Voice Of The Urbane

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June 24, 2013

What Do You Do With Paula Deen?


Paula Deen, the celeb southern belle chef has built an empire on her Southern persona. The platinum coiffed, blue-eyed lady took her cooking all the way to the top. Some say that the lady truly responsible for her cooking success is a Black lady still receiving minimum wage.

The Food Network, of course, just fired Paula, for her racial slurs. She admitted to have used the word “Nigger”. I don’t use the N word, let’s call it what it is.  Women her age from the south, as others, have probably used the word, as it is apart of their cultural language. Remember the movie, The Help? That’s probably Paula’s world.

Rappers sing the word and have gotten rich using the term and now Paula is fired for it. Well now, how do you like your double standard?

“Nigger” is offensive and degrading. Simple as that. Some make fun with it, like Richard Pryor, for example, as well as a host of other comedians.

Rappers sign on with it.  In some quarters it is a word that curses and in others, it is used with affection. It depends on the social/cultural context. In essence, the word should be a no-no. There should be zero tolerance.

Deen has been an incredible marketer as she built her brand to include her fine cooking, cook books and even a cooking line. But the southern belle got caught. Those of us who live north think one way but some TV interviews that included Black and White southerners express that she should be forgiven after her sensitive and sincere apology. Amazing.

Should we forget about the lynchings, as well?

You will never stop the use of the insulting word, if you don¹t have severe punishment for its usage. Paula should lose her contract with The Food Network.  But the rappers ought to have economic punishment too.

There has to be a single standard. Perhaps now that Paula Deen is the poster child for her bad language she will be a role model of what not to do.

But what do we do with the rappers?  They should have a consequence too.



About the Author

Hermene Hartman
Hermene Hartman serves as President and CEO of the Chicago-based, Hartman Publishing Group, INC. NDIGO, was founded in 1989 and is a significant voice in Chicago. Hartman provides social commentary on WVAZ's 102.7 radio Monday - Friday at 9:15 a.m. She is an author and appears as a guest on TV with commentary. Ms. Hartman is the founder of The NDIGO Foundation, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which began in 1995, for the sole purpose of raising funds for educational pursuits.


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