Far too much ink has already been spilled over this Paula Deen racism bullshit, so I’ll try to make this post short and to the point(s):
1) Well-known though Paula Deen is, she can be as bigoted as her old-fashioned, atherosclerotic Georgia heart desires without her bigotry having any effect whatsoever on the lives of the vast majority of blacks who have no professional relationship with her. She is not a mayor, or a governor, or a prosecutor, or a police chief, or a housing official, or an electoral official, or any other kind of official, elected or appointed. She is a television chef.
Brief civics lesson for idiots: this position gives her no power to make life hell for blacks in general. If black viewers find her noxious, they can change the channel. If black viewers find her food noxious, once again, they can change the channel. Same goes for whites. If Deen’s employees suffer torts at her hands, they can file suit, and if she commits crimes against them, they can press criminal charges. These points should be too pedestrian to be worth making, but it seemingly eludes many observers that black employees disgruntled by her racism have ample legal remedies at their disposal, and that what precipitated this whole donnybrook was a civil suit by a black former employee against Deen and her brother-in-law.
No matter how epic a racist bitch Paula Deen is, she does not officially oppress, arrest, try or incarcerate blacks on pretexts. She is not Whitey.
2) Hizzoner Michael Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly are Whitey. If you don’t believe me, pick an article about stop-and-frisk at random and read it. Paula Deen is a piker; these guys are bigtime cretins who oppress nonwhites as a matter of deliberate policy, motivated by racial officiousness.
3) Matt Lauer, an man of intelligence and thoughtfulness who has made a career out of repressing these virtues, debased himself to the point of interviewing Paula Deen at a time when she was grovelingly apologetic, manifestly unstable, and arguably suicidal. A reasonable, ethically upright person watching a woman beg to be murdered by blunt-force trauma to the head on national television because she’s having a career fugue would drop the objectivity act on the spot. That would have been a good time for Lauer to say, “You know, this whole situation is absolutely ridiculous. How about we go out for a drink?” Of course, Lauer considers himself beneath doing anything of the sort. He’s a master at conferring false gravitas on whatever pointless bullshit his producers present him. He doesn’t look that gift horse in the mouth. Matt knows the drill. He’s basically an actor, a one-trick pony whose trick isn’t even particularly convincing, but it’s good enough to keep NBC’s beancounters happy.
Matt Lauer may be the most mentally stable tragic character on American television. He has wasted a fine mind and a decent moral compass on lucrative but pathetic rubbish. Many people argue that Jerry Springer’s national television career is the most tragic waste of a great policy mind. These people forget that Springer used to govern Cincinnati, and they haven’t taken a look at his former constituents. If you enjoy being a smirking social worker for fat whores and their chair-hurling meathead exes, you might as well make a large fortune at it on the boob tube instead of making a yeoman’s salary to suffer the same losers as their city councilor. True, Springer had an interlude of maturity as a local news anchor, followed by a very brief period of seriousness on national TV before he took the plunge into the gutter, but he’s much more prone than Lauer to love him some trashies. Lauer, by contrast, looks mildly pained every morning starting at about :35 past each hour.
People can be made to put up with a lot of bullshit when they’re paid well. I just hope the Today Show paid Deen well for her troubles last month. It’s a money-making enterprise, so the circus acts shouldn’t be bashful about sidling up to the organizational tit, puckering their lips, and saying, “Gimme gimme!” It’s their due.
4) There has been some handwringing over Paula Deen’s inartful attempts to distinguish classy blacks from members of the black underclass. This is a distinction that should be made more thoughtfully than Deen made it, and certainly without her noxious allusions to the pernicious Tidewater class structure, but it is not one that people of any race should be afraid to make just because it might offend the censorious. There is sadly a large cohort of American blacks that revels in antisocial behavior. Many respectable blacks rightly denounce members of this class; respectable members of other races should have no qualms about doing likewise. Bad people deserve to be criticized.
5) Amazingly, there has even been some handwringing over Deen’s use of the term “nigger” to describe a man who had robbed her at gunpoint. This is insane. Armed robbery is a contemptible, dangerous crime. Those who commit it deserve to be rebuked. It’s self-destructive to worry that one might cause a violent criminal offense by rebuking him in a manner that carries fraught racial or class connotations.
There’s another uncomfortable but important subtext here: black-on-white violent crime is a very serious problem in the United States. Much of this violence is motivated by the pure, seething racism of the black underclass, but it is also motivated by opportunity, the rule of thumb being that Whitey is weak and defenseless. It takes one hell of a badass of any race to start trouble with someone that he expects to respond by administering a prompt, decisive ass-whupping to the assailant. Even hardened criminals can be deterred by credible threats of effective countervailing violence; not all thugs have death wishes. Pragmatic concerns about one’s ability to repel racially motivated attacks should influence how whites respond to the feral behavior of the black underclass, but worries about hurting the easily bruised feelings of racebaiting concern trolls should not.
To confirm that we’re dealing with concern trolls here, realize that Deen’s robber, a former serial robber named Eugene Thomas King Jr., has publicly expressed remorse for holding Deen up at gunpoint and regret that Deen’s racial invective in the course of the robbery has come back to cause her professional and personal turmoil. The American political and journalistic establishment has ceded the moral high ground to an ex-con who spent the 1980’s putting guns in the faces of innocents. This is problematic.