Worth Reading: Frank Bruni's Editorial About the Paula Deen Scandal

Categories: Controversy

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Despite the fact that it's the opposite of a slow news week -- an accused spy on the loose in Russia! historic Supreme Court decisions about gay marriage and voting rights! -- the media has doubled down on its coverage of Paula Deen's alleged racism. It admittedly hasn't been a good one for the celebrity chef, who's seen her contracts with the Food Network and Smithfield Foods terminated after she copped to using racial slurs in the past. But the All Paula, All The Time stream on social media and blogs like Eater has seemed a little hysterical, considering all that's going on in the world.

See also: Top 5 Racist Food Faux Pas

Enter former New York Times food critic Frank Bruni, who expertly parsed the story and drew out the reason that Deen's casual racism is particularly insidious:

Just how far have we trekked on our long road toward a more colorblind, equitable society? Just how hurtfully do we still stumble? Such questions are prominent this week, with the Supreme Court sidestepping an affirmative-action decision and testimony in the Trayvon Martin case set to begin. We're once again taking stock.

And it's this backdrop that's relevant to Deen's firing by the Food Network and, on Monday, by Smithfield Foods. In a world of pervasive insult and elusive consensus, she provided a discrete opportunity for a line to be drawn. She served up a teachable moment on a platter.

He also doesn't have time for the argument that Deen's age and Southern roots somehow make it okay for her to have the worldview:

If she can leave Georgia for the sake of commerce, she can leave Georgia in the realm of consciousness.

This isn't the first time the NYT writer has covered Deen. A few years back, Bruni wrote an editorial defending the Southern cooking queen, as as Eater is quick to remind us -- though on reading it now it seems less of a defense of Deen as a person and more of a not very focused attack on culinary elitism.

Anyway, his column today is well worth reading.


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11 comments
Mary Littlelamb
Mary Littlelamb

Carmichael, people can dislike black people and like Asians. You need to get fucked,and I'm willing to please you.

Thomas Dewar
Thomas Dewar

Again? You've already let us know about filling your content with another newspaper's content—stop embarrassing yourselves.

Carmichael Caudron
Carmichael Caudron

Btw we don't protect immigrants in San Francisco from racists like in Arizona and bigots in their homeland so they can turn around as try to be a bigot here! So no using racial slurs is not ok just because Paula deen and ignorant rappers do it. Don't help fuck up our community , help make it better.

Carmichael Caudron
Carmichael Caudron

You know what if using the n word should be ok kist because rappers and southern racists do. Asians call each other racial words based on who is darker Latinos have little words for each other too ok so Lets all call each other racial slurs again like its 1850 in this country. Rockstars say the word fag like its sporty, lets include the gay slurs too then. Fair is fair. Suddenly it will be wrong then as protests everywhere.

Carmichael Caudron
Carmichael Caudron

Wow Asian people defend Paula for usin the n word. Are u guys aware if she called blacks names , you probably aren't her buddies either. It's amazing how minorities will defend racists as long as they weren't targeted.

Ray Chi
Ray Chi

The music industry and food TV each target different audiences. Food TV wants to keep their wholesome family image as squeaky clean as possible. Allowing her to stay on will damage that image. It doesn't matter if you hear it everywhere else. Every industry needs to have a scapegoat to protect their investment and food TV found theirs.

塞繆塞繆
塞繆塞繆

Why is it ok for black people to say the N word but not nonblack??? I hear a lot on the streets and in music!!!

Mary Littlelamb
Mary Littlelamb

I have never seen any of paula's shows because I am NOT into cooking ,but I will be buying her products and watching whatever shows she is on in the future, just because she's getting treated like a piece of shit. How many rap stars and other kinds of people make fun of whitey, and nobody removes their shows. I'm tired of the reverse racism. People like the guy from Seinfeld that had to get out sharpen to stand by him and do a speech and then leave the country for at least a year. I would never do that I would stand up for what I believe in and my opinion and I don't give a shit what anybody thinks about me and my opinion. I am NOT for racism and that includes reverse racism.

minicoopersport
minicoopersport

This is Carmichael Caudron responding to Mary's delightful comment: Ah a tempting offer Mary but no thanks. Let me give u perhaps a better solution to victims of hate speech instead of sex. My best friend and I were owners of a bar with 2 other guys ( one happened to be asian and other was italian) who always talk(ed) shit about blacks when I'm not around and just say that's how they were raised and this is in San francisco the so called most tolerant city to minorities. My friend is Latino and could've according to u just looked the other way because his race wasn't targeted right? Well he protested and it stopped. That's what decent people do when hat speech occurs in front of them. U speak up against hate speech of any kind even if u weren't the target. That's how u accomplish peace rather than offering your dirty sex, Einstein.

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