It’s something you probably didn’t even think about, when news of Paula Deen’s use of the N-word penetrated your consciousness.
If you’re like me, you haven’t taken the trouble to investigate the Paula Deen N-word business any further. (I had never paid that much attention to Deen anyway. I’m not a cooking-show aficionado.) You agreed, of course, that she should not have used the N-word. You mentally denounced the practice. Deen isn’t a rap star or a high-powered director making a Hollywood movie, so, of course, she is ineligible to use the N-word for “art’s” sake.
You figured that what was being retailed in the news about her was substantially correct. You thought it was sad that a folksy, funny lady who had made a big success out of down-home cooking was brought low by careless bad manners, recorded at some point in her life. You were annoyed at the apparent persistence of this stupid, destructive pattern in Southern social intercourse. When is it all going to stop, for crying out loud?
But if you had taken the trouble to investigate, as John Leonard did, you would have discovered the following: Continue reading “What you probably didn’t know about the Paula Deen dust-up”