Sugar, Butter and racism.

Currently Paula Deen is being ripped to shreds in the media for her use of racial slurs, and for her failure to appear on the Today Show.  I’m not exactly sure how I feel about the apology, but I do know that the grace that was extended to me is also extended to her.  Paula Deen is of a generation that  grew up using racial slurs and it was no big deal.  I’m 50, and when I was in elementary school there were no repercussions for children, or teachers who used racial slurs.  Paula Deen probably grew up in a time that was more akin to what went on in the movie(book) “The Help.”  Here’s the real issue.  The things that people do all their lives just seem normal to them.  It’s acceptable because nobody in their circle disagrees with it.  When a person grows up believing a certain thing about themselves and people who don’t look like them then it’s hard for them to change.  Paula Deen probably lives a life such that she can go days without seeing or interacting with people who don’t look like her.  That makes it easy to keep the same antiquated ideas whether they are right or wrong.  Paula Deen is not the problem, merely a symptom of it.  The problem is that the privileged majority(not necessarily the wealthy and famous)  still believes that they are better than, smarter than, more human than, people who don’t look like, talk like, eat like, live like them.  Until people take the time to examine where they got those ideas from and compare it to what they see around them (not what is in the media which simply perpetuates  and reinforces stereotypes), they will continue with wrong thinking no matter how right they think they are.  Paula Deen was forced  to look at not just her behavior but the psychology behind her behavior.  But what about the people who aren’t forced to look at themselves? I believe that one of two things will happen, either Paula Deen will make a true and fundamental change in the psychology behind her behavior, or it will just get worse and she’ll learn how to hide it better  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. If nothing changes, then nothing changes.

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~ by Diva2de on June 22, 2013.

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