formula.

Finally, I would point out the fundamental irrationality of designating terms - whether those terms be faggot, nigger, queer, wop, dyke, wetback, spic, homo, chink, jigaboo, queen, gook or whatever offensive phrase springs up - as so uniquely offensive as to justify either physical violence or social annihilation of the person uttering them.

The standard  in any civil society for when social or physical violence is justified must be higher than a mere offensive utterance. Such an utterance certainly merits opprobrium and a yellow flag, but alone does not justify action.

Particularly and especially when those same words are allegedly "perfectly alright" when spoken either by a member of the referenced group or by a sufficiently "cool" entertainer trying to be "street," it tends to render the protestations a bit obviously hypocritical.

So. If the facts are as I understand them, I will go out of my way to support Ms. Deen as I (pending further data) believe her to be wrongly treated in this matter, and believe that the motives those harrying her are at best,  suspect. It begins to appear to me that such critics motives have far more to do with seeking ratings and/or perpetuating a fiscal/power base founded far more in fostering racial controversy for fun and profit than in any genuine interest in actually reducing such controversy.

After all, what can an activist group do to keep the money and ego boosts flowing once it has *won*?

It is, of course, far too much to ask or hope that they seek out some *other* socially worthy cause upon which to bring their many talents to bear once they have succeeded in their original crusade.

1 comment:

Squeaky Wheel said...

I wrote pretty much the same thing. GMTA.