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article imageOp-Ed: Paula Deen gets a pass

By Amir Makin     Jul 1, 2013 in Lifestyle
Paula Deen is bearing a great deal of America's racial animosity. The full story of her racist practices cannot be fully understood without taking the following into account.
Given all the recent news concerning Paula Deen’s racist behavior toward Blacks, no one in the media is asking her the right questions. Even though her use of racial is bad enough, even more horrific is the historic nostalgia she would love for people like Bubba to experience. According to her deposition, beginning on page 128 – 131, Deen describes how wonderful it would be for Black men and women dressing in formal wear to serve White diners in a true plantation style wedding. She is reluctant at first but eventually acknowledges this as a regular reality for Blacks enslaved in America.
Given this, not a single media person has called on her to explain why the image of Black people as slaves qualifies to her as a loving experience in which she wants others to share. The mindset of one espousing this can only be explained in the psychological conditioning that all Americans both Black and White have experienced from both a conscious and subconscious level as a result of the founding of this nation as a society built for the advancement of Whites at the expense of non Whites.
Had this question been posed, the focus would have stimulated studying on how and why this prevailing attitude by some Whites has been encouraged and implicitly condoned throughout the culture of American society. Paula Deen in an attempt to be partially honest was not willing to acknowledge that she too has been psychologically conditioned to accept the racist belief of perpetual Black inferiority. To acknowledge this, is to also admit the enduring benefit of white privilege reinforcing a belief of perpetual White superiority which most people who exhibit racist practices deny exists. It is in this regard, that even in the face of losing millions in business partnerships, Paula Deen and many racists in White America have repeatedly gotten a pass.
Dealing honestly with the existence of white privilege would force this nation to acknowledge the worst disparities in American society occur amongst the population regarded as inferior: Black people in an effort to continue that privileged status. According to the National Registry of Exonerations, Blacks make up the largest number of those exonerated after having been convicted for crimes they did not commit. When compared to Whites, Blacks persevere the worst disparities in breast cancer treatments, high blood pressure, are unlawfully targeted by law enforcement, even Black children are disciplined more harshly than any other group in many American schools, to name only a few.
Paula Deen acts like a racist, because she was trained from one generation to the next to think like one since her birth. It is unfair to demand that she be held to a higher standard of accountability for her racist beliefs and practices without demanding accountability of the society that produced her mindset. When a child misbehaves, society questions the environment the parents produced to raise that child. However, when it comes to injustices enacted due to surroundings of institutional racism and white supremacy, society refuses to question that parental influence and environment whose effects are always much larger and longer lasting than the behavior of the child.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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