Paula Dean: The Racist?

Posted on 10/07/2013 by John Poland CEO, Town Hall Foundation
Paula Dean has been booted from the Food Network as a celebrity chef and has lost her endorsements from Target, Wal-Mart, JC Penny and others. Her economic livelihood has been destroyed over night. And why? Because in testimony before a judge in May, she was asked if she had ever used the N-word and she testified that she had, many years ago.

She has since apologized several times in public and again on video recordings, to no avail. In not so polite terms, she has been fried and is toast; I guess appropriate terms for a celebrity chef. So when a mid sixties celebrity admits to using the N-word years ago without context, she becomes a pariah. But when rappers use the same word and derivatives thereof today, not years ago, they win Grammy’s and bank tens of millions of dollars.

Something is wrong with this picture? It seems that certain Rap artists feel comfortable denigrating African Americans, and by the way, well over half of the Rappers are African Americans. My sense is that this is a classic case of a double standard, one that should not survive. Simply by not paying attention, parents allow their children to download from Internet Stores or steal this from their friends, learning along the way that this vile language is acceptable. This must stop.

The Town Hall Foundation is on a mission to inspect the lyrics of these specific songs and ask distributors to remove them from their inventory. There is not a music industry group that polices this. It is up to us as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to stand up and be counted. Together we can put a stop to it.

All this to say that Paula Dean made a mistake. All of us make mistakes. Ask Lil Wayne if he should cast the first stone?

That’s the message for today, more next week.