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View Diary: Why Paula Deen's Racism Matters: Black Dignity Versus White Fantasies (42 comments)

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  •  To me (14+ / 0-)

    The Paula Deen debacle is America coming to terms with casual racism. I don't believe that Paula Deen hates black people. Her racism isn't of the sort that burns crosses in the front yard of black folks or bombs little black girls in a church basement. It's not George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door. It's far more subtle.

    She says she's sorry for words that she said and blames her upbringing, but at least I have a very definite sense that she doesn't understand why this is happening to her. She has no comprehension of why a romanticized plantation wedding with black waiters serving all the genteel white folk is racist. She doesn't understand why saying that a black employee is "blacker than a board" is racist. She just doesn't get it. Because in her world, no one has every questioned the superiority of whites over blacks. It's not even something that entered her mind until her career was (at least partially) destroyed.

    There is this idea, particularly in the right but we also find it among liberals, that racism was a thing of the past because we don't have lynchings and whites only lunch counters anymore.

    It's what apparently led a 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court to declare that simply with the passage of time, racial animus must have dissipated so minorities no longer need guaranteed protections for their voting rights.

    How often have we heard that we are living in a post-racial America? The president is black, after all. How could there be racism in America when its leader is a black man?

    And then along comes Paula Deen, with her "Sambo burgers".

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