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The Deen Syndrome: Paula Deen and hidden racism

Updated on June 20, 2013

Deen Syndrome

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Of course Paula Deen is racist!

So, not only is Paula Deen a diabetic, she’s also a racist! Duh! I recently watched some videos of some Ms. Deen’s shows on YouTube. It struck me that I knew Ms. Deen and had been invited to her house many times as a young person in Texas. She’s one of those Southerners whose voice drips of condescension as they speak to you. If you ask Ms. Deen, she is not a racist and does not condone racism and therein lies the problem with eradicating racism in America. Americans will never get rid of racism because so many people think that it no longer exist or deny their complicity in it.

Deen, if you do not know is the chef who unabashedly sells recipes that are Southern in nature and deadly in consequences when you eat too much of them. She was recently found to have diabetes and it caused a stir on the internet because people pointed to her love of sugar and fat as possible causes for her ailment. Recently, she was sued by the former manager of her restaurant for being racist and sexual harassment (her brother, I assume). She was recorded in a recent deposition saying that she had used the n-word and that she once wanted a wedding where blacks dressed as slaves as they did during the Civil War. She eventually nixed the idea because she thought she would get too much negative publicity.

Deen and people of her ilk, don’t understand that even the thought of having blacks dress up as slaves to serve at a wedding is derogatory and racist. To her, it is a charming idea.

So, what is the danger of people like Deen? 100 years ago, after the Civil War and before Civil Rights, women like Deen stood by and watched as others cheered as people were lynched and entire black communities were burned. She’s the same woman in the 60s who watched as others fought tooth-and-nail to keep blacks segregated. Her advice during that time would have been for blacks to be patient and wait for change. She is the same person today who watches as the Republican Party denigrates immigrants, women, and homosexuals and continues to vote for them anyway.

These are the people, men and women, who stand by and watch racism, vote for racists politicians, and are complicit in their silence. It reminds me of an incident that happen to me in college. I was the first black President of the Lamar University Baptist Student Association. This was during the early 80s and most of the students that attended were white. One student that I worked with was particularly interesting to me because she was very awkward when she spoke to me or talked to me. She was very amicable and I liked her. She stated hated racism and we often spoke about it and how it affected people. However, one day we got into an argument and she later admitted that the first thought that popped into her head was, “How dare that nigger talk to me like that!”

Paula Deen described using the N-word in a similar situation. She was being robbed by a black man with a gun and she admits calling him the n-word later. You see, if when you are harmed by a person, your first thought is to denigrate an entire people, then you are a racist. If the first thing you see when your blonde haired daughter is hanging out with black football player stud is his color, then you have problems with racism.

Many Americans have Deen Syndrome; the ability to not see their own bias and how it affects those around them. Or the ability to completely deny that bias in the face of irrefutable facts and that is what keeps racism alive and well in the United States.

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    • profile image

      Wickramshingle 

      5 years ago

      HSchneider and et al

      Your problem is that you are a racist! You look for any excuse to pound your own chest and rally your emotions to stifle your own deep seated hatred! Your mentality is based upon hypocrisy, a false sense of guilt, and deep need to prove to yourself how fair and wonderful you are.

      You bring up the same arguments time and time again. You hunt with the eye of an eagle and chastise all who do not succumb to the rigid edicts of behavior that you have set forth for others to follow. You will go back to the beginning of time if needs must and search vigilantly to find even the smallest incident of betrayal to your beliefs and drag it to the forefront as evidence of how right you are. You will scream and rant and yell and attack anything or anyone even to blatant stupidity as an unruly child. Get over it!

      So Paula Deen is a diabetic. So what! Does that mean she's not allowed to mention or even prepare food with high carbohydrates? Who the hell do do think you are? Must everyone live by your rules?

      Millions of people have used the "N" word and many of them were and are black. There are many words just as inconsiderate, vile, and derogatory do you stand watch over these?

      Try thinking before you pass judgement on others!

    • Patriot Quest profile image

      Wayne Joel Bushong 

      5 years ago from America

      HSchneider................So now YOUR black??? especially whites? haha who the hell are you? typical sensitive liberal caught in action! bowing to the black man with 40% unemployment as you sneak in another 11 MILLION uneducated to raise his unemployment to 70% for nothing more than votes! disgusting

      Habueld, why cant folks dislike blacks without being racist? Most blacks on the street hate whites......are they racist? I watched the news last night, all the criminals were black, Watch Americas most wanted ....black, Most abortions ....black, most per capita with aids...black, most without fathers in the home...black, Most crime, most poverty, lowest education....black..............is it racist to hate this about a culture? My best friend in this office is black, My wife and I are having dinner with them next weekend,..................but overall I am disgusted with the black culture so does that make me racist because I hate their misgivings? Maybe Paula feels the same????

    • billd01603 profile image

      billd01603 

      5 years ago from Worcester

      Very interesting Hub. Thanks for writing. Voted up and intersting

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 

      5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      You are absolutely right, Habueld. People, especially white people, then try to sweep it under the rug and not honestly discuss it because they are afraid of what they might find. This perpetuates racism in society instead of dealing with it.

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