Why I cannot ‘stand’ with Paula Deen.

The media has been buzzing for days about the Paula Deen scandal. I’ve seen many people in my friend’s list on facebook support her, and far less that refuse to do so. I had plans to just keep my opinion to myself, because I really do hate back lash and fighting, arguments and having to deal with the onslaught of potential nastiness that goes along with expressing any opinion, but I find that I cannot remain silent about this issue.

I do not support Paula Deen. I am not Team Paula, and I don’t feel like this is a witch hunt like a lot of people do. I feel like anyone that is ‘supporting’ Paula Deen is condoning racism whether they mean to or not.

I am aware that she made the statements she did about thirty years ago, but there is a very slim chance that her views have deviated.

I’ve seen arguments that it is ‘southern culture’ to say things of that nature, and I have to shake my head. Comments all over the internet say ‘It isn’t racist to say the N-word because it is southern culture.’

I LIVE IN THE SOUTH. I’ve lived here my whole life. There is no excuse for dropping that word at all, and if you think that using it is okay in any context, then there is something wrong with you. I was raised in a household and taught to value a person for who they are and not their skin color. I went to religious services growing up with people of all colors and ethnicities. I grew up without prejudice and had best friends who were black growing up. My first grade best friend? Her name was Aqueelah. We bonded over our love for Michael Jackson and the color pink. My fourth grade best friend? Her name was Aylicia. We were in the same class and over the summer, we were pen pals.

In my head and heart, using the N-word should never, ever be condoned in any way, shape, or form. If it is ‘southern culture’ to use that one, foul word, then I don’t want to live in the south anymore.

Some of you will argue and say ‘Oh, but in the dictionary, it means a lazy, ignorant person’. I’m aware of that also. But that is not the sole definition, and using it in reference to a person with darker skin takes it that step farther that it needed to go to become something even uglier than the definition. Calling a black person the N word IS racist, whether the dictionary says it or not.

Think about how you feel when someone calls you white trash. Cracker. Honky. White trailer trash. How does that make you feel? Now imagine that those words were deeply embedded in a history of violence, murder, and slavery. You probably will say you don’t care, and I will believe you. Why? Because you haven’t had to endure any of that. Your ancestors didn’t have to overcome impossible obstacles and jump through hoops to get the rights they deserved. So I pity you and your blatant disrespect for the black population. Supporting Paula Deen right now in the midst of this scandal brands you as insensitive to hundreds of year’s worth of black people working from the bottom up.

Now, I know some of you will also say ‘So they can say it to each other all the time, but it’s wrong when we do?’ My opinion on that is as follows: the N word is never alright, no matter who says it. I can’t even stand to hear it come out of a black person’s mouth because it is a demeaning word. I feel like everyone should be better than to stoop that low, no matter what skin color you wear. It is a slur, and not a cultural thing. In my head, nothing will ever make that word acceptable to use no matter who you are. It should be retired from everyone’s vocabulary.

I know that this will likely offend some people, and if it does, I apologize. Not for stating my opinion, but because you are too blinded by butter, biscuits, and hamhocks to see that the N word and other racial slurs are never okay. They never have been, and I will never support someone that thought it was ever acceptable to use that word even jesting in poor taste.