Sunday, June 30, 2013

Paula Deen makes Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Dana D. Kelley’s heart swoon

Posted By on Sun, Jun 30, 2013 at 12:47 PM

“Besides, the chances are good that most sexagenarians from the South would have used the n-word a few times because it was part of common language a half-century ago. - Dana D. Kelley, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 28, 2013

Yes, well, more on that in a moment.

It has been some time since Dana D. Kelley of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has allowed himself the privilege of writing about race in America (even though it seems to be one of his favorite subjects), so he might be forgiven if his logic is a more than a little fuzzy on the Paula Deen matter.

His eyes ever sharp, he is quick to spot what he notes as race-card “bullying” over the matter of Paula Deen, human being, and not the carefully-cultivated television character/”chef” whose image has been burnished over the years, who once uttered what most in polite society like to refer as the “n-word.”

Her use of the term was in relation to a robbery some three decades ago, according to court affidavits.

But even if there was no robbery involved? Well, in Kelley World, we should not be so prissy, because, as quoted above:

“Besides, the chances are good that most sexagenarians from the South would have used the n-word a few times because it was part of common language a half-century ago.”

I’m not sure where Dana D. Kelley gets his image of the Old South from, but even in the Olden Days, folks knew you didn’t use words like that.

But because the current lawsuit against Paula Deen discusses alleged discrimination against black employees, Kelley leaps head first into his favorite pool of water - the lake of Black People Are Out to Get Us, And Why Won’t You Pay Attention To Me?

Almost gleefully Dana (I feel as if after all this time we are on a first name basis) discusses the case of Kimberly McCarthy, who was once associated with the New Black Panther Party, which is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a racist hate group.

Her association with the NBPP came by her her former marriage to the founder of the group.

Anyhow, in 1997, McCarthy went to the home of a 71 year old-white woman, Dorothy Booth, supposedly to borrow some sugar. Once inside the house she savagely stabbed and beat the older woman - even cutting off her ring finger in order to steal her wedding ring.

Even after her first conviction was overthrown on a technicality, she was retried and sentenced to death.

She is a foul human being.

And yet, despite Kelley’s growing excitement over retelling the story, I’m not finding much to do with his spirited defense of what is, essentially, a television character, the same as James T. Kirk or Endora on Bewitched.

He then goes on to quote New Black Panther Party leaders who have gone on record for saying the most incredibly racist remarks, including a quote from the head of the Philadelphia chapter of the NBPP, who used the word “cracker.”

He doesn’t drop the name of the person who made the “cracker” reference, but the guilt-by-association assumption is pretty clear, though he does nicely tell us, that:

“There is no record that McCarthy was ever asked, during her appeals, if she had ever used the c-word.”

Dana may have a sensitive soul, but as a white man, if somebody wants to call me a cracker, it really doesn’t bother me. Nobody forced my relatives to use separate restroom facilities (and we know what a joke those “facilities” often were), hung. my forebears from a tree, or threatened me or my relatives for talking to a white woman.

None of my relatives ever had fire hoses or police dogs turned on them; Dana can get the vapors as much as he likes when he sees the word cracker. For most white people, it is just a word, and doesn’t carry the ugly history of the “n-word.”

Then again, when McCarthy murdered Dorothy Booth, there is also no evidence that she cried aloud, “Long live the New Black Panther Party!”

Still, Dana assures us, it shouldn’t be too much a of a “stretch for the casual observer to conclude that race may have played a factor in the attack on Booth.”

There are all sorts of horrible stories like this one out there, but they really don’t have much to do with the silliness of defending a television character, and I suspect that even Comrade Kelley knows that.

*****

The TV version of Paula Deen is as real as the Ghost Hunters

The Paula Deen in the lawsuit may well be the real Paula Deen, but the Paula Deen one sees defended so much on Facebook (there are even some obscene posts comparing her to Nelson Mandela - with Mandela being the lesser human being) is as much a creation of TV as Honey Boo Boo, the Ghost Hunters, the yahoos who work on motorcycles or the well-paid red necks who pretend to be living on the land, or television news anchors.

They are TV characters, and their images are created over the years, designed to pull you in.

I suspect the only folks on TV who may actually be real in any way are the odd folks I see on ads for bacon-eating shows - the folks who if you met them in real life would have grease stains all over their clothes, and their stomachs would flow over waistlines like soup from a ladle.

The sort of folks that kids are told to avoid at all costs, because they just look and act so creepy.

I’m pretty sure they aren’t putting on an act for the cameras.

*****

Quote of the Day

I'm a citizen in a democracy. To call me an activist would be redundant. It's not a spectator sport. If we all become non-participants, it no longer works.” — Michael Moore, The World According to Michael Moore: A Portrait in His Own Words

rsdrake@cox.net

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