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Open Phones: Paula Deen, Wendy Davis, and White Southern Women

Thursday, June 27, 2013

paula deen and wendy davis Paula Deen and Wendy Davis

We open the phones to discuss two white Southern women in the news this week: Paula Deen and Wendy Davis. Over at Slate, Tracy Thompson argues that too many Americans think all Southern women are like Paula Deen, and that it's time for Southerners to speak up and voice their difference and diversity. A day after Deen was fired by the Food Network, Wendy Davis began her filibuster on the floor of the Texas State Senate to block a restrictive abortion bill.

White Southern women: How do you see yourself reflected -- or not reflected -- in Deen, Davis, and this week's national conversation? Call 212-433-9692 or post your comment below.

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Comments [78]

Mickie from Queens

I thought that Brian Lehrer's behavior on this segment was lacking, almost embarrassing. He's such a wonderful interviewer, but in this segment, something happened, and I don't know what it was! He started dropping his "g"s at the end of gerunds ("thinkin', " or "feelin'"). His voice got higher, almost drawling, whenever he said "hi" to the callers, or made interjections. The worst was his reference to the Robert Klein "Jewish Southerner jokes" right after a caller gave a specific example of how awful it is when Northerners make stupid comments to her face. Cringe moments!!

I'm only catching up now on podcasts, so excuse my tardiness, but I couldn't let this one go!

Jul. 24 2013 07:58 PM
Dennis from Massapequa Pk NY

the Guest you had for white southern women were in a part of town that didn't see much. In 1962 in the ARMY at Ft Sill Okla and Lawton out side post. In Lawton Black and White drinking fountains. White ONLY signs on Bars, Swimming pools and resturants. Coming from Brooklyn I was shocked. I was told that this lasted to the late 70's or early 80's. I am 69 now and I am 180 degrees diferent than I was in my 20,s. Conservative to liberal. I tend to give Paula a break.

Jun. 28 2013 01:54 PM
Ceciten from AZ

Please! is not only about the n word. Is much more than that. Lies apology, lies apology...
Is also about making believe that all her fatty food was great damaging on the way so many people knowing herself for three years that she was diabetic and how people get it.
Is about descrimination in her restaurant like making blacks to use different doors and bathrooms. Possibly she hired them to pay less money in salaries. It could be the only reason.
Is about planning a wedding for his dirty brother like in the old days making black people looking as slaves.
She called them with offensive names, like monkies.
She allowed themselves ( employees ) to treat among themselves without respect and she did not do nothing to stop that behavior? What a dam excuse she had in Today show.
She did nothing about his famous... brother to watch pornography at their place.
It was all about making money.

Jun. 27 2013 04:20 PM

I actually find that apology pretty acceptable! (She *is* referring to the butter pushing, right?)

Jun. 27 2013 03:35 PM
Ke from Greenpoint

Alex, Ciesse, Ash, Fuva--

Thanks for your comments. Your thoughtfulness is much appreciated.

Jun. 27 2013 01:20 PM
The Truth from Becky

2 easy.

Jun. 27 2013 01:14 PM

@Becky, April has an excuse. What's yours? For so undeveloped a commenter, you state your positions very dogmatically. I dare you to develop one opinion thoughtfully, honestly, curiously. Your comments are so knee-jerk that there's no chance for you actually to inhabit a thought, much less an opinion. I dare you to wake up.

Jun. 27 2013 01:01 PM

Deen at least apologized.

How many of his outrageous statements has Al Sharpton apologized for?

Has he ever apologized for or in any way rengeged on his role in the Tawana Brawley libel against Steven Pagonas?

Here is just one of a number of choice statements that the very right reverend made back in his less PC days:

"We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it."

Google "Sharpton greek homos" for citation, and much more, including videos.

Jun. 27 2013 12:46 PM
The Truth from Becky

A-L-E-X, sorry if you are unable to sway my opinions, or have me comply the way you would prefer... perhaps you can focus on April below.

Jun. 27 2013 12:46 PM

PS @Fuva: The implication being that what "didn't make sense" to "Betty" was the idea that the African American domestic workers could manage *not* to understand or support the actions of the Freedom Fighters (i.e., they were unable, as you note, to share this perspective with their white employers). This "not making sense" is then cited as the reason "Betty" went to Washington with the Freedom Fighters. In context, this seems to be what the caller meant. That's how I hear it.

Jun. 27 2013 12:42 PM

I wonder how many people of the people condemning Deen here said anything about number of things that Al Sharpton has said that were at least as offensive.

Jun. 27 2013 12:42 PM
kikakiki26 from wall street/harlem

a) such a teachable moment, first slavery was not only in the south, second the attitude of many people toward people of color both north, south and in between is still very relevant today
b) the Deen thing has a lot to do with money, and the take down, "you got money imma put ur dirty laundry out for all to see unless u pay me" Paula where is Kerry Washington when you need her - get off TV, stop apologizing, do a european tour come back and get a better start
c) the word is not for use by anybody, no whites should call each other cracker no middle easterner should call each other towel head no italian should call each other wop Period.

Jun. 27 2013 12:37 PM

@The Truth from Becky: You make some very strange assumptions. Identifying them doesn't seem likely to improve your openness or reasoning process. To your credit, the laughter rings hollow. Truth out.

Jun. 27 2013 12:34 PM

Hi @Fuva. Actually, the caller "Betty" said the opposite of what you state. This went by quickly in the caller's speech, and I only know that because, on seeing Ke's transcript, I "rewound" on my app and re-listened. Betty actually said that, when the "black domestic" refrained form expressing support for the freedom fighters, "that didn't make sense to me as a young person." "Betty" immediately followed THAT statement in turn with her description of travelling with the Freedom Fighters to march on Washington (see transcript in Ke's post below).

I'm pointing this out because I appreciate the points you make and think that both they and and Betty's actual statements should get an attentive hearing.

Fuva wrote:

"God bless her, but for this elder North Carolina caller to be surprised that oppressed black domestics would not express support for freedom fighters TO THEIR WHITE/ESTABLISHMENT EMPLOYERS is naive."

Jun. 27 2013 12:32 PM

As a transplanted Texan in the NYC metro region for 32 years now, there is simply no excuse for Paula Deen's racist comments. No excuse, and I'm almost 62. I discussed this issue with another transplanted southern gal-pal (from Virginia), and we knew early on what language was appropriate or not. The n-word was quickly dropped after hearing it used by older relatives in children's rhymes and as slang for nuts. Even though language was cleaned up in our home, racist views did percolate thru my extended family (at least in Tennessee & Texas). Phrases like "states rights", "welfare queens" and even "our blacks are different from your [Northern] blacks" are comments I still hear, more so since Obama has been president. I challenge them all the time--something that is considered an affront by some family members. Not polite! As such, those emailed jokes, etc. now bypass me. And, I have chosen to block some family on FaceBook who cannot clean up their language nor debate in a respectful manner. As such, family gatherings are dicey because I do speak up. Paula Deen could have too, but she evidently didn't until her deposition popped up in the press.

Jun. 27 2013 12:29 PM
April from Manhattan

CAPS = BAD EYES. I'M A WHITE WOMAN FROM N.C.M , WHO IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL COPIED FROM THE BOARD, "SOUTH FOUGHT FOR SLAVERY TO SAVE... NOW WE'RE THE U.S.A." AH USED NO FINAL RS: BROTUH, MUTHUH. NOW NO ACCENT. MY PEOPLE OWNED SLAVES, AS DID NYERS AND NEW ENGLANDERS, GOOGLE "SLAVERY IN NYC, THE NORTH, NEW ENGLAND". WHAT HYPOCRISY IN NYC! A GUY FROM B'KYN SAID N WORD: "I WAS MUGGED!" IF GIULIANI'S WELL NAMED "STREET CRIMES UNIT" KILLED AN UNARMED BLACK MAN EVERY FEW WEEKS IN ATLANTA? WOULD THE TIMES USE THE R WORD? SAME WITH STOP N FRISK? PLUS OFF DUTY BLACK & LATINO POLICE, WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN, PULL A GUN, YELL "POLICE", AND ARE KILLED BY WHITE COPS! RACIST? IF TEXAS IS RACIST IT'S SOUTH. IF NOT, WEST. MY ANCESTORS OWNED SLAVES IN CHARLESTON, A WHITE MAJORITY CITY WHICH WENT FOR OBAMA BOTH TIMES. I'M NOT IMPORTANT TO BE ON HENRY LOUIS GATES BUT CALL ALL AF AMS FROM THERE, "COUSIN". MANY TO MOST NORTHERNERS WHO MOVE SOUTH ARE GOLF PLAYING REPUBS. I WAS IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, AS WERE WHITE SOUTHERNS FROM EVERY SOUTHERN STATE. ODDLY NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR ABOUT US. IF YOU WERE TOO, EMAIL ME: sofarso.april@gmail.com. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE MAY, BEFORE WE ALL DIE. I'M 68. ON A RECENT TRIP TO DURHAM N.C.. OLDER AF AM FRIENDS WERE VIRULENTLY AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE. DITTO LATINOS. YOUTH ARE COOL W IT. WHY O LOST N.C. IN 2012. AF AM FRIENDS IN CENTRAL PARK WERE LIVID AFTER O CAME OUT FOR GAY MARRIAGE. ONE TOLD ME, WHEN WE WERE ALONE, THAT AF AM KIDS WHO SPEAK CORRECT ENGLISH, (BLACK ENGLISH'S RIGHT TOO; BUT NOT TRYING TO GET A JOB), OR GET GOOD GRADES ARE CONSIDERED "FAGGOTS". A DESTRUCTIVE IDEA. MANY LATINOS ARE ANTI CHOICE AND AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE. NEW YORKERS AND NORTHERNERS IN GENERAL ARE HYPOCRITICAL. MY NEW ENGLAND IN LAWS MOVED INTO A SEGREGATED, RESTRICTED = NO JEWS, SUBURB FOR BILTMORE HOUSE NEAR ASHEVILLE, NC, OWNED BY THE VANDERBILT HEIRS FROM NEW YORK. YET THEY ASSUMED THEY WEREN'T RACIST AND ALL SOUTHERNERS WERE. THE CIVIL WAR IS OVER. WE ALL WON. A FEW CONFEDERATE FLAGS DOESN'T STOP THAT. I HAVEN'T SEEN A BUMPER STICKER SAYING "SAVE YOUR CONFEDERATE MONEY. THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN", IN FORTY YEARS. THE ONLY BAD THING I LEARNED ABOUT THE UNION ARMY AS A CHILD WAS SHERMAN'S MARCH TO THE SEA. READ MY COUSIN'S BOOK ON THE GREENSBORO LUNCH COUNTER SIT IN: "LUNCH AT THE 5 &10". READ "FREE MEN", ABOUT THE CHAPEL HILL CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT". WOMEN WOULD HAVE TO WAIT. ARE THERE CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUMS, AS ALL OVER THE SOUTH, AT ATTICA PRISON. SAW A HORRIFIC MANHATTAN NEWS NETWORK DOC ON SURVIVORS OF ATTICA AT RIVERSIDE CHURCH. KKK WITH NEW YAWK ACCENTS IN WHOLE WHITE GARB TORTURING AF AMS STRAPPED TO A GURNEY. ROCKEFELLER SHO THEM ALL. CHECK OUT THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER "HATE MAP", NEO CONFEDERATES ALL OVER. NJ HAS SO MANY HATE SITES YOU CAN'T SEE THE STATE. ONE KKK IN N.C. THREE IN NORTHERN MI. BUT YOU NEED YOUR PREJUDICE, DON'T YOU?

Jun. 27 2013 12:27 PM
The Truth from Becky

A-L-E-X says... "trigger happy posts" said the guy who no one was talking to, or about...good day. *laughing*

Jun. 27 2013 12:26 PM

Thank you Ash, Ke, Fuva, et al. The segment got me teared up, too, and I wish the show would have more like it. Such issues are so essential and still so raw. Fuva, you wrote: "Were blacks or whites debriefed or given therapy after centuries of race terror?" We still all need something like debriefing and therapy, or (as NPR's Tell Me More host Michel Martin said in her short editorial on the Deen issue this week), a truth and reconciliation commission on race -- holding conversations in our schools and libraries and parks. (Listen to Martin's essay here: http://www.npr.org/2013/06/26/195897860/martin-says-its-time-to-move-on-from-the-past)

Jun. 27 2013 12:22 PM

B-E-C-K-Y, let me spell it out for you (to use your own frame of reference). Referring to anyone as "the slow people"-- a category you have several times introduced now--is offensive and bigoted in multiple ways. Is that clear enough? How about spending more time reflecting and less time generating trigger-happy posts? Otherwise you risk being stuck in "The Truth From Becky" all your life.

Jun. 27 2013 12:22 PM
ella from NYC

I lived in Paris during the civil rights turmoil. My neighbor there was a lovely southern gentleman, he wrote to his white mother and his black childhood caregiver every week. He maintained that in the south, whites loved African Americans in particular and hated them in general, in the north it was the reverse. And during my adult life in NYC I've certainly seen this, a "generalty" I know, but I think we in the north could do better. I've been very touched and disturbed by the recent coverage of street crews on NPR, such a waste of our wonderful youth.

As far as northeners thinking southerners are "stupid", you just have to look at the crazy politicians on FOX, except for Sarah Palin they seem to be mostly from the deep south. But as one of my fellow employees once cracked wise "the Mason Dixon line runs through Staten Island".

Jun. 27 2013 12:19 PM
The Truth from Becky

Keep up ALEX! - don't misquote me, I said "cast of characters..self included". I did not include myself with the slow people, party of 2 now.

KE - I get it, FYI..I used "we" meaning the Country, the sponsors, etc..."them" would mean I don't agree with what is happening to her.

Jun. 27 2013 12:13 PM

Of course, all of the millions of women who oppose abortion are nothing more than self-hating traitors to their own gender...or at least pathetic sufferers of Stockholm Syndrome, having internalized the misogyny of the oppressive, dominant patriarchal culture.

Nothing short of intensive re-education, under the auspices of the likes of the author of a certain work with an infamously gratuitously, obnoxiously, confrontational vulgar title (references female genitalia*) can "liberate" such lost souls.

*As former NYC radio personality Jay Diamond once quipped to an actress who had performed in the play in question, in a tone that expressed his (rightful) discomfort and misgivings of the gratuitous vulgarity in question,

"Good thing it isn't a /dialogue/..."

Jun. 27 2013 12:11 PM

I hate that for you, Becky. Apparently Ke didn't realize you counted yourself among (to quote you) "the slow people." "We" have no place for bigotry or intolerance here, right?

Jun. 27 2013 12:07 PM
Rose Rowland from Cortland Manor, NY

To Adam from NJ re
The woman (Rose) on the radio just made the argument from "Rednecks" by Randy Newman.

I've never actually heard this argument. I thought that Randy Newman was the guy who sang about Short People(?) Enlighten me, please. It may not be that I was quoting - it may just be that many people have the same experiences and the same thoughts.

BTW, just so you know, equating an educated Southerner from the Urban South with a Redneck is considered incredibly offensive. I'm sure you just didn't realize it.

Jun. 27 2013 12:04 PM
The Truth from Becky

Ke - what?

Jun. 27 2013 12:04 PM
The Truth from Becky

JOYCE - I will say it again for the slow people, there is an economic element at play here. She is making money off the community she offends! Okay?! and thus she is learning the consequence from that action. This is not to exclude the rest of the world or the daily WNYC cast of characters, self included, BUT we happen to be talking about Paula Deene today. K?

Jun. 27 2013 12:01 PM
Ke from Greenpoint

"The Truth from Becky." That handle of yours says a lot. "We." "Them."

Not knowing is most near.

Jun. 27 2013 12:00 PM
Ke from Greenpoint

Jim L. Waltrip--your first paragraph (and whole comment)--so true, and beautifully put.

Ash in Chelsea, thank you. I was moved by your response to "Betty." So I just listened to it again. Even as Jim's analysis is clearly apt, this is the same woman who said of the "help's" denial that activism made sense: "And that didn't make sense to me as a young person." She is the same person who travelled to march on Washington. Her pastor father lost his church because he "opened it to all people" (her frame but telling nevertheless). Trying to take all this in, I guess I felt we area all such vulnerable people, always partly blind to ourselves and our times, at least somewhat tethered to the cultural stickiness in which we find ourselves. But as "Betty" said:

"I can see where I standing at the edge of the steps to the Lincoln Memorial. And I remember at one point having tears in my eyes hearing him speak and looking down and being shocked at my white arms in a sea of black faces and arms and bodies. I was so with the momentum of the day and of the speech, I'll remember that forever."

Reading this, I feel the shock of difference. Even of being different from oneself. This also makes me cry and gives me hope.

Thank you Ash.

Jun. 27 2013 11:59 AM
Beth from colts neck

One last comment. The use of the "N" word is very offensive, but it is equally offensive to make negative statements of people just because they were born in the South. Several people commented on the fact that other people assumed that a southern accent made them think the southerner was ignorant. Guess that gives the southerner an advantage since they underestimate them.

Jun. 27 2013 11:59 AM

G-d save us from cultural termites-- whatever race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, gender or sexual orientation they happen to be...

Jun. 27 2013 11:54 AM
Joyce from NYC

The Truth from Becky writes:
Paula is paying the price for her stereotypical views.

I see. An WNYC listeners never have liberal stereotypical views?????

Jun. 27 2013 11:46 AM
The Truth from Becky

@Ke - "In the room" "out in front" Potayto, Potahto....that is the whole entire point of the discussion all week.. ."we" are NOT tolerating...Paula is paying the price for her stereotypical views.

Jun. 27 2013 11:44 AM
T from Brooklyn NY

Re: "That's where (i.e. the south) slavery was... a place w/ a different history" (Brian Lehrer paraphrased). As one of the most informed and eloquently expressive New Yorkers I listen to regularly, BL, please don't perpetuate the mythology that the North was some kind of slavery free haven in American history. No newsflash that slavery existed in New York, New Jersey.... it just ended earlier than it did in the south. I'm sure you're aware of the African burial ground (resting places for at least 20,000 + captive Africans) in lower Manhattan not to mention the history of Wall Street, the story of Sojourner Truth (18th c. NY born slave) etc. etc. Some listeners however may not be aware of all this reality. I know today's topic focus was Southern white women chiming in on the Paula Deen thing (and not nec about going into great detail on facts like this) but it's also not a good idea to suggest that slavery only existed "there". Thanks.

Jun. 27 2013 11:42 AM
The Truth from Becky

Funny Estelle, I grew up in NY...I never learned it that way.

Jun. 27 2013 11:39 AM
LL from UWS

When Prince Charles met a woman whose breasts were a bit overexposed he said the right thing: "My father told me that when I meet a woman dressed like you I should look her straight in the eye."

Jun. 27 2013 11:39 AM
Ke from Greenpoint

Hi Becky. Thanks for responding. I actually I think the "economic elephant" is out in front, while the true "elephant in the room" is everything we're willing to do tolerate and collude with, economic catalyst or no, in the form of stereotypical thinking about, and general intolerance toward, those accused of intolerance, etc.

Jun. 27 2013 11:39 AM
Jim L. Waltrip from New York

The elderly woman's call was moving, but also typifing an unintentional dehumanization in the very subtly voiced way as she spoke of her affinity for her "domestic help." Despite her kind heart, these were people not referred to as people and held back from opportunity based on an artificial construct.

Paula Deen, not of the past, but of the present, evidences this same benign-sounding but most likely damning perspective with "come on out here, Jim. whoo, don't stand next to that black board. I won't be able to see ya. (laughs)" then goes on to say how good a friend the gentleman is.

See it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/21/paula-deen-racism_n_3480720.html

I just don't want to blame Paula or that caller. It's on us to, in all civility, have a real discussion about the impact of attitudes like this.

Jun. 27 2013 11:37 AM
Ash in Chelsea

The damnest thing just happened.

I am a 73-year-old black male, from the South, who has lived in NYC since 1963 (the year of the March on Washington). Having attended Morehouse College (1955-59), I knew very well who Martin Luther King, Jr. was but I did not attend the '63 March.

I was so moved by the comments made by the southern white woman (Betty?)-- the last caller during this segment -- that my eyes began to fill with water. I don't know why this happened, but it did.

And I agreed with Brian: It was the perfect end to the segment.

Jun. 27 2013 11:36 AM
The Truth from Becky

@Ke - there is a HUGE economic elephant in the room.

Jun. 27 2013 11:35 AM
Estelle from Brooklyn

I grew up in the forties in Astoria, NY. I learned the old counting out song: Eeny Meeny Miney Mo (forgive my spelling), catch a N.... by his toe.
It took my big sister's reprimand to make me and my friends to relearn it as "catch a tiger....

Jun. 27 2013 11:34 AM
Andre

fuva - well I certainly don't get your retort because you didn't actually say anything.

Jun. 27 2013 11:32 AM
Joyce from NYC

Sheldon from Brooklyn writes:
@Joyce - I'm not sure about the point of your rant besides your flirtation with anti-semitism.

Jun. 27 2013 11:18 AM

This level of intolerance is just sickening.

Jun. 27 2013 11:30 AM
Ke from Greenpoint

As a woman of "mixed" race who hails from the south, I agree with Tracy Thompson's general critique of the line of thinking behind Paula Deen's (I would say at least partly willfully) unexamined racism. But my concern is this. Why does it so often seem that a scapegoating impulse -- which here entails defining Deen as irrevocably other and using various public fora to relish the process of singling her out and condemning her-- underlies apparent attempts to "revisit" questions of race and identity? In doing this, don't we commit the same kind (not degree, but kind) of error that Deen does when she fails even to apologize to African Americans with any degree of specificity or cognizance? That is, don't we close down a space in which Deen as a person might be engaged and allowed both the intellectual and the psychological space in which to--gasp--wonder something or realize something? Ie. conversed with, and also conversed with in our thinking about her. Otherwise it's like throwing someone in jail for the rest of their lives, without giving the barest thought to the subjectivity, the human, inside (which also happens--why?). In fact, I have heard or read nearly everyone I admire most in the world, a demographic includes a number of intellectuals like myself, saying something bigoted at least once. Have *you,* audience, have I, *never* said something ageist, sexit, classist, or racist? And even given the painful special case of racism in this country, isn't the most important thing about racism--whether committed wittingly or unwitting--the fact that it dehumanizes both the object and the perpetrator? Can I get a witness?

Jun. 27 2013 11:30 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Andre, you don't get it.

Jun. 27 2013 11:30 AM
Andre

Misc - I agree totally about what you said are the differences between racism in the north and the south. In fact - it goes further than just racism. It touches everything. Southerns are more concerned with being "polite" - while New Yorkers for instance (not the same as all northerners) tend to be "in your face". Yet both could have the same feelings. It reminds me once of what I heard a white New Yorker who had business in the south - once say why they preferred NY to the south... they said I prefer a NY'er to punch me in the face than a southerner to call me "ma'am" and stab me in the back. Of course she was being proverbial.

Jun. 27 2013 11:28 AM
fuva from harlemworld

God bless her, but for this elder North Carolina caller to be surprised that oppressed black domestics would not express support for freedom fighters TO THEIR WHITE/ESTABLISHMENT EMPLOYERS is naive.

Jun. 27 2013 11:28 AM
Horatio from Brooklyn

Geez - that was some great radio - amazing segment and amazing callers!!

Jun. 27 2013 11:27 AM

Deen has made a life changing mistake. Now she has to deal with it. Can we all move on from it now? Are there not more important issues in the US than this? We ALL NEED TO BE KINDER TO EACH OTHER - I guess sticks and stones and words can hurt? So "be impectible with your words" (from the 5 agreements.)

Jun. 27 2013 11:26 AM
John A from N. WC

Are we seeing an enormous NYC bias against southerners here, caller's stories etc?
-
Myself have no special regard for Deen, esp. since the hidden diabetes incident (lie).
-
Sister married into an Atlanta family and lives there. I have seen pretty good interracial relations, although an economic separation may still be not entirely gone.
-
The mother in this family was perhaps the most polite person I have ever met.

Jun. 27 2013 11:25 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

The two (Jewish) women callers from the south who both testified about how often northerners told them that they thought southerners were stupid clearly shows how so-called open-minded, (educated?), (liberal?) folks are no more so than supposedly are the folks from the south.

In other words, they stereotype others and are prejudiced against others as much as any other group, only the stereotyping details are different. The only difference is that the northerners (or rather, the non-southerners) think they are above this and know better.

Hypocritical hooey!

Jun. 27 2013 11:25 AM
Andre

Racism exists everywhere and among all different types of groups. Blacks can be racists too. As a person who is mixed I find it laughable. That said - in NY I've experienced racism on a personal level (though rarely)... but in Maryland, Virginia, Florida I have seen/experienced racism that just was more "matter of fact-ly". I think that's probably the difference.
Again that's not to say it doesn't exist in the North. I've seen neighborhoods where once a black or latino moves in - the whites (in those cases Italian, Irish, or European Jew) start to move out in droves.
I saw a hilarious skit on YouTube by an Italian American who portrayed his foul-mouthed neighbor telling him how the neighborhood "used to be nice" - until all the ethnic groups started moving in. The joke was that he just assumed he felt the same way too - but of course he didn't which is why he portrayed that.

Jun. 27 2013 11:24 AM
The Truth from Becky

Why should an apology be enough?

Jun. 27 2013 11:23 AM
Miscellaneous from Brooklyn

The difference between northern Jews and southern Jews:

Northern Jewish breakfast: orange juice, lox, cream cheese, bagels, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, coffee

Southern Jewish breakfast: orange juice, lox, cream cheese, bagels, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, coffee, grits

I am a northerner who lived in the south for 11 years. Educated southerners are more PC about their bias than uneducated southerners. Southerners are still inclined, in many ways, to treat African-Americans as "slaves under the skin," but they wouldn't dare say anything to them in public. In private, however, they can (and do) say whatever they like.

Growing up in the north, I experienced more blatant bias, but I think that's because northerners believed they were more liberal, so they could say whatever they wanted.

Jun. 27 2013 11:22 AM
ph

I used to live in Atlanta and the reason why it is less racist there is because of the large influx of northerners and foreigners. You go outside that area especially towards Alabama, you will still get stares and comments.

Jun. 27 2013 11:21 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Paula Deane apologized - why is everyone treating her so badly?

Jun. 27 2013 11:21 AM
Guy from NYC

Maybe these Southern apologists should spend their time standing up to the pernicious explicit and implicit racism of their societies, rather distract us with empty comparisons with the North. They should be embarrassed and chastened of the communities they are a part of, not try to change the story.

Jun. 27 2013 11:20 AM
Jim L. Waltrip from New York

There's a Fall 2012 video that made me think of this in a new way: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/21/paula-deen-racism_n_3480720.html
The HuffPost author writes: "Paula Deen Defended Southern Attitude Towards Race In Fall 2012"

The Deen story is pitched as past. Deen pitches (rightly) her person. But too much of the focus seems to be like that of a third-grader telling the teacher, "Mrs. Johnson! Paula said the N word." It would seem that the bigger question (what are the endorsed perspectives on the issue) would be more usesful. There video which hasn't created as much a stir, but it reflects a present view in which I can see how the "plantation" meme could be reinforced with Ms. Deen's concept of such issues as she discusses in the video.

This discussion, Brian, isn't about "a word." I think we might be ready to take on the root, but very clear, subject matter. The word is only an evidence of it, not an end, not a cause.

Jun. 27 2013 11:19 AM
jennifer from Princeton

First of all, I don't know anyone in my parent's circle of friends or my own, in other words, going back several generations (my mom is 94)--who would ever have thought going to a plantation-themed restaurant was at all appealing. They would have been appalled at its existence. Because it is an appalling idea that there would ever be nostalgia for the days of slavery.

Second, as my father, who fought on Iwo Jima, used to say, "why is the Confederate flag permitted to fly any where in the United States? It's the flag of an enemy nation that we fought and defeated." We need to get rid of the vestiges of official racism in this country. Allowing the confederate flag to fly in this country is offensive to anyone opposed to slavery and is an act of treason, since it is in fact the flag of an enemy nation, which attacked us, and which we fought in war.

Stamp out racism and its symbols, starting with censuring people like Paula Deena and getting rid of that flag.

Jun. 27 2013 11:19 AM
IC from Montreal/NY

Coming from Asia & Hawai'i and having traveled far and wide, I know how some will stereotype groups of people based on race and even geographic origin. It's really all a matter of being educated in realizing speech, race or locale defines any one group. It's really the lack of knowledge and understanding of the world that prevents people from being accepting people. But bad behavior is bad behavior reflecting a lack of being cultivated, which really begins at home and not just at schools, time for people to realize that.

Jun. 27 2013 11:19 AM
The Truth from Becky

BETH: Who is the "we" of which you speak?

Northern whites are not exempt by being born/raised in the North.

Jun. 27 2013 11:19 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

@Joyce - I'm not sure about the point of your rant besides your flirtation with anti-semitism.

Jun. 27 2013 11:18 AM
fuva from harlemworld

See, Paula Deen exemplifies the limits of legislation as a tool of social change and justice. Race terror has a very long tail; blacks and whites BOTH carry the scars. “Inappropriate language” is the least of her problems; it’s her mindset. Were blacks or whites debriefed or given therapy after centuries of race terror? Ergo, amongst other psychoses, predatory and passive white supremacism continues to prevail. It is reflexive for many, and must be called out and put down.

Jun. 27 2013 11:18 AM
Adam from NJ

The woman (Rose) on the radio just made the argument from "Rednecks" by Randy Newman.

Jun. 27 2013 11:17 AM
Beth from Colts Neck, NJ

I am a 63 year old woman who grew up in the Atlanta when racism was rampant.
While it was considered low class to use the "N" word, our family still had racist sentiments. Hopefully, mine have abated. Not sure when Paula Deen's statement was made. Was this statement made recently or far in the past?
I think it is appropriate to call her on the carpet for using inappropriate language, but this statement seems to have been blown all out of proportion. We need to get over it.

Jun. 27 2013 11:15 AM
Susan from NY

Every day I am grateful I was born and raised in the Northeast, and not the South. Ugh.

Jun. 27 2013 11:14 AM

For the record some northern whites say stuff behind closed doors as well.

Jun. 27 2013 11:14 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

I'm not shocked that a 60+ white southern woman has used the word n**** in the past.

To John's point, it disappoints me that so many kids (of color) use the word at will.

Jun. 27 2013 11:13 AM
The Truth from Becky

Key words "tradition is alive and well in the south"

Jun. 27 2013 11:13 AM
m from Brooklyn from Brooklyn

I can't stand watching Paula Deen because she just seems so raw and vulnerable - it always looks like she's going to fall apart in front of the camera. All the more as she tries to apologize.

Jun. 27 2013 11:11 AM
The Truth from Becky

To say she is like all southern women is not entirely true almost...it's like saying all hispanic women have 5+ kids.

Jun. 27 2013 11:10 AM
Joyce from NYC

blacksocialist from BKbaby, could you be specific.

Jun. 27 2013 11:09 AM
The Truth from Becky

You are who you are, no matter what other people are doing you are responsible for your own actions as an adult.

Jun. 27 2013 11:09 AM
Joyce from NYC

So, members of groups whose traditional foods include corned beef, chopped liver, and motza balls are criticizing Paula Deen’s Southern cooking. I mean, you do not have to cook her butter-filled recipes, you can enjoy her shows as a window on another culture. Unless, of course, one has contempt for all cultures other than one’s own.

Then they are in shock over her past use of “The N word,” while their families probably once used the “S word.”

Then they criticize her taking money from a drug company (one whose product she believes in and uses), while their environmental hero, AL Gore, lives in a 30-room mansion that uses 50 times the electricity we peasants use.

So, what is the motivation here? I can see only one, intolerance for anyone whose culture is different. So much for the new tolerance.

Jun. 27 2013 11:07 AM
john from office.

I was on the 6 train today, heard some black kids calling each other niggas, nigga this and nigga that. I hate that word, how about black culture calls an end to its usage?? And dont tell me it is a term of affection.

Jun. 27 2013 11:04 AM
Beth from Brooklyn, NY

What is the statute of limitations on people being racist, I'd like to know? At what point do we no longer excuse people for being racist because they're "from a different time/place"?

Can we put a date on it? Do we excuse Deen, but not her children? Because surely she raised them with the same racist attitudes. Why should they know better, but she doesn't have to?

Jun. 27 2013 11:03 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Well said JC. The juxtaposition of these two women with their southern narratives/controversies by this show, looks clumsy at best..condescending at worst. They might as well be both left handed.

Jun. 27 2013 10:59 AM
blacksocialist from BKbaby

JC - what are you babbling about? you make no sense..... pathetic

Jun. 27 2013 10:35 AM
JC from Harlem

This is the stupidest, most offensive idea for a segment imaginable. To pick some one or two identifiable aspects about individuals and claim it is defining of their character and segregates them into a particular group is the essence of discrimination. I think it is obvious that the most interesting and defining thing about Wendy Davis is not her gender, her race, or where she happens to have been born.

Jun. 27 2013 10:14 AM

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