Saturday, June 29, 2013

Another Dose of False Outrage

Today I read that Sears is planning to drop Paula Deen products from their retail stores. Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Target have already discontinued their relationship with the queen of trailer-park cuisine. Her publisher is dumping her, all because Ms. Deen was caught on tape making "racially-insensitive comments." So what?

I don’t know if it’s this country’s need to be over-the-top politically correct or this belief that consumers have an actual relationship with the famous face behind the product, but why do we always throw such fits of false outrage? I think it’s pretty obvious that Deen’s capable of saying something as dumb as she said, the same way 99% of Americans do. She’s not a politician. She makes bad food for people who don’t care about their cholesterol count or waistline. How does her saying "racially-insensitive" things--years ago I might add--change that relationship with her millions of faithful buyers?

Admit it: You don't actually care what she said. You're not actually outraged. If Paula Deen's comments legit offended you, wow, you're not a very realistic person. It wasn't even a slur or racial really. It was just dumb. Watch here: If anything Deen got in trouble here trying to prove she WASN'T a racist. This need to show that she doesn't see people by skin color by commenting on their skin color. Little secret: We all see people first by skin color. Obama didn't make history because he's the first president to play basketball or come from Chicago.

I get it: Celebrities are held to a higher standard than you or I. They can’t get away with making comments about black people or Indians or whatever without someone running to the media with it. But before you crucify Paula Deen or even Michael Richards for their oh-so-ugly slurs, you might want to think about what guys like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin would’ve been caught saying if the whole world was on Twitter and/or secretly recording every word on cell-phone cameras. She made the comments. She apologized. Why all this epic fallout? Why does she get fired from the FOOD Network? Was the tearful apology on the TODAY Show really required? If anything the TODAY Show should apologize. Have you ever tried sitting through ten minutes of that crap? I'm not endorsing someone saying a black man can't be seen in front of a dark-colored wall, of course I'm not. But get over it. We're more angered over this non-issue than we are about an NFL star possibly murdering someone. Ah, false outrage.

This overblown situation is another reason why race is still an issue in this country. Now we get to hear talking heads like Wendy Williams soapbox about this. Cue the big, phony "boos" from the studio audience. Watch here: Oh, boy. Major corporations release statements. CEOs curse the awful, vile behavior. You’re telling me that rich, white guy who heads Target has never made a derogatory remark about a minority? If you believe that I got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Racial "slurs" are a part of the American lexicon. Like it or not, they’re never going away. Everyone uses them. When caught, apologize, move on.

In the ultimate act of hypocrisy and stupidity, we crush Paula Deen NOT for slowly killing Americans with her diabetes-inducing dishes but rather a few dumb comments. Maybe the end justifies the means in this case. Personally, I don’t care about this. These people aren’t my friends or family or associates. They’re celebrities. If you like her food, cook it. That's it. Who cares about her politics? And what she said isn't her politics, I don't think so. It was just a dumb thing to say.

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Brian Huba

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