The Name That May Not Be Spoken: Paula Deen,The “N” Word, And The ’60s South

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

deenI never much liked Paula Deen’s cooking. Filled with butter and gravies and things like Krispy Creme Donuts for hamburger buns, Paula seemed too culinarily eccentric … to foodie excessive … too health oblivious even for a southern cook in 1813 much less 2013. Her story though, like her southern twang, had a certain charm to it: single mother of two left penniless makes ends meet by selling food-to-go out of her home kitchen and works her butt off until she reached the top of the sundae’s cherry with three shows on the Food Network and some spin off shows for her two sons.

That all ended Friday as a deposition of Ms. Deen was released. In that dep (in a case Lisa T. Jackson v. Paula Deen et al. involving a claim of racial and sexual discrimination by an employee of her restaurant, Uncle Bubba’s), Ms. Deen admitted to using the no-no of racial epithets in the past — the distant past, like 50 years ago.  Here’s an excerpt from the transcript of Paula’s deposition to see just what I mean:

Q
Okay. Have you ever used the N word yourself?
A
Yes, of course.
Q
Okay. In what context?
A
Well, it was probably when a black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head.
Q
Okay. And what did you say?
A
Well, I don’t remember, but the gun was dancing all around my temple.
Q
Okay.
A
I didn’t — I didn’t feel real favorable towards him.
Q
Okay. Well, did you use the N word to him as he pointed a gun in your head at your face?
A
Absolutely not.
Q
Well, then, when did you use it?
A
Probably in telling my husband.
Q
Okay. Have you used it since then?
A
I’m sure I have, but it’s been a very long time.
Q
Can you remember the context in which you have used the N word?
A
No.
Q
Has it occurred with sufficient frequency that you cannot recall all of the various context in which you’ve used it?
A
No, no.
Q
Well, then tell me the other context in which you’ve used the N word?
A
I don’t know, maybe in repeating something that was said to me.
Q
Like a joke?
A
No, probably a conversation between blacks. I don’t — I don’t know.
Q
Okay.
A
But that’s just not a word that we use as time has gone on. Things have changed since the ’60s in the south. And my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior.
Q
Okay

Realizing perhaps too late, the Deen Food Empire (books, utensils,  cutlery, you name it) sprung into action. First a very public apology for sins past, then a new revised one on YouTube, the town square of our age, where Paula looking quite shaken literally begs for forgiveness.  PC gods served? You tell me:

On cable TV shows up and down the msnbc roster, Deen was decried as racist, uncaring, and calls for her banishment from polite society became overwhelming. So much so that the Food Network pulled the shows and consigned Deen to places we reserve for the likes of George Wallace and Sheriff Bull Connor.  But is that fair?

Deen grew up in place far away –temporally and culturally — from most of her critics and, as one who grew up in the same locales, I can tell you that her sin was a popular one in the South in the 60’s . Everybody who wasn’t white and rich had a name: wops, pollaks, heebs, rednecks, pope lovers, crackers, and yes those christened with the “N” word. And each group used the words liberally to each other and even among each other. I never saw a fight over the name calling but there were some close calls.

Surely it wasn’t a very hospitable place for African-Americans who bore the brunt of discrimination, but neither was it a hospitable place if you were poor, or Catholic, or ethnic, or anything other than wealthy, white and Protestant. That didn’t mean people weren’t civil to one another. By and large they were, but there was a palpable feeling of place and hierarchy that was enforced with a rigid caste system administered by state and local governments. That sat pretty well with the white elite who ran things back then.

But you should know those in power  considered folks like Paula Deen no better that the “n*iggers” they brought in to do their cooking and cleaning and to raise their kids. Those “people”  were there and free only by fiat of  the government in Wershington and, by god, if that was the case they were going to be useful, or so it was thought.

The South changed and evolved in the ’60s and ’70s with  the Civil Rights Movement as Dr. King’s words touched hearts both white and black and brightened them all. For those who wouldn’t listen, scenes of pregnant women blasted with water cannons and vicious police dogs attacking kids was surely enough. White people who drove pickups and worked in plants and farms started to realize that the folks who lived across the railroad tracks and who drove older pickup trucks and worked in plants and farms weren’t really much different from themselves and they had the same lack of control over their lives. The wedges of words that the ruling élite had no interest in curtailing melted away and it is clearly true that the advent of political correctness  shown a glaring light on those southern dinosaurs who couldn’t or wouldn’t change.

Which brings us back to Paula Deen. Paula likely grew up in one of those same southern small towns  like I did. She also likely made a distinction between “black people” (as they were called then ), who worked hard and raised their families as best they could under grinding poverty, and “n*ggers” who were seen as lazy, irresponsible, thuggish and no account. She likely came to learn that names reflect stereotypes and they can be and are often wrong; that people don’t fit nicely into boxes; and that, as Edmund Burke so wisely reminds us, you can’t draw up an indictment against a whole people.

Paula evolved and the South evolved. But the question remains for Paula and those like her: When is the sentence for violating political correctness over? When can you freely admit a mistake made decades ago without fear of reprisal? Not the criminal kind administered by the state, but the reprisal from the overlords of decorum who sit in ivory towers or corporate boardrooms and wax philosophic on all manner of society’s ills and largely for their own benefit ? When will a society committed to free expression allow itself to deal honestly with its past and say publicly a two-syllable word that most find offensive?

In my view, you don’t need a word that no one can utter. You don’t need to continually explain and apologize for sins made years ago in a culture far, far away if you’ve done it once and sincerely. And perhaps most importantly, you don’t need to feel society’s wrath for simply telling the truth about that society.

Paula Deen is no hero, but she is certainly no villain for growing up as she did and living as she did. When we master that fact perhaps we can overcome the racism that divides us even as we accept that our differences spring largely from things over which we have little control, and that we can come together in spite of ourselves if we forgive as freely and as often as we decry.

Source: Huffington Post

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

1,064 Responses

  1. I don’t have the click, it was in my aol newsfeed this morning, but Deen expressed similar views in 2012 so it is not a long ago past.
    That being said, I am no fan but the backlash (sorry to the other post and I think Malisha saying she didn’t like that word) seems excessive. After all she is, at the end of the day, no one important, other then a face on TV.


  2. I like the article here by Mike. It is well written. This dog hates race bigotry and has, in a prior incarnation as a human, seen all sorts of deep south violence against blacks and their white pals who sought to undue some bigot practices. The Paula Deen story rings a bit differently with me. I don’t like the food she prepares on the show and the twang and all of that which goes with it. But what she admits to in the past is not all that bad and this food channel is overboard.


  3. People in the south have known for decades, without a doubt, that this kind of language is hurtful and unacceptable. Ms. Deen is no exception. The Food Channel is absolutely correct.


  4. Mark: When can you freely admit a mistake made decades ago without fear of reprisal?

    Sometimes, never. Which is as it should be, some mistakes are unforgivable.

    You assume this “mistake” (which she implicitly admits was frequent enough to not recall how often it was made or in what context) is minor, and it isn’t.

    And Paula Deen is not necessarily being punished for her “Yes of course” racism, the Food Network may be making a cold-eyed assessment of her appeal to modern viewers that despise racism, deciding that her “southern charm” will now seem fake and forced to many of its fans (including me), and looking for the nearest exit that costs them the least.

    They don’t NEED her, there are plenty of chefs and shows they can pop out in an instant. I can gin up five shows worth watching in 48 hours, all Paula had going for her was ratings, and she just cavalierly alienated all of us with black relatives and loved ones.

    You may think Paula deserves a pass, but it would be a pass at the considerable expense of the Food Network, and they did not do anything wrong to deserve the beating they were about to endure. They should pay her the final month of her contract without airing another show, that will give her thirty days to clean out her locker, turn in her badge and hit the effing road.


  5. Juliet:

    “People in the south have known for decades, without a doubt, that this kind of language is hurtful and unacceptable. Ms. Deen is no exception. The Food Channel is absolutely correct.”

    ******************

    For something done 50 years ago before she ever heard of the Food Channel? . That would be like your husband leaving you now if he found out you had a boyfriend in high school who you had a fling with before you met him.

    And if it was so unacceptable back then why pray tell did so many Southerners partake of it including judges, politicians, physicians, clergy? See any news reel or talk to anybody over 60 if you doubt it. Are they all bad people? All of them?

    I can only guess that forgiveness and understanding aren’t a big part of your very strict world.


  6. Tony C:

    The Food Network has been deluged with Deen supporters who feel this is an overreaction. People — especially young people — make mistakes and people change. There are no unforgivable sins if you are truly contrite and make amends as best you can. Perfection is for the next world.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/22/paula-deen-fans-food-network_n_3483809.html


  7. on 1, June 22, 2013 at 9:08 pm Anonymously Yours

    You know mespo…. Here are difference of all sorts of folk…. Some I like better than others…. To punish here or this committed in the past does not seem right….. But some to err once is enough… They must wear the scarlet N around for eternity…. Things were different even when I was growing up…. Excellent post…


  8. Mark: If she wanted redemption, she should not have answered “Yes, of course.”

    She could have answered, “I grew up in a time and culture when that word was in common usage by most people I knew, but like many other people I knew, my attitude toward it was completely changed by my sympathy with the civil rights movement, and I stopped using it.”

    There was nothing stopping her from saying that. (Or something similar but truthful.) Her lawyers undoubtedly knew the question or something like it was coming, her testimony was related to racial discrimination by her company, they know she was born in 1947 in the South. Did they think that wouldn’t come up? I am not even a lawyer, and I could think of that trap.


  9. What’s important is Ms. Dean’s current language and attitude. I believe that people can change and what should be most important is who they have become. I have never watched her show and, from what I have heard, I’d NEVER cook using her recipes. However, attitudes have changed. If Ms. Dean has changed, good for her. I still occasionally hear the N word and not just in the south. It’s usually by people who expect others hearing them “understand”.


  10. Mark: There are no unforgivable sins if you are truly contrite and make amends as best you can.

    Rape, murder, bankrupting the elderly, oppressing another race to keep them in desperate poverty so you can have a cheap labor force, all good as long as you are truly contrite a few decades later.


  11. why use the offensive word when there are so many other perfectly acceptable code words to use.


  12. on 1, June 22, 2013 at 9:23 pm Anonymously Yours

    Because Pete they were not considered racists or offensive at the time….. Just like Gay did not used to me homosexual …. Things were queer…. Vernacular meaning have changed…


  13. Well who is Paula Deen and who cares?


  14. ” she is, at the end of the day, no one important, other then a face on TV.”

    I think that gets it about right. To me the event seems more important for the discussion that follows on the issue of race than for anything related to Deen herself.

    If the issue presented itself to me regarding a person I knew personally I think I would be influenced by at least two factors.

    How accurately does the speech from long ago reflect the person before me today? Has there been change in the person or doe the speech reflect the person I am dealing with?

    In Deen’s case there are reports that this kind of speech is not atypical of her more recent remarks.

    I would also have to consider the circumstances regarding the speech. I do not think that remarks made under great stress or in great excitement necessarily reflect the true views or opinions of the person. Having a gun held to one’s head is certainly a cause for excitement and stress. I might give someone a pass for saying all manner of things if they had just had a gun held to their head.

    Again in Deen’s case there are reports that she has made similar remarks under far less stressful circumstances than having a gun held to her head.

    All in all, it is possible that Deen received worse than she deserved.

    But one has to recognize one’s limits and set priorities.

    If I were to champion someone’s cause I think I would start with someone who seemed more likely to deserve help than Deen.

    In addition, I is not as though Deen is likely to end up in a homeless shelter. She may not be the richest woman on television. But she does have resources. My guess is that in a few months she will sign another contract and once again be pushing her saturated fat, cardiovascular disaster diet.

    But I am not going to worry about that. Tonight I am cooking Ornish.


  15. mespo,

    The fallacy of presentism writ large. She should not be persecuted because she wasn’t able to see the future or for the context the culture of the times provided. Then again, 100 years ago, I’d just be a blue-eyed devil mick talking to some swarthy dago. :mrgreen:

    She deserves some slack on this for the presentism alone.


  16. The network was certainly I suppose within their legal right to not renew the contract. It is their programming to decide upon.

    That aside I haven’t seen evidence to suggest that she was a racist. But then again he company is being sued for discrimination. But I don’t know if she had anything to do with that personally.

    50 years is a long time ago and what she said was a word. I did not see any evidence of a Klan rally she attended then. Oh, I guess we had a senator or two that was a member of that group and somehow he made it and was allowed to declare he was reformed.

    I guess the network is concerned about someone making an issue of it and the backlash against them more than they are worried about what she said in a deposition by someone trying to paint her in a bad light.

    Words by themselves are not evil. Actions can be.


  17. Darren,

    “But then again he company is being sued for discrimination. But I don’t know if she had anything to do with that personally.”

    Exactly. Respondeat superior only goes so far. What she did 50 years ago is immaterial. If she some how actively participated in any discrimination found today or had reason to know it was going on? That’s a different matter.


  18. “Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone.” Works for me.


  19. on 1, June 22, 2013 at 9:45 pm Arthur Randolph Erb

    I hope that we do not see the end of Mark Twain and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn since one of the main characters is Nigger Jim, who is the only decent human adult in the book. Then Conrad will have to be banned from the Library shelves for his book, Nigger of the Narcisus. So we can make sure that future generations are pure and whole, and uneducated.


  20. The Nazi Food Channel is a mirror for all the self-righteous hypocrites who think they’ve never done such a crime against humanity. Give me a break.


  21. on 1, June 22, 2013 at 9:55 pm bill mcwilliams

    Please tell other races to stop dissing other people. Fair is fair.


  22. Sorry, but I grew up in the South and in a bigoted family. I can honestly tell you I never embraced it and had more than a few family members who could not tolerate me either. I’m sure they had a few nice names for me as well. I think it is very telling that she would say her children and brother do not like her to use it…. This is ridiculous and an empty excuse. This is another white southern woman who is completely in love with herself and probably thinks anything goes if she uses a sugar sweet voice and fake smile. I’m a little confused at your strange defense of her.


  23. Darren: Words by themselves are not evil. Actions can be.

    Only persons can be evil, but words reflect thoughts and they reveal their evil minds by their words. The word is not evil, Paula Deen is evil, and Paula Deen deserves punishment.

    And to ALL: She does not claim the word was last uttered by her 50 years ago, she refuses to testify on when she last used the word. But she was a bank teller and married when she offers her lame excuse of talking about a black bank robber waving a gun at her, as if she only uttered it because she was in distress, and then proceeds to testify that wasn’t the only reason she used it, she used it in conversations so mundane she cannot even remember why she was using it.

    The Food Network was right to not renew. If she wants to use the word, she has freedom of speech. The rest of us have freedom of speech and the freedom to choose what we watch, and I choose to never see her again, and I will make sure the Food Network knows that.


  24. Erb: Mark Twain wrote fiction, in the language of his time, and as a fiction writer he crafted both “Jim” and “Huckleberry” precisely to demonstrate how an enlightenment about thoughtless racism might occur to Huckleberry, as part of his coming of age and becoming an independent thinking adult.

    Mark Twain gets a pass on Huckleberry Finn for NOT being a racist.


  25. on 1, June 22, 2013 at 10:24 pm Anonymously Yours

    This should probably be included:

    2. She really wanted to stage that Southern plantation-style wedding. But she didn’t because the media wouldn’t understand.
    Jackson said she was put in charge of arrangements for Bubba’s wedding, which Deen apparently said she wanted to have a “true Southern plantation-style theme.” What, pray tell, does that mean? “Well what I would really like is a bunch of little n—-rs to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts, and black bow-ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around,” Deen reportedly elaborated. Alas, the wedding Deen envisioned never came to be. “We can’t do that because the media would be on me about that,” she reportedly told Jackson. In her testimony, Deen said that she actually was referencing the “beautiful white jackets with a black bow-tie” she saw the wait staff of “middle-aged black men” wearing at a restaurant she visited “in Tennessee or North Carolina or somewhere.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/06/19/paula-deen-uses-the-n-word-7-shocking-details-from-her-deposition.html


  26. Eh, yeah. That she shouldn’t get any slack on if true.


  27. Tony C I quite agree since the whole point of using the word Nigger Jim is to show how a nigger was better than most of the whites. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many places today where some parents are up in arms about using Huck Finn even though it is one of the greatest books of American literature. A long dead WWII veteran friend of mine’s opinion was that American literature began and ended with Huck Finn. I would not go that far, but close to it. This objection is even funnier since back when the KKK had literate and some people of intellect, the KKK objected to Huck Finn since it put whites of that era in such a bad light and viewed black Americans in a favorable light. Now we have some black Americans against the use of the book because of the use of the word, and the KKK supporting it because of that one word. Both are stupid.

    The point is that there should be no banned words. I think that folks should be free to say and use whatever words they wish. Then they can accpet the consequences for doing so. If the use of the word is in ancient history of them, then punishing them for what they said is absurd. Now if they had been KKK members, and had not repented and made amends, THEN they shold suffer legal, material, and professional consequences.

    I find it amusing that even George Wallace found redemption and the light. In fact, in his last victorious run for Governor, he won the majority of the black vote by apologizing and askng forgiveness for his past. So if the black folks of AL can forgive Wallace, we can forgive past indiscretions of a lesser nature.


  28. There but two areas of the nation which get a specific priority on television, whether news shows or entertainment– South and New York City. They both cater to a certain banality and dumb downness inherent in both places. In the first two decades of television the networks looked for their main men or women to come to the plate with Midwest or western accents. Johnny Carson, Walter Cronkite are good examples. On the late night show host podium we did not get a New Yorker until Jay Leno. He is schmuck personified and plays the “turdy turd and a turd” thing (33rd Street and 3rd Avenue) to the hilt. Jimmy Dean promoted his sausage products with this specifically dumb southern twang. Just the way they say Jimmy. Now this Paula Deen (no relation) plays the southern wifey poo thing to the hilt and she gets old quick. She looks old too which is another reason they are yanking her fat arse off the food channel. I wish Jay would go too. I cant stand him.


  29. Its not fried chicken daddy, its Shake n Bake! I am tired of that kind of apCray on television. That darn Paula Deen show follows the Animal Planet on our television and we are quick to turn the tv off.


  30. Ms. Dean is still stuck in a past that continues to linger in some areas North and South. If her employer has the right to not renew her contract, that is the price she paid for the wealth and fame her contract(s) achieved for her earlier. If she has used that word recently as suggested above, she should be gone.


  31. Mespo, You have more wisdom, more common sense, more balls, more compassion, than any other person here. I’ve been accused this evening of being an “ass kisser.” Do you think I’m kissing your ass w/ what I just said? On the souls of my dead parents and sister, I mean every word. You nailed this one. In the great flick, 42, Branch Rickey doesn’t judge Jackie’s minor league manager for calling Jack a “n!gger.” Rickey merely tells the skipper he realizes he was brought up in that culture, but it had to stop. No pomposity, holier than thou, horseshit from the kind and wise Branch Rickey. Just putting a man on notice that his ways were no longer acceptable, and they had to change. I’m heading to bed, but looking forward to Sunday morning to see if you have been “chastened” by the sanctimonious amongst us. I know you can handle whatever is thrown @ you. And for the record, I really dislike Deen’s cooking, face, and her hideous voice.


  32. Mark,

    I disagree with your entire premise. There are many indications that this was not some anachronistic slip fro 50 years ago but quite current. Also as AY pointed out the wedding she wanted to do for her brother was racist in context. Finally, I’ve watched her on TV and she has gained success by portraying a lovable image and promoting cooking methods that are outrageous dangerous to people’s health. By hurting her image she made herself less useful to her employer and so she was terminated.
    Yes I do believe people can grow, can regret and can change. In Deen’s case based on her apology I think it was more damage control than contrition.


  33. First of all, her selling power is not made of talent; it is made of image. (Anybody can fry a donut and slap a porkchop on it!) Her image has been tarnished (by her own behavior, old, new or middle-aged, makes no difference to me) and therefore she’s not saleable. Boo hoo. Furthermore, her initial reason for using the epithet “n*gger” (excuse me: it is not a NAME; it is used in place of a NAME to indicate that the person so designated is not even deserving of his or her NAME) was that one Black person committed a crime against her. By this standard, nearly every single one of us could find a derogatory name to use against all white men, all men of any “race,” all women, all mothers, fathers, all Jews, certainly all Christians, all public officials, you name it. Crimes have been committed against me by: white men, Black men, Jewish men, Christian men, public officials of all genders and “races” and “religions,” etc. etc. etc. (except for children or dogs). So damn what? That’s no excuse for either insult OR injury.

    Secondy, if her contract is not renewed, whose problem is that? SHOULD she have a new contract? That’s a business matter between her and her employer; why do we all care?


  34. Malisha:

    While I did employ some bit of poetic license in the title of the piece, the “N word” is a name, as the term is commonly understood, and it is more specifically a slang, derisive ethnonym of the autonym variety.


  35. Mark I too feel that her views are a result of her upbringing which probably involved a household that fondly remembered the stars and bars (and unfortunately in places like Mississippi (where its a part of their flag) this is still the case for many today.

    But it wasn’t just the mere slip of the tongue with a gun pointed to her head. This psychopath wanted a wedding filled with blacks in slave attire. If it were just a slip of the tongue at gun point anyone would understand. But she verbally desired a return to dixie. Then you should realize what she says under oath is her own PC version of her true views. If what you see and hear in such circumstances sounds a bit racist you are probably only scratching the surface. And if you want to give her all the benefit of the doubt in the world, I dont think we need people who express a verbal desire for american slave themed weddings on the air in 2013. Maybe she didnt say it quite like it was alleged with the N* word etc. if you want to be naive about it but she still comes out and says she wants a slave themed wedding and has made comments tantamount to defense of slavery in the past.

    Its a free country and you can say what you want, but the networks probably shouldn’t look like their endorsing these outdated views and will probably want to separate from you in such cases. If a german fossil came here and desired a holocaust theme wedding complete with Nazi garb because they had fond memories of hitler’s marches from their childhood the outcome probably would and should be the same. Would you disagree?


  36. Mike S:

    “I disagree with your entire premise.”

    ******************************

    Based on what I read under oath, I have to accept that she hasn’t used the epithet “in a very long time,” and specifically not since “the ’60s.” Obviously, if she is still using the term and is not contrite I have no sympathy for her.

    The point of my piece (much like your fine piece a day earlier) is that if we truly want to move into a post-racial world we have to talk frankly about our mutual grievances and forgive each other sincerely even as we make amends. The same way we learned in kindergarten or at momma’s knee when we wanted to get along.


  37. CK7:

    I don’t know anything about the wedding comment she allegedly made and I can see it could be reflective of problematic attitudes, if true. It could also be a bumbling attempt to recreate some Gone With The Wind scene and botching the wording of what was intended — terribly.

    My point was that we don’t make any societal progress by yelling at 60-year-olds to change their ways from 50 years ago when they already have – supposedly. I don’t question the right of the Food Network to not renew the contract; I question the wisdom of it. If Ms. Deen is honest, is it really fair to foster a world where every mistake has an eternal consequence and every stupid comment is toxic to one’s circumstance in life?

    How many of us would hold up to that standard?


  38. “is it really fair to foster a world where every mistake has an eternal consequence and every stupid comment is toxic to one’s circumstance in life? ”

    Oddly enough but slightly off topic, this is exactly the world a pervasive surveillance state (public and/or private) will foster.

    Just an observation.


  39. Gene H:
    Oddly enough but slightly off topic, this is exactly the world a pervasive surveillance state (public and/or private) will foster.

    Just an observation.”

    *************************

    That’s an astute observation. I was at a seminar some time ago where we discussed the “Right to Be Forgotten” which the internet and the surveillance state seems to fight at every turn. Might make an interesting blog post.


  40. It just might at that, mespo. I know the English have taken a swipe at the “right to be forgotten” model of legislation and had very mixed results.


  41. nick:

    “Do you think I’m kissing your ass w/ what I just said? ”

    ***********************

    No, I just think we see things the same sometimes and this is one of those times. Sincere approval is not flattery as I see no intent to ingratiate yourself to me.


  42. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 1:07 am Mike Spindell

    Ah Nicky,

    Trying to derail another thread yet again because of course it is all about you. On the souls of your dead parents really?


  43. Mark,

    “PC gods served? ” … has a certain ring to it.

    “Surely it wasn’t a very hospitable place for African-Americans who bore the brunt of discrimination, but neither was it a hospitable place if you were poor, or Catholic, or ethnic, or anything other than wealthy, white and Protestant.”

    Really? I don’t recall bathrooms, drinking fountains, or park benches with the sign: Catholics, wops, pollaks, heebs, rednecks, pope lovers, crackers only but there were plenty of signs everywhere for Colored only.

    “The wedges of words that the ruling élite had no interest in curtailing melted away and it is clearly true that the advent of political correctness shown a glaring light on those southern dinosaurs who couldn’t or wouldn’t change.”

    Melted away?! What a romantic take on the reality that was the actual Civil Rights Movement. Quite a few innocent men, women, and children of color died through that melting away period … several others carry the physical scars from the burning and beatings (myself included) that was also very much a part of that melting away process. Strangely enough all the killing and wounding wasn’t done by a single dinosaur but rather by mobs of angry white people bound and determined to drive out the n*igger-lovers.

    I can well understand that Paula Deen can’t recall how many times she used the word n*igger because I certainly lost count of the number of times I was called a n*igger-lover.

    And now poor Paula is just melting away … a victim who is guilty of nothing more than being part of a social system that popularized the word n*igger for generations.

    She might find herself in a slightly better position today if she had been more like Dorothy Rogers Tilly, or Alice Norwood Spearman Wright, or Frances Freeborn Pauley, or Anne Braden. or perhaps if she had joined the SCEF or even the League of Women Voters of Georgia. You see these were all white southern women who worked long and hard within the Civil Rights Movement for decades.

    When I was active in the movement and traveling down south, I stayed in many homes of women like those mentioned above. We went to meetings, we went to parties, we went to church (usually Methodist), we marched and I met hundreds of their friends and relatives over the years and never once did the word n*igger cross anyone’s lips.

    Geez … I guess I didn’t run with the popular crowd, but we were dam brave overlords of decorum.

    On the other hand there’s Paula’s story which really does show us the decorum practised by her family:

    “In one passage, she detailed a particularly troubling experience she had at the age of 10 with a “real nice black woman” who “often babysat” her and that woman’s child:

    “This one day she had brought her little girl to work, and that child had many big, fat blisters on her hand, probably from helping out her momma. Something about those blisters just attracted me and I remember hitting those little hands with a bolo bat, and it busted her blisters good. It was pretty satisfying.
    I don’t know why I did it. I have a hard time thinking I did it out of meanness. But her mother—I can’t remember if she slapped me across the face or she spanked me or both—but either way, now I know I sure had it comin’.
    Well, still I was heartbroken and I went running to find my Grandmother Paul and Granddaddy and my momma. And my granddaddy had the woman arrested for hitting me. The little black girl’s momma went to jail.
    All this time it’s bothered me.
    It was me who deserved to be sittin’ in that jail for breaking a little black girl’s blisters in 1957.”

    Poor Paula, I guess karma has caught up with her.


  44. Concerning the right to be forgotton one does have to look at what true interest the federal government has in a benign individual.

    Lets take for example the most detached person from the federal government; a person who is ineligible for the draft due to age, files a federal tax return each year and does not owe any taxes, does not purchase anything that would require a federal license, does not own property but rents, and does not commit any crimes. He also does not own a business or have employees. He does not break any laws. The person does not have a bank account or has any income, living off savings he keeps in his dwelling.

    What possible justification can the federal gov’t have in even contacting this man? The gov’t cannot articulate any interest in doing so. It really can be a testament to how malevolent the gov’t is if a person such as this man beccomes an object of attention.

    In my view the right to privacy includes also the right to just be “left alone.”


  45. @ Blouise

    Thank you for your response, your comment pointed out the fallacies of the post in a much more civil and calm way than I would have.

    —–

    To me PC has always meant being Polite and Courteous. I try to be polite and courteous to everyone I meet until given reason not to. It doesn’t cost much to be PC and respect others wishes and not use names and language they may find objectionable. Yet we see here in this post and from a few commenters that being polite and courteous is a bad thing and is a burden that must be borne. Why is that?


  46. Having lived in various areas of the nation (one does not say “country” in this context) I would say that the people who use the N word the most are retired transplants from New York City who now live in NC or FL. By far. They pee off the white locals with their use of that term. Paula should move to NYC.


  47. Yeah, they use the term “F ing N…” and if they speak of any Hispanic person it is “F ing Mexican”.


  48. Blouise’s comment gets everything right. It’s important to push back against the idea that Deen is being criticized for something she said 50 years ago. She’s being criticized for allegations of modern day discrimination and vile language.

    It’s also creepy that Deen expressed a desire for slave/segregation themed events and even more so that some people would seek to defend this by appealing to fears of political correctness.

    There is simply no way that any public figure who expressed similar nostalgia for the good old days of the Warsaw Ghetto or used similar slurs for Jewish people would get many defenders, outside of the usual right-wing people.

    Finally it’s interesting that some people seek to defend Deen by pointing out she was born in 1947. Similar defenses are never used when discussing statements by black people of Deen’s age or older who grew up under segregation and discrimination. White people ran a terror state in the South for a full century after the Civil War. It is a big deal that a public figure expresses positive feelings for aspects of that system.


  49. We’re a forgiving nation all right! Just not fair.

    First let’s understand that using deprecating words to describe anyone, whether they are intentional or not, is not OK. Yet EVERYONE does it anyway! EVERYONE.

    I’ve been around a few years, and in that time I’ve been called “Whitey”, “honkey,” “cracker” and a number of other names I can’t even mention here. No one apologized to me for a racist remark. Amazingly, I know black people who still use the N-word themselves!

    My first experience with racism was in Texas in the 1960’s when I was a very young soldier and tried to enter a restaurant with a black friend. Not only were there separate bathrooms and drinking fountains, but we were very loudly and profanely refused service.

    A number of my friends are black as are some business associates. At one time I managed a large business operation on the south-side of Chicago where the were predominately black. So I do have an some appreciation for this discussion. What I don’t have is patience for false political correctness, and hypocrisy. That isn’t how we make a Paula Deen type of problem go away, if we ever can.

    I don’t like Obama’s politics, and I recall very few Democrats in congress who didn’t take great pleasure at the drop of a hat to label me, and any like me, a racist and a gun-toting Nazi. Remember those/these days? Bill Clinton committed despicable sexual acts IN THE WHITE HOUSE ITSELF, lied to the entire nation that he did not, and if that wasn’t good enough he then also lied to a grand jury and was impeached. Today, he remains the Godfather of the Democratic Party. Oops, little two-faced here? Obama himself made a false claim of racism that ended up in the rose garden beer fest with a police officer to make amends – remember? Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Jeremiah Wright are all prominent black religious leaders who openly advocate and preach hate of white people. How many of you who are taking on Paula Deen have openly stood against the diatribes of this quartet?

    The point is, I’m not defending Ms. Deen’s actions, nor the use of licentious language. We are all responsible for what we say and do, and certainly most of us probably have something from our past that we’d like to burry.

    But I do grow increasingly weary and angry with this two-faced plague and inane political correctness that demands only certain people be literally destroyed for their beliefs (or in this case something they may or may not have said) while others, who are equally bad if not more so, serve as sole judge and jury.

    Is it any wonder that such nonsense is emblematic of what is going on in Washington today – being lied to, spied upon, sought out and persecuted for divergent political beliefs.

    America is supposed to be different, better than this, and it is with a minor exception. For those who insist on perpetuating this despicable behavior like spoiled children, it would be good to remember that life can be a double edged sword – those who judge with extreme prejudice may also one day have to account for their past. You are creating the paradigm of your own fate, and when that time comes you’d best be hopeful someone is more understanding, reasonable, honest, and merciful than you.


  50. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 7:53 am Hubert Cumberdale

    Juliet Lester Neary bleated “People in the south have known for decades, without a doubt, that this kind of language is hurtful and unacceptable. Ms. Deen is no exception. The Food Channel is absolutely correct.”

    You have a false assumption that only people in the south use the word “nigger”. Geographical bigotry. Secondly, she should be held accountable for something said 50 years ago? What does the Food Channel have anything to do with something 50 years ago, much less, hold anyone accountable?

    There is way too much oversensitivity to this word “nigger” which is simply a word, when all is said and done. The more people have these knee-jerk reactions to a word, the more power it gives the word. It’s only a word! People drop the f-bomb, or use God’s name in vain daily like there’s nothing to it. But someone dare say “nigger” and somebody’s going to get fired, and the world will stop spinning on its axis. Totally absurd.

    Another thing to think about, black people use the word “nigger” all the time, without any serious consequences. Have you ever heard of a black person getting fired because they used the word “nigger”?


  51. This wasn’t 50 years ago. Quit excusing racists.


  52. The hypocrisy of our puritanical condemnation is astounding to me. Black children predominantly grow up in poverty, their schools are dramatically underfunded and their communities underserved, black people fill our prisons without meaningful representation in courts or fairness in sentencing, they cannot appear in public places without police harassment–whether it’s Driving While Black or Stop and Frisk–and face documented and severe discrimination in the job market: We all live in a profoundly racist society that systemically neglects and persecutes black people without reservation.

    Yet we make a show of our enlightenment by condemning somebody who uses the wrong word.

    It’s like a nation of cannibals crucifying one of their own for failing to use a napkin.

    I’m waiting for somebody who gets “caught” this way to step up and make use of it as a long overdue teaching moment.

    We’re so sick that we continue to use the rhetoric of slavery to describe our earlier Presidents (including those godly Founding Fathers) as “slave owners,” which embraces the rhetoric of evil in whitewashing the psychopathy of those who supported slavery on the rationale that “those were different times.” Those were times when the vast majority of our species had no difficulty distinguishing human beings from animals. Most people in the North AND (rejecting the suspension of belief necessary to view it as a matter of “different times”)-recognizing the “slaves” themselves as PEOPLE–most in the South as well.

    Allowing reference to “slave ownership” as a respectable term and pretending that it reflected nothing more than differences of opinion when exhibited by past presidents is like Germans referring to the WWII genocide in Nazi language and mindset, i.e., “Yeah, they really went off the tracks with that Solution to the Jewish Problem, tsk, tsk, it was sad but those were different times.”

    The German people take no such easy way out. Those were not such different times–not seventy years ago and not 150 years ago.

    America is insane in its moral cowardice. We recently killed, what, a half million innocent people in Iraq without any sane justification and have not yet shown the decency to even formally admit it as a mistake (the most benign interpretation), much less say we’re sorry.

    What a profoundly sick, psychopathic people. But at least we nailed us a goddang racist!


  53. Blouise:

    I’m not sure your occasional visits to the South qualify you to indict a whole society nor to dispute the existence of language I heard most every day from prominent people in town. I don’t question your observation that SOME whites joined more police in quashing civil rights rallies just as I suppose you don’t question the fact that most southern whites were not throwing bottles and racial epithets and simply stayed at home.

    Likewise, I am sure that you understand that just because discrimination isn’t publicly displayed doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or is any less demeaning. Lest you disagree I’m happy to detail all the discrimination in housing, financing, employment, club memberships, and many other aspects of life that I have seen that impacted races other than African-American.

    As for Paula Deen, if you are dead set against forgiving anybody for anything they may have done while age 10-years-old there’s very little I can say to change that attitude. You might want to consider that people aren’t perfect, don’t always act from the best of motivations, are as much a product of their environment as of their nature,and usually evolve out of these flaws with age and experience.

    It’s wonderful you risked a lot to help the Civil Rights Movement, but one of the challenges of doing great work is to avoid slipping into sanctimony.


  54. I’m from the south. I’m not “assuming” anything. I hear it, daily. I don’t give a crap how many black people use it. It doesn’t make it okay. You seem awfully jolly about getting a legitimate opportunity to write it.

    No one said the earth will stop spinning, but that racist woman won’t have a show, anymore, and that’s good enough for me.


  55. Juliet:

    “This wasn’t 50 years ago. Quit excusing racists.”

    ******************************

    2013 – 1960 = 53


  56. Juliet:

    You have no idea if Ms. Deen is a racist NOW or not and neither do I. That’s my point. Being sanctimonious about your position isn’t winning you any arguments but maybe it makes you feel better.


  57. Pray tell how I’m being sanctimonious? Her comment was made recently. People who are not racists don’t going around referring to black children in such a nasty way. I’m not trying to win an argument. I simply don’t think we should excuse racism from old, white people just because they’re from the south.


  58. She said it last year. Last year. Not 1960. Inform yourself.


  59. False egos make false claims to stand on false rocks, above the crowd to feel false superiority.
    My Dad can beat up your Dad. …. so it begins.


  60. Loviatar:

    If all PC meant was being polite and courteous you’d see a parade down Fifth Avenue touting its benefits. PC has come to be a rallying point for punishing speech we don’t agree with. When Paula Deen used the N word fifty or so years ago, under the rules of PC she condemned herself to not working in corporate America and being blasted by most every commenter on the Left regardless of any apology. PC coupled with forgiveness is fine but it doesn’t go well with eternal condemnation.


  61. Juliet:

    “She said it last year. Last year. Not 1960. Inform yourself.”

    *************************

    That’s an allegation in a lawsuit from someone seeking compensatory and punitive damages for sexual discrimination and hostile work environment. That’s not a fact.

    Educate yourself.

    I’ll help here’s the ALLEGATIONS of the lawsuit:

    http://www.atlawblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Jackson-v.-Deen-et-al.-Complaint.pdf


  62. In our society we love to build people up and put them on elaborate pedestals. We help them on the the climb by giving them grotesque amounts of money and telling them they can do no harm. We protect them from those that accuse them of any crime (even major crimes such as rape and murder). Then once they are firmly in place on that pedestal we start to point out the small chinks in their perfect lives. Their hair is funny, they have a pimple, they let a little too much skin poke out in a swim suite on a beach in the south of France, etc. Then when a our former heros and princes make a slight faux pas we hurl slings and arrows and insist we weren’t one of those that put them on that pedestal, all along we could see they were really bad people. It was “other” people that put them on that pedestal.

    I guess it just makes us feel superior to put someone down. That is indeed what is happening today with Paula Dean.

    Great article.


  63. Bob
    June 23, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Wonderfully stated. Your words of truth pack a punch, as they should.


  64. “The point of my piece (much like your fine piece a day earlier) is that if we truly want to move into a post-racial world we have to talk frankly about our MUTUAL GRIEVANCES and forgive each other sincerely even as we make amends. The same way we learned in kindergarten or at momma’s knee when we wanted to get along.” [emphasis mine]

    Are you f*cking kidding with that? Seriously? When was the last time you were followed around in a store because of your skin color? When did someone last assume you had a special stink about you? When did someone last assume you we’re less than intelligent, had a large penis, were better at sports, dancing, jumping and singing? When did someone last assume you didn’t grow up with a father? When did someone last assume you we’re on drugs, welfare or food stamps?

    Seriously, what grievance do you have that could possibly measure up to what has been done and what continues to happen to people of color in this country?


  65. Juliet:

    If your assumption is that one race consists of angels and the other devils, you’re never going to solve this problem. Likewise you must have had one sheltered existence. You can argue one side all you like, but the fact is, as Jesse jackson says, nobody is going anywhere and seeking an all or nothing solution won’t wash.


  66. Yeah. That’s why she’s apologizing. Because the last time she said it was 50 years ago.

    I worked in the leal field for a quarter century. She’s hedging on the dates, because she doesn’t know if she’s been recorded on someone’s cell phone.

    Please don’t be dumb.


  67. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 8:44 am Anonymously Yours

    I remember a few years ago that the folks of England wished to change the name of the slave trading street…. It bore the name Penny Lane…. Well the righteous Beatle fans didn’t want it changed…. Guess who won….

    Should we get rid of Amazing Grace…. Because its an apologist song when someone started feeling guilty about slavery…. Yeah… It boils down to the roots….

    Should we ignore it…. Or hope it passes… But as a friend of mine in Scotland has said… You can’t exactly ignore the Zebra in the room…

    I guess we will have to get rid of blond jokes…


  68. I never made an assumption like that. I’m not trying to solve the problem. It’s not mine to solve. And I’m not arguing a side. I’m simply saying if you use language like that about other human beings — as well as other racial, ethnic, ability and orientation slurs — you’re a dick. And, if you do it when you have a TV show, you deserve to be fired.

    Have a nice day, straw man!


  69. Wasn’t the esteemed Robert Byrd once a raving racist? Wasn’t he also a paragon for the Democratic party? I believe his past association with the KKK was mentioned, all was forgiven because he repented and became a leader of the “right” party.

    We seem to be pretty selective in whose apologies we accept.


  70. Juliet:

    “I worked in the leal field for a quarter century. She’s hedging on the dates, because she doesn’t know if she’s been recorded on someone’s cell phone.”

    *****************************

    Don’t know why you’re criticizing someone’s apology and I ‘m not sure what field you worked in but I’m sure you understand that events occurring over decades aren’t susceptible to easy recall. Also I’m sure you understand that you’ve gone in lock, stock, and barrel against Paula Deen with nothing more than your own attitudes for a basis. When I pointed out the comment was made 50 years ago as she testified under oath you said it was made last year. When I pointed out that was mere allegation not proven fact, you ignored it. When I asked you earlier if it would be right for your husband to leave you if he found out now you had a fling in high school you ignored that, too.

    By your own standard of equivocation and avoidance, aren’t you “dumb” ?


  71. Paul:

    Amen.


  72. AY:

    We WILL NOT get rid of blond jokes. LOL


  73. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 9:10 am Anonymously Yours

    Ok,

    So mespo, what did the blond call her pet zebra……

    Spot….


  74. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 9:22 am nick spinelli

    What this issue, and so many issues are really about, when you whittle away all the horseshit, is control. It’s maddening to me that folks can’t see how much power they have given the word, “nigger.” And, then how much effort is exhausted trying to vilify to satanic person who dare utter that word. We have a right to counter speech w/ speech. We do not have the right to not be offended. And that’s what this pernicious pc is all about. And that line of people who truly believe they have a Constitutional right to not be offended gets longer every year.


  75. Randyjet: Then they can accept the consequences for doing so. If the use of the word is in ancient history of them, then punishing them for what they said is absurd.

    I see no reason for time to have anything to do with it. Time doesn’t count, only events count. Has there been some transformational event that makes Paula Deen less of a racist now than she was (as an employed and married adult) 45 years ago? Apparently not, since she was using the word a generation later, planning her younger brother’s (Bubba) wedding in 2007, according to court documents, as alleged by Lisa Jackson (under oath).

    There is no absurdity in culturally shunning people with snakes and spiders in their head, it is the evidence of those snakes and spiders we shun.

    I have not declared her jail worthy, I do not advocate for taking away her multiple millions of dollars. I believe in freedom of speech. A nice side benefit of freedom of speech is it often reveals the true character of people, and that is what Paula Deen has done here.

    The government rightly requires proof of guilt before using its considerable power to punish somebody.

    I feel the same about myself: I am not completely powerless, I have the control of my actions, my money, and my advocacy. However I also need to be convinced of guilt before using those minuscule powers to punish somebody. In this case, I am, because I pay attention to details, and I do not make silly assumptions about human nature.

    Paula Deen shows the signs of trying to hide her true nature. Here is my play-by-play:

    1) When first asked if she has used the N-word, she answers “Yes, of course,” to imply the question is silly, everybody has used it, like the F-word, or as*hole.

    2) But when pressed for details she tries to excuse it as a one-off incident; she was a teller robbed at gunpoint, and later in anger referred to the robber using the N-word. Extreme circumstances, never casual circumstances.

    3) When called on whether it was ONLY extreme circumstances, she gets worried about perjury, and waffles. Who knows who will be brought forward to refute what she says next? So she admits, yes, she has used it since then.

    4) Why and in what context? Again a trap. If she answers, the attorney will ask the same thing again: Anytime after that incident?

    Presumably she knows the court has documents alleging (under oath) that she used the N-word in 2007, planning Bubba’s wedding, in front of at least three people (the restaurant manager, the caterer, and Lisa Jackson, the plaintiff), all people that might take the stand. If she admits to that, she makes her racism current and casual.

    So she cannot safely answer, she claims amnesia.

    5) It is suggested she cannot remember because the usage is so frequent it all blends together. Of course that cannot be agreed to, so it has to be denied.

    6) That denial leads in a circle back to (4), a demand for a reason and a context. She again has to be vague.

    7) The attorney tightens the trap. Was it a joke? No, not a joke, she knows you can’t use it in a joke. What then? Paula comes up with the only acceptable use she can think of: Blacks use it with each other, so she was recounting a conversation between blacks.

    To quote the Saturday Night live Liar’s skit: Yeah, that’s it!

    Whether I am a jury of one, or one juror in ten million, I see a lying, stupid racist. Her offense is not in the past, she was sixty, a celebrity for eight years, and she had forty years as an adult to retrain her mind to expunge that word from her vocabulary, and had not bothered.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.


  76. Tony C:

    We’ll see at trial if you’re interpretation of the facts is correct or whether Ms. Deen’s is correct. It’s (s)he said-she said until a credible witness either corroborates or disputes. Until then all you have is allegations and suppose.


  77. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 9:47 am Swarthmore mom

    Have to agree with Blouise and Tony C. I was called the same name as Blouise a few times and her writings reminded me of those feelings. Those instances made me who I am today, and if someone wants to make fun of me by calling me pc or some other derogatory name, bring it.


  78. Mark,

    Forgiving Paula Deen isn’t my issue and I wouldn’t presume to speak for the child whose hands she battered nor the child’s mother who Paula’s granddaddy had arrested for punishing poor little Paula.

    The whole point in listing the names and giving details regarding my trips to the south was to illustrate why a whole society should not be indicted for the actions of Paula’s peoples. I spent months with white southerners who were active participants in the Civil Rights Movement and, like it or not, n*igger was never a word they used. Check out the work of the League of Women Voters of Georgia during that period of time for further illumination as to what portions of southern society were working to achieve. They were part of the white society that didn’t stay home.

    I had to smile when I read your caution about slipping into sanctimony as “sanctimonious n*igger-lover” was a favorite taunt of the more educated mob participants … though “arrogant” was also a favorite … as in “You arrogant n*igger-lovers think you can tell us how to treat our n*iggers … expletive, expletive, etc.” … often followed with buckets of horsepiss being thrown on us.

    Fun times! And guess what … today you can claim it all melted away in some romanticized view of Rosa Parks and MLK Jr. and poor Paula, of course. But that’s not the truth, Mark.


  79. SwM,

    “Those instances made me who I am today, and if someone wants to make fun of me by calling me pc or some other derogatory name, bring it.” ;)

    But leave the horsepiss at home.


  80. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 10:09 am Canadian Wearing Speedos

    Have you ever been to the beaches of Miami and saw white men wearing speedos? I bet you snickered to yourself and punched the partner you were with or gave them the look that only you could about the guy with the big belly, white and wearing speedos. That’s offensive you even probably took a picture so you could share it with your friends when you got back home. Now, that’s offensive. Or you probably posted it in face book or YouTube if you took a video. That’s offensive to the guests you have in this country that spend large amounts of American dollars. You don’t care because you’ve had your laugh, at my expense. That’s ok, because I have many pairs of speedos. But, you hurt my feelings just the same.


  81. On the point of whether blacks can use the N-word when referring to other blacks in a sibling-camaraderie context, the answer is yes, for a very particular justification unique to blacks: There is no plausible reason for the term to be taken in any other way.

    Being black themselves, they cannot be using the term to imply the other person is of an inherently inferior race to themselves; they cannot change their race. But racism is always a potential motivation when the speaker is non-black. They may insist their usage is benign and friendly, but they cannot change their race. Blacks have rational, justifiable reason to treat the two cases differently.

    Similarly, if a non-black uses the term to refer to another non-black, they engage in racism by pejorative implication. Use of the term by a non-black will almost always carry the clear implication that blacks are an inferior race subordinate to the speaker; while that subordination and inferiority to the speaker cannot be implied if the speaker is of the same race.

    There are exceptions. One exception is when the usage is in an academic context, such as Steven Pinker talking about the evolution of language and the observably specialized brain reactions to “reserved” words (the academic version of Carlin’s seven words).

    Another is when the usage is in a legal context; in order to be specific in charges of racial discrimination the word may need to be written and spoken.

    A third “on the gray line” area is in art, books and films (and stand-up comedy) that aim to portray the human condition, emotions, and culture with some accuracy, and use the word precisely because of its ability to evoke revulsion or anger in some of us.


  82. Slavery was a holocaust that went on and on, trapping the minds of sane men and dragging them down (e.g. Washington, Jefferson, and Madison).

    Would we want to begin to feel more lightly about the recent holocaust in Germany, one that had even fewer victims than the American Slave Holocaust had?


  83. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 10:32 am Anonymously Yours

    Well, Tony,

    Can a homosexual use the term Bit@ch to refer to another homosexual….. And it not be offensive…. What if a gay person hears two straight males calling another one a bi@tch…. Would that be considered not PC….

    The hypothesis can go on and on….


  84. Canadian: That sounds pretty manufactured, a little inexpert fiction, probably to try and hide your defense of racism behind some lame humor.

    But if people laugh at you, it is not because of your race (which you can do nothing about), it is because of your stunning lack of willpower, greed for self-indulgence and obliviousness to how others perceive you. All of which you could do something about. They are laughing at YOU, specifically, as an individual human being making laughably stupid choices.


  85. Canadian, The Speedos aren’t as big an issue as the fact that you cheap b@stards don’t tip.


  86. Actually the problem of people wearing Speedos at the beach is a global problem. Even if they are fit. The fundamental problem is that they look ridiculous even when used for their proper application which is for competition swimming. They’d be better off simply going nude.

    But I’m glad we had the chance to address this serious fashion faux pas.

    And on the topic proper, I generally don’t like to agree with Jesse Jackson, but his point as relayed by Mark is a valid one. Racism will never be solved by a single solution. Also as a legal matter it is important to note, again as Mark has stated, that the allegations of current discriminatory behavior are just that at this point: allegations. Allegations made by an aggreived party in what at this point in the process is still a case of he said/she said. Prudence dictates that until the full evidence is presented and evaluated that any blanket condemnation of Deen is either presentism or prejudgement. And we all know what word comes from “prejudgement”.


  87. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 10:43 am Anonymously Yours

    Tony,

    That so PC unacceptable…. You have to accept everyone because they are who they are….. And I thought you said making fun of people because of differences is not acceptable…

    Have you ever been to beaches when the folks come from up north come down south….


  88. This is nothing but a witch hunt headed up by people so starved for approval by others that they’re willing to abandon any sense of fair play to get it.

    Mark is absolutely right. You cannot punish a person for recalling the accepted vernacular of their past; especially when the vernacular cannot be connected in any way to the alleged intent by which it was used. There is no evidence that Paula Deen is a racist; in fact there’s a black minister praising her on CNN saying just that. Thus to punish her for the use of a word at a time when it was not a P.C. crime is per se immoral.

    Shall it now be a crime to even mention Richard Pryor or to possess any of his albums or videos? Shall we scrub all his materials of the word “nigger”? Oh, but I hear you say, it’s different if a black man calls another black man a ‘nigger.’ Unless you live in a world where there are no objective rules of morality, that notion is completely WRONG. Then again, that’s exactly the world that the P.C. police would have you live in; the world where morality sways whichever way they say.

    Perhaps the P.C. police will next hunt down the kid who played Tanner Boyle in the Bad News Bears.


  89. AY,

    George Carlin already answered that question. “There are no bad words. Bad thoughts. Bad Intentions. And wooooords.”


  90. And what Bob said.


  91. AY, I’ve walked down the street in Provincetown w/ my wife and been called,”breeder” by a gay male. I’ve been called Wop, Dago, greaseball, Ginny, etc. They’re words. The vast majority of time those words were used good naturedly, sometimes not, a few times as a youngster they hurt.” Life’s tough, wear a f@ckn’ helmet.” Dennis Leary.


  92. AY: I do not know enough about homosexual culture to answer; but I presume (because it is in our human tribal nature) that homosexuals have terms they do not mind being used by another person they know is also homosexual, but would find offensive if the speaker is not homosexual, for the same reasons. Perhaps (without knowing and claiming a scientific exception for a rational discussion) a term like “faggot.”

    In which case, YES, a homosexual man could take offense to hearing heterosexual man A calling heterosexual man B a faggot; it implies heterosexual A regards homosexuals as inferior to himself. That implication is impossible if the speaker IS homosexual.

    You are correct, the hypothesis can indeed go on, and should. Nerds can have pejorative terms reserved to themselves, for example. Lawyers may have pejorative terms reserved to themselves.

    Any group that is stereotypically reviled may, in solidarity, adopt pejorative terms used against them in the past as terms of camaraderie and affection, partly because this diffuses by repetition the reactive power of those terms when used. Those terms, when used for that purpose, may outlive the cultural acceptance of those terms when used by others.


  93. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 10:53 am Anonymously Yours

    Gene,

    Isn’t prejudices another form of prejudgment … Linguistly speaking….

    Bob,

    You’ve outdone yourself…. I agree…


  94. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 10:55 am Anonymously Yours

    Gene,

    I think carlin was ahead of his time….. Still puffing on a cigarette I seem to recall…


  95. “PC” is a canard because the real subject underneath is constitutional correctness (CC), not political correctness (PC).

    Daily Kos has an interesting post on this subject:

    I’ve been following the shooting death of Trayvon Martin for “walking while black” since it occurred, and the media campaign of George Zimmerman’s defense attorneys and his family members —father and brother —both named Robert Zimmerman (Sr. and Jr.). It wasn’t until recently that it struck me why the name “Robert Zimmerman” rang a bell, not related to this case. I often forget that Bob Dylan was born Robert Zimmerman.

    How ironic.

    One Robert Zimmerman (Dylan) will be remembered for writing and performing songs pointing out racism and injustice in U.S. society, while the other (Zimmerman Sr.) has just penned what can only be described as a racist screed blaming black people and black organizations for his son’s “persecution” and calling them “racists.” In tandem, Robert Zimmerman Jr has been making the media rounds and sent out racist tweets.

    I shed no tears for George Zimmerman, and can only state that the apple hasn’t fallen far from a racist Zimmerman tree when watching his father.

    Let’s examine Robert Zimmerman Sr’s list, as reported by ThinkProgress. I am not going to buy a copy of his rant so I’ll just have to trust their quotes.

    From George Zimmerman’s perspective, his son shoots and kills an unarmed young black man, and when there is an outcry, those who have something to say about it are racists. Too often the response to racism is to label those who address it as racists.

    (A Tale of Two Zimmermans). This is the right wing way of “thinking” about a problem, which is actually classic projectionism.


  96. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 10:55 am Anonymously Yours

    Nick,

    Yep….


  97. What Bob & Bob, Esq. said.


  98. Blouise:

    Point — and it’s a good one — taken.


  99. Gene: Allegations made by an aggreived party in what at this point in the process is still a case of he said/she said.

    We differ there, because the stakes are higher than that: This is “she said / she said” under oath and penalty of perjury; which in my view raises the stakes and increases the probability of the truth being said. At this point, there is no refutation by Deen (under oath) that Lisa Jackson has lied about the incidents recounted; she avoided addressing that question, and Lisa Jackson has, under oath, provided not just instances of a racially discriminatory work environment by both Paula and Bubba, but the names of others present at the time.

    If we do not believe that speaking under oath and the threat of perjury raises the stakes and increases the probability of the truth being spoken, it seems a rather pointless waste of time to engage in it.


  100. AY,

    That was precisely my point vis a vis Deen. She admitted to past usage, but Mark more than pointed out the fault with condemning her for that. All of the current allegations are still just allegations made by someone with a pecuniary interest in the claim and they haven’t been either admitted to or proven by evidence. Jumping on Deen at this point for the current allegations in question is simply . . . prejudice.

    It’s not like people have never made false claims before to base filing suit upon.

    And I’ll tell you something else I’ve seen in the South too. I’ve seen blacks accuse people of racism simply because they were called out on some kind of bullshit they were perpetrating. I know a guy who manages a manufacturing facility. He says hands down his biggest personnel problem is black workers screaming racism when a white manager tells them how or to do their jobs. I know a white woman who had leased some rental property that needed some work done on the plumbing. She called her landlord and he sent over someone to fix it who was black. He didn’t adequately fix the problem, so she called and told him so. I was there when the call was made. It was a normal business call, no epithets were used. Just a dissatisfied lessee complaining to an agent of the lessor. Next thing you know, she’s getting an angry call from her landlord about “why did you call my plumber a nigger”. As a witness, I got on the phone for her after a bit of back and forth and straightened that out real quick.

    Racism is a problem in the South (and elsewhere). However, it isn’t a one way street and it doesn’t mean that false allegations of racism isn’t a problem either. The plaintiffs in the present case could be simply making this up for personal gain. That’s what the trial is for: to sort out fact from fiction. And given the nature of the situation, it’s pure prejudice to decide on the quality of Deen’s present actions until that finding of fact is had.


  101. Bob, Esq: Unless you live in a world where there are no objective rules of morality, that notion is completely WRONG.

    No it isn’t wrong at all. Like many crimes, it becomes a question of intent, like the differences between pre-meditated murder, manslaughter, and killing in self-defense.

    A member of a group cannot use a pejorative term for the group with the intent of implying all members of that group are inferior to himself; because logically he cannot imply HE is inferior to himself. That is as objective as you can get, Bob.


  102. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 11:09 am Otteray Scribe

    Tony C.

    I disagree on the observation regarding AA people using the word. Even in that context it keeps the racism going in a subtle kind of way. Frances Dancy Hooks was a good friend of mine. She was married to Benjamin Hooks–I am sure you have heard of him. When I first met her, Frances was a guidance counselor in the Memphis public school system. That was only a few weeks after Dr. King had been murdered in Memphis. Tensions were still high. Almost every time I visited with her in her office, her phone would ring. Each time she leaped up and excused herself, saying, “Kids are calling each other ‘nigger’ again and I am going to put a stop to it. I’ll be right back.”

    Unacceptable to Frances Hooks in 1968, and unacceptable today.


  103. Tony,

    See the above about false allegations and, implicitly, a rush to judgement.


  104. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 11:18 am Otteray Scribe

    Tony C. sez:
    “A member of a group cannot use a pejorative term for the group with the intent of implying all members of that group are inferior to himself; because logically he cannot imply HE is inferior to himself.”

    ****************************************************

    Tony, not true. It is still a pejorative. Using a demeaning word carries forward the negative implications of the word.

    Dr. Alvin Poussaint is a psychiatrist and of African descent himself. He has written widely on the subject, but this quote more or less sums up his take on it, both as a mental health professional and black man:

    Dr. Alvin Poussaint, professor of psychiatry at Harvard University, echoes Bosmajian’s view – and even takes it one step further. He believes attempts to “demystify” or “redefine” racial slurs are psychologically impossible, and points to African Americans’ use of the N-word to illustrate his point.

    “The same people who say they are using it positively may later in the day be in a confrontation with another black person and use it in a very negative way,” Poussaint says.

    Poussaint suggests that the use of racial slurs intra-racially perpetuates within the group all of its negative history and, on some levels, is a form of self-hatred.

    He adds that intra-racial references to racial slurs have another effect: They make the group or groups originally responsible for creating stigmatizing language feel that the demeaning historical aspects of the words were, and still are, valid.

    There is more at the source I quoted from:

    http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19930319&slug=1691293


  105. This set of comments is in itself kind of an interesting microcosmic study in how the media can prejudice a trial by how they report on it.

    Just an observation.


  106. Gene,

    Well, we’ve seen the complaint (http://www.atlawblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Jackson-v.-Deen-et-al.-Complaint.pdf) and the deposition but if you really want to get an eyefull, go to the local Savannah papers and read the comments from people who actually know the restaurants named in the Complaint and the individuals involved. They run the gamut.


  107. The Holocaust. One of the commenters above analogized it to slavery. If one says and spells it as capital T and capital H then we are speaking of The One from 1933 to 1945 carried out by Germans and fellow travelers like the Vichy Frogs. I personally would not dumb the word down or relegate it to jive talk like calling a Frenchman a Frog. Slavery was common and still exists on this Earth. It is not a holocaust or a Holocaust. The lynchings of blacks during slavery and since then until the Feds stepped in and intruded on “States Rights!” (those two words deserve capital S and capital R with an exclamation point).

    States Rights! should be a topic on this blog. I will say one thing about it now. The States are sovereign, the United States is sovereign, The states and the U.S. have “powers”. The individual persons within states and citizens of each state and citizens of the U.S. have “rights”. States Rights is like bandying about the word horseshit when one means an exaggeration. And, it is kind of like the real horseshit. And if this gets by WordPress then my shit don’t stink.


  108. About “n****r” being a name though, I quote:

    “a name, as the term is commonly understood,”

    and there’s the rub. AS the word “n****r” is “commonly understood” it is the obliteration of the bullying-target’s NAME. I am reminded of several of the interrogations of George Zimmerman by Serino, the homicide detective speaking with him after he killed Trayvon Martin. Serino asked, “Do you know his name?” Zimmerman mumbles. Serino enunciates: “Trayvon Benjamin Martin.” pause. Then Serino goes on to describe Trayvon as “not a punk” and “a good kid” and “a kid with parents who cared.” Later on, Zimmerman sits with the guy who will administer a voice-stress test (NOT a polygraph and NOT a “lie-detector”) and the tester, Erwin, asks, “What do you call him [the victim].” Zimmerman answers, “the guy.” OK, Erwin agrees, we’ll call him “the guy.”

    OK, here’s the thing. African Americans are entitled to feel sensitive about anyone using a word for them that THEY do not agree is their name. Is someone committing a giant faux pas when they use it? Sure. Is this defensible? Sure. But if someone has used it (for reasons best known to herself regardless of the circumstances and regardless of her own protestations at the time or later), and her defense of her own use of it doesn’t sit well with lots of folks, well too bad and tsk tsk and all that but that, after all, is the name of the game.

    What occurs to me is that if you have victimized someone or there is the perception that you have victimized someone, you don’t get to do much of the linguistic or semantic redefining of their experience. In the case of Ms. Deen, she should pretty much shut up right now.


  109. “States Rights!” is often uttered by a bigot to object to the federal authorities interfering with individual conduct of guys like Klansmen. They say, “Let Alabama take care of its own. ” Prior to passage of the 14th Amendment in the Radical Reconstruction Era, an individual could not protect his personal “rights” against a tyrannical state or seek judicial remedy when his/her rights were stomped on by either JoeBob the Sheriff or his buddies in the Klan.

    Someone above made some comments about the itchBay word. I employ PigLatin to get by WordPress. The word means female dog. Not some ragged complainer of the female persuasion. This female dog ain’t no complainer. Am I BarkinDog! Now, if you employ the word to condemn a gay person who is a complainer then you are starting to condemn female dogs. That is when I start itchinBay.


  110. OS: So Dr. C. disagrees with Dr. P, I happen to believe (with empirical laboratory evidence) that frequent usage of a term DOES reduce the power of the term; in fact the desensitization method by repetition has been used, with success, in treating both phobias and PTSD. There is a strong neurological basis for believing such reaction re-training can be beneficial, the brain DOES learn, repetition DOES help in that process.

    I will stipulate that the use of such words does perpetuate a group identity that may in turn slow assimilation, but that was not my argument. My argument was about the intent of the speaker.

    Despite that stipulation about perpetuating a group identity, that group identity can be psychologically beneficial to its members when, in fact, the same group identity is being used by a cadre of persons outside the group to deny the group equal consideration.

    That is certainly the situation for blacks; there is a lot of empirical, statistical, objective evidence they are denied equal consideration in public education, public safety, jobs, and in courts, even in the application of the death penalty or longer sentences. It is difficult for them to conclude they are NOT seen as a distinct group and treated unequally by those outside their group (and in positions of financial and governmental power).

    So I think it is fair to say their group identity exists independently of the N-word, and the use of the N-word within their group is a term of solidarity, as a brotherhood resisting the oppression of others.

    In decades to come (if they come) when outsiders stop seeing them as a group and they both are and feel treated as equals throughout society, the need for solidarity in the face of oppression will dissipate, and their use of the N-word will become unacceptable to THEM, as a term that (by implying they are still an oppressed group) threatens their realized assimilation.

    For those like Dr. P. that are already assimilated and already feel treated as equals with respect, they already see the term as unnecessary. I see them calling for others in the group to abandon it as premature and a little myopically self-focused. When your group is incarcerated, unemployed, victims of crime and financially desperate at a far higher rate than the rest of the society you live in, and you know it, it isn’t easy to ignore the evidence of your own eyes and believe you are not being persecuted.


  111. BarkinDog 1, June 23, 2013 at 11:47 am

    The Holocaust. One of the commenters above analogized it to slavery.
    ========================================
    Yo Dawg,

    Chew on this reality bone:

    The transatlantic slave trade resulted in a vast and as yet still unknown loss of life for African captives both in and outside of America. Approximately 1.2 – 2.4 million Africans died during their transport to the New World[64] More died soon upon their arrival. The amount of life lost in the actual procurement of slaves remains a mystery but may equal or exceed the amount actually enslaved.[65]

    The savage nature of the trade led to the destruction of individuals and cultures. The following figures do not include deaths of enslaved Africans as a result of their actual labor, slave revolts or diseases they caught while living among New World populations.

    A database compiled in the late 1990s put the figure for the transatlantic slave trade at more than 11 million people.

    (Wikipedia, “Atlantic Slave Trade”). Yes, someone compared the German holocaust to the American Slave holocaust.

    Reality is like that when you think about it.


  112. The Big Bother censor in Word Press is hiding the truth again today.

    Would one of the Biggies take it away from the brat and get it posted.


  113. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 12:06 pm Otteray Scribe

    Tony,
    I agree that frequent usage of a word, even a pejorative word, will cause it to lose its power. William James was onto habituation a long time ago. However, many still find it offensive, even within the ethnic group. AA people have a rather unique history in this country, and I am not sure one can generalize using other ethnic groups as a baseline. I think I am closer to Skinner’s thinking on extinction in this case. There are just some words one does not use in polite society. Since this is a legal blog, most here are familiar with the concept of, “fighting words.” That word is one of them.


  114. I was out at dinner a few years ago waiting to be seated and was strolling around a lane of shops when 2 young, in their late teens, African Americans walked past me. One said to the other “hey n****r what are we going to do now?”

    I must have had a shocked look on my face because the young man who said it quickly apologized to me.

    I think if the young people are using it as a term of “affection” [?] and it is used in rap records and in conversation among African Americans, it is hypocritical to fire Paula Dean for using it 50 years ago. Is she a racist? I dont know. Only she does.

    I knew an old southern women who had nothing good to say about the blacks who worked for her but she paid them social security and decent wages and helped the workers on her farm in other ways which other whites in her community did not do. Sometimes racism is determined by the culture and it takes a person of monumental character to stand against the community and culture.

    Paula Dean probably doesnt have that kind of character, how many of us do? How many of us have the character and will of men like Martin Luther King, Jr., of John Lewis?

    I doubt the management of the Food Network does and I imagine Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri and others would fold like wet noodles if character mattered.


  115. AnonYours: Your comment regarding linguistics is right on, imo. Our collective agreement to honor the term slave “ownership” as a respectable representation of an inhumanly evil institution is analogous to our accepting any other psychopath’s claim that the woman he has kidnapped, dressed as a bride and chained to a table to share a candlelight dinner is his Wife by referring to her as such ourselves.

    Most people in this world and in this country found the “institution” of slavery morally unconscionable when it existed. That includes most in the South–once we drop our unthinking embrace of the evil and acknowledge that the “slaves” who so heavily populated the prison/work camp that was the South were in fact human beings, whether they enjoyed human or civil rights there or not and face the fact that the majority of the PEOPLE of the South did NOT support slavery.

    This lie that is built into the language we use to describe it and the lie that it was acceptable because “times were different then” that we weave into our understanding and teaching of history is unconscionable, imo.

    No wonder we’re so morally crippled as a people.


  116. Blouise,

    As suit has indeed been filed, I’d rather stick to admissible evidence instead of hearsay posted on the Internet before rushing to judgement. Such commentary is exactly what I was pointing to about media biasing proceedings. The allegations may very well be true. Then again, maybe not. I’m just saying that the facts should be sorted from the fiction in a proper manner before possibly unjustly pillorying the defendant.


  117. There ya go, Dredd.


  118. Bob 1, June 23, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Most people … in the South … slavery morally unconscionable …
    =======================================
    Not really:

    Topic: History
    Slavery in the South

    Only one-fifth of Southern families owned slaves, and only a handful of Southerners owned more than 20 slaves. Yet the vast majority of Southern Whites supported the institution of slavery and fought the Civil War to preserve the slave system.

    Why did a large majority of White Southerners support the institution of slavery, even though fewer than a quarter of them owned slaves?

    (eNotes). Add to that this:

    However, two ideological factors caused most Southern whites, including those who were not slave-owners, to defend slavery. First, Americans are wondrous optimists, looking to the upper class and expecting to join it someday. In 1860, many subsistence farmers aspired to become large slave-owners. So poor white Southerners supported slavery then, just as many low-income people support the extension of George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy now.

    Second and more important, belief in white supremacy provided a rationale for slavery. As the French political theorist Montesquieu observed wryly in 1748: “It is impossible for us to suppose these creatures [enslaved Africans] to be men; because allowing them to be men, a suspicion would follow that we ourselves are not Christians.” Given this belief, most white Southerners – and many Northerners, too – could not envision life in black-majority states such as South Carolina and Mississippi unless blacks were in chains.

    (Washington Post, Five Mythis).


  119. Dredd, my thesis is that we should REJECT the psychopathic perspective and attached definitions and recognize that the “slaves” were in fact people. Is it a stretch to assume THEY did not approve of slavery?

    Do you see how you’re buying into a sick whitewashing of the history by EXCLUDING them from your accounting? They WERE people, whether held prisoner in an otherwise gentile concentration camp or not.

    The Germans came to terms with their history. We continue to manufacture lies about ours . . . all the way through Iraq and what is yet to come.

    If that’s not sick, I don’t know what’s left to fill the bill.


  120. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm Otteray Scribe

    Blouise & Gene,
    I agree with Gene’s observation. I have read enough complaints and counter-complaints over the years to know they tend to be filled with hyperbole and sometimes outright misrepresentations. Somebody once asked me if OJ Simpson was guilty. I told them I didn’t know because I was not on the jury and did not hear all the evidence.

    As far as the media is concerned, the only reporter I ever knew who gets things right, consistently, is Jerry Mitchell of the Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger.


  121. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 12:36 pm Anonymously Yours

    The Media is going to help lose the Zimmerman case… Just like the Casey Anthony and Simpson and the list keeps on giving…. You don’t think jurors or there family pay attention…. The prosecutor in the Zimmerman case may have already blown it IMO …


  122. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm Otteray Scribe

    Dredd, et al:
    Quite a few comments are being snagged by the spam filter recently. From observation of what is getting caught (including some of mine) the problem seems to be the result of a combination of length and format. Longer comments with more complex formats (multiple quotes, numbering paragraphs, etc) are more likely to be interpreted by Askimet as spam. Especially if a couple of links are embedded in the comment.


  123. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 1:14 pm frankmascagniiii

    Clip from The American President. Listen to the part of the speech beginning at 1:20 with “America isn’t easy…”, as he addresses free speech:


  124. BarkinDog,

    I’m not sure what your intent was, in saying that the states are “sovereign.”
    They aren’t.

    Congress members from certain states use that word every time they mention the state’s name. Often before proposing some rebellious act against the sovereignty of the United States of America.

    Citizens of the U.S.A. are citizens of individual states secondarily.
    Sorry if I misconstrued your intent.
    It’s just important to keep the meaning of “sovereign” straight.


  125. Otteray Scribe 1, June 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Dredd, et al:
    Quite a few comments are being snagged by the spam filter recently. From observation of what is getting caught (including some of mine) the problem seems to be the result of a combination of length and format. Longer comments with more complex formats (multiple quotes, numbering paragraphs, etc) are more likely to be interpreted by Askimet as spam. Especially if a couple of links are embedded in the comment.
    =======================================
    Yep.

    And if they have a hoodie on … well … you know.


  126. Anonymously Yours 1, June 23, 2013 at 10:55 am

    I think carlin was ahead of his time …
    ===========================
    I think Carlin was a head of his time too.


  127. Boo.

    BOOOOOO!

    That was low punnery and unworthy of the Master of Words.

    Shame on you, Dredd. Shame.


  128. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 2:12 pm Sharon in the South

    I was also raised in the South, born in 1956. If you think the word “nigger” has gone away, you are mistaken. The prejudices from the 60’s are alive and well in the South today. I have always campaigned against prejudice of any kind and especially the mistreatment of people simply because their skin is not the same color as mine. I began at 16 preaching to my parents to please not teach hatred to my little brothers as they had to me and my sister. I can not tell you that I understand this prevailing disease of black against white but I can tell you that it is not just the whites who are prejudice here. There is such a prevailing attitude of hatred of whites in the black community here it can be felt everywhere. Be careful when you blame white people for keeping this disease of prejudice alive, the Jessie Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world (by the way Jessie was born and raised in my home town) love to jump on every possible incidence to further their personal agenda and popularity. It does no one any good to prepetuate the divide between blacks and whites.


  129. Bron: it is hypocritical to fire Paula Dean for using it 50 years ago. Is she a racist?

    A) NOT fifty years ago, by her own admission.

    B) Not ONCE fifty years ago, but repeatedly and apparently habitually.

    C) For a guy that is constantly demanding corporations should have as little regulation as humanly possible, it is extremely hypocritical of YOU to assume a private for-profit enterprise like FN is being “hypocritical” for firing Paula because voluntarily renewing her contract would result in them being subjected to anger over their insensitivity. Clearly, FN was not acting on any principle other than preserving their profitability and good public relations as a mainstream entertainment channel.

    FN is not in the business of preserving human rights, they are in the business of selling advertising to mainstream America, and they correctly assess their potential viewers as being predominately anti-racist. Their move is calculated to preserve their image; we know because they took a week or two to perform the calculations and choose the path of least loss.

    I doubt they will lose any viewers for long by being politically correct, it is the nature of TV entertainment that shows get canceled, stars drop out of the limelight, and audiences embrace new shows. This is a financial opportunity for FN to use Deen’s time slots to expand their demographic, for new experiments with new hosts 20 or 40 years younger than Deen. They can recruit one of the winners (or runners up) of a dozen different food competitions.

    They can turn crisis into opportunity. Further, being a hard-line boss is not necessarily a bad reputation to have, financially speaking.


  130. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm Mike Spindell

    “Mark is absolutely right. You cannot punish a person for recalling the accepted vernacular of their past; especially when the vernacular cannot be connected in any way to the alleged intent by which it was used. There is no evidence that Paula Deen is a racist; in fact there’s a black minister praising her on CNN saying just that. Thus to punish her for the use of a word at a time when it was not a P.C. crime is per se immoral.”

    Bob, Esq. and Mark,

    One point you miss with this forgetting all else is that the Food Channel fired her as a business decision and morality had nothing to do with it. From their perspective, not necessarily mine she had damaged her “brand” and was a liability to their own “brand”. Strictly business. From that perspective time will tell if it was a good, or a bad business decision.

    The other thing is that regarding PC. The history shows it was an expression made up in Conservative think tanks as a counter attack against the tide rising in the country against racism. It seems to have worked. That was also somewhat of a “business decision”.

    Finally Mark, if you read my blog you will see that I don’t believe there is a post racial America and that racism is alive and well today. Personally I think Deen using the word “nigger” is more immoral than Anthony Weiner texting a picture of his erection. Funny though how nobody rises in arms against unfairness to left wing congressmen, but so much sympathy is available for a 60ish Southern Woman who has sold her brand as such.


  131. Otteray: Since this is a legal blog, most here are familiar with the concept of, “fighting words.” That word is one of them.

    Fighting words are only fighting words if they are taken by the recipient as fighting words; in most cases in which the N-word is used as a term of solidarity or group identity, it is not taken that way.

    It makes no difference if you or I would consider it a fighting word when applied to us, and makes no difference if an AA person would consider it a fighting word if used by us to apply to them: It is only a fighting word if, when heard, it arouses anger or resentment in the person being addressed, and I contend that is determined by their perception of intent in the speaker, which is necessarily different when (using an extreme to highlight the difference) the speaker is a complete stranger of a different race or a lifelong friend of the same race.


  132. tony c:

    they have the right to do whatever they think is good for their business.

    I am guessing if all of the management and major stars on food network were asked under oath if they used the n word, I imagine quite a few would say they have and not just 50 years ago.

    If I was Paula Dean I would be suing the food network and deposing all of the management and major stars.

    I dont like Paula Dean’s food but I disagree with letting someone go for an action taken 50 years ago regarding offensive speech. Especially if they apologized and regretted it.

    And please dont bring up murder, rape, etc as is your want when arguing, it is a straw man/red herring in many instances and most tiresome.


  133. Gene and OS,

    Come on guys … I was suggesting you read the local comments because they were all over the place … run the gamut … thus signifying that even the jury pool is going to be a hoot and a holler.

    The porn crap in the complaint is a whole ‘nother ball of wax. Ol’ Bubba kind of reminds me of Billy Carter, Roger Clinton, and Neil Bush … he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother


  134. Well, Blouise, I’ve always said if you’re going to have a hoot, you might as well have a holler while you’re at it.


  135. Bob 1, June 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Dredd, my thesis is that we should REJECT the psychopathic perspective and attached definitions and recognize that the “slaves” were in fact people. Is it a stretch to assume THEY did not approve of slavery?

    ====================================
    The “people” can be tortured, and/or deceptively removed out of people.

    If they were people, as you say, then not only YES but H*LL YES they would NOT approve of their slavery!

    Were you raised in a friggin southern barn bro?


  136. Gene H. 1, June 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Boo.

    BOOOOOO!

    That was low punnery and unworthy of the Master of Words.

    Shame on you, Dredd. Shame.
    ===========================
    Yep.


  137. “Personally I think Deen using the word “nigger” is more immoral than Anthony Weiner texting a picture of his erection.” (Mike S)

    I’m going to have to think about that one but if the alleged phrase in the Complaint is true then, yes, I would agree with you.

    As to the term PC, it doesn’t bother me at all for I throw it into the basket with Moral Majority, Christian Right, War on Christmas, Commie Pinko, Libtard, Barack The Magic Negro, and my most favorite, Compassionate Conservative.


  138. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 3:08 pm Anonymously Yours

    Barack the Magic Negro… That’s a new one….I am going to remember that one… Thanks blouise…


  139. AY:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-ehrenstein19mar19,0,3391015.story

    “The Magic Negro is a figure of postmodern folk culture, coined by snarky 20th century sociologists, to explain a cultural figure who emerged in the wake of Brown vs. Board of Education. “He has no past, he simply appears one day to help the white protagonist,” reads the description on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_Negro .”


  140. Dredd, you said:

    “If they were people, as you say, then not only YES but H*LL YES they would NOT approve of their slavery!

    Were you raised in a friggin southern barn bro?”

    ____________________________

    My point in insisting that the majority of PEOPLE even in the South objected to slavery is that you subscribe to an inherently racist perspective (unthinkingly, no doubt) by claiming otherwise and backing it up by citing only the views of psychopathic WHITE people who essentially ran the concentration camp.

    Counting the “slaves” when examining the historical support for slavery in the South–as any reference should–puts the white “owners” in the appropriate light as psychopathic captors who were a distinct minority even in their own land.

    Why would studies of “Southern” support not include the sentiments of BLACK residents?


  141. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm Anonymously Yours

    Bron,

    I usually stay pretty abreast of the names… Etc…. Bu don’t renig in 2012 and Barack the magic negro have escaped my sight… I think they are what they are…


  142. @ Mike Spindell

    “One point you miss with this forgetting all else is that the Food Channel fired her as a business decision and morality had nothing to do with it. From their perspective, not necessarily mine she had damaged her “brand” and was a liability to their own “brand”. Strictly business. From that perspective time will tell if it was a good, or a bad business decision.”

    Ding, Ding, Ding we have a winner.

    Its amazing how quickly the writer of this post flips from proclaiming corporations rights and freedom to do just about anything within it purveyor to improve business to bemoaning a corporation firing someone whom they felt would hurt their business. Amazing huh.

    Also, how come Conservatives (notice uppercase “C”) never seem to understand that with rights come responsibilities and consequences. Paula Deen had the right to say whatever she wanted, the Food Network then had the right to fire her. Both will have to accept the consequences of excising those rights.


  143. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm bill mcwilliams

    Is it oky doky to call people “Honkie, Cracker, Snow White, Oreo, Redneck,
    “n—a” etc?


  144. “Finally Mark, if you read my blog you will see that I don’t believe there is a post racial America and that racism is alive and well today.”

    Agree totally.

    Its more hidden and subtle, but America is as racist today as it was in the civil rights era. First we had Slavery, then we had Jim Crow and Segregation, now we have an economic and legal system setup to disadvantage African Americans. Now understand, things have improved, but nothing close to what the post-racist like to claim. My belief, until the post war (WW2) and their children die off we won’t see any change to America’s racial animosity.

    A question I always ask the post-racist; what happened to those people standing in the crowd during a lynching? What happened to those people in the crowd watching the abuse heaped upon the students at the Woolworth lunch counter? They may not have been direct participants in the actions but we can assume they were at least somewhat supportive of the participants.

    Remember these people didn’t die off, they grew up to become cops, bank mangers, judges, politicians, your boss at work, your kids teacher in high school. Sometimes, I wonder if their beliefs have influenced their actions towards African Americans in the implementation of their jobs. Then I look at the incarceration rate and poverty level of the black community and I wonder no more.


  145. Loviator:

    “Its amazing how quickly the writer of this post flips from proclaiming corporations rights and freedom to do just about anything within it purveyor to improve business to bemoaning a corporation firing someone whom they felt would hurt their business. Amazing huh.”

    ********************

    Not sure who your are talking about but just to keep your lather to a manageable face-full I’ll set the record straight. . I’ve spent countless words opposing the corporate oligarchy in both posts and comments. I also acknowledged the right of her employer to not renew her contract. i questioned the wisdom of the move and the thinking behind it. I also mentioned that Deen seems to have as many supporters as detractors so the business rationale is questionable.


  146. Bron: I bring up murder, rape, etc as extreme cases that make distinctions obvious. If you prefer something entirely legal but still relevant, then consider something like a politician or televangelist promoting traditional marriage while cheating on his wife, or railing against homosexuality as a venal sin while themselves having multiple homosexual trysts, or (like Obama or Bush) admitting to getting away with their youthful indiscretion with drugs but insisting upon ruining the lives of youths getting caught with exactly the same drugs.

    The length of time since Paula Deen’s indiscretion is immaterial if Paula Deen’s racist mindset remains intact in the interim; and I have heard enough and know enough about how liars lie to believe her racist mindset is indeed intact. Not only by her deposition, but by the allegations (under oath) made by Lisa Jackson: As a rule, liars would tend to invent something more damning and personally directed than the casual usages of the N-word contained in the allegation; and Paula herself claims that at the time she was thinking of a restaurant she had visited with black waiters. Doesn’t that essentially confirm she did indeed say what is alleged, in 2007? That was six years ago, not 50, and if she (and her brother) are still using the N-word in casual conversation in 2007, that is a lifetime of habit that makes them odd-on favorites for using it that way today.

    I will let the jury decide if there is a predominance of evidence that warrants legal damages. I believe in that system. But for myself, I believe there is already a predominance of evidence available to make my decision to support her shunning.

    As for your suggestion of her lawsuit, I think most corporations in the country would be watching closely, and might even contribute a few bucks to the FN defense fund. Being sued for NOT renewing a contract? That is kind of the purpose of not signing perpetual contracts, to have the right to renegotiate or walk away from the relationship. In FN shoes, I would counter sue for the cost of defending such a ludicrous claim.


  147. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm Otteray Scribe

    bill mcw: Yes anyone can say those words, but I can’t imagine why anyone would WANT to say them.


  148. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm nick spinelli

    I would hold off on purchasing butter for a week or two. The price per lb, will plummet soon. However, our acupuncturist has us cooking w/ coconut oil instead of butter and using olive oil for seasoning, salads, marinades, etc, It has helped w/ cholesterol.


  149. Mike S:

    “Finally Mark, if you read my blog you will see that I don’t believe there is a post racial America and that racism is alive and well today.”

    **********************

    From the piece:

    “So the question is: Is America in a Post Racial Period? I would answer that yes, but only in one small sense of the meaning.”

    (…)

    “The reality is that post racial America does exist. What it really means though is that for now we have put aside the overt bigotry that is our national heritage, in the sense that it is no longer acceptable for it to be mentioned in “polite society”.

    I must have been confused by the above passages.


  150. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm Otteray Scribe

    mespo,
    I think Ms. Deen was already on thin ice with regard to her image. The diabetes thing and her horribly unhealthy recipes, for only two examples. Her cooking is a heart attack on a plate. This was just the final straw in a whole bale of others. There were many people calling for her program to be pulled for the simple reason she was promoting a food lifestyle that is downright dangerous.

    I don’t know if the network would have let her go so quickly had it not been for the other problems. This may have simply been the excuse they needed.


  151. Mark: Deen seems to have as many supporters as detractors so the business rationale is questionable.

    I do not believe that is true, and certainly wouldn’t advise FN to proceed on that assumption. Supporters are far more likely to take the effort to complain about an action they see as adverse, compared to detractors that already have the action they see as appropriate. The side that thinks justice is served and FN did the right thing are more likely to be mollified and regard the issue as settled fairly.

    FN is sophisticated enough to see that difference, they have professional demographers, statisticians and sales directors that understand the psychology of the viewing public in some fine detail. I think you underestimate their degree of professionalism.


  152. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm nick spinelli

    mespo, I thought the pc crowd would have burned down your house by now. Do they love or fear you? Or, maybe a combo.


  153. Tony C:

    ” I have heard enough and know enough about how liars lie to believe her racist mindset is indeed intact. Not only by her deposition, but by the allegations (under oath) made by Lisa Jackson: As a rule, liars would tend to invent something more damning and personally directed than the casual usages of the N-word contained in the allegation; and Paula herself claims that at the time she was thinking of a restaurant she had visited with black waiters. Doesn’t that essentially confirm she did indeed say what is alleged, in 2007? That was six years ago, not 50, and if she (and her brother) are still using the N-word in casual conversation in 2007, that is a lifetime of habit that makes them odd-on favorites for using it that way today.”

    *********************

    I am amazed at your innate ability to divine truth between two persons saying diametrically opposite things under oath. Is Lisa Jackson more believable because you like her position? I don’t know what happened or what was said about that wedding reception, only that Ms. Deen admits to using the word 50 years ago and not since. If you want to stand there and tell us you “know” she is a liar when she denies current usage of the word, and the trial is of no use to you, I must ask:

    Do you do parties?


  154. Frank M,
    I love the American President clip. One of my favorite political movies and he spot on.


  155. nick:

    “mespo, I thought the pc crowd would have burned down your house by now. Do they love or fear you? Or, maybe a combo.”

    ************************

    I see the fires on the horizon and the tips of the pitchforks just cresting the hill. As for me, I’m re-reading The Prince.


  156. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm nick spinelli

    PC has indeed driven certain words underground in a brilliant Orwellian fashion. Those words have then become exponentially more valuable like any scarce commodity. So when used they are worth MUCH more. PC has raised the value of “nigger” to it’s highest value ever. Wop, Dago, Kike, Pollack, etc. have also risen but not nearly as much as nigger. The reasons are both economic and social.


  157. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 4:53 pm nick spinelli

    mespo, In The Sopranos, Paulie Walnuts called it “Price Machabelli.” David Chase was a brilliant writer,


  158. @ mespo727272

    So let me get this straight; you oppose the “corporate oligarchy” in most things, you acknowledge the Food Networks right to not renew her contract, yet you question whether it was a good thing that they did so.

    Why?

    Oh yeah, she is a nice southern lady who just happened to spout racist words, comments and thoughts.

    —–

    I understand you’re trying to defend a culture and a way of life that you grew up around but I have to tell there is no defense. That time has passed and should not have ever been a part of America.

    It still boggles my mind that someone can consider themselves a good person and yet stand there and watch students being abused for going to school or seating themselves at a lunch counter (the lynching and terrorism of the KKK I’ll leave for another time). To defend a culture that produces these actions of the few – and in my mind more importantly – the inaction of the many indicates that you and America in general still doesn’t get it when it comes to race.

    You seem like a reasonable person, so I’m asking you to reconsider your defense of Ms. Deen. Ms. Deen made racist comments and her employer legally didn’t renew her contract. Any defense based upon culture makes it seem like you approve and support that culture.


  159. Nick: Stick with the coconut oil, it is a good thing, particularly if cold pressed (or centrifuged). Of commonly available natural oils, CO is the highest (I believe) in medium chain triglycerides (MCT), which can cross the blood brain barrier and provide an alternative fuel for neurons.

    Which is good, because there is strong evidence that various forms of dementia (Alzheimer’s being just one) can be the result of insulin resistance in the brain causing some neurons to die or become quiescent for a lack of glucose nutrition; while ingested MCT have been shown to both prevent outright death and provide fuel that revives quiescent cells into activity.

    Coconut oil is brain food. I have four gallons of it in the pantry.


  160. OS:

    I think you are on to something. Her blog hits have been dropping from the first of the year when they were around 300k now they are around 140k.

    She handed this to food network on a silver platter carried by a white cracker named Paula. I wonder if she was wearing a black bowtie and white shorts?


  161. tony c:

    is that for a fact or is that just the current buz?


  162. tony c:

    how much coconut oil do you need?


  163. Mark: I am amazed at your innate ability to divine truth between two persons saying diametrically opposite things under oath.

    I am amazed at your inability to tell when somebody is prevaricating to save their ass.

    I did not say I divined the truth, I said there was enough evidence to convince me. I do not attempt to run my life on 100% truths, that results in analysis paralysis. I operate (to the extent that I can) on high probability, and I think there is a high probability, based on the clues I have before me, that Paula Deen and her brother (who has already admitted to making racial jokes) are racists.


  164. Bron: No, it isn’t buzz, it is a fact. (and high heat or chemical extraction of the oil can destroy the MCT, so cold press or centrifuge).

    The amount you need is relative. It is high in calories (as all oils are) and it is more expensive than vegetable oil or olive oil. If your brain’s ability to use glucose is intact, you do not need any. If you are suffering from dementia brought on by brain insulin resistance (as Alzheimer’s may well be) then you need a lot, like 30% of your calories, because it may end up being the primary source of fuel for your brain. But in that case, I would recommend ramping it up, a tablespoon at a time, a week at a time, until adding another tablespoon did not do any more good, than backing down by one.

    Because it is oil and calories, the brain function has to be more important to you than the calorie content. It can be used where butter or other oils are used; e.g. on baked potatoes, in butter cookies, as a spread on toast, etc. In fact if one is ambitious, you can make mayonnaise with it (and an egg yolk or lecithin), which tastes fine but does not refrigerate well; so it has to be made fresh. Not a problem for some retired people; they have time for that. Also, of course, other emulsified sauces or gravies that can convey an oil burden. CO can be nearly tasteless, so it won’t make everything taste like coconut. if you like candies and pastries, it can be sweetened and used in that context as well.


  165. I meant “then backing down by one.”

    Also, CO can be stirred into hot oatmeal, or in some instances baked in bread. The smoke point of CO is about 350F (that is when the MCT starts to break down), but you can even deep fry with it (at 325F to 335F), and many cooking uses are at low enough heat to preserve its structure.


  166. Mespo, I don’t have the click but a reporter quoted her as saying similar things in an interview with him last year.
    When I first heard about this without the recent statements I agreed with you but with the more recent ones she needs to be gone. Food network should not suffer because they supported someone many of their viewers do not anymore.


  167. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm nick spinelli

    TonyC Thanks a lot. I take statins because of a family history of diabetes[7 aunts/uncles and 1 sister] and the related stroke[grandfather and father]. However, I finally got REALLY serious and started using coconut oil, healthier diet and lots of exercise. My doc is a great GP[Harvard woman] and she saw my cholesterol too low due to this new strict regimen. She cut the statins saying, “You’re acupuncturist is correct about the coconut oil. Your brain needs good fat in order to function properly, particularly as you grow older.” She said statins are great but alzheimers is a real problem that of course big pharma buries info on it. I trust my GP completely. She has me using coconut oil as directed by my acupuncturist and all my labs are very good currently. However, you just gave me more specifics which I should have sought out but never got off my sometimes lazy ass to research.. My acupuncturist gave me some specifics, but she has a strong Chinese accent, and I was just lazy and didn’t ask my GP. My wife is the baker and grew up in the dairy state, so I’m gently working on her. I do the general cooking and use it for all sautéing. My acupuncturist said to use it in the evening as a body lotion, which I’ve just started doing. Again, thanks for taking the time to educate me. Someone might say I’m “kissing your ass,” but I KNOW you know better than that.


  168. Mike S.: “One point you miss with this forgetting all else is that the Food Channel fired her as a business decision and morality had nothing to do with it.

    I wasn’t talking about the Food Channel Mike. I was talking about the witch hunt.

    Mike S.: “The other thing is that regarding PC. The history shows it was an expression made up in Conservative think tanks as a counter attack against the tide rising in the country against racism. It seems to have worked. That was also somewhat of a “business decision”.

    Pseudo Indignation by any other name is still….


  169. Mespo: “If you want to stand there and tell us you “know” she is a liar when she denies current usage of the word, and the trial is of no use to you, I must ask:

    Do you do parties?”

    Beautiful!


  170. The whol ‘incident’ reminds me of a Shakespeare play…’Much Ado About Nothing’.


  171. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm bill mcwilliams

    O.Scribe said:
    “Yes anyone can say those words, but I can’t imagine why anyone would WANT to say them.”

    This is a wild guess, but maybe they might call someone a “cracker” etc to prove they’re a race hater?


  172. Anonymously Yours, the pretrial publicity in the Zimmerman case (which I like to call the “Trayvon Martin Murder case,” explanation below (having to do with NAMES) was skewed because the prosecutor, by LAW, is not allowed to go blabbing all kinds of false and/or questionable garbage to the press. Yet the defendant gets a “public” trial. So what the prosecution has in their arsenal is not yet known to the public. Even some information that IS public has not made it into the press because nobody in the press wants to really be embarrassed by the fact that they got early reporting materially wrong, to the prosecution’s detriment.

    For instance: RTL in Sanford, Florida was made out to be a high-crime area with “one other shooting” in the year before 2/26/2012 when Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. UNTRUE. I FOIA’d the real data from the Sanford Police and guess what? No other shooting and the details revealed that it was a LOW CRIME NEIGHBORHOOD. Yet the purveyor of these false impressions was quoted in other press sources over a thousand times, VERBATIM, and she (Frances Robles of the Miami Herald) refused to correct or retract her errors. Who had fed her the false information which she did not fact-check? Sanford Police. On March 13, 2012. She published on March 15, 2012 and again verbatim (same sentence) on March 16, 2012. My my my my my.

    That does not mean the prosecution will lose the case. “RTL was a high crime neighborhood” is not a fact and, furthermore, it is not a fact that, if it were true, would be admissible evidence. If Zimmerman were to offer a defense of insanity brought on by having lived in a high-crime neighborhood, maybe it would come in, still maybe not. He’s probably going to try to offer a defense of “self-defense,” though, and none of the facts supporting such an assertion relate to the prior crime statistics in that neighborhood.

    Furthermore, the press can make big deals out of any little issue they find sexy during the trial, but the essential elements of Murder-2 are fairly straight-forward and well displayed in this case, in the form of uncontrovertible, ADMISSIBLE evidence.

    1. Zimmerman killed the victim. CHECK. (admitted it)

    2. With a depraved mind without regard for human life. CHECK. (his own words in the NEN call before the shooting and his own description of the actions he took AFTER having shot his victim)

    3. and with Ill Will. (Again, his words on the NEN call and then his written statement at the police station, in which he referred to his victim, 16 times, as “the suspect.”)

    Self defense? Won’t even get on the menu unless Zimmerman testifies. And he is easy to impeach and the physical evidence does not support his stor(ies).

    So unless more than one juror is not only pre-committed to “losing” the case for the prosecution but also charismatic enough to sway the others invariably to her position, the case will result in either a conviction or a hung jury and if hung, I predict it will be tried again.

    Remember, everyone advocating for Zimmerman expected a pretrial “SYG hearing” at which he would put forward his self-defense claim. HE gave up the right to that hearing in open court. It was very obvious that his lawyers did not want to even take a chance with it, although it only needed 51% credibility to work. Why? Once the rebuttal to the self-defense claim was OUT THERE the press would not be able to ignore it. It would make the worst PR mess the defense could possibly imagine.

    No, although the press did repeatedly report things wrong, did often slant things, and was listening for every hiccup from the unscrupulous defense attorneys, it did not overtake the actual value of an actual trial in our legal system. Stand by. I predict that our canine poster’s predictions about the killer of “the choirboy” going free will not be realized.


  173. About the name of the case Florida versus Zimmerman:

    On another blog a poster pointed out a while back that we were calling it the “Zimmerman case” and that gave too much name recognition to the wrong person. He wanted us to call it the “Trayvon Martin Murder case” and that was a big unwieldy but we generally agreed that using George Zimmerman’s name over and over felt wrong to us.

    Two or three of us talked about ancient Hebrew and I think Egyptian habits of NOT saying someone’s name if they had done great wrongs. I pointed out that the Jews would add a quick “May his Name be Forgotten” after mentioning a wrongdoer. We discussed it. I came up with a contraction of “Forget his Name” and called Zimmerman “Fogen” and it stuck.

    New posters on that blog keep asking, “Why do you call him Fogen?” and I never get tired of explaining it. It’s hard for me to remember that others (who do not read or post there) have no idea who “Fogen” is so I have to remind myself to call him by his NAME.

    He doesn’t deserve it.

    I also call his family FogenTribe and call his supporters Fogenites. Each time I do so I feel good that their real NAME is not being spoken.


  174. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm Anonymously Yours

    Malisha,

    Think just for a minute…. If the prosecutor has already deleted info off of martins cellphone … Another district attorney intimated that this DA has done stuff like this before…. You still on a jury wouldn’t question what else he’s deleted withheld or destroyed …. If I was representing Zimmerman.. I’d call the DA to the stand … How’s that going to play out with a reasonable juror…. Remember the defense only needs one hold out…. The case has problems on both sides…

    You have your mind made out of Zimmermans guilt… But you’re not on the jury… They have been sequestered as we speak….


  175. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm Anonymously Yours

    You may call him Fogen… I’ll stick with Zimmerman…


  176. For right now, I’m going to stick with “Defendant”.


  177. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 6:54 pm Mike Spindell

    “I must have been confused by the above passages.”

    Mark,

    The trick to understanding is viewing context, that might clear up your confusion:

    “The reality is that post racial America does exist. What it really means though is that for now we have put aside the overt bigotry that is our national heritage, in the sense that it is no longer acceptable for it to be mentioned in “polite society”. The Food Network announced today that it would not renew Paula Deen’s contract because she has admitted using racial and ethnic epithets. However, the truth is that all that has done is permit the bigots among us to “code” their racism is terms that make the same points, but express them “less crudely”.”

    “I wasn’t talking about the Food Channel Mike. I was talking about the witch hunt.”

    Without consequences the term “witch hunt” is bereft of meaning. Had she not been fired by the Food Channel Deen would have suffered no ill consequence since those that cast opprobrium upon her would be balanced out by those who defended her. Or are you saying that somehow it was “morally” wrong to say anything bad about her because of her statements?


  178. Defendant has a nice ring to it Gene.


  179. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 6:59 pm Anonymously Yours

    Gene, raff,

    Yep… It is what it is until its over…. But would not you like to handle a case where it’s proven that the prosecutor has withheld and even destroyed evidence that might support the defendant version… And have a DA testify that this is not the first time he’s done it…. Seems problematic for the prosecutor….


  180. on 1, June 23, 2013 at 9:03 pm frankmascagniiii

    Malisha:

    Two or three of us talked about ancient Hebrew and I think Egyptian habits of NOT saying someone’s name if they had done great wrongs. I pointed out that the Jews would add a quick “May his Name be Forgotten” after mentioning a wrongdoer. We discussed it. I came up with a contraction of “Forget his Name” and called Zimmerman “Fogen” and it stuck.
    ————————————————————————————————
    Reminded me of the King of Egypt’s declaration in:

    The Ten Commandments (1956):

    Sethi: Let the name of Moses be stricken from every book and tablet, stricken from all pylons and obelisks, stricken from every monument of Egypt. Let the name of Moses be unheard and unspoken, erased from the memory of men for all time.


  181. AY,
    It does seem like it would be a slam dunk.


  182. AY,

    I won’t argue the DA didn’t screw things up for the prosecution. Is it insurmountable? We’ll see.


  183. It is interesting to notice how cultural values change the meaning of the same word.The story of Brasil and the US is the same. The former “invaded” by the Portuguese and the latter by the Brits. The slavery history is also quite similar. Brasil has a very rich black culture and the old traditions that the slaves brought with them are well and alive. They are even celebrated. Samba and Capoeira (the Brasilian martial art hidden in dance moves) are what the slaves created. Even the famous Brasilian national dish called Feijoada has its origins from slavery. It is a “gumbo” of black beans with the thrown out parts of beef and pork that the slave masters did not eat; simmered in black beans for hours eaten with mandioc roasted flour called farrofa, rice and collard greens. To preserve these parts which they got very rarely, the slaves used to salt them and dry them under the hot brasilian Sun.. Saturday is the national Feijoada day in Brasil where it is served in all the restaurants and at homes.

    Caranaval (Carnival) is also the part of the African tradition like Mardi Gras in New Orleans but a million times better.

    The places where the slaves were kept when arrived are well preserved and so are many customs in Salvador,Bahia, the Northeast of Brasil. Many African Americans visit Salvador to reconnect with their African roots.

    Now coming back to the N.. word which is a big NO, NO here. Ask Paula Deen, the lard queen for that.

    But in Brasil, it is a term of endearment. Negro is used for the black colour in Portuguese more than Preto which means the same. Negão -a big negro in Portuguese, is commonly used in a loving way to anyone who is not even black nor big. In fact MTV has a website that sells music in Brasil called
    http://www.ahnegao.com.br/. Nego which is short form of Negro is also commonly used in an endearing manner.

    One other word which is almost never used here and is considered kind of offensive is Mulato or Mulata, the one who is a mixed black which is also a common thing both here and in Brasil. In Brasil, it is an accepted word to describe a person. Mulatas are the famous Samba dancers in Brasil.

    May be the main difference could be that the so called “sweetness” in the southern twang and manners is a facade, a fakery to hide the real disdain which is not the case in Brasil.

    In Brasilian culture, there is more acceptance which is a mile ahead of what we call “tolerance” here.


  184. Bob,

    My favorite people and country on this planet are Germans.

    I wish I could say this about the U.S. and Israel too, but I can only say it about Germany.

    They learned from their mistakes.


  185. on 1, June 24, 2013 at 8:04 am Anonymously Yours

    Nate,

    We stayed there or had a representative stay there until they did things our way….


  186. on 1, June 24, 2013 at 8:05 am Anonymously Yours

    Gene, Raff,

    We will see…


  187. Teji Malik,

    Thanks for the cultural comparison.

    We’ve all heard “mulata” used in a non-pejorative sense, perhaps without knowing it. I certainly didn’t know what Santana was saying in their rendition of Tito Puente’s ‘Oye Como Va,’ until a few years ago:

    Oye como va, mi ritmo
    Bueno pa’ gozar, mulata

    “Mulata” is not a derogatory term, used in this manner.


  188. Bob Kauten,

    You write:

    “Oye como va, mi ritmo
    Bueno pa’ gozar, mulata

    “Mulata” is not a derogatory term, used in this manner.”

    Yes, you are right and you are exactly proving my point. In the Latin Culture it is not, but in the American Anglo-Saxon culture, it definitely is. The above song verse proves that. Mind you, Carols Santana is Mexican American. He sings both in Castellano/Spanish and English.


  189. Ta-Nehisi Coates On Paula Deen

    The Guileless Accidental Racism of Paula Deen

    Paula Deen was born in Southwest Georgia, a portion of our country known for its rabid resistance to the civil rights advancements of the mid-20th century. It was in Southwest Georgia that Martin Luther King joined the Albany Movement. It was in Southwest Georgia that Shirley and Charles Sherrod fought nonviolently for the voting rights that were theirs by law. It was in Southwest Georgia that Shirley Sherrod’s cousin, Bobby Hall, was lynched. It was in Southwest Georgia that Shirley Sherrod’s father was shot down by a white man. This man was never punished.

    This morning, I showed this video to my wife. My wife is dark-skinned. My wife is from Chicago by way of Covington, Tennessee. The remark sent her right back to childhood. I suspect that the laughter in the crowd was a mix of discomfort, shock and ignorance. The ignorance is willful. We know what we want to know, and forget what discomfits us.

    There is a secret at the core of our nation. And those who dare expose it must be condemned, must be shamed, must be driven from polite society. But the truth stalks us like bad credit. Paula Deen knows who you were last summer. And the summer before that.


  190. From the comments at Ta-Nehisi Coates site

    I am Paula Deen’s age and I live in the South. I have not used the N word since I was 6 years old (I heard it at school) and my Irish grandma swatted my bottom for saying it. I was told that words like that do not come out of a lady’s mouth and that Jesus loves all the little children — red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. I was told to say “colored.”

    I never said it again. I was 17 years old when Dr. Martin Luther King won the Nobel Peace Prize. So was Paula Deen. So, if she used that word after 1964, shame on her. She knew full well that she should not be saying that.

    But now, when people look at me, they think I talk like Paula Deen, but should be forgiven for it based on my age and my birthplace. No.

    Paula Deen knew for a damn fact that those words were hurtful and not acceptable. My grandmother, rest her precious soul, would have stomped her said indignantly, “And she calls herself a lady?”

    So, Paula, screw you. Not all Southern women of a certain age are a bunch of classless witches.

    One’s age and upbringing only count for where you start. It’s up to all of us where we end up.


  191. Loviatar:

    “I have not used the N word since I was 6 years old (I heard it at school) and my Irish grandma swatted my bottom for saying it.”

    ***********************

    Well by the standard set for Paula, the writer should be banished from her job, deemed a pariah, and demeaned at every turn. She was racist once–her age be damned. There are no pardonable sins even those made in youth or from ignorance!!

    Damn you, Hester! Damn you, Pearl!!

    I’m feeling very 17th Century Boston today.


  192. Mespo, Have you looked at her statements from 2012. You seem to be ignoring any more recent statements of hers so that you can continue your excoriation of those of us who think she is wrong and deserves scorn, and not having the contract renewed (and yes I agree that is a business decision based on the backlash against her). It was not merely a statement made 50 years ago.


  193. leecaroll:

    I haven’t seen anything other than the allegations of the lawsuit and one article about an interview in 2012 where she talked about the antebellum South. That interview in didn’t persuade me she used that word anymore.

    BTW I’m not excoriating anyone except those who judge so fast and so hard before the facts come out at trial. What’s the rush?


  194. Mespo, http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pOOtHsYeEqg
    I leave it to you to decide if her attitudes have changed.


  195. leejcarroll:

    Well, I find her a bit insensitive in her language, but that is to my ears. The telling part is that when Paula tells “Holly” he loves him, he replies ” I love you, too.” I don’t find anything there to suggest she still uses the N word now. If Holly’s not offended why should I be?


  196. From that little bit it is hard to tell if he is offended or not. Maybe it is real maybe she pays him enough that he will tolerate anything/ does not want to embarrass her on TV. I felt it was a ‘my best friend is a ” moment. Maybe it wasnot the N word but many, including me, found it offensive, “I can’t see you because if how black you are”. Those are not words of love.


  197. leej:

    I can only go by what Holly says. Offensive maybe but worthy of destruction of reputation and business? Seems disproportionate punishment for the offense to me and judging by his words. Holly, too.


  198. Is the reason Holly isn’t offended material so long as it didn’t involve coercion? Offense is a subjective reaction. If he says he wasn’t offended, who is anyone else to be offended for him? Unless they are psychic, we are bound by the evidence of what he says his reaction was.


  199. Gene H:

    I know a lot of African Americans who are offended that some liberal whites feel they “know” when they should be offended. It’s patronizing. If Holly was offended I give him enough credit as a person and a man to say so. Patronization is no better than contempt in my view.

    Who’s to define another person’s misery?

    Which is my way of segueing into this great tune: Tell me she’ s not Pat Benatar minus 40 years?


  200. “Tell me she’ s not Pat Benatar minus 40 years?”

    She’s much hotter. :D But vocally they have a lot in common.


  201. To paraphrase George Halas talking about Red Grange, “Yeah, but Pat’s 60 years old.” :D


  202. I meant at comparative ages, of course. Actually, I saw a fairly recent picture of Pat and she’s holding up pretty good. And no slam to Pat at 23 either. You know me. I’m a sucker for red heads. I’d flirt with both of them. :mrgreen:


  203. I met Pat Benatar while in high school busing tables at the local GI hangout in Petersburg called the Farmer’s Market. If you saw the Spielberg movie, Lincoln, it’s the octagonal building in the background as Lincoln rides through town in the carriage.

    She was singing with Phil Coxon of Coxon’s Army while her husband was stationed at Ft. Lee. She was hot then too to those 18 year old eyes.


  204. when you 2 grow up this is what real music sounds like:


  205. Bron,

    Price had a great voice, but I’m just not a huge opera fan. I like Mozart, some Puccini, Verdi is okay. This is one of his better ones. She retired, didn’t she?


  206. Yes, I can see the appeal of a rocker chick like Pat Benatar. Or, even perhaps the talents of Ms. Price. I guess I can settle for Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles. She’ll do.


  207. Im sorry but how is her words and actions in the distant past when its a employee of this time charging her and her brother with racial and sexual discrimination? and why exactly is it ok because she was raised back in that time?

    The lawsuit against her was filed in March 2012 by Lisa T. Jackson, the general manager of Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House, a restaurant that Ms. Deen owned with her brother, Earl (Bubba) Hiers. Ms. Jackson, who is white, said that her father was Sicilian, with dark skin, and that she had suffered prejudice as a result.

    a pornographic email that is crucial to the case has vanished into thin air. Jackson claims that Bubba viewed this now infamous email on a work computer they both shared, but after Deen’s lawyers “finally agreed to handover the emails”, it was nowhere to be found. Deen’s lawyers, however, insist it wasn’t “intentional” or “reckless”, but that it was “simply innocuous”. (Bubba legally confessed that the images were pornographic and that he viewed them in the workplace.) Jackson has since asked the court to “find that the email’s destruction was in bad faith, particularly in light of Mr. Hiers’ unrebutted testimony [in a deposition] that the emails existed within the last year, i.e., 2012.”

    The sexual harassment claims pale in comparison to the racism scandal that initially rocked Deen’s empire. In 2007, Jackson was asked to handle the staff at Bubba’s wedding, but when Jackson asked what they should wear, Deen replied, “Well what I would really like is a bunch of little n****rs to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around. Now, that would be a true Southern wedding wouldn’t it? But we can’t do that because the media would be on me about that.”


  208. Darren:

    you cannot beat chicas caliente playing upbeat music.


  209. mespo: If Holly’s not offended why should I be?

    You aren’t a mirror, you are not restrained from taking offense in your own right. The offense I take at Paula Deen’s speech is not some dim reflection of offense on somebody else’s behalf, I take offense because racist speech is offensive to ME, not because it is offensive to anybody else.

    If you are not personally offended by such speech, if you do not find it disgusting, stupid and harmful in its own right, then I detect a failure on your part to understand what is wrong with racism in general.

    Despicable Deen may be speaking to one person, but she is speaking about tens of millions of people and relegating them by skin color to a class inferior to her self-exalted position. Perhaps you should consider whether Holly speaks for all of those millions.


  210. Tony,

    The point is Holly speaks for himself. You finding the language offensive is all well and good if that conforms to your standards, but to presume offense for him? As Mark notes, that’s patronizing. Be offended for yourself, but not for him if he is not offended. He owns his reactions just as much as you (or I or anyone) owns theirs. Including all those she’s speaking about.


  211. Tony C:

    I suspect I know racism better than you ever will. I also know liberalism run amuck. Like when one’s own prejudices find crimes where they don’t exist and name victims who aren’t. That what costs the Left credibility.


  212. Gene: Sounds exactly like what I said, so I am not sure what your point is. It is not “patronizing” to take personal offense at emotional abuse and bullying committed upon others. If this were a wife beating case, would you also claim that if the wife publicly forgave her husband and said she “loved him too”, we should all take no offense and just walk away with stupid grins happy they could work it all out?

    I was angry before hearing about Holly, at a person I believe is a racist, not because of one word spoken “50 years ago” but because I am convinced by my analysis grounded in experience with other racists and liars that she is lying and has engaged in a pattern of racism fifty years in the making, and is now trying to squirm out of trouble and save her earning power.

    I am not angry on behalf of Holly, I am angry at Paula Deen, and I believe Paula Deen deserves the punishment she receives. That is not jail, it is not confiscation of her wealth, it is simple societal disapproval that makes her no longer appealing to modern culture as a cooking instructor or public figure. She is wealthy, and eligible for social security, let her return to the ranks of the great unknown.

    To the extent that Paula Deen has produced any works of intellect, then like all works of intellect I think they stand on their own, with a life of their own, to be accepted or rejected on their content. But I do not blame anybody for choosing to refrain from contributing another dime of reward to a person they believe to be a racist.


  213. Ah! So we finally get to the crux of the matter. This is a political position for you. You hate our big, black president; therefore, anyone who says negative things about black people is a-okay.

    Got it.


  214. Mespo: I suspect I know racism better than you ever will.

    Sure, so do all the African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and American Indians that ever lived. Muslim Americans know hateful prejudice better than I, so do homosexual Americans. I guess I am not entitled to weigh in on racism, homophobia, or the human rights abuses all those people suffer.

    I have also never been on the front lines in a war, so I cannot take offense to the neglect and disrespect heaped upon those men and women by my government.

    Heck, I have never served in public office, so I am certainly not qualified to opine on the actions of lawmakers! And I have never been a police officer, I can hardly be expected to truly understand the pressures faced by them in the line of duty, so I should keep my mouth shut on whatever abusive behavior they might perpetrate upon citizens — I have never walked a mile in their jackboots!

    In case you fail to detect sarcasm, that argument does not hold water. If anything, personal experience with bigotry may cause emotional trauma that clouds the objectivity of its victims; I think I have seen that too. For example, seeing racism, homophobia or sexism in what are actually rational decisions that happen to put them on the losing end of some outcome. To paraphrase your own sentence, “Like when one’s own past experiences with prejudices find crimes where they don’t exist and presume victimization that didn’t occur.”

    So perhaps I am more qualified than the victims to see this situation objectively.

    I obviously do not think I am finding an offense where none exists, I think you are being blind to an offense that is obvious, a lifelong pattern of casual racism by Paula Deen and her brother (already admitted under oath) that most likely did result in a hostile workplace, and is deserving of public condemnation and rejection of her as an entertainer.

    I have not been the victim of racism. However, I have been the victim of lies and fraud, I have had extensive lifelong experience dealing with two drug-addicted siblings (and effectively sociopathic thieves and liars), along with their many drug-addicted, felonious associates throughout the years, and I am reasonably adept at lie detection, even lies told with tearful sincerity while begging for another chance.

    The benefit of the doubt is not an infinite benefit. I believe, with a level of certainty that overrides such benefit in this case, that Paula Deen’s pants are on fire.


  215. tony c:

    I dont see many other people coming forward and piling on Deen, at least not yet. If she is such a rascist there should be many more.

    So time will tell.

    Even Jesse Jackson says give her a pass. Which actually surprises me. Maybe we are finally figuring out that people are people and we all have our strengths and weaknesses.


  216. I see I’ve made an error when I said you were a reasonable person. In order to make your case you’ve ignored multiple attempts to point out the more recent racist comments by Ms. Deen, in fact your whole argument seems to boil down to – its a leftie conspiracy to persecute this nice southern lady for using non PC language.

    In many ways you’re worst than Ms. Deen, if we accept your premise, she is a result of her upbringing who has not moved beyond that upbringing. What is your excuse?

    —–

    Since you cherry picked a quote from my above comments I’ll cherry pick a response:

    One’s age and upbringing only count for where you start. It’s up to all of us where we end up.


  217. Bron: I do not believe Jesse Jackson is a very principled person; more of an egomania driven opportunist looking for media attention.

    I also do not expect other people to have the same reactions as me, because (for better or worse) I am far more analytical than most people when it comes to parsing people’s word choices, stammers and delays and odd phrasing. Most people don’t bother, they just accept the narrative of “50 years ago in a galaxy far far away,” but I cannot.

    Reality is not up to a vote; either she is a life long racist or she is not, and my money is on life long racist. It is the most plausible explanation for her hedging, feigned ignorance of “what offends others”, and feigned amnesia.


  218. “Reality is not up to a vote; either she is a life long racist or she is not, and my money is on life long racist.”

    Bad logic.

    That’s a false dichotomy, Tony. It doesn’t allow for people to change. It also discounts intent. Is everyone who uses a racist term a racist? No. There are no bad words. Bad thoughts. Bad intentions. And words. Not to mention it’s a hasty generalization and a rush to judgement.

    Why are you in such a hurry to pillory her when all the evidence isn’t in yet?

    Were you mugged by a stick of butter as a young man?

    She may be currently a racist and engaging in discriminatory behavior or she may not, but she isn’t ispo facto a racist today for something that happened 50 years ago.


  219. “It is not ‘patronizing’ to take personal offense at emotional abuse and bullying committed upon others.”

    It is when you assume their “appropriate” reaction for them.

    That’s my point, Tony. If you say you weren’t doing that? Okay.


  220. An excerpt from the article linked above:

    Severson first broaches the topic of race relations after showing a clip from Deen’s appearance on “Who Do You Think You Are,” in which she visits a large plantation a distant ancestor of hers named Billy had owned. (Along with 30 slaves.) That prompts Deen to talk about the Civil War and the Antebellum South.

    Though she ultimately says that the abolition of slavery was a “terrific change,” she also takes some time to defend the practice. She says, back then, “black folk were such integral part of our lives, they were like our family,” and, for that reason, “we didn’t see ourselves as being prejudiced.” (The first person plural here raises the question: did Paula Deen herself live in the Antebellum South? Is she a vampire?) It’s also worth noting that she takes care not to refer to slaves as “slaves.” She generally calls them “these people” or “workers.”

    And her defense of contemporary race relations is just as bizarre. She thinks the race relations in the South are “good… pretty good.” OK. “It will take a long time for it to completely be gone. If it’ll ever be gone.” Fine. But here’s where it starts to get weird. “We’re all prejudiced against one thing or another,” she continues. “I think black people feel the same prejudice that white people feel.” Hmm…

    By far the strangest, most awkward moment of the whole talk, however, is when she talks about a black employee of hers named Hollis Johnson. She says that he’s become very dear to her in the 18 years she’s known him, which is plenty sweet. But then she says points to the jet-colored backdrop behind her and says he’s “black as this board.” She proceeds to call out to him in the audience and ask him to come on stage, telling him, “We can’t see you standing in front of that dark board!” The audience roars with laughter. Severson, shocked, says, “Welcome to New York.” And Paula, characteristically, responds, “Welcome to the South.”


  221. For all you “rush to judgement” people, how about waiting until all the evidence is had and presented in court?

    This really is turning into a fine example of “trial by media”.


  222. The loss of business is a business decision. Maybe she will be like Imus and be back on the air at some point when people have stopped not buying the products they advertised and forget what the brouhaha was about in the first place. It would be interesting to get Hollis alone and see how he felt when she said he’s so black you cant see him against the backdrop.
    I am very white. It was offensive when my sister said, many years ago, if you put her legs (mine) and a corpse’s next to each other you wouldn’t know which was the corpse and which the live person. I think Deen’s current statements fall into that category. (and are a carryover from 50 years ago and her replies at the deposition.
    Loss of your job happens to many people when they say or do something offensive and they do so while they are representing certain companies(y) and brands. Deen was treated like any other person who could lose $$$$ for the companies she represents.


  223. I didn’t see the link but you mean Leontyne Price I am assuming.
    She lived in an apartment building away from ours when I lived in NYC. My friend had his window opened one night and she was singing, I guess for friends, so we had the live Price giving a little concert outside our windows. It was beautiful.


  224. You make the point Gene, we, many of us, are offended. That is all it takes to not renew someone’s contract.


  225. leejcaroll,

    And I have no issue with the Food Network’s business decision either. This is a PR disaster for them. I’d have cancelled her show and chosen not to renew in their position.

    But I do take exception to the – I think – media driven frenzy to find her guilty before the trial.

    That’s not only unjust. It’s prejudicial. Which is spectacular considering the nature of the case.


  226. The media does it all the time, only have to look at the Zimmerman case, or Oj, etc to see that is what the media does. especially when it is a ‘celebrity’.
    It is unjust as er the lawsuit but look at the defense attorney’s “joke”. It was insulting but that’s what you have to look for now, people who have no opinion and have never heard of the defendant.


  227. This is completely OT but just in. I’m sure we’ll have a thread on it soon enough:

    SCOTUS Guts Voting Rights Act

    Guess which “Justices” were responsible for the 5/4 split.

    Voting rights advocates condemned the Supreme Court’s ruling.

    “The Supreme Court has effectively gutted one of the nation’s most important and effective civil rights laws,” Jon Greenbaum, chief counsel for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said in a statement. “Minority voters in places with a record of discrimination are now at greater risk of being disenfranchised than they have been in decades. Today’s decision is a blow to democracy. Jurisdictions will be able to enact policies which prevent minorities from voting, and the only recourse these citizens will have will be expensive and time-consuming litigation.”

    “Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision erases fundamental protections against racial discrimination in voting that have been effective for more than 40 years,” Elisabeth MacNamara, president of the League of Women Voters of the United States, said in a statement. “Congress must act quickly to restore the Voting Rights Act.”

    “Today will be remembered as a step backwards in the march towards equal rights,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “We must ensure that this day is just a page in our nation’s history, rather than the return to a dark chapter.”

    “The Roberts Court proved again that it will not be deterred by Supreme Court precedent, the realities on the ground in our nation; nor will it defer to Congress even when the legislative branch is granted clear authority by the Constitution to remedy our nation’s long history of discrimination against racial and language minorities,” said J. Gerald Hebert of the Campaign Legal Center. “The Court today declared racism dead in this country despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.”


  228. on 1, June 25, 2013 at 12:13 pm Anonymously Yours

    Gene,

    Recall what I said bout the Affirmative Action Admissions case yesterday…. It’ll play out jut like this,…… I’m almost certain…


  229. Tony C:

    “I am not angry on behalf of Holly, I am angry at Paula Deen,…”

    ************************

    Well that’s my point. You have no right to presume someone’s reaction and be angry for them. Holly wasn’t angry and was more forgiving of the insensitivity her words suggested to you and me. That was because he knows Paula better than you or me. That being the case I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt since he does. I am willing to do that until all the facts are in at the trial. After that, have at her if she still uses the word. Down here we call what you’re doing is selling the eggs before the hen lays them.

    By the way, my original argument was simply that something that happened 50 years ago shouldn’t serve as the basis for punishment now. Any new and recent charges rise or fall on their own merit.

    I’ve read or seem nothing that changes my assessment.


  230. Probably.

    The Roberts appointment is turning out to be just as disastrous to civil rights as the last two Presidents have.

    Not that there was a whole lot of question about that after Citizens United.


  231. 5-4 ruling politically motivated. Justice had her blindfold removed and impartiality went out the window when this court was created. Saddest part is Roberts was nominated because even though he is a conservative the president felt he would vote on law, not political leaning. Even when Obama tries to do right it turns on him and bites all of us on the you know where.


  232. Gene: That’s a false dichotomy, Tony. It doesn’t allow for people to change.

    No, it is not, in the context of what I have been saying all along, which is posted above, I do not believe Paula HAS changed in fifty years.

    I am willing to give people a pass for harmful attitudes that were culturally common; up until the point they had an opportunity to learn and change but did not. If somebody expressed racist or homophobic or sexism or other bigotry as a minor, okay, maturity was plausibly not present at the time. Before the civil rights movement? Okay, maybe they are a little stupid, but even the marginally stupid should have learned something by living through THAT as an adult.

    I do not need to know precisely how many women a rapist has raped in order to condemn him. I do not think “all the facts” will EVER be in, and waiting to see what is allowed in and restricting my personal judgment of Paula Deen to that alone is not something I intend to do. If I were deciding punitive damages, I would so restrict myself.

    But I am not on that jury, my job is to decide whether I agree with the Food Network’s decision to fire her, and because I believe her racism was NOT limited to “50 years ago” but persists to this day, I believe they did. As I said before: That is not jail time, or a fine. A jury can decide on damages after a full hearing. I do not need any more than I already have to know I do not want to ever see her again; the Hollister video just confirms my judgment.

    Why don’t I trust Hollister’s judgment? His job is at stake! His boss calls him up to testify on her behalf, he is not under oath, he is on national TV, what peculiar bravery do we expect of him? Or shall we just conveniently forget that asymmetry of power? Hollister may indeed know Paula Deen better than we do; he may know, for example, she is a racist vindictive b*tch that would fire him in a second if he screws the pooch with his answer.

    But no, on national TV, under bright lights, with zero protection, made a laughingstock by his boss, with an 18 year job on the line, let us all take Hollister at his word, because we know in our hearts Hollister wouldn’t let fear of reprisal get in his way. Just like we know there has never ever been a female that agreed to sexual demands from her boss out of fear of reprisal or losing her job.


  233. You might direct Gene, et al., to the link I posted above. There is a video clip from October 2012 where Paula Deen says everything we need to know about her. It’s not 50, 40, 30 or 20 years ago. It was less than ONE year.


  234. Tony,

    “either she is a life long racist or she is not” is a binary statement that has an excluded middle. She cannot have changed if she is a “life long racist”. That’s basic logic.

    And much of what follows above is supposition.


  235. Juliet,

    I didn’t know you were the judge and/or jury in this case or that said evidence is admissible in the present case.

    Again, the issue is prejudgement by media frenzy. The current claims against her may be valid, but to rush in assuming she’s guilty is just as prejudicial as the prejudice you claim she must be guilty of without her having had a trial.


  236. You clearly didn’t watch the video. The media isn’t assassinating her character. She’s doing a damn fine job of it, all on her own. It’s not pre-judging her. It’s just judging her on her own words.

    I don’t give a flying flip about her lawsuit or the loss of her TV money. But she’s said and done enough, on camera, that we already know about, it shouldn’t make a d*mn bit of difference what a jury thinks.


  237. I realize I’d be taken much more seriously on this blog if I had dangly bits, but I wish you guys would try to put aside your bias when someone is speaking sensibly.


  238. Juliet Lester Neary,

    Ends the discussion with her link of the 2012 Deen interview at at 11:01am and her quotation from it at 11:03am. Ms. Deen’s sympathetic description of her grandfather’s desolation and suicide after the war is a clear indicator of what her racial attitudes are. Her grandfather has 37 “workers” to run his plantation one day and no “workers” the next so he killed himself in despair.
    The “workers” were slaves. human beings that were bought and sold at the whim of the plantation owner. Family’s destroyed, people murdered and the constant message given to these “workers” was you are worth less than us and we NEED to take care of you.

    “She says, back then, “black folk were such integral part of our lives, they were like our family,” and, for that reason, “we didn’t see ourselves as being prejudiced.”

    Those were exactly the arguments that I heard 50 years ago from many southerners who were upset that those “outside agitators” were coming in and upsetting our way of life and “our Nigras”. Of course those “Black Folks” who were just like family couldn’t drink at the same water fountains, sit in the back of the bus, go to the same bathrooms, eat at the same restaurants, stay at the same hotels and so on and so forth. Yes those golden days of yore when a 16 year old boy could be lynched for purportedly whistling at a White woman Ms. Deen showed in this 2012 interview that she still doesn’t get what a horror slavery was and how phony the Southern pretensions of being so “close” to Black people, were and are today in many cases.

    She even brings in a black man who works for her, who she describes as a son from another Mother. I have no doubt that she delusion-ally believes this. It reminds me of the old, bitter Jewish joke based in absolute reality: “Some of my BEST friends are Jewish, but I wouldn’t let one marry my daughter.” I am old enough to remember when Jews, though to a lesser extent, suffered in the South as well, including the “lynching” of a wealthy Jewish store owner in Atlanta. A “good old Virginia boy” Arthur Godfrey was the toast of daytime TV in the 50’s. He also owned a major resort hotel in Miami Beach where Jews were not allowed to stay, since Mr. Godfrey didn’t like Jews. As the 50’s came to a close Mr. Godfrey’s feelings about Jews and Black people
    were disclosed and his popularity waned. Were his feelings excusable because it was a different era?

    I bring up Arthur Godfrey as a contrast to Ms. Deen. Paula Deen is a brand that sell herself on TV, cooking implements and recipe books. Her brand is the direct result of the image she created which is of a spicy talking Southern Belle from the “old school” is is “such a nice person”. She is so much of a brand that when she finds out she has diabetes (what a surprise given her taste in foods) she becomes the spokesperson for a drug to treat it. This story is not one of a “witch hunt”, no of morality. It is the story of how a person, who is also a product has hurt her brand and profits. Tough.


  239. The comment above was from me, I just messed up my name.


  240. Thank you for that eloquent, and I believe, accurate analysis.


  241. Juliet,

    Dangly bits or not is not an excuse for failing to understand the nature of the bias of prejudice whether it comes from racism or a rush to judgement.

    Your plumbing is irrelevant to your argument being just as prejudicial as the very racism you think Deen is guilty of . . . without a trial.

    It’s a pretty easy idea to grasp but perhaps prejudice has blinded you as it blinds so many others.


  242. Gene: “either she is a life long racist or she is not” is a binary statement that has an excluded middle.

    No it is not. The alternatives encompassed by “she is not” include having never been a racist, or having been a racist at 20 but seen the light at 22, or any number of alternatives that fall in the middle.

    I think she was a racist in 1965, a racist in 2005, a racist in 2007, and a racist in 2012. And that makes it highly probable, to me, she is a lifelong racist, unrepentant and unreformed, at all times in-between.

    “exactly A or exactly B” is a binary statement with an excluded middle, but “A or not A” does not exclude a middle if A is an extreme, it specifies a true binary condition, either A is true or it is not, which allows room for something else to be true. “A or not A” does not exclude anything, either A is true or some alternative to A is true.

    A number is Seven or it is not, that does not exclude any of the infinite choices that a number can be (including Seven).


  243. JulietLN,

    You’re welcome, it was heartfelt. I am at a loss as to how anyone who viewed that video could not at least think that she was possibly lying. The court case is immaterial to this discussion. There is no witch hunt happening, merely a person who packaged herself as a “human product”, that showed she had some major imperfections behind the public presentation.


  244. Having a problem with the operand “or” when presented with two options, Tony? “Exactly” isn’t a qualifier you used nor is it part of the form of the fallacy of the false dichotomy. You stated the proposition as an absolute, not a probability. The trial is to determine if the probability is reducible to a number so high as to a practical certainty – a fact. Determining that fact based on media when a trial is pending is prejudicial by definition.

    If you’re amending your statement to allow that she might no be guilty of discrimination in the instant case?

    Okay.


  245. on 1, June 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm Swarthmore mom

    Texas is wasting no time capitalizing on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act.

    Shortly after the high court issued a sweeping 5-4 decision Tuesday striking down a centerpiece of the historic 1965 law, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott vowed to immediately implement a controversial voter ID law in the Lone Star State that was blocked last year by the now-gutted preclearance provision of the Voting Rights Act.

    “With today’s decision, the State’s voter ID law will take effect immediately,” Abbott said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “Redistricting maps passed by the Legislature may also take effect without approval from the federal government.”

    The provocative move is the first in what could be a series of clashes between the Justice Department and state and local governments after the Supreme Court’s ruling. The court invalidated the section of the law specifying which state and local governments (all with a history of racial discrimination) are required to receive federal pre-clearance before making any changes to their voting laws. Texas was one of those states.

    Shortly after the Supreme Court handed down its decision, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder warned in a televised speech that the Justice Department will take “swift enforcement actions” against any efforts to exploit the ruling and enact discriminatory voting laws. But the DOJ will have one less tool to do so.

    Abbott fired off a series of tweets promising to move forward with the voter ID law, one of which declared that “Eric Holder can no longer deny [voter ID] in [Texas].” TPM


  246. Gene: Nothing above that is supposition matters to the argument. Do you deny an asymmetry of power between an employer and an employee?

    The issue is why I (me, Tony C) do not trust Hollister’s statements on national TV to reflect his true feelings, because he has a lot to lose if his true feelings would suggest Deen was a racist.

    Surely you can understand that if one statement causes loss and the other avoids it, people with little to gain by telling the truth and plenty to lose may be biased toward avoiding the loss.

    Were that the case, I would not blame Hollister, all the people that might admire him for calling Deen out on national TV aren’t going to pay his rent six months from now when Holly and Deen are yesterday’s news.

    My “suppositions” are precisely the kinds of suppositions that warrant sexual harassment laws in the first place; they are the suppositions of situations that plausibly exist between an employee and an employer.

    We all know how a power imbalance works, I am just making it specific to this situation.


  247. Gene: Having a problem with the operand “or” when presented with two options, Tony?

    Not at all, you seem to be having trouble believing the statement “Paula Deen is a lifelong racist” is either true OR false.


  248. Gene: I am not amending my statement, there is no need. I repeat it:
    “either she is a life long racist or she is not, and my money is on life long racist.”

    Clearly I offer one of two alternatives one of which must be true (and which do not exclude any middle).

    Clearly I present that as a probability I would bet on (with the phrase “my money is on”). That includes the slight chance she is not, but I would not bet on it.


  249. mespo: You have no right to presume someone’s reaction and be angry for them.

    Of course I do. Literally, I have that right. It is called “freedom of speech.”

    More generally, I have not only the right but the duty to demand that society protect the weak from the strong, including in situations where the weak are unaware they do not have to remain subordinate, or do not wish to admit they are weak, or fear reprisal for not acting subordinately.

    Jim Crow laws were wrong and unfair even when blacks did not dare complain about them for fear of being lynched. Did your admonition apply then? Did the fact the victims did not publicly complain about those laws mean nobody ever should have?


  250. Tony,

    “Not at all, you seem to be having trouble believing the statement “Paula Deen is a lifelong racist” is either true OR false.”

    No. I have a problem coming to a conclusion based on media coverage and not a proper trial with properly vetted evidence as it relates to the allegations at bar. It’s . . . wait for it . . . prejudicial. Your opinion is that she’s a racist. At this point, it is still just an opinion, not an adjudicated fact. All things being equal? Your opinion is probably right. But it may not be.

    Also, I fully understand the asymmetry of an employer/employee relationship, however, I’m not going to suppose coercion is happening absent proof.

    You seem to be doing both.


  251. When it comes to racism, its not the actions of the few, which sadden and disturb me, its the the inaction or in this case the deliberate dissembling, lying and willful blindness of the many.

    mespo, and others like him are smart enough to understand the cover and support they are providing by their words. mespo has chosen through his words to dissemble and make this more about about Political Correctness, media bias and lefties and less about the racist stylings of Ms. Deen. Sadly this acceptance of racism is more common than we want to believe.


  252. Way to go, Texas!

    I’m guessing Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana and Arizona will soon be following their lead, Smom.


  253. on 1, June 25, 2013 at 4:15 pm Swarthmore mom

    Gene H, Texas has to maintain its reputation. They are having a one woman 13 hour filibuster at the capitol today over Perry’s omnibus abortion bill.


  254. on 1, June 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm Swarthmore mom

    http://www.texastribune.org/2013/06/25/texplainer-what-are-rules-filibuster/ No eating, drinking, sitting, leaning or using the restroom for 13 hours for Wendy Davis.


  255. Gene: Your opinion is that she’s a racist. At this point, it is still just an opinion, not an adjudicated fact.

    Agreed. But in virtually all cases when my opinion is that somebody is a racist, it will never be an adjudicated fact; and the court is never going to prove she is NOT a racist; at best they will decide the evidence was not strong enough to move forward with depriving her of property.

    So I act, for myself, based on my opinion, and I advertise the reasons for my opinion to multiply the action I believe is correct to others. As I have said numerous times, I will let the jury decide about damages due, my opinion is in support of Food Network denying her further “celebrity status” income.

    Gene: I’m not going to suppose coercion is happening absent proof.
    You seem to be doing both.

    I do not suppose coercion is definitely happening, I suppose it is possible and plausible, so I think anything Hollister (or any other employee of Paula Deen’s) has to offer must be taken with a few grains of salt.

    I do not demand any proof of coercion, because the coercion may be entirely in Hollister’s mind as a fear of reprisal with no explicit threat of reprisal from his boss. I think it is precisely the same reason we both do not condone military generals banging their female lieutenants, whether “consent” is given or not, there is simply no way to tell whether a fear of reprisal existed in the mind of the subordinate or not.


  256. And yet said Generals would not be convicted of improperly using their position of authority against a subordinate without some kind proof, Tony.

    I’m not saying it’s not possible or plausible.

    I’m saying there is no proof.


  257. IT WAS 30 FREAKIN YEARS AGO THAT SHE SAID THE N-WORD! PEOPLE ARE MAKING TOO MUCH OUT OF THIS! I DONT CARE WHO YOU ARE, ALL OF US HAVE SAID IT AT SOME POINT. THIS IS STUPID! SEVERAL YEARS AGO OPRAH SAID RETARD ON HER SHOW. WHY WASNT THAT AN ISSUE? NOW SHE OWNS HER OWN NETWORK. COMEDIANS SAY THE N-WORD ALL THE TIME. THEY TALK ABOUT EVERYBODY! BUT THATS OK?NOT RIGHT PEOPLE!!!


  258. And where is all the crap about lil wayne dancing on our flag? Yeah, there ain’t any…


  259. Since Lil’ Wayne has a Constitutional right to burn the flag, I’m not going to get too upset over him dancing on it. You can buy American flag underwear. That should lend some critical perspective about how important Lil’ Wayne’s dancing is to our survival as a society.


  260. Tony C:

    “mespo: You have no right to presume someone’s reaction and be angry for them.

    Of course I do. Literally, I have that right. It is called “freedom of speech.”

    ***********************

    That’s the crux of it, I suppose. Because Holly’s words and actions don’t fall neatly in line with your tendential argument, you think you have the right to speak for Holly because he is mentally or emotionally incapable to either do it himself or perceive what is going on. That a decidedly antebellum attitude there Tony C and just like those plantation owners used to think.

    I think Holly is man enough to do it for himself.

    Who is the real racist?


  261. Loviatar:

    “mespo, and others like him are smart enough to understand the cover and support they are providing by their words. mespo has chosen through his words to dissemble and make this more about about Political Correctness, media bias and lefties and less about the racist stylings of Ms. Deen. Sadly this acceptance of racism is more common than we want to believe.”

    ************************

    Especially by those who reflexively and readily find racism whenever they hear a Southern drawl, and an allegation in a lawsuit. The cover and support is for the process that won’t brand you with a scarlet letter without more proof than we have here.


  262. Mike S:

    “Her grandfather has 37 “workers” to run his plantation one day and no “workers” the next so he killed himself in despair.”

    ***********************

    I guess you and Juliet missed the first 20 seconds or so of the video where Ms. Deen says her grandfather’s only son was killed in the Civil War and he “didn’t know how to deal with life.” Only after that did she mention his melancholy at losing his livelihood. Of course, losing a son and your way in life doesn’t compare to losing your work force (which you could easily rehire), but there are some misguided folks out there who believe those two life altering events to be more likely reasons for despair and suicide than losing your slaves.

    But, of course, that would require an objective mind.


  263. I’m not sure why you dragged me into it. I didn’t say anything about her grandpa. The way she treated her “beloved” Hollis was enough for me. But thanks for the lately incoherent rebuttal!


  264. Mespo:

    “I think Holly is man enough to do it for himself.”

    You got that right.

    That soft racism of low expectations is truly insidious.

    Thank god men like Martin Luther King, John Lewis, Medgar Evers, Thomas Sowell, Ben Carson and others didnt fall for it.


  265. Juliet:

    I suppose your effusive praise of a comment that totally ignored the point of Paula Deen’s story caused me to paint you with the same brush or maybe it was because you simply don’t listen to everything people say. You like to pick and choose the facts (or quais-facts) and construct some unintelligible reply. Maybe you could reform your ways and admit that your original source for ‘recent’ racial comments was merely allegations in a lawsuit and not facts as you said. Once chastened by that foolishness you Googled your way to a video on the Huffington post that no one complained about at the time and which did NOT prove that Ms. Deen said racial comments recently.

    You could redeem yourself and really convince us you’re not an intellectual fraud by admitting Paula never, ever, ever said that N word in the video as you implied in your breathless post to it. Not holding my breath since your moving target argumentation style is now saying: “Well I was dead wrong about any recent proof of Ms. Deen saying racial epithets so now I’m saying she gave an interview that I think shows is really a bad person.” Never mind she is nothing but gracious and never resorts to name calling and that the object of her scorn (as you see it )tells her on camera, “I love you, too.” Nope like Tony C you know better.

    Finally you can knock our socks off by acknowledging explicitly what you already acknowledged implicitly that what you originally said about a comment made 50 years ago proving current racism is simply Kentucky bred horse pucky. You could also answer my question about the propriety of your husband leaving you if he found out now you had an affair in high school. All I get is crickets on that one there, Socrates.

    It’s strident people like you who give progressives like me a bad name. You talk first; think second; and emote often. But, hey, you do give the rest of us something to laugh at as your head explodes.


  266. My lord, that’s some word salad! Racist comments happened recently. October 2012. She’s a racist now, then and probably her whole life. I’m not sure why your busy, yet unstable, mind is dwelling on my sex life in high school, but I can tell you that having had three other husbands and a significant number of boyfriends between then and now, my husband couldn’t care less. However, if I had one last year, he’d be mighty pissed.

    You shouldn’t drink and post. You’re much less clever.


  267. Juliet:

    ” but I can tell you that having had three other husbands and a significant number of boyfriends between then and now, my husband couldn’t care less.”

    ***********************

    Since you have yet to even half-way prove that she said any racist words anytime between the 60s and now, you and hubby number 4 have quite eloquently proven my point.

    Three other husbands? Those guys must have been saints.


  268. I’m just that amazing. And video. Black as that board. Last year. Racist.


  269. Mark,

    What made you think that I didn’t hear her talking about the son being killed in the war? I heard it loud and clear. Ii could care less since it doesn’t excuse the vile cause the son was fighting for, which was the right of his family to retain the 37 slaves, that Paula calls his ” workforce”. Do you really suppose that I don’t understand that from a Southern perspective this was their way of life, torn from them by the damn Yankees? Slavery was horror, as is racism and it stains this Country and our way of life. I don’t believe that a good percentage of Southerners who lived through Jim Crow mened their racist hearts. In fact I think there is a seething hatred there. Remember I too live in the South. My State elected a vile governor who has done his best to suppress the vote and deny people of color their rights.. His position was clear when he ran and a majority elected him. Nor am I stating that racism is strictly a Southern phenomena, it is an American one and personally it disgusts me. Beyond that if the racists succeed they will come for Jews next, just as they hated Jews in the South and would easily do so again. Bigotry is not an illness many recover from and yes I have little forgiveness in my heart for recovering bigots.

    What I think you refuse to look at is that Deen sells a product, herself. I’ve made no argument about the court case about which I don’t care.
    I watched the tape. For me it took things out of the range of supposition and into proof. The fact that she called in a Black man, who she employs and he vouched for her on TV is irrelevant to me.

    He depends on her for his livelihood. That you would state that any failure to believe the truth of his statement shows racism is really a specious argument. It’s his job and it’s probably a good one. That you would think he wouldn’t vouch for her in that situation, tests credibility. However, you’re a lawyer and a good one so you’re giving your case its best defense. It doesn’t convince me and I’m as dispassionate observer as you are. I liked Deen up until this story broke and my prefernce would have been to side with her. She is simply not credible to me. She may lose her celebrity status, but she’ll still be rich and there will be enough that support her that she may even return to TV.

    You know if I remember you were highly critical of Anthony Weiner and wanted him to resign for breaking no law. He was one of the better Congressman. Is your opinion that when he says he has realized the error of his ways will you believe him?


  270. If all this outrage against Paula Deen stems from true moral principles, rather than pseudo indignation and knee-jerk hysteria, then where was the outrage against HBO and Chris Rock for broadcasting this?


  271. Mespo: Who is the real racist?

    I suppose you are, for making an assumption that my actions are race-based when they are not. I said, “I have not only the right but the duty to demand that society protect the weak from the strong,”

    By implying I am a racist for doing that, you imply that only the racially oppressed are “weak.” Being racially oppressed just includes them in a long list of types that are politically oppressed and cannot make an effective stand against the powerful, both in their lives and in society in general. Homosexuals are a politically weak minority, those in poverty (of all races) are politically weak, those with cognitive deficits are politically weak, females are gaining ground but politically weak, certainly not at political parity in the boardroom, war room, or halls of Congress.

    99% of us are politically weak against the banks, insurance companies, and military industrialists. But by your twisted rules, if I see injustice being done to somebody else and they won’t publicly complain, I can’t complain. If I am angry about that treatment, I don’t have the right to speak out on my own behalf against a person I see as a cruel, hateful, selfish liar, I need some sort of public permission of the oppressed before I am allowed to make my opinion known.

    So there is the real crux of it; you cannot win that argument because your position is ludicrous, so instead you resort to ad hominisms, implying I am a racist because I want to punish the racism I perceive.

    You’re just a sore loser, Mark.


  272. Gene: I’m saying there is no proof.

    I agree. For my personal actions, the effects of which will be strictly financial on Paula Deen, my standard for action is a “preponderance of evidence.” I think, based on what is sworn testimony of not just Lisa Jackson but Bubba Hiers, Paula’s brother, there is a strong probability that Paula Deen was and remains a casual racist, and I want her off TV. I don’t want my money or anybody else’s money increasing her fortune, letting her contribute to the campaigns of racist politicians, or starting more racist and abusive businesses with her racist and abusive friends to discriminate against more employees and telling them “You have no civil rights here.”

    I cannot compel testimony or cross-examine witnesses, and I have enough experience trying to get people prosecuted that I do not trust the courts to reveal the whole truth about anything. What I am left with, for determining truth, is my own analysis of what I read.

    But I actually agree with the system’s classification of “proof” into multiple levels depending upon consequences. For civil and financial-only cases, that burden of proof is “preponderance of evidence,” which I have been told means “more likely than not.”

    Based on my understanding of how and why people phrase their statements and form their lies (when lying), the deposition testimony makes me think it is more likely than not that Paula Deen and her brother are both racists that let their racism infect their business decisions.

    I have seen analogous problems with many financially successful entrepreneurs; like Deen they became successful due to a skill in demand unrelated to business (cooking for Deen. For others, skills like electrical or mechanical engineering, computer programming, salesmanship, architecture, landscaping, home building, plumbing, road building, etc).

    But their complete lack of training in business and ignorance of the law means they run their business by the seat of their pants, ignore (or do not seek) the advice of attorneys, accountants, or tax professionals, and are functionally ignorant of the rules on sexual harassment, workplace safety, discrimination on race, age, gender, or religion, or what it is illegal to demand of employees or during interviews. It can be almost comical the way in which they decide for themselves (without ever having read anything) what “counts” as harassment or discrimination.

    Eventually growth makes the business unwieldy, more employees make “secret” information more likely to leak out, they become more publicly scrutinized and they run into trouble; sometimes with consequences.


  273. Tony C:

    I haven’t lost anything. I can let the readers decide who is the patronizing ideologue basing his sketchy opinion on no facts at all or some twisted version of a video snip that no one complained about when it aired and the person who is judiciously waiting for the evidence to come in without resorting to jumping the gun.

    And as for me claiming your decisions are raced-based, let me clarify. Your opinions are based on pure emotion devoid of reason and in perfect willful ignorance of the facts. Your patronizing attitude towards African-Americans is what is race-based.

    And I’m glad you moved from “I ‘m absolutely sure Paula Deen is a racist.” to “it’s more likely” that she is one. At least you’re using some of your brain.


  274. Mike S:

    I thought you didn’t see it because I wondered how anyone hearing that a person had lost their son in a war and who had then lost their way in life couldn’t see that as the reasons for suicide rather than losing your work force. Since it refutes your argument that losing his slaves was the triggering event, I pointed it out.


  275. Deen may not be overtly racist today–but after viewing that video of her interview, I’d say she still harbors some racist feelings. Her ancestor lost his workers after the Civil War. Hey lady–those “workers” were slaves. Your ancestor was in despair after losing his slaves. What do you think life was like for his slaves? Bringing that young Black man out on stage to prove that she has Black friends/employees doesn’t prove anything. It harkens back to comments that people make like the following: I’m not anti-Semitic. Some of my best friends are Jews.


  276. Mespo:

    you know what I find amazing? Many Christians act holier than thou and usually their lives are one big cluster foxtrot.

    Personally, I wouldnt pay attention to any type of advice from someone who had been married 3-4 times.

    There is a flaw er fly in that oatmeal.

    By the way doesnt the Bible frown on serial matrimony?


  277. Paula Deen’s problem is that she had the temerity to be rich and have come from modest circumstances through hard work and perseverance. As a single mother no less while raising to succesful young men.

    We should be holding her up as a model for single mothers, most of whom flounder in similar circumstances.


  278. I wasn’t giving Mespo advice, but thanks for your input, pookie-bear! The Bible frowns on a bunch of things. Fortunately, Jesus saves. :)


  279. Mark: Your opinions are based on pure emotion devoid of reason and in perfect willful ignorance of the facts.

    More bullsshit and a sore loserism. My opinions are based on a reading of sworn depositions and a lifetime of unavoidable association with a few extended family members that are liars and frauds, primarily due to their desperate financial circumstances. It is not devoid of reason at all, I detailed the reasons above. You can disagree, but I have reasons and I am not ignorant of the facts in the least, I processed the facts and came to a conclusion.

    Mark: Your patronizing attitude towards African-Americans is what is race-based.

    Of course you can’t point at any examples, without presuming to know what is in my head. I have no patronizing attitude based on race, I have a belief that those people discriminated against by employers on any basis of discrimination may have their own reasons for putting up with that discrimination; which may include financial reasons, or fear of later retaliation by their employer, or even if they do not fear either of those, fear of losing the other relationships with coworkers they have developed if the employer retaliates against them by ginning up some excuse to fire them, or make their job miserable.

    THEREFORE, I do not put much stock in their answers when a person with the power to oppress them, and get away with it by calling it something else, demands they come forward and offer a defense.

    You are apparently so blinded by your need to “win” this argument that you ignore the obvious and now go to flailing with twisted and Orwellian redefinitions to attack my character. Any readers you convince by that lying and emotion laden route just cannot judge the difference between lies and truth; so I wish them well in your camp.

    I will stick with what is obvious to me; I think Paula Deen is a racist, and since I have the choice to boycott her and encourage others to do the same, I do. The jury will decide whether there is sufficient evidence to exact legal punishment; I will decide whether there is sufficient evidence for ME to exact commercial punishment and social punishment.


  280. tony c:

    I am waiting for the flood of people who have evidence of her racism. typically where there is smoke there is fire.

    have you heard of any other complaints? I cant find any yet. If you do please let me know and I will do the same.


  281. pookie-bear? WTF? People usually call me a big teddy bear or sometimes a gummy nerd but never a pookie-bear.

    So get it straight baby snookums.


  282. Mark: And I’m glad you moved from “I ‘m absolutely sure Paula Deen is a racist.” to “it’s more likely” that she is one.

    Another lie, I never adopted the position of ‘absolutely sure.’ I have said from the beginning I am convinced; that there is a high probability of racism, and I still believe that.

    The standard of evidence in civil financial cases is “preponderance of evidence” which I have heard a judge tell a jury can be taken to mean “more likely than not.” That would be enough to deprive Paula Deen of a lucrative position on Food Network. Personally, I think the probability of her racism is much higher than 51%, to me the evidence reaches the next standard, “clear and convincing evidence”, but not the final standard, “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    But I am not depriving her of custody, or putting her in jail, my actions at best contribute to depriving her of future income to add to her millions, so I don’t need more than a “preponderance of evidence” to take what action I legally can to effect that outcome.


  283. “Another lie, I never adopted the position of ‘absolutely sure.’ ”

    Really, Tony.

    That’s not what “either she is a life long racist or she is not, and my money is on life long racist” indicates. It’s an absolutist statement. She is or is not is – despite your protestations to the contrary – a binary assertion. All or nothing. You chose “all”.


  284. Bron:

    More sponsors dropping Deen.

    Complaints by other employees of Paula Deen.

    –begin excerpt–
    Robert Patillo, an attorney for Rainbow/PUSH, a civil rights group founded by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr., said one current and two former employees told him white employees are routinely paid more than black employees and are promoted more quickly. A black man who had threatened to go to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Deen’s brother told him “you don’t have any civil rights here,” Rainbow/PUSH said in a press release.

    Rainbow/PUSH said it has “found evidence of systemic racial discimination and harassment” by Deen and that “a family member consistently referred to a black cook as ‘my little monkey.'”

    Patillo, who conducted interviews in Savannah where Deen’s restaurant is located, said current and former employees told him that Deen “preferred white and light-skinned blacks to work with customers” and that darker-skinned blacks were relegated to “back-of-the-house operations.”

    Patillo said employees have been reluctant to talk to him about their experience with Deen because they fear retaliation.

    –end excerpt–


  285. Gene: That is ridiculous; “my money” is a reference to a bet, which is inherently a probability, which I had already mentioned earlier.

    As to whether something being true or false is “all or nothing,” of course it is, but in this case if it is false, the modifier must be taken as written: If she is not a “lifelong racist,” she can still be a reformed racist, former racist, or never a racist at all. Shall you join Mark in the sore loser circle? Feel free.


  286. Tony,

    “As to whether something being true or false is ‘all or nothing,’ of course it is”. No, it isn’t. Just because you bet on an all or nothing proposition doesn’t mean the original proposition wasn’t binary – and in this case – the presentation of a false dilemma.

    Seriously, man. Your logic is usually much better than what you are presenting on this issue. A lot better.


  287. Gene H:

    I must disagree, there are absolutes [no not the vodka].

    I find tony c’s assertion interesting though in that he says he believes in free will. It doesnt appear that he is allowing for Deen to change.


  288. tony c:

    well, if she has done that, then sue the crap out of her and bring in the EEOC.

    Do you know what kind of a can of worms you are opening with the light skinned, dark skinned comment made in that article?

    Maybe it is time to vet that so we can see just how rascist this country really is on a number of levels across the races.

    Oh my. Its times like these that I am glad my philosophy says this:

    “Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.

    Racism claims that the content of a man’s mind (not his cognitive apparatus, but its content) is inherited; that a man’s convictions, values and character are determined before he is born, by physical factors beyond his control. This is the caveman’s version of the doctrine of innate ideas—or of inherited knowledge—which has been thoroughly refuted by philosophy and science. Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes. It is a barnyard or stock-farm version of collectivism, appropriate to a mentality that differentiates between various breeds of animals, but not between animals and men.

    Like every form of determinism, racism invalidates the specific attribute which distinguishes man from all other living species: his rational faculty. Racism negates two aspects of man’s life: reason and choice, or mind and morality, replacing them with chemical predestination.”


  289. Bron,

    “I must disagree, there are absolutes” which is a statement we’ll never agree on so long as you haven’t read quantum mechanics.

    “It doesnt appear that he is allowing for Deen to change.” My point exactly. By framing her actions as absolutes, he’s excluding the middle.


  290. on 1, June 26, 2013 at 10:49 am Otteray Scribe

    I am at the point where I don’t care one way or the other whether what she is a racist or a Methodist. I do know she promotes an unhealthy choice of foods and ingredients and I do not approve of that. Additionally, she grates on me. Not as much as Sarah Palin, but enough.


  291. OS,

    I’ll have to agree on her cooking. I learned a lot of my cooking skills from Southern cooks, but even by their standards, much of Deen’s choices make me say, “Damn.” Krispy Kreme Hamburgers? Really?


  292. Otteray,

    If I found out that the owner of a restaurant I frequented was a racist, I wouldn’t patronize the establishment any longer. I wouldn’t, however, care if the owner of the restaurant was a Methodist.


  293. Paula Deen hates yankees, that is why she uses Krispy Kremes for hamburger buns. She is trying to kill them with food. Southerners know you dont use krispy kremes as a hamburger bun or use doughnuts for bread puddin. But Yankees? They think it is quaint.

    Paula Deen is wiley. I wonder how many yankee deaths she has notched on her henkel?


  294. Bron,

    I’m a Yankee. Most of the folks I know–who are also Yankees–would NEVER order a Krispy Kreme hamburger, use doughnuts in bread pudding, or eat things like chicken-fried steak. Quaint? I think not.


  295. Gene, Bron: My point exactly. By framing her actions as absolutes, he’s excluding the middle.

    No, I am framing reality, including what has already happened or not, as an absolute. After 50 years as an adult (or 48 or whatever) she has had the opportunity to change from racist to non-racist, I allow for that. I do not think that she HAS changed, I think she has been a lifelong racist. I am either right or wrong about that; I certainly think when she was using the word as a young adult it was racist, albeit perhaps immature and culturally common. My statement is simple, either she has remained a racist since then or she has not, and “my money is on” what I see as a high probability that she has not changed.

    You both lose. Gene, it is not a limiting choice, just like “not convicted of a crime” does not mean the crime was not committed by the person in question. “X or not X” is a tautology (in the good mathematical sense), it sets no limit on what is true and therefore excludes nothing. If she has changed from her early racism in which she apparently used the N-word more often than she can recall, then she is NOT a lifelong racist. My statement does NOT exclude that possibility of change, it expresses my belief, based on my reading, that change is not very likely at all.


  296. Tony,

    You seem to mistake that employing bad logic and then obstinately sticking to it somehow makes you a winner. You’re simply Tony. Bad logic is the loser. That you chose to deploy bad logic is another issue. You say “reality isn’t up for a vote”. No, apparently it’s what you say it is and that’s that with no room for doubt. You think she’s a lifelong racist, ergo, that must the reality of the situation? Would you like some ipse dixit to go with that false dilemma? Oh, never mind. I see you already got some.


  297. Of course, you could have framed your statement properly to begin with and avoided all this gyration to escape that you framed the choice as absolute and thus save face from making such a basic and embarrassing logical mistake.


  298. Elaine M: Agreed. “Prejudices” that are not rooted in physicality do not bother me; I do not regard vehement disagreement with somebody else’s thinking or philosophy as “prejudice” or “bigotry.” (Even if it fits some definitions of those words.) I am an atheist, but I do not regard those that are anti-atheism as bigots, they don’t like my thought process. Which really is them judging me by the “content of my character,” as I feel free to judge them.


  299. “If all this outrage against Paula Deen stems from true moral principles, rather than pseudo indignation and knee-jerk hysteria, then where was the outrage against HBO and Chris Rock for broadcasting this?”

    Bob,

    Sadly for such a learned man you really don’t get the distinction between Chris Rock’s act and Paula Deen? Comedy and satire Bob is the clear difference. If you can’t get the subtlety of the point that Rock was making perhaps it’s because you simply don’t understand Black people. I find it interesting that both you and Mark, whose perception and intelligence I respect, have resorted to using words like pseudo-indignation and knee-jerk hysteria to describe those who you disagree with on this issue. I disagree with both you and Mark strongly on this issue yet I have not cast aspersions upon the morality and ethics of either one of you in adopting your positions on this. That you two feel called upon to do so and this thread is replete with examples, really shows the superficial nature of the case you are making.

    “Since it refutes your argument that losing his slaves was the triggering event, I pointed it out.”

    Mark,

    My argument was clearly not about the Grandfather’s story per se, but about Paula Deen’s retelling of that story. That video and her own words were clear indications to me that she harbors racist feelings. The bringing in of her assistant was also I think an indication of that. She knows how she feels and yes she has a right to feel that way. But she also knows that if she reveals her feelings it will cost her dearly, as it has. Now obviously you see it differently, but I think your view is incorrect.


  300. Gene: I am not the one that should be embarrassed, my framing was correct, and you remain wrong in your interpretation of what is and is not a “binary choice” that excludes a middle. My framing does not. If X represents a specific value then the formula “X>3″ is either true or it is not, but that “binary choice” does not exclude any value for X at all, there is no “middle” to exclude.


  301. I’m not going to be embarrassed because you misused the logical operand “or” and didn’t properly qualify what you said, Tony. I don’t get embarrassed for others. I may feel badly that they feel embarrassed. But being embarrassed for them makes about as much sense as being outraged for an “offense” against another when they are themselves not offended. Which is to say none at all.

    Are you feeling okay? Or is this more of your obstinance like when you thought you knew better than a whole profession you weren’t trained in on what and how the basis of that profession operates?


  302. Mike,

    The simple fact that a white man could never make the same comments that Chris Rock did, whether in a comedy routine or otherwise, without being called a racist is proof positive of the inherent lack of moral objectivity on this issue.

    As people like Richard Pryor and Chris Rock show, use of the word “nigger” is not dispositive on the issue of racism. To claim otherwise is simply Pseudo Indignation.


  303. on 1, June 26, 2013 at 11:54 am Otteray Scribe

    Elaine:
    If you frequented a restaurant that offered Ms. Deen’s cooking, their politics, religion or prejudices would be the least of your problems.

    Would you prefer a coronary or Type II diabetes for dessert?


  304. Gene & Mark,

    You do know that arguing with a solipsist is futile; don’t you?


  305. OS,

    All dishes come with a side order of Lipitor. Insulin is extra.


  306. Bob,

    Sure do! But it is good sport. :mrgreen:


  307. on 1, June 26, 2013 at 11:56 am Anonymously Yours

    OS,

    Just like good whiskey needs no ice…. A good burger does not need sugar…..it needs a health appetite…..


  308. Otteray,

    There are things other than physical issues that would be problems for some people.


  309. “I do know she promotes an unhealthy choice of foods and ingredients and I do not approve of that. Additionally, she grates on me. Not as much as Sarah Palin, but enough.”

    OS,

    I admit to being fooled by her routine and enjoying her patter. Nevertheless, as somewhat of a cook myself her recipes horrified me. As AY says above: “A good burger does not need sugar”. Good food is always the result of good ingredients in proper proportions, her proportions were just ridiculous.


  310. “The simple fact that a white man could never make the same comments that Chris Rock did, whether in a comedy routine or otherwise, without being called a racist is proof positive of the inherent lack of moral objectivity on this issue.”

    Bob,

    You’re absolutely right that a White man could never make the same comments Rock did. You are completely wrong in thinking you are making any kind of point by that. Are you aware of the racial history of this country towards Blacks? If you were then you wouldn’t make that statement. Black people were caricatured in the American media on a level with Julius Streicher’s caricatures of Jews in NAZI Germany. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Streicher . Ever seen a Charlie Chan movie, with Manton Moreland? Ever see Amos N’ Andy on TV with the lead roles played by two White men in Blackface? Ever watch the portrayal of Black people in the Cartoons of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s? The history of this country has been and is such that Black Americans have been and are oppressed even today. Part of that oppression has been the constant characterization of Black people as inferior and objects of ridicule. You’re damn right that a White man couldn’t say what Chris Rock said without opprobrium and it is silly that someone as intelligent as you can’t understand that and needs it explained to him.

    Secondly, though there is another point to be made. I have no idea as to your ethnicity, but obviously you are aware that I am Jewish. As a Jew I will listen to humor satirizing Jews if it comes from a Jew. Call me Kike and not be Jewish and I might react violently. This is true of Italians, Irish people and all other ethnicities. It is so true and obvious that usually it never has to be mentioned. Rock’s audience was predominantly Black on that show. Tyler Perry does racial stereotypes in movies and has become rich from it, but that is because his audience is mostly black. That do you not get this frankly amazes me.


  311. I agree wholeheartedly with the excellent and thorough analysis by Bob, Esq. on this issue.

    It is also my belief that there are no forbidden words for the reason that there are no forbidden thoughts.


  312. “You do know that arguing with a solipsist is futile; don’t you?”

    Bob,

    Cheap shot and reflects the frustration that Tony C, is kicking all your butts. Are you all really down to ad hominem at this point, since the thread clearly shows that you guys are the ones calling names?


  313. Mespo (and Gene I think (((*_*)) ) she lied in the interview this am with Matt Lauer or she lied in the deposition. He asked her 2 times have you ever used the ‘n word’ more then once, She replied she had not. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/paula-deen-today-show_n_3501825.html

    In the deposition
    Lawyer: Have you ever used the N-word yourself?
    Deen: Yes, of course.
    Lawyer: Okay. In what context?
    Deen: Well, it was probably when a black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head
    Lawyer: Okay. And what did you say?
    Deen: Well, I don’t remember, but the gun was dancing all around my temple … I didn’t — I didn’t feel real favorable towards him.
    awyer: Okay. Well, did you use the N-word to him as he pointed a gun in your head at your face?
    Deen: Absolutely not.
    Lawyer: Well, then, when did you use it?
    Deen: Probably in telling my husband.
    Lawyer: Okay. Have you used it since then?
    Deen: I’m sure I have, but it’s been a very long time.
    .

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/19/paula-deen-racist-comments-n-word-caught-on-video_n_3467287.html

    This is not merely she said something 50 years ago. It seems almost everytime she speaks out about it she digs herself a deeper hole.


  314. Gene: No, unlike law, basic logic and set theory are indeed a profession I am trained in, and you remain wrong, both on the technical merits of set theory and the common sense parsing of this particular statement. But feel free to persist in your embarrassing ignorance, it is no sweat off my brow.


  315. Does it make me a bad feminist that being called “baby snookums” doesn’t offend me?


  316. I agree with Mike S. on this issue. Having come from an minority immigrant family whose ethnic heritage was often the subject of “dumb” jokes when I was young, I understand how it feels to be made fun of and how it stings to be treated as if you are somehow intellectually inferior to your peers. My friends–most of whom–were of a particular ethnic heritage that was dominant in my community all enjoyed telling and listening to the jokes. I don’t think they understood how I–and others like me–felt. I still recall the times decades ago when I turned the tables on some of them and changed the butt of the typical dumb Pollack joke to their ethnicity. I was met with silence. They didn’t think the joke was funny at all when it came at their expense. Maybe I am overly sensitive to this issue because of my past experience.


  317. “No, unlike law, basic logic and set theory are indeed a profession I am trained in, and you remain wrong, both on the technical merits of set theory and the common sense parsing of this particular statement.”

    I’ll be sure to pass that along to my Logic & Legal Reasoning instructor and the half dozen logic instructors I had in undergrad.

    Science doesn’t control the market on the study of logic, Tony.

    You misused and operand without qualifying your statements not matter how much you protest. Haste makes waste. Instead of protesting so vociferously, maybe next time you’ll qualify a statement if you don’t mean it to be framed as an absolute.


  318. If by “kicking your butts”, you mean “rushing to judgement on emotion rather than logic and prejudicially declaring someone racist before their trial on discrimination allegations”, then yes, Tony is kicking our butts, Mike. All the facts are not known nor the evidence vetted and this is essentially a case that boils down to he said/she said. Properly sorting the evidence is especially important in these kinds of cases. Why? For in truth, she may be a racist, but in fact she may not have created a discriminatory work environment. Or she may not be a racist and have in fact created a discriminatory work environment. Everyone seems to be taking their eye off the ball. She’s not facing charges she’s a racist at bar. That’s not a crime or a tort. The complaint is rooted in a workplace violation that may or may not be related to racism and discrimination in the workplace need not be a claim based solely upon race.


  319. leejcaroll: Yeah, she’s a liar. And at the end she says, “If there’s anyone out there that has never said something that they wish they could take back, …”

    Which is a classic diminishing response, recasting a racist attitude that has obviously lasted for many years as

    A) an implied single incident, and
    B) equivalent to all other possible “regrettable” statements.

    I have made many statements I regret that have hurt people’s feelings about their work or their art or even their intelligence. In my opinion, none of those are equivalent to persistent casual racism or bigotry.


  320. And what Mike A. said.


  321. Gene: No, you just choose to focus on a different ball, as Mike and I have both stipulated, the jury will hear that evidence and determine to their satisfaction whether she is responsible for a hostile work environment. We have already, and repeatedly, said we are not talking about that.

    So that is your ball, our ball is, in fact, whether or not she IS a racist. That is not illegal and is not a matter of law, it is a matter of us determining a state of her mind that cannot be proven or disproven. We are not reacting “emotionally,” we are judging the evidence provided by sworn testimony, in combination with videos featuring her statements, and coming to a most probable conclusion that best explains what we read and see.

    Of course as always, the rational mind informs the emotional mind, so THEN we get emotional, because we hate the racism we have rationally concluded is most probably present in Paula Deen.


  322. I’d also like to point out – again – that this is an instance of trial by public opinion rather than a public trial.

    If any of you were reading the stories leading up to the Martin case, you’ll note that my approach then as it is now: non-prejudicial. I was outraged that Zimmerman wasn’t being charged and investigated under circumstances that any other person who’s father wasn’t a magistrate would have been summarily arrested and investigated. That was a clear miscarriage of justice. However, I’ve said almost nothing since he was investigated and subsequently charged. Why? Because the court of public opinion is non-adjudicative. It has no formal system for vetting evidence. It’s all . . . opinion. And yet, people get so emotional – most people not being trained to divorce argument from personal emotion – that they often rush headlong into a decision on faulty reasoning and/or insufficient and/or inadmissible evidence.

    Honestly, I think the whole thing with everyone rushing to pillory Deen is an interesting study in social psychology and how the media can bias proceedings.


  323. Gene: I was referring to myself, again obviously. I am not trained in law, I am extensively trained in logic and set theory. But stoop to purposeful misinterpretation if it makes you feel better.


  324. And you are doing so in an emotional way, Tony, and based on selective evidence not the totality of the evidence.

    It’s really quite an interesting lynch mob mentality you’ve got going.


  325. Tony,

    It was a truthful observation, not a purposeful misinterpretation, but you go on and think that if it makes you feel better about your rookie mistake.


  326. Mike A: Nobody is forbidding her words, but as you allude, words reflect thoughts, and although those thoughts are not forbidden, we are free to find them hateful and worthy of shunning her. Which is what my argument has been about from the beginning. I am glad Food Network did not renew her contract, I think they did the right thing, and I hope others find her thoughts hateful and refuse to buy her products or frequent her establishments. And those of her brother. Other restaurants will arise to take their place and employ their former workers; the market demand will not go away if one restaurateur loses business.


  327. Gene: Back atcha, brother.


  328. “Maybe I am overly sensitive to this issue because of my past experience.” (Elaine)

    As long as that sensitivity is extended by you to others, then there is nothing “overly” about it. Empathy is a good thing.


  329. Tony,

    It takes a particular kind of guts to compound the fallacy of the excluded middle and ipse dixit with a tu quoque. I’d say I admire that kind of obstinance in thinking, but really, I don’t.


  330. Gene: It takes a particular kind of arrogance to misuse three logical fallacies in one sentence: I did not exclude any middle; I did not make a raw assertion I expected you to accept as valid, and your use of “tu quoque” is invalid as well; I did not attack your argument because you were not acting in accordance with it. “Back atcha” means I can say exactly what you said, that I think I made “a truthful observation, not a purposeful misinterpretation.”

    Perhaps you need a refresher course.


  331. Really.

    Well, so far you’ve done nothing but contortions to get out of your failure to properly qualify your absolutist statement – even going so far as to refuse the option to amend by protesting you did no such thing, you insisted Deen is a racist because you say so (ipse dixit), and if you didn’t mean “you too” by “right back at ya” then perhaps you should have a course in remedial English or have also chosen a different phrasing.

    But please, more petulance. It looks good on you. Really helps your argument too. It’s not like the tactic is new to you. You did the same thing when you were informed the social compact didn’t operate in legal analysis like you thought it did (or should in another use of ipse dixit).


  332. For me the most interesting aspect of this entire thread rests on Deen’s view of her own actions and words.

    Racists seem to have a set of criteria all their own when it comes to defining behavior. Lynching, white only signs, KKK membership, bad … tap dancing little n*igger boys as servers, cultural.


  333. I am not petulant at all, you do not seem that adept at capturing the mental state of people from writing. I am dismissive and amused that you think you are right when you are wrong. I did not insist Deen was a racist because I say so, I provided my “play by play” above that convinces me, and I have said Deen is a racist based upon the many statements she has made.

    The Earth does not orbit the Sun because I say so, I say it orbits the Sun because that is the most plausible explanation for all sorts of phenomena that we see. I do not claim I have been outside the solar system and watched the Earth orbit the sun, but I believe it does anyway.

    Deen is not a racist because I say so, I say Deen is a racist because I think her statements, recorded in sworn testimony and seen on video, are best explained by the hypothesis that she is a racist, while I think the hypothesis she is NOT a racist leaves too many anomalous quirks of language, word choice and grammar unexplained.

    What I meant by “back atcha” is I felt precisely about your statements as you feel about mine. That is not an ad hominem attack on whether you were acting consistently with your own admonitions; it was an acknowledgement of a standoff. We don’t agree. We can keep on saying we don’t agree, if you like that, I am not opposed to that sort of chatter. But you will have to give me some leeway in response time; I have duties…


  334. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

    We certainly do disagree, Tony. However, it has happened before. I’m sure it’ll happen again. It’s all in good sport and coming to accord is not required and we both know this. But I think you’re missing the most salient aspect of our difference on this matter and it isn’t the difference proper.

    It’s that it perfectly illustrates the contrast between the idea of trying a case in the media versus trying a case in court. The standards of evidence are different. The focus can be different as well. Note the preoccupation with whether or not Deen is in fact a racist has taken a strong hold of some while others are paying more attention to whether or not the evidence is sufficient to prove a discriminatory work environment (no matter the root of that discrimination). As I said before, Deen’s not facing charges she’s a racist at bar. That’s not a crime or a tort. The complaint is rooted in a workplace violation that may or may not be related to racism and discrimination in the workplace need not be a claim based solely upon race.

    If she’s in fact a racist? Which I have already stipulated she may be and by the evidence that has you in such a tizzy is a fairly high order probability? It’s still not a crime or a tort to be a racist. To make such a thing a crime or a tort would be The Thought Police writ large. Her being a racist or not is immaterial to the issue at bar other than it may (or may not) be a motivation in creating a discriminatory work place. And as we’ve discussed numerous times, with a few exceptions, motive is usually of tangential interest at best and usually irrelevant. For the matter at bar in the instant case, it’s tangential.

    As you say, two different balls to watch. The one involving the legal matter is heading toward the plate. The other is going outside and away. I’m going to swing at the one going over the plate.

    Also . . .

    petulant /ˈpɛtjʊl(ə)nt/, adj.,

    (of a person or their manner) childishly sulky or bad-tempered:

    But it’s okay. We all still love you and your big brain just the same, big boy. :* I do anyway. Usually your logic is impeccable. If it’s any consolation, you’re one of my favorite people to argue with here. And like with Mark, it doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, it’s both a hoot and a holler.

    Take your time.

    I’m on vacation so I have way more time on my hands than usual.


  335. Well, dam … it’s no fun when you two stop punching each other and decide to go get a beer.


  336. Blouise: I’ll take a diet cola. I don’t drink… half a beer and I’d be plastered. (Not for any religious or ideological reasons, I just don’t enjoy it; and I notice the effects upon my attention to details for days afterward.)


  337. :mrgreen:

    But that’s how it always is when people can divorce arguments from the person, B. You can argue against the logic and evidence without making it personal. At least some people can. It’s the difference between someone capable of professional argument and an amateur just like there’s a difference between a professional fighter and a bar brawler. One is exercising an art, the other is just angry, out of control and lashing out. They may at times look similar in execution as both are forms of conflict, but they most certainly are not.


  338. Garcon!

    A Diet Coke for my friend and I’ll have a Bass Ale.


  339. Tony C:

    While Gene has effectively eviscerated your furtive plea that you were being oh so circumspect and reasonable about Ms. Deen’s situation saying it’s more likely than not she’s a racist, I still throw out this little gem of evenhandedness that your judicial mind came up with on 6/22 at 10:09 p.m. before you took the pummeling from those who’ve at least seen a book on logic or semantics:

    “The word is not evil, Paula Deen is evil, and Paula Deen deserves punishment.”

    Somewhere Judge Roy Bean is smiling. Me? I’m laughing out loud at you hopeless contortions to free yourself from the trap you so carefully created for yourself.


  340. Gene: What is this “vacation” you speak of… Oh, you mean like attending a conference and sight-seeing between presentations, but without the presentations. Huh. Interesting concept.


  341. Mike S:

    “I find it interesting that both you and Mark, whose perception and intelligence I respect, have resorted to using words like pseudo-indignation and knee-jerk hysteria to describe those who you disagree with on this issue. I disagree with both you and Mark strongly on this issue yet I have not cast aspersions upon the morality and ethics of either one of you in adopting your positions on this. ”

    *************************

    I’m pretty sure I said neither phrase on this thread while I do agree with Bob,Esq’s sentiments. I did say you were not being objective about the evidence and omitting key information in your argument. I’ll stand on that.


  342. Gene: I tried an experiment for a while this year, I started asking for a diet cola instead of a diet coke or pepsi, because I thought the generic “cola” would prevent the follow up question (Is diet Coke okay? or Is diet Pepsi okay?)

    But it didn’t work, if I ask for diet cola, they still ask me. I have also tried “I’ll take a diet Coke or Pepsi,” and that didn’t work either. The waiter said, “We have diet Pepsi, is that okay?”


  343. A Culinary Birthright in Dispute
    Paula Deen’s Words Ripple Among Southern Chefs
    By JULIA MOSKIN
    Published: June 25, 2013

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/26/dining/paula-deens-words-ripple-among-southern-chefs.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    Excerpt:
    “It’s almost like a spoof of Southern cooking,” said Nathalie Dupree, the author of “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking,” a cooking teacher and food historian in Charleston, S.C. Ms. Dupree, 73, said that in her childhood fried food was a once-a-week treat, that rich desserts were served even less often, and that vegetables and grains like rice and grits made up most of what was a healthy, farm-based diet.

    “That is not how the people I know cook, and that is not how the people I know speak,” she said.

    Ms. Dupree, who is white, is especially incensed by the notion (advanced by many of Ms. Deen’s defenders) that whites who grew up in the segregated South routinely use racist language without attaching any significance to it. “I’m beginning to take umbrage at being lumped together with people who haven’t taken the trouble to learn what is offensive and what isn’t,” she said. “It puts the whole region back again.”


  344. Gene: And if there are no presentations, what does one talk about while sight-seeing?

    Professor A: “Are we done? Did we see the Sistine Chapel?”
    Professor B: “Yes, we just walked through it.”
    Professor A: “We have to go back, I was thinking about something.”


  345. Elaine: One of my neighbors is a 92 year old white woman that was born and raised in Texas; she has expressed similar resentment at being lumped in with “racist old people from the South.”


  346. on 1, June 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm Mike Spindell

    “Maybe I am overly sensitive to this issue because of my past experience.”

    Elaine,

    You’re not being overly serious, especially because you described the hurt you felt at their insensitivity. The pain and the devastation caused by such speech, even jokes, is very great. When one talks of PC they are denying that such pain is real. That it is real has been proven over and again via social science experimentation. What is really being argued here is the false premise of “political correctness”, the term that was invented to justify racism and bigotry. Where some miss the point is this though, I don’t see using ones free speech to denounce others hateful speech as being “politically correct”, merely a negative response to what is perceived as a negative statement. This doesn’t give license to assume that I would declare a crime in the usage of hateful speech, nor would I ever contemplate Ms.Deen being punished for what I perceive as her racism. I defend people’s right to be bigoted as long as they defend my right to critique their bigotry.

    The other aspect of the discussion here is the attempt to posit when one can be said to be reformed from their past bigotry and should no longer be attacked for their past behaviors. That like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
    Were the evidence to show that Ms. Deen used the term “nigger” 50 years ago and has since learned of its hurtfulness, than of course she should be forgiven. Hoiwever, the 2012 tape to my mind showed that this has been an ongoing pattern of belief through the years. It is possible that the court case will find that she is either liable, or not liable. I don’t have enough information to assess the equities of the court case, but I do feel the evidence of Ms. Deen’s own words in 2012 show bigotry. I don’t care whether or not she is punished for her free speech and bigotry. however, were I an executive of Food Network I would have fired her too, simply because she hurt her brand and thus became an economic liability.


  347. Mike S.,

    IMO, that 2012 tape spoke volumes about Deen’s attitude toward Black people. She should have just apologized for past transgressions and left it at that.


  348. on 1, June 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm Mike Spindell

    “declaring someone racist before their trial on discrimination allegations”, then yes, Tony is kicking our butts, Mike.”

    Gene,

    The problem is that neither Tony, nor I was talking about the trial and for that matter neither was Mark in his article except tangentially. What Tony and I were discussing was Deen’s racism and debating the fact that the response to her was being characterized as a “witch hunt” and from Bob “morally indefensible”. You can change the topic by talking trial, but where the real discussion is butts have been kicked and they ain’t ours.

    Much of the response to Tony C. and I has been in the form of ad hominem attacks via characterizing of our positions, rather than logically debating them.
    As Tony put it above:

    “Gene: No, you just choose to focus on a different ball, as Mike and I have both stipulated, the jury will hear that evidence and determine to their satisfaction whether she is responsible for a hostile work environment. We have already, and repeatedly, said we are not talking about that.

    So that is your ball, our ball is, in fact, whether or not she IS a racist. That is not illegal and is not a matter of law, it is a matter of us determining a state of her mind that cannot be proven or disproven. We are not reacting “emotionally,” we are judging the evidence provided by sworn testimony, in combination with videos featuring her statements, and coming to a most probable conclusion that best explains what we read and see.”

    By the same token Juliet not only presented evidence that some such as tony any me felt persuasive, but did so in a mild and civil manner to which Mark responded:

    “You could redeem yourself and really convince us you’re not an intellectual fraud by admitting Paula never, ever, ever said that N word in the video as you implied in your breathless post to it.”

    “Not convince us you’re an intellectual fraud” One could easily reverse that comment back on its source since neither Juliet, nor Tony, nor I ever claimed that Deen used the word “nigger” on the video. What we all said in our various ways was that the video was evidence that Deen still was bigoted. That could have been honestly disputed without the ad hominem attack of “intellectual fraud” but that wasn’t the path chosen.

    Now neither Tony, Juliet, Elaine and others ever implied that Mark, bob or you are racists and I think our critiques have been quite civil, especially compared to: ”

    I can let the readers decide who is the patronizing ideologue basing his sketchy opinion on no facts at all or some twisted version of a video snip that no one complained about when it aired and the person who is judiciously waiting for the evidence to come in without resorting to jumping the gun.”

    Patronizing ideologue! Really good debating technique also known as ad hominem. Or how about this from our esteemed disciple of Kant?

    “If all this outrage against Paula Deen stems from true moral principles, rather than pseudo indignation and knee-jerk hysteria, then where was the outrage against HBO and Chris Rock for broadcasting this?”

    More ad hominem judgment of myself and others. I’ll match my morality and ethics against yours anytime Bob and I don’t need any philosopher to call upon to back up my actions. As for my indignation there is nothing “pseudo” about it. Your side did get your butts kicked Gene, though you at least didn’t resort to the personal for the most part. Ad hominem is almost always the result of being unable to marshal enough logic to win the debate.
    The other technique used when one is losing a debate is to construct a “straw man argument”. Considering that neither Juliet, Tony, nor myself gave opinions of how the trial should turn out makes much of your argument regarding the trial a “straw man argument”.

    I will say this though it is a pleasure to discuss an issue with people capable of civil discussion and your attacks, while straw man and ad hominem, were done capably, without rancor. Nevertheless, you lose. :)


  349. I’m pretty sure focusing on the legal aspects of the debate isn’t a straw man on a legal blog, Mike, and it was indeed germane to Mark’s article although more implicitly so than explicitly since the whole issue is framed by . . . wait for it . . . a court case. Who’d have thunk pointing out the rush to judgement in that context would be a straw man? No misrepresentations were made. Differences in the dual context of the analysis (social psychology versus legal) were to show that the two contexts of analysis can be (and in this case are) incompatible.

    People don’t win or lose in the marketplace of ideas. Ideas win or lose. And as I indicated to Tony, the mistake is assuming either side’s victory was salient to the point I was making that this case perfectly illustrates the contrast between the idea of trying a case in the media versus trying a case in court. The standards of evidence are different. The focus can be different as well. Note the preoccupation with whether or not Deen is in fact a racist has taken a strong hold of some while others are paying more attention to whether or not the evidence is sufficient to prove a discriminatory work environment (no matter the root of that discrimination). As I said before, Deen’s not facing charges she’s a racist at bar. That’s not a crime or a tort. The complaint is rooted in a workplace violation that may or may not be related to racism and discrimination in the workplace need not be a claim based solely upon race.

    It’s not technically (or even superficially) a straw man.

    It’s a totally different argument to a different point on the same subject: the Deen case and prejudice.

    I’ll let Bob and Mark address the ad hominem issue depth though and offer just this: Solipsistic thought can be a logical error even though as stated by Bob saying someone is a solipsist could be considered technically ad hominem. Because of the nature of solipsism (the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist), solipsistic arguments are usually advanced by solipsists, so what appears facially to be ad hominem is also a valid criticism of a philosophical approach being taken to a problem.


  350. Compare:

    “You do know that arguing with a solipsist is futile; don’t you?”

    and

    “You do know that arguing with an Aristotelian is futile; don’t you?”


  351. on 1, June 26, 2013 at 6:11 pm Mike Spindell

    “I’m pretty sure focusing on the legal aspects of the debate isn’t a straw man on a legal blog, Mike”

    Gene,

    Granted, but it became when when tony, Juliets and my arguments had nothing to do with the court case. Read the words.

    Mark,

    Those were all direct quotes from comments, not paraphrases. I’ve read every comment on this blog.


  352. on 1, June 26, 2013 at 6:13 pm Mike Spindell

    but it became one (straw man)


  353. Noooooo, Mike.

    It never was one and never became one. My argument was that declaring Deen a racist without a trial and vetted evidence was every bit as prejudicial as the racism you claim for her and that the trial by media is in stark contrast to the matter at bar as illustrated by some of the comments here.

    See my initial comment (of substance) at June 23, 2013 at 10:43 am.

    It’s built clearly on Mark’s article.

    A straw man would have required that I said your “side” was saying something substantively different than what they were saying, to wit (per Tony): “The word is not evil, Paula Deen is evil, and Paula Deen deserves punishment.”

    See:

    prejudice /ˈprɛdʒʊdɪs/, n.,

    1 : preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience

    2 : chiefly Law harm or injury that results or may result from some action or judgement:

    The media coverage and the resultant frenzy (as illustrated here) to condemn Deen as racist is a bias that at law prejudices the proceeding every bit as much as the supposed racism may (or may not) have resulted in her creating a discriminatory work environment (or not).

    It’s ironic, truly, to attack someone for racism (a form of prejudice) in the media who is in proceedings that are – if history is an example – subject to be prejudiced by the media coverage.

    Some fires you don’t fight with fire.


  354. Bob: “If all this outrage against Paula Deen stems from true moral principles, rather than pseudo indignation and knee-jerk hysteria, then where was the outrage against HBO and Chris Rock for broadcasting this?”

    Mike S.: “More ad hominem judgment of myself and others. I’ll match my morality and ethics against yours anytime Bob and I don’t need any philosopher to call upon to back up my actions. As for my indignation there is nothing “pseudo” about it.”

    Mike,

    I didn’t attack anyone and to imply that I did is intellectually dishonest. I asked a question intended to bring a murky problem into specific relief; i.e. the absence of any objective morality per this witch hunt.

    The inability to distance one’s self emotionally from a topic of debate is nothing to be proud of. That you equate the act of emoting with argumentation is problematic indeed. But then again, it does explain your inability to articulate your particular metaphysics of morals; being as whimsical as whatever you may be ‘feeling’ today. Thus your indignation is in fact “pseudo” in the sense you demand to be taken any more seriously than someone having an inarticulate temper tantrum.

    You are so consumed with proving the evil of Paula Deen, sans logical argument, that it’s hard not to conclude you’re not obsessing over the darker portions of your own shadow.


  355. “According to Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to projection: turning a personal inferiority into a perceived moral deficiency in someone else. Jung writes that if these projections are unrecognized “The projection-making factor (the Shadow archetype) then has a free hand and can realize its object–if it has one–or bring about some other situation characteristic of its power.” [4] These projections insulate and cripple individuals by forming an ever thicker fog of illusion between the ego and the real world.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_%28psychology%29


  356. Gene,

    This may be a legal blog….and it may be that Mark used Deen’s court case as a “jumping off” point–but as I read the post–the court case doesn’t seem to be the major focus of it.

    *****

    Excerpt from this post:

    “Paula evolved and the South evolved. But the question remains for Paula and those like her: When is the sentence for violating political correctness over? When can you freely admit a mistake made decades ago without fear of reprisal? Not the criminal kind administered by the state, but the reprisal from the overlords of decorum who sit in ivory towers or corporate boardrooms and wax philosophic on all manner of society’s ills and largely for their own benefit ? When will a society committed to free expression allow itself to deal honestly with its past and say publicly a two-syllable word that most find offensive?”

    *****

    After viewing the videotape of Deen’s interview, I inferred that she still harbored some racist feelings.


  357. Gene,

    Do you ever make judgments about people without “vetted evidence” and trials?


  358. on 1, June 26, 2013 at 7:07 pm Mike Spindell

    Gene,

    Hair splitting. Neither Tony, Juliet, nor I commented about the trial. That may have been your preference but not ours. As for the trial being Mark’s focus let’s look at the record:

    Mark’s first comment:

    “For something done 50 years ago before she ever heard of the Food Channel? . That would be like your husband leaving you now if he found out you had a boyfriend in high school who you had a fling with before you met him.

    And if it was so unacceptable back then why pray tell did so many Southerners partake of it including judges, politicians, physicians, clergy? See any news reel or talk to anybody over 60 if you doubt it. Are they all bad people? All of them?

    I can only guess that forgiveness and understanding aren’t a big part of your very strict world.”

    Mark’s second comment:

    “Tony C:
    The Food Network has been deluged with Deen supporters who feel this is an overreaction. People — especially young people — make mistakes and people change. There are no unforgivable sins if you are truly contrite and make amends as best you can. Perfection is for the next world.”

    The trial was quoted, but clearly the blog was not specifically about the trial from Mark’s own writing.


  359. Elaine,

    The context is still that of a court case. And, yes, I do, but that wasn’t what I was highlighting. In fact, I stipulated that the Deen probably was a racist. Is she currently and does it apply to the case at bar? I’m waiting for the evidence.


  360. Hairsplitting?

    More like the devil is in the details. And the details in this instance are context. The context of the story is provided by the trial. To try to claim otherwise is semantic and contrary to the reality of the proceedings, Mike.


  361. Gene,

    I think you and I have read Mark’s post in different lights. Besides, we often discuss different aspects of a post. We don’t limit discussions. Some of us have expressed the opinion that we think Deen may still be a racist/harbor some racist feelings. We came to that conclusion not because of the media–but because of what we read and what we viewed. You may call what we did “prejudicial.” I would disagree.


  362. “we often discuss different aspects of a post.”

    I thought that’s precisely what we were doing, Elaine.


  363. on 1, June 26, 2013 at 7:49 pm Mike Spindell

    Bob,

    Just asking a question? Yeah right. Tell me where did I specifically call Deen evil? As for arguing dispassinately look at your words and mine. Yours are the ones loaded with pejorative implications, not mine.

    Gene,

    Not ready to deal with Mark’s first two comments. He set the context of the discussion right there.


  364. Mike,

    Not ready to deal with the context that this story is set in is directly related to a trial?

    This story wouldn’t exist but for said trial.


  365. I’m really sorry if pointing out that a rush to judgement based on media coverage instead of evidence admitted to trial is every bit as much a form of prejudice as racism is is somehow inconvenient.

    And by really sorry, I mean not sorry at all.


  366. on 1, June 26, 2013 at 8:01 pm Mike Spindell

    Bob,

    As I told you years before I haven’t paid attention to Jung since I read “Flying Saucers on the Attack” many years ago.


  367. on 1, June 26, 2013 at 9:31 pm Anonymously Yours

    Gene,

    I’ve go to Home Depot…. Walmart…. Not since I learned what it has done to the American real economic infrastructure…. Not anymore…. I’ll trade at a capitalist corporation like Krogers….


  368. Gene: preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience

    That is a lie, I was not prejudiced. Until this scandal, I knew Paula Deen only as an over the top caricature of an aging Southern Belle. My opinion of her racism IS based on reason, specifically an analysis of her depositions, and the actual experience of watching her in video lie and try to defend her use of the N-word as innocuous, to claim she doesn’t know if it offends African Americans, to try and defend her usage by pointing at the usage by African Americans.

    That is not prejudice (pre-judging) it is post-judging, I read the deposition first and every other sentence sets off “lying” and “avoidance” alarms, AS I DETAILED, and after that there is only Deen herself making matters worse.

    I did not start with the presumption she was a racist, in fact I started with the deposition in order to see if it WAS a witch hunt. No, no, it wasn’t; from the first “Yes, of course” dismissal to the final tear.

    I’d say Goodbye, Paula, but my only regret in being an atheist is there is no God to be with you, or ensure you get what you deserve.


  369. maybe she is just not too bright. What is that saying about evil and stupidity?


  370. Tony,

    It’s prejudging when you’re doing so on less than the totality of the evidence and are relying upon the incomplete record as presented in the media. You may not have been prejudiced before? But you are now and the rush to judgement illustrates that. However, if you object to the definition of prejudice, please feel free to contact the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary. I’m also sure that people expressing other forms of prejudice – like racism – have their reasons for being prejudiced too. And like most prejudice, those reasons are not based on a complete picture (or are based on just simple hatred or rage, neither of which apply to you).

    As far as her career in television and advertising being over? I have no issue with that from a business decision standpoint alone regardless of the outcome of the trial. This whole PR disaster isn’t her first, but as far as her continued host/spokesperson job goes, it’s probably her last.


  371. Gene: No it isn’t prejudging, because I didn’t rush to judgment. I did what all jurors do (and I have been one), and what all scientists do, and what all people in any relationship do: At some point you have heard enough that your mind is made up, because certain damning facts cannot be undone. You claim my decision was not based on “reason,” I claim you disregard reason for some unattainable fantasy of “totality of evidence” that will never be at hand (not even for the jurors, but I am not talking about the court case, I am talking about whether or not Paula Deen is a racist).


  372. Gene: Your own provided definition says “not based on reason,” and that is an absolute lack of reason. It does not say “without a totality of evidence,” just like the standard for serious crimes is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” it is not “beyond all doubt.”

    My judgment was based on reason, I provided some of it above, and that means it was NOT prejudice. Claiming it was is to Aynishly redefine the word “prejudice” to fit your narrative, which is false. I came to a conclusion. Perhaps earlier than you, but perhaps we’ve learned different lessons in dealing with people twisting and lying to hide the snakes in their head from the outside world. What I detected was a lot of slithering.


  373. Tony,

    Do you have all the evidence at it relates to the case?

    No.

    And I’ll remind you once again, she’s not on trial for being a racist. She may very well be a racist and still not have created a discriminatory work environment. Yet that didn’t stop you from proclaiming she needed to be punished, did it?

    As I said, prejudice can be based on reasons, so your conclusion being based on reasons (the evidence you’ve seen) can be reasoned and still be prejudiced.

    You also don’t seem to grasp what “totality of the evidence” means either. It means “all available relevant and admissible evidence” not “all evidence possible”.


  374. tony c:

    how do you know Paula Deen is racist? Based on what you just said, I can just as easily say she isnt a racist.

    Paula Deen said the N-word. she and 300 million other Americans
    Paula Deen likes the look of black people in white coats and black ties. the restaurant created the look, Paula Deen didnt. Are people protesting that restaurant and its owner(s)?
    Paula Deen’s brother is a jack a$$. a persons relatives should not be held against them.
    Paula Deen wanted a theme wedding based on the ante-bellum south. I wont to go on a quail hunt in Georgia on a former plantation, does that make me a racist if the guides and dog handlers are black?
    Paula Deen said Hollis couldnt be seen against a black background. is it racist to make a statement based on your perception? Sounds more like poor vision to me and lack of judgment.

    Guilty of poor judgment? I would say so but there isnt enough evidence to convict her of racism.


  375. Tony C:

    “No it isn’t prejudging, because I didn’t rush to judgment. I did what all jurors do (and I have been one), and what all scientists do, and what all people in any relationship do: At some point you have heard enough that your mind is made up, because certain damning facts cannot be undone.”

    **********************

    You are so full of it and I guess you forget that all of your comments are recorded here, not just your recent pronouncements of deliberation and fair play. . As they say on SportsCenter let’s recap:

    I write a piece saying what a person said 50 years ago in a different time shouldn’t be used to tar them today. That’s the entire jist of the article.

    Let’s see how your analysis of my argument went in your VERY FIRST comment:

    Mark: When can you freely admit a mistake made decades ago without fear of reprisal?

    Sometimes, never. Which is as it should be, some mistakes are unforgivable.

    You assume this “mistake” (which she implicitly admits was frequent enough to not recall how often it was made or in what context) is minor, and it isn’t.

    It’s obvious to anyone with a passing acquaintance with English that you’ve made up your mind (“unforgiveable”) well before anyone on the blog mentioned the 2012 video interview which you now say forms part of your basis.

    Next, realizing how stupid your position was in absolutely judging someone for something said 50 years ago, you start the ad hominem attack:

    Only persons can be evil, but words reflect thoughts and they reveal their evil minds by their words. The word is not evil, Paula Deen is evil, and Paula Deen deserves punishment.

    When that gets totally decimated by most anyone with a functioning cortex you race around your head trying for some support for your preconceived opinion that “Southerner Bad Once; Bad Always.” Lo and behold we get a logic lesson:

    “Reality is not up to a vote; either she is a life long racist or she is not, and my money is on life long racist.”

    Gene H explains that despite your claimed extensive training in logic you’ve just committed about the most basic of all errors:

    “That’s a false dichotomy, Tony. It doesn’t allow for people to change. It also discounts intent. Is everyone who uses a racist term a racist? No. There are no bad words. Bad thoughts. Bad intentions. And words. Not to mention it’s a hasty generalization and a rush to judgement.”

    Whoops, that won’t work either!

    When you finally figure out –seemingly for the first time — that allegations are not facts and that your logic is … shal we say suspect … you frantically find some other “evidence.” This time it’s that Lisa jackson made her allegations under oath. Forgetting that Ms. Deen denied these allegations UNDER OATH in her deposition which you claim you carefully read you enlighten us that you’ve made your mind up yet again:

    But for myself, I believe there is already a predominance [sic] of evidence available to make my decision to support her shunning.

    After it was pointed out again that allegations –even under oath — don’t equal proof to a jury or any other thinking person you find what you consider a nugget of salvation. Let’s go to the tape. Holly doesn’t love or even like Paula. He’s coerced you say with not so much as a smell of anything approaching proof. You know, you tell us because though not a lawyer you’ve very analytical and can read people:

    I do not need any more than I already have to know I do not want to ever see her again; the Hollister video just confirms my judgment.

    Why don’t I trust Hollister’s judgment? His job is at stake! His boss calls him up to testify on her behalf, he is not under oath, he is on national TV, what peculiar bravery do we expect of him? Or shall we just conveniently forget that asymmetry of power? Hollister may indeed know Paula Deen better than we do; he may know, for example, she is a racist vindictive b*tch that would fire him in a second if he screws the pooch with his answer.

    But no, on national TV, under bright lights, with zero protection, made a laughingstock by his boss, with an 18 year job on the line, let us all take Hollister at his word, because we know in our hearts Hollister wouldn’t let fear of reprisal get in his way.

    When called out on that flight of fancy you inform us that well :

    I do not demand any proof of coercion, because the coercion may be entirely in Hollister’s mind as a fear of reprisal with no explicit threat of reprisal from his boss.

    It also might also just be in yours there TC. But not to worry your being often wrong has never left you in doubt about the righteousness of your cause:

    That is a lie, I was not prejudiced. Until this scandal, I knew Paula Deen only as an over the top caricature of an aging Southern Belle. My opinion of her racism IS based on reason, specifically an analysis of her depositions, and the actual experience of watching her in video lie and try to defend her use of the N-word as innocuous, to claim she doesn’t know if it offends African Americans, to try and defend her usage by pointing at the usage by African Americans.

    That is not prejudice (pre-judging) it is post-judging, I read the deposition first and every other sentence sets off “lying” and “avoidance” alarms, AS I DETAILED, and after that there is only Deen herself making matters worse.

    You then entreat Gene H:

    No it isn’t prejudging, because I didn’t rush to judgment. I did what all jurors do (and I have been one), and what all scientists do, and what all people in any relationship do: At some point you have heard enough that your mind is made up, because certain damning facts cannot be undone.

    Sounds a lot like what you said at first doesn’t it? And that my friend is prejudging and rush to judgment. And denying it is intellectual fraud.

    As your comments say explicitly, your mind was made up from comment one, and all your post hoc rationalizations to appear fair and balanced appeal only to those who won’t read what you said just a few clicks up stream.

    BTW Tony C that’s you — fair and balanced — just like Fox News. The only difference is you like your venom from the cup on the left.


  376. This whole thing about Paula Deen is getting out of hand. IT’s starting to look like the movie”The Silence” staring Richard Thomas


  377. What is really sad is there are people out there who will try to proffer themselves as being the righteous saviors at the expense of someone like Ms. Deen. They pillory her and make her suffer just so that they can make themselves look saintly. When this happens, one has to ask who the nefarious person truly is. It’s sad how many people stone others from within their glass houses.


  378. Darren:

    You’re right and this one could be seen coming a mile away. Hence my article. There’s more to it than indignation. It’s about cash as it usually is. Folks who can make it writing about it; litigating it; and making political hay out of it.


  379. Gene H. 1, June 26, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Elaine,

    The context is still that of a court case. And, yes, I do, but that wasn’t what I was highlighting. In fact, I stipulated that the Deen probably was a racist. Is she currently and does it apply to the case at bar? I’m waiting for the evidence.

    *****

    Gene H. 1, June 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    I’m really sorry if pointing out that a rush to judgement based on media coverage instead of evidence admitted to trial is every bit as much a form of prejudice as racism is is somehow inconvenient.

    And by really sorry, I mean not sorry at all.

    *****

    So…you think that Deen is probably a racist. After viewing the video of Deen talking about her ancestor and her Black employee, I said I thought she still harbored some racist feelings. My opinion of Deen, according to you, is a rush to judgment and a form of prejudice akin to racism. But because you used the word “probably” you’re not guilty of what you accuse me of. Did I get that right?


  380. Deep fried solipsist.

    Tasty.


  381. Bob,

    I don’t do deep-fried. I sauté.


  382. Looks like Mark made it his specialty.


  383. Bob,

    And your specialty? Doing the labeling?


  384. on 1, June 27, 2013 at 7:59 am Anonymously Yours

    Mespo,

    People can change habits…. They can change basic characteristics… You have to know something is wrong before can change.. Some people live in such a state of denial they never know what to change….


  385. Elaine,

    As it relates to claim, yes, you got that right. Whether or not she was, is, or will be a racist is largely irrelevant to the case at bar. It’s a tangential concern at best and not a crime or a tort. The question at bar is “Did she create a discriminatory work environment for her employees?” Which even if she is a racist? She might not have done. And yet we have statements here like “Paula Deen is evil, and Paula Deen deserves punishment.” Really? Because if she didn’t create a discriminatory work environment, she’s committed no crime or tort other than offend people’s sensibilities.

    One form of prejudice or another is still prejudice and statements like that indicate a prejudging of Deen, not on the merits as relates to the case, but on particularized social mores. Mores, that as noble as they are, are not universally held and are not punishable by law.

    Thus showing the contrast of a trial by public opinion in the media and an actual trial.

    As well as pointing out that some may not have as thorough a grasp on the concept of prejudice as they think.

    Again, sorry for the inconvenience.


  386. Gene,

    I haven’t made any arguments or comments regarding the “case at bar.” I never implied or said that I thought Deen should be punished. I said nothing about her having created a discriminatory work environment. I never claimed she committed a crime. I think most of us know the difference between an actual trial and a trial by public opinion. It seems you’ve been reading all comments made on this thread in the “context” of the lawsuit. You’ve been judging those of us who expressed the opinion that we think Deen may be prejudiced against Black people/still harbor some racist feelings. You may have viewed that videotape of Deen in a different light than some of us. I believe I have a good grasp of prejudice. I don’t need to be scolded for misunderstanding the concept.


  387. Mark: It’s obvious to anyone with a passing acquaintance with English that you’ve made up your mind (“unforgiveable”) well before anyone on the blog mentioned the 2012 video interview which you now say forms part of your basis.

    No, it is obvious to anyone with a passing understanding of English that “sometimes” is not an absolute, and what I was attacking is your childish implication that everything is forgivable if sufficient time has passed and enough contrition is asserted.

    It isn’t. This isn’t church, it is the real world. In church, somebody never harmed by your actions has the power to forgive you. Or perhaps you have the meaningless power to forgive yourself. That doesn’t work in the real world; some people do damage that is irreversible, some do damage to strangers they will never meet again, some have done damage to people that are now dead, whether the damage was contributory to that death or not, and that makes the actions unforgivable. Period. Karma is not a real thing, your forgiveness of Paula Deen does not help the people she harmed by her racism. It means nothing to anyone but you and Paula. Likewise, Hollister may forgive and accept Paula, but that doesn’t help all the others harmed by Paula’s racism and long continued acceptance of her racist brother’s actions.

    That bad logic is what I was attacking, your emotional plea to forgive Paula Deen for sins you think she committed 50 years ago and then stopped.

    Well, from the deposition alone, which I had already read when I made my first comment, I was already convinced Paula Deen was on the stand struggling to not commit perjury and still conceal her own private racism.

    I have also learned her bank robbery experience was in 1986; that was 27 years ago. Was that the last time she used the N-word? No, she says, it wasn’t. Which is later than I expected but fits my expectation, she was already an adult with children by the time that happened, it was more than two decades after the civil rights movement (in which she was ALSO an adult), and she was still using the N-word so frequently she could not remember the contexts in which it was used.

    But you insist upon continuing the lie that all this was “50 years ago,” which it turns out more than doubles the span of time referenced in the deposition.

    Mark: You then entreat Gene H:

    No way, dude. I was explaining to Gene why he was wrong. Gene won’t admit to a mistake in logic, I presume it is in his nature to stubbornly defend the indefensible. Since you seem to feel the need to invoke Gene as an authority instead of arguing for yourself, your claim is only a reflection of his. I have explained why he is wrong in terms anybody can understand.

    I will again: “A or B” is a false dichotomy when it excludes the possibility of alternatives to A or B, like C and D, or an infinite number of other choices that are in the set “not A and not B”. In a false dichotomy, the set “A or B” narrows the infinity of possibly true statements to just two.

    “A or not A” is a dichotomy but it is not a false dichotomy, because it excludes nothing. The adjective “false” is in necessary in front of “dichotomy” because not all dichotomies are false. (Note “A or the opposite of A” is really a form of “A or B” which may also present a false dichotomy, by narrowing the universe to just two options.)

    “A or not A” is the equivalent of the statement “either A is true or A is false.” One danger in this kind of claim is if A is a paradox (for example, A = “This statement is false”), or A is self-contradictory. To be safe we should suspect any statement A that is self-referential, because often being self-referential will allow the construction of a claim that is paradoxical or just self-contradictory.

    A second danger is when the statement A is vague, meaning it represents a state that can be simultaneously true and false; which can also lead to paradox. Because if A is both true and false, we cannot claim A is limited to being true or false.

    A good example of the first kind of false dichotomy is the claim “you are with us or against us,” it is a false dichotomy because it is of the form “A or the opposite of A”, which presents two alternatives and excludes many other alternatives, like “neutrality” or “in partial agreement with us.”

    However, modifying that statement to read, “You are with us, or you are not with us” is also a false dichotomy, because A = “with us” is too vague a construction. Does “with us” imply “100% agreement?” Can I disagree on a few points, but still go ahead with the plan? Who, exactly, is “us”? Does that mean George Bush and Dick Cheney, or does it mean the American citizens, or the Constitution? If it means citizens, how do we know what “with us” means if large groups express mutually exclusive demands on a course of action? In short, because the “you” can plausibly be “with us” and “against us” simultaneously (say, agreeing on the need for retribution but not the form of retribution); the terms are too vague, and overlap in some real sense; people cannot be neatly divided by the condition “with us.”

    As long as the claim “A” is not self-referential and not too vague to describe a specific condition, then the statement “A or not A” excludes nothing, everything in the universe that is not A is, clearly, contained in the term “not A”.

    For another example, I can claim an elemental atom is “gold or not gold”, and that is not a false dichotomy. Claiming an elemental atom is “gold or lead” is a false dichotomy, it excludes many other possibilities.

    My statement is not self-contradictory, and it does describe a specific condition. it is either true or false that Paula Deen is a lifelong racist. (By “lifelong” I mean as an adult; not as an infant.)

    So if Paula Deen changed her racist ways at any time in the last 50 years, that condition is contained in the term “not a lifelong racist.” Thus my statement does not exclude changes in character. It does not exclude being a racist in 1964 and having realized by 1968 that one has been wrong. All the infinity of possibilities gets represented in the set “A or not A”, and “lifelong racist” is just one of them.

    That logic is not assailable by Gene, all he can do is insist it isn’t true and demand I recant, which I will not, because I am right. He cannot present any suitable example (by my description above) of a claim that fits this model, “A or not A” and excludes other possibilities. His examples are of the form “A or B,” or “A or the opposite of A”, which is a subset of “A or B”, or using an “A” that is too vague to definitively classify a state of being.

    As a dichotomy, the two options I presented, “a lifelong racist” or “not a lifelong racist” are not self-referential and not overlapping, they are mutually exclusive and all inclusive; therefore the dichotomy is not false. The only possible attack is to claim that the condition “a lifelong racist” is too vague and can be simultaneously true and false, which I will leave to others to ponder, but I do not believe it is possible.

    If racism is the belief that one race is inherently inferior to another, then I do not see how one can hold that in a single normal mind racism is both present and absent simultaneously.


  388. “Deep fried solipsist.
    Tasty.”

    Failed argument, blanket unproven assertion from a logician.

    Priceless.


  389. mespo:

    my wife and I cannot figure the angle on why people are jumping on the anti-Deen band wagon. Is it just about money or is it something else?

    Usually when the left [or the right] jumps on some one there is a political angle or philosophical angle. Typically with the left it is usually more of a philosophical nature while with the right it is political because they dont seem to understand the underlying philosophy.

    In any event, to me, this seems more than just about money because of the nature and hostility of the comments.


  390. As for my statement, “Paula Deen is evil and deserves punishment,” I think that clearly did not refer to the court case, it referred to the topic of Mark’s article, which was whether the Food Network should have fired Deen. After analysis I do think racism is evil, and Paula Deen is a racist, and like all racists (in full control of their faculties) deserving of punishment in the form of social shunning.

    I do not know how many times I have to say I will leave the jury to decide if she is deserving of legal punishment, my “punishment” was referring to the social and commercial consequences of being a racist, precisely the topic of the post talking about the loss of her job as a TV personality and whether or not we should forgive her for past transgressions, whether we should take Obama’s advice to “look forward, not back.”


  391. Sorry if pointing out that prejudice is a far broader concept than simply racism is inconvenient. And if you don’t think that observation applies to you? Then why worry about it, Elaine? I don’t recall taking any of your statements directly to task. You’re an advanced language user. I’d expect you to understand that prejudice isn’t just racism. However, “we often discuss different aspects of a post.” That’s a given. I thought that’s precisely what we were doing. If you think that’s passing judgement on others for not realizing that simple truth pointed out? I still like Tony and yet I do not like racists, ergo, I haven’t judged based on the prejudice he’s shown nor anyone else. If I had, I wouldn’t like him and possibly think he needs to be punished for something that isn’t a crime or a tort. You’re all entitled to your opinions and I never said otherwise. I did, however, point to a basic and fundamental hypocrisy in prejudging Deen when she is on trial for a claim of alleged discrimination tangentially related to her possibly being prejudiced herself. Allegations that may or may not be true regardless of whether or not she is in fact a racist or not.

    If you take pointing out these inconvenient matters as a scolding? If this truth some how rumples anyone’s clothing of moral indignation at being on “the right side” of a social more?

    Most humble apologies, but the observation is what it is: truthful about the nature of prejudice. Despite what you may think, my motivation is not condemnation. It’s something else altogether.

    “I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies.” – Pietro Aretino


  392. Tony,

    Qualification of statements usually works better when you don’t have to do them post hoc.


  393. Perhaps not appropriate in this day of shallow political correctness, but this is how I personally feel.

    A bloodline in which racism runs deep.

    Would have been better if in the course of the human experiment this bloodline would have been relegated to the dustbin of history long ago.


  394. Bron,

    Might I suggest you and your wife consider the folly of political correctness as an explanation. Deen is being seen as politically incorrect and that is her “social crime”. If you don’t like racists? Don’t patronize their businesses or hang around with them, but if you’re truly upset about what they think? Convince them of the error of their thinking, but don’t try to tell them what or how they need to think by fiat. No idea, good or bad, ever changes changes itself. Only the thinker can change their ideas. That’s why you attack ideas, not people.


  395. Bron: I think the only angle is our general belief (which I do not think you share) that it is our duty as a society to protect the weak from the predations of the strong. Racism is, in my view, an inherently hostile belief that has negative consequences for a minority that can be subjugated or harmed by the belief they are inherently inferior to other humans. That hostility is returned with hostility, particularly when hostility (as an attitude) is the only available legal recourse.

    To put in terms from (I believe) your point of view, you exhibit a hostile attitude to “big government” and “taxation” primarily because you have no viable alternative except that. We are hostile to racism because we have no viable alternative, at least those of us that think about it agree we cannot make it illegal, we believe in freedom of speech and thought. So our only viable alternative to control and diminish racism is social shunning as a punishment, which tends to be expressed with verbal hostility.


  396. Nate,

    Your statement presupposes racism is a genetic trait. It’s a learned behavior. Unlike eye or skin color, it can be readily changed if the holder of the idea is open to arguments that what they think is wrong.

    19. Rather than view something as possible, assume that if something is possible and proper for a man to do it is in your capacity.

    20. A simple avoidance of others who have harmed us is always open to us without suspicion or ill will.

    21. I seek the truth which never yet hurt anybody, only persistence in self delusion and ignorance does harm.

    23. Be generous and liberal towards irrational creatures and material things, since you have reason and they have none, but humans do so treat them with fellowship.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, VI


  397. “You have to know something is wrong before can change”

    AY,

    Excellent point re: Deen’s redemption.


  398. Gene: Qualification of statements usually works better when you don’t have to do them post hoc.

    Absolutely true, but when one has been misunderstood, I see no other way to correct that misunderstanding.


  399. By . . . being clear in the first place?

    Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate your lack of qualifying statements, Tony.

    They’ve provided exactly what was needed to make the point about prejudice.


  400. “As it relates to claim, yes, you got that right. Whether or not she was, is, or will be a racist is largely irrelevant to the case at bar.”

    Gene,

    You win the point, but lose the match. Mark used the case at bar as a jumping off point to really discuss this in terms of accepting repentance and the media sensation. Tony, Juliet, Elaine, me and others are discussing those issues and not the case at bar. That is a perfectly legitimate direction for a thread to take as we have seen here time and again. Were this specifically about the case at bar then Mark would not have needed to write this which was an “apologia” for Deen.:

    “Deen grew up in place far away –temporally and culturally — from most of her critics and, as one who grew up in the same locales, I can tell you that her sin was a popular one in the South in the 60′s . Everybody who wasn’t white and rich had a name: wops, pollaks, heebs, rednecks, pope lovers, crackers, and yes those christened with the “N” word. And each group used the words liberally to each other and even among each other. I never saw a fight over the name calling but there were some close calls.

    Surely it wasn’t a very hospitable place for African-Americans who bore the brunt of discrimination, but neither was it a hospitable place if you were poor, or Catholic, or ethnic, or anything other than wealthy, white and Protestant. That didn’t mean people weren’t civil to one another. By and large they were, but there was a palpable feeling of place and hierarchy that was enforced with a rigid caste system administered by state and local governments. That sat pretty well with the white elite who ran things back then.

    But you should know those in power considered folks like Paula Deen no better that the “n*iggers” they brought in to do their cooking and cleaning and to raise their kids. Those “people” were there and free only by fiat of the government in Wershington and, by god, if that was the case they were going to be useful, or so it was thought.”

    Now what set me off specifically was:

    “Surely it wasn’t a very hospitable place for African-Americans who bore the brunt of discrimination, but neither was it a hospitable place if you were poor, or Catholic, or ethnic, or anything other than wealthy, white and Protestant.”

    I don’t doubt that it was a lousy place to be any of those other categories, yet to compare the prejudice they felt, to the prejudice felt by Black people is from my perspective wrong. If you were Catholic you could go to the same public restrooms, eat at the same public restaurants, go to the same public schools and basically live your lives without the same fear of being lynched. I’m not discounting the pain felt by let us say Italian Americans in such a climate, but dammit it they were “White” and recognized as such. That it was common to refer to people as “Poor White Trash” or PWT was true, but they didn’t have to ride on the back of the bus and their parents came to America of their own volition. I loathe prejudice of any kind and being “ethnic” my parents and their parents suffered it, which I don’t take lightly. However, to justify Deen’s prejudice by talking of her hard background, doesn’t work for me, because she had a much easier way out than did those Black people they called “niggers”.

    Now the fact is I’ve got a pretty good understanding of why those “ethnics” and PWT’s Mark speaks about held that prejudice strongly in their hearts and I sympathize with it, even as I decry it. Their place in the South and elsewhere in the country, miserable though it was, at least gave them the status of not being Black and to make life bearable they clung to that fact of status. They allowed themselves to be the foot soldiers of organizations like the Klan and gained some acceptance from the WASPS who ran things.
    At least they could drink at the “White Man’s Water Fountain.” Really though is ignorance excused by also being a victim? I don’t think it is although my judgment might be less harsh and more directed to those controlling thingsw at the top of the food chain. Medgar Evers, among many others was murdered by ignorant PWT’s and yes I can understand what motivated them. Are they to be forgiven?

    Deen’s 2012 video clearly shows where her sympathies lie. For an entertainment personality she committed the sin of letting her mask slip. I don’t care about the court case and I certainly don’t take pleasure in her fall from grace. However, I am also not moved to pity her plight because she brought it upon herself by not really growing much from her fifty years ago.


  401. Gene: No. 1…

    Ahhh, that sucks. Oh well, I expect that will die down eventually.


  402. Those who wish to present Paula Deen as an example of the “evolved southerner” are stuck with arguments that eventually breakdown into absurdity.

    1. It’s racist to point out it’s racist. – The great table turner and what is often called the “Avon Ally,” the cosmetic approach.

    2. Stop being so politically correct – Four centuries of white supremacy versus four decades of political correctness -sooo annoying!

    Racism is meant to be fought – always. That’s how you get rid of it. Sometimes it’s in a Court of Law but always, always it’s in the Court of Public Opinion.


  403. Gene: Obviously in my mind I wasn’t clear enough, since I believe you misunderstood my intent. And I am still waiting for a definition of “prejudice” that demands having good reason to believe something demands a consideration of the “totality of evidence.”

    If that were the definition, how could we ever decide to put people on trial to discover the totality of evidence without engaging in prejudice first? We can have good reason to believe somebody is guilty of something without the totality of evidence being present, and good reason in the absence of the totality of evidence is not “prejudice.”


  404. But we try not to convict without considering the totality of the evidence, Tony. Sometimes we get it right. Sometimes new evidence comes to light and convictions or judgements are overturned on appeal. The idea of the totality of the evidence isn’t directly about prejudice. It’s about good practice in evaluating evidence. Although related, don’t conflate the two.


  405. Tony C:

    “t it is our duty as a society to protect the weak from the predations of the strong.”

    *********************

    How about making sure they are weak — or even offended –before you launch into your spirited defense. One wonders who appointed you Lord High Protector of a people who’ve made no overture to you for anything. I suspect Holly would consider you as much a fool (Don Quixote comes to mind) as I do with your grandiose plea for Holly’s emancipation from a woman he proclaimed publicly to love. Of course, you and yours know better despite Holly’s one year chance to recant, dispute, or even “clarify” his feelings. Holly’s a dolt and doesn’t even know he is being discriminated against. Poor, poor, Holly.

    You know, you’re the worst kind of liberal and what infuriates people who have no particular political axe to grind. The kind who rush off to aid what you proclaim are “weak” people who have not even suggested they need it–in fact they don’t want it. Maybe it’s some psychological projection on your part but the fact is that you have no right to treat a whole class of people like children who can’t take care of themselves.

    That’s prejudice far worse than racial discrimination.


  406. “1. It’s racist to point out it’s racist. – The great table turner and what is often called the “Avon Ally,” the cosmetic approach.

    2. Stop being so politically correct – Four centuries of white supremacy versus four decades of political correctness -sooo annoying!”

    Blouise,

    Two telling points at the heart of this long debate. Remember though that our three most prominent commentators pleading Deen’s case, while all non-racists in my estimation, are lawyers. Lawyers will even argue lost causes beyond the point of hopelessness and are trained to do so.


  407. 1. No one said it was racist to point out racism. It can be, however, prejudicial to point out racism.

    2. Political correctness is not the province of ether the left or the right. It’s the Thought Police, of which no good has ever come. PC is a bad idea no matter how noble or how foul the ideology pushing it. You do not change people’s mind by simply telling them they are wrong. That is just as likely if not more so to simply entrench their ideas and the consequent behaviors. You must convince them that their ideas are wrong, for then and only then, will they change in a substantive manner. Racism is a wrong, but no racist has ever change their mind on the matter without coming to that conclusion themselves. This requires that they “do the math” themselves.

    And do not mistake pointing out the folly of prejudice in attacking someone for a specific form of prejudice as pleading Deen’s case.

    She’ll have her day in court.

    Preferably without media prejudicing the proceedings.


  408. Gene H:

    “Racism is a wrong, but no racist has ever change their mind on the matter without coming to that conclusion themselves. This requires that they “do the math” themselves.”

    *******************

    Amen. And concluding someone is a racist with nothing more than we have here says more about the accuser than the person so charged.


  409. Mark: One wonders who appointed you Lord High Protector of a people who’ve made no overture to you for anything.

    There is no authority to appoint any of us Mark, there is only the dictates of our conscience, for those of us that have one. You seem truly incapable of understanding that this isn’t about Holly or any given individual, this is about an injustice in and of itself that I believe causes societal harm.

    Shall you now deny that racism creates any harm to anybody?

    If I find a man wounded and unconscious lying on the sidewalk, I do not need his permission or call for help to stem his bleeding and call 911. If I believe that racism is an injustice that does real and significant harm to other people, I do not need to find some specific individual and get their permission to act in a way that reduces that harm and punishes those perpetrating that harm. It is my conscience that dictates my actions to fight injustice, I do not need your permission or anybody’s permission to rail against racism.


  410. Gene: You do not change people’s mind by simply telling them they are wrong.

    But you can change people’s minds by imposing consequences for their acts. Isn’t that the point of threatening to punish people for breaking laws in the first place, to force them to consider consequences before they act to harm others, and therefore “change their mind?”


  411. Amen. And concluding someone is a racist with nothing more than we have here says more about the accuser than the person so charged
    She has proven herself a liar about her racist comments.
    I keep reading your remarks that she has done nothing recently. I think her own statements, including from 2012 about Hollis, belie your belief.
    (As for Holiis, even if he was white I think on national TV you do not take that moment to stand up and point a finger “J’accuse” especially when the person you would be accusing is keeping you in your current lifestyle.)


  412. Tony,

    But what you are threatening consequences for is neither crime nor tort.

    It’s not against the law to be racist.

    Laws are indeed meant to serve as a deterrent, but again, she’s not being charged with being a racist. She’s alleged to have promoted a discriminatory work environment which is a tort and- if found guilty base on the totality of the evidence – a tort for which she will face consequences.


  413. Gene H. 1, June 27, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Sorry if pointing out that prejudice is a far broader concept than simply racism is inconvenient. And if you don’t think that observation applies to you? Then why worry about it, Elaine? I don’t recall taking any of your statements directly to task. You’re an advanced language user. I’d expect you to understand that prejudice isn’t just racism.

    *****

    I must get myself back to Morality U and get schooled in the finer points of prejudice. To think that I’ve lived all these many years and didn’t understand what prejudice truly encompasses. Oh, for shame! I hope I don’t flunk the course.


  414. tony c:

    this is something more than that. Anyway she supported Obama at least the first time he ran. I am not sure a racist would have supported Obama.

    This is an assassination using public opinion to scare away business and destroy her as a human being. There is something behind this other than racism.

    Things like this dont just take on a life of their own, they are pumped up.

    From my point of view the very fact that she admitted to saying the N word is justification to say she probably isnt racist. She could be totally cluless, a fish doesnt know water is wet.


  415. Gene H. 1, June 27, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    1. No one said it was racist to point out racism. It can be, however, prejudicial to point out racism.

    *****

    Is it wrong to point out racism where it exists…even if it is “prejudicial?”


  416. I do love your sarcasm, Elaine, but sarcasm alone isn’t a counter-argument. :D


  417. Did say it was “wrong”, Elaine. I said it can be just as prejudicial as racism itself. Which it can.


  418. Gene,

    Sometimes sarcasm and humor are the best way to get one’s point across.


  419. Gene,

    I didn’t say that you said it was wrong. You evaded my question. A simple “yes” or “no” will suffice.


  420. Elaine,

    If prejudice in its multiple forms is a wrong, then “yes”.

    Does social outrage merit skewing a judicial proceeding when the ideal is a fair trial for everyone?


  421. on 1, June 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm Anonymously Yours

    I think Paula should heard before judgement is made….. Not all who say racist and stupid things are really racist and stupid….


  422. Gene,

    Pointing out racism where it exists is wrong? So, no one should acknowledge openly that racism exists when one knows that it’s a problem? How does one address the problem of racism then if people aren’t supposed to point it out?


  423. Elaine,

    Perhaps discussing the matter in a non-accusatory, objective manner is a way to start. However, the question remains. Does social outrage merit skewing a judicial proceeding when the ideal is a fair trial for everyone?


  424. on 1, June 27, 2013 at 1:04 pm Anonymously Yours

    Off topic…

    Daughter is coming back from Otsu, Shinga, Japan today….. A semester abroad….. Then one leaves for a month long vacation in Africa….. Victoria Falls….


  425. Ooo. I’d love to see Victoria Falls. “The Smoke That Thunders”. Japan is really great, but I still haven’t made it to Africa yet. I hope she has a blast, AY.


  426. Bron, racists could support Obama if they were appalled by Romney/repub policies.


  427. Gene: In circumstances where people cannot agree that there should be a law (and I am in the camp that racist beliefs per se should not be illegal) then the alternative to law is the personal choice of boycott, and voicing disapproval, the threat of boycott, and pleas for others to engage in boycott, within a public square.

    Like this one.

    To shorten that, public shaming and shunning are the alternatives to public force, when public force itself would be a wrong.

    It would be unutterably wrong to make racist belief illegal; contrary to many assertions daily of “slippery slopes” to avoid, IMO a crime against thoughts would be a true slippery slope leading directly to a cliff, the fall from which we would never recover.

    Thus the alternative is the appropriate response; commercial boycott and social ostracization are the punishments of last resort for repellent (but not illegal) behavior.


  428. I don’t disagree with much of that, Tony. However, the question remains. Does social outrage merit skewing a judicial proceeding when the ideal is a fair trial for everyone? Wouldn’t it simply be wiser to find out if Deen did in fact provide a discriminatory work place before ostracizing her and committing to a commercial boycott? Wouldn’t hard proof her alleged racism led to an actual harm be better? It would certainly be less prejudicial to the proceedings.


  429. Mr. H,

    We all perceive things uniquely from our own little cocoon in this great ocean of life.

    From where I’m at, there’s this term, incorrigible, that seems applicable concerning this individual and her family.

    That we’re even having this conversation in this day and age is more than I can bare.

    A pox on their house of ill repute.

    AY,

    Congratulations on behalf of your daughters semester abroad. That was the most fun I’ve had in my entire life!


  430. Gene,

    I have not discussed the judicial proceeding in any of my comments. I don’t understand why you keep evaluating my and others’ comments in the context of Deen’s court case. My questions weren’t meant to be accusatory. When you said that pointing out racism where it exists is wrong, I found that troubling.


  431. I find that when people are willing to accept (or condemn) prejudicial behavior in one circumstance but not another to be troubling, Elaine.


  432. Bron: She could be totally cluless, a fish doesnt know water is wet.

    I doubt that, look at her deposition. She clearly knows the N-word is a problem, but she is under oath, so she doesn’t deny using it, presumably because she has used it often enough that she cannot be sure somebody else involved in the case won’t contradict her, or may even have secretly taped her. Later in her testimony, a plain reading reveals she cannot even recall the circumstances under which she has used it, her husband uses it, her brother uses it, they tell jokes with it, and she is fully aware of that.

    The event for which she gives a specific occurrence (in order to evoke sympathy) of her using it occurred in 1986, twenty-seven years ago, and she admits to using it after that as well (I do not think it is appropriate to round something near 25 up to 50, but, whatever). (The question is “have you used it since then?” and the answer is “I’m sure I have..”

    That makes her over 40 the last time she used it, and two decades after the civil rights movement. She claims she knows it is wrong, because “Things have changed since the 60’s in the south.”

    Yeah, they did, but the vast majority of those changes occurred before 1988 or so, when she admits to using the word in casual conversation outside the context of the robbery.


  433. Gene,

    I still don’t know what you’re getting at. Maybe, I’ve misread some of the comments on this post–but I don’t recall anyone accepting (or condemning) prejudicial behavior in one circumstance but not in others.


  434. Elaine,

    Apparently people are having no cognitive dissonance over failure to understand that rushing to judge Deen for something that is in itself not a crime can be as prejudicial as the very racism they condemn her for. That sounds a lot like a double standard regarding prejudice to me.


  435. Gene: I will say it is a possibility, but what makes you sure that social outrage will indeed skew the judicial proceeding? We have all sorts of guards against such skewing, including review of allowable evidence, jury selection questions, and technicalities of the law. Most of which (to the extent I know them) I agree are necessary to restrain the use of public force.

    My wife (working in a large hospital) has met several of her co-workers that have no idea what is going on with Paula Deen, much less that she has a brother and they own restaurants. I do not think it will be that hard to seat an impartial jury.


  436. And I hope you’re right, Tony.


  437. Gene,

    I didn’t enter this discussion for quite some time. I didn’t know what to think about Paula Deen–even after reading the excerpt from the court transcript.
    Like Mike and some others who have commented on this thread, I made my judgment of Deen after watching the video.

    We all make judgments about other people all the time. We listen to what they say. We watch how they behave. We see how they treat other people. It doesn’t matter whether they’ve committed a crime or not.


  438. Okay.

    And how does that change the questions I asked of Tony?

    Does social outrage merit skewing a judicial proceeding when the ideal is a fair trial for everyone? Wouldn’t it simply be wiser to find out if Deen did in fact provide a discriminatory work place before ostracizing her and committing to a commercial boycott? Wouldn’t hard proof her alleged racism led to an actual harm be better?

    I’m not saying we don’t (or even shouldn’t) judge people.

    I’m saying we should be very careful about it lest our judgements slip into prejudice.


  439. Gene,

    There you go again–steering the discussion to the judicial proceeding. I’ve been talking “big picture” in regard to racism and prejudice. You keep trying to narrow the focus.

    I’m not involved in your discussion with Tony. I’m having a hard enough time attempting to get my own points across to you.

    ;)


  440. And apparently I’m not getting my point across to you either, Elaine.

    The questions are germane to the big picture. If you don’t want to answer them? Okay.


  441. “Blouise,

    Two telling points at the heart of this long debate. Remember though that our three most prominent commentators pleading Deen’s case, while all non-racists in my estimation, are lawyers. Lawyers will even argue lost causes beyond the point of hopelessness and are trained to do so.” (Mike S.)

    Oh, I know, but sometimes these evolved southern arguments remind me of that old joke about the drunk being pulled over for a DUI, and telling the cop, “I’ve been drunker!”

    It may be true but it’s an absurd defense.


  442. Gene,

    I think you know that I believe in getting as many sources as possible when writing posts for the Turley blog. That’s because I like to make sure that I’m not getting just one person’s or one group’s viewpoint/story on a subject. I feel it of great import to truly understand a subject/issue before writing about it.

    I never called for Deen to be ostracized or to have people boycott her products. I think such things are up to the individuals who watch her shows and/or buy her products.

    Do I think it’s wrong to assume that Deen discriminated against her workers before we have all the facts? Of course. I thought you might already have understood that.


  443. “Do I think it’s wrong to assume that Deen discriminated against her workers before we have all the facts? Of course. ”

    Then what’s your objection, Elaine? Because that was entirely my point. In a rush to judge her racist, people seem more than willing to pillory her for that than they do in waiting to see 1) if it’s a present fact (recall both sides have conflicting testimony under oath), 2) if the alleged racism is related to the allegations about a discriminatory work place and 3) all the while not acknowledging that prejudging in one form is just as much prejudice when it occurs in another form.


  444. Gene,

    I DIDN’T rush to judge her racist–neither did Mike or some of the other people who have commented here who said they felt she harbored some racist feelings.

    Deen could be a racist and not have discriminated against her workers.


  445. Then I’m not sure why my taking exception to Tony’s unqualified absolutist statements applies to you then, Elaine.


  446. on 1, June 27, 2013 at 3:11 pm Mike Spindell

    “Daughter is coming back from Otsu, Shinga, Japan today….. A semester abroad….. Then one leaves for a month long vacation in Africa….. Victoria Falls….”

    You’re a good and proud father AY. If you’re footing the bill your practice has picked up, if not you have a reason to be proud anyway. :)


  447. on 1, June 27, 2013 at 3:22 pm Mike Spindell

    ‘It may be true but it’s an absurd defense.”

    Blouise,

    I agree and actually their defense of Deen stuns me. The only salutory thing is that those who think the guest bloggers and regulars are all of one mind certainly wouldn’t know it from this thread.


  448. on 1, June 27, 2013 at 3:23 pm Swarthmore mom

    Yep, Blouise. Luggage sales are said to be booming.


  449. on 1, June 27, 2013 at 3:31 pm Anonymously Yours

    For the one still in college yes Mike…. And yes… Surprisingly luggage sales have been growing in the double digits every month…. But, there are lots of nay Sayers……

    Blouise,

    If you made a comment I missed it…. As far as the snark…. I consider the source….


  450. Mike S.: “I don’t care about the court case and I certainly don’t take pleasure in her fall from grace.”

    I don’t believe you. You may not care about the court case, but being so emotionally wrapped up in the plight of Paula Deen you can’t help but derive pure schadenfreude from her fall.

    That you’re willing to throw away an entire person based on the use of a word is incredible. I simply can’t do that.

    Take Mark for example. In his zeal for his war on terror he has said some incredibly disgusting things; things so vile, morally and legally speaking… anyway….

    However, I would never sum up the entire man based on those things he said that I found offensive. Mark is an incredibly bright and good-willed man who occasionally loses his way when discussing his “war on terror.”

    Likewise, I have a few friends who in the past have used the word “nigger” during conversation. Do I consider them racist? Absolutely not. Because I also know someone who does use the word and IS IN FACT A RACIST based their behavior accompanying language such as “I’d never use a bathroom after a nigger.”

    There’s a huge difference between the use of the word “nigger” for effect in language and actual full fledged racism and bigotry. You apparently don’t care to distinguish between the two.

    So why stop at Paula Deen Mike? Why not go after all the children who grew up in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s singing:

    Eeny, meena, mina, mo,
    Catch a nigger by the toe;
    If he hollers let him go,
    Eena, meena, mina, mo

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eeny,_meeny,_miny,_moe

    After all Mike, according to you, just uttering the word is proof of racism. Like I said, I have a big problem with the absence of any objective morality per this witch hunt.

    You’re expressing outrage at Paula Deen because you “feel” (not think) she needs to be taken down a notch. And again, you are so consumed with exposing and proving the evils of Paula Deen that it’s hard not to conclude you’re not obsessing over the darker portions of your own shadow.

    To quote a Grateful Dead song

    “Maybe the dark is from your eyes.”


  451. on 1, June 27, 2013 at 3:40 pm Anonymously Yours

    Mike,

    As far a being a good father…. I got the most wonderful cards from the children….. One went on to say how much better I am not only as a father but as a person….. That there is a remarkable difference since I’ve been doing the REBT stuff….. Like 180 degree turn…. It is nice…. But, I have not always been patience…. As much as I dislike pushy folks…..and manipulative people…. I recognized the dragon was within as well…. Life goes on…. Some never learn…


  452. Bob,

    Pray tell….when is it deemed acceptable and not racist to use the word “nigger” for effect in language?


  453. on 1, June 27, 2013 at 4:02 pm Mike Spindell

    “I don’t believe you.”

    Bob,

    I can only be as honest as I can and whether you believe me or not is irrelevant. My passion on this comes not from Deen, but because 3 people I like and respect so, much are totally wrong on this thread.

    To return a Dead quote:

    “if you fall then who’s to guide you?
    If I knew the way, I would lead you home”


  454. on 1, June 27, 2013 at 4:05 pm Mike Spindell

    AY,

    Getting that from ones children represents the best we can do as humans. Until I became a father I had no understanding of what it entails emotionally. My guess is it brought tears to your eyes.


  455. On the whole, unless one was a mountain man, n*igger is a pejorative word, an ethnic term meant to disparage. That is why, even in the deep south, the term “Colored” was used on all the public signs and the NAACP wasn’t the NAANP

    I can’t quite grasp this idea that those who used the word n*igger had no idea it wasn’t a term of endearment. (I know … double negatives all over the place but my back hurts!)


  456. In the Lisa Jackson complaint, Jackson alleges that, in 2007, Deen said:

    Well, what I would really like is a bunch of little niggers to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around

    In Jackson’s deposition, on page 226, Jackson, under oath, is question by Mr. Franklin, attorney for Paula Deen Enterprises. Jackson reiterates the Shirley Temple story but doesn’t specifically mention Deen’s use of the n-word, but refers to Deen’s discriminatory prejudice in her remark. Franklin doesn’t specifically ask her about Deen’s use of the n-word.

    When opposing counsel doesn’t ask a question, it’s because he knows the answer would be detrimental to his client.

    There appears to be more to this story than Deen’s n-word use 50 years ago.


  457. on 1, June 27, 2013 at 7:51 pm nick spinelli

    mespo, I stayed out of this because I could see from an early comment directed @ me that it would get really personal and nasty. I agree w/ your stance. I admire your courage for getting this “racists are everywhere” mentality out there and showing just how wrong and destructive it can be. And, I admire your patience and class. Most everyone played their usual roles..a couple surprises, but it’s pretty predictable in Turleyville; whether old timers want to admit it or not. Great job, sir.


  458. It is about time we stopped this mudslinging and direct our energy towards education and harmony among all because the colour of the blood that runs through our veins is red and btw I was told Dick Cheney’s heart donor was a brotha….


  459. Gene: “Apparently people are having no cognitive dissonance over failure to understand that rushing to judge Deen for something that is in itself not a crime can be as prejudicial as the very racism they condemn her for. That sounds a lot like a double standard regarding prejudice to me.”

    That about sums it up; doesn’t it.


  460. At the age of 12 (1957) I did my first solo appearance with a large symphony orchestra. I travelled to the big city with my lawyer/agent and his wife who were serving as my chaperones for the 2 weeks of rehearsal.

    On the first day I asked the 1st chair of the cello section if I could play with them during sectional practise and full orchestra rehearsal doing all the music on the program. He checked with the guest conductor and I sat in. On the second day, during a break, much discussion was going on backstage because the Concertmaster (1st chair violin) and the guest conductor had gotten into a loud argument regarding interpretation of a passage. One of the cello players in my section said, “Just 2 kikes who don’t know to take it outside.”

    That night at dinner I relayed the story to my chaperones in the form of a question.

    “What’s a kite in music?” I asked. They were mystified and asked me to explain so I did. My agent cleared his throat and said, “Do you think the word was kike, not kite?”
    “Yes, I think it was kike but that’s not even a word, is it?’

    His wife then asked me if I had ever heard the word n*igger. I responded that I had but that it was one of the words my brothers and I were never allowed to use. Well, kike is like the word n*igger except it’s an insult to Jewish people. I was mortified because my 2 chaperones were Jewish.

    I immediately apologized and my lawyer smiled, patted me on the hand and told me it was perfectly alright to ask he and his wife anything. Then he told me that they would be at the rehearsal hall tomorrow and he wanted me to introduce him to the cello player.

    I did so and my lawyer took the cello player aside for a little talk. That was when I first learned that racism, no matter how benign, is meant to be fought – always.

    I have no idea what my agent said to that guy on that day, but keep in mind that the Concertmaster and Conductor rule the roost in a symphony orchestra.

    BTW … “Home improvement giant Home Depot and retailer Target have decided to end their deals with Deen while drugmaker Novo Nordisk has suspended its relationship with her Thursday. Late in the day, home shopping channel QVC said it has “decided to take a pause” from selling Deen’s products. … In an attempt to stop the hemorrhaging, Paula Deen has hired Smith & Company, the crisis-management firm run by Judy Smith — the inspiration for the hit ABC show Scandal — according to a source familiar with the arrangement. Smith has served as a consultant for a host of high profile clients including Monica Lewinski, Michael Vick, Wesley Snipes and Jill Kelley, the mistress of former CIA director General David Petraeus. … Her cookbook orders have surged.”

    http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/27/news/companies/paula-deen-home-depot-target-diabetes/index.html


  461. Blouise,

    Great story. Bigotry must always be opposed. I had a best friend in college who came from a wealthy background and taught me the social graces. One night he and his wife started talking about the inferiority of Black people as they smoked grass in my apartment. Perhaps the weed loosened their tongues for the first time in my presence. After a fierce argument I threw them out. Both of them were people I really cared for and I was totally shocked by their feelings. Haven’t seen them since.

    Deen re-created herself as a product and is now suffering some consequences. Had she really grown to understand her early racism the 2012 tape wouldn’t have come off as it did. Do I believe my lying eyes from watching the tape, or do I beleve I should withhold judgment until the end of the trial? The result of the trial is meaningless to me because I’ve got to trust my “lying eyes.”


  462. Bob,

    I thought it was to the point.


  463. Blouise/Mike,

    My lesson was different. It came from my grandfather. I was a war story and like all of his war stories, I took it to heart. When he left for WWII, it was the first time he’d ever been more than ten miles from home. He grew up in a very Jim Crow South. When he got back from the South Pacific, he started a construction and plumbing company. He also hired blacks. I overheard another guy, also in the trade, giving him crap about it one day. I guess I was six or seven. I asked him about it. He said, “I don’t care what color a man is so long as he does his job and I don’t care what that idiot thinks. I learned that in a foxhole, it doesn’t matter what color a man’s skin is. If he’s a good man and has your back, you have his back. We all bleed red, boy.” I asked him, “Why didn’t you tell Levi that?” He said, “I tried. He couldn’t understand. Or maybe he didn’t want to understand. Sometimes a lesson can’t be taught, only learned.”

    It made an impression.

    It’s part and parcel of why I said “Racism is a wrong, but no racist has ever changed their mind on the matter without coming to that conclusion themselves. This requires that they ‘do the math’ themselves.”

    If Deen truly is a racist? And she may be. She’ll never know it’s wrong unless she does the math herself.

    Have you ever seen the (excellent) film “American History X”?

    Edward Norton’s character Derek Vinyard travels that same path.


  464. Gene,

    Yet another good story, but you see I’m not trying to reform Deen and I don’t care how the trial ends. Nor do I care if she is punished financially for this issue. All I and everyone else that thinks like me on this issue is saying is that we saw enough in that tape to convince us she’s a bigot. The position adopted by Mark, Bob and you seems to be WE KNOW BETTER AND IF YOU DON’T understand what we see, the you all are the real bigots. Bob and Mark particularly have called into question our integrity and done so in rather strong terms. To call them overly defensive would be charitable. I like you all and respect you all so I haven’t been vitriolic. You guys have. But then again when people’s positions are weak they sometimes go overboard defending them. Despite that as I wrote you offline this has been one of the best discussion threads in a long time and illustrates that we regulars here are not lockstep in anything, just a bunch of cats no one can herd. :)


  465. “Bob and Mark particularly have called into question our integrity and done so in rather strong terms.”

    But I haven’t.

    And to be precise, the point I’m making is about being prejudiced, not about being a bigot (bigotry is a special type of prejudice and I don’t think any of you are bigots). Prejudiced perhaps. But not bigots.


  466. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 1:05 am Otteray Scribe

    I have not participated much in this interesting discussion, and admit I have not read all the comments due to being preoccupied with other pressing issues. I have, however, formulated a couple of ideas that might help this conversation along.

    First of all, anytime someone tells you they have no prejudice, they are lying. No way to soften that one. It is harsh reality. The reason is simple, and appears contradictory. Humans are social creatures, like much of the animal kingdom. The reason is probably evolutionary. We band together with others who are like us. Same as the reason you don’t see ducks socializing with chickens. We tend, as humans, to have developed tribal instincts for both reproductive as well as self defense needs. We bond with people we live with and who look like us. Others, not so much.

    Outsiders, not members of the tribe, are not only suspect but are likely to be regarded as dangerous. If the threat to the tribe is serious enough, it is human nature to react with aggression as a defense. When one is raised in a protective culture, the “other” is a threat. One way this is done is to dehumanize them. A guy who used to work for me was an Osage Indian. He explained to me that in his language, “Osage” meant “human being.” That meant, he said, that anyone who was not Osage was not a human being by implication.

    In our culture, we have seen almost every ethnic and religious group dehumanized in some way. And like it or not, have participated to some degree in that dehumanization.


  467. “Bob and Mark particularly have called into question our integrity and done so in rather strong terms.” (Mike S)

    I don’t really feel that way at all.

    I understand the points they were making, I simply disagree. The kids in my neighborhood used the eenie, meanie, minie, mo that Bob referenced but everybody said catch a fellow by his toe so, although I got his point, it just didn’t apply to my upbringing. Mark feels somewhat sorry for Paula Deen. I don’t feel sorry for her at all and I didn’t feel at all sorry for that cello player when my agent took him aside for a little talk.

    The older I got and the more life experience I gathered, the more I understood how well my parents had prepared me for life and for the world.

    Yep, it’s been a good discussion.


  468. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 1:58 am Mike Spindell

    Gene,

    It is true that you haven’t resorted to the sd hoinem as have Mark and Bob. However, regarding prejudice on the part of Tony, Elaine, Blouise and I we could make the same charge in return yet haven’t. The argument of reverse racism, knee jerk party line followers and other such charges lodged against those who dare question the premise of Mark’s blog have been the theme of bigotry for the last 50 years. It has aided and abetted the raising of the raciallist flag from the pinnacle of White Supremacy for years now and is part of the problem, not a solution.


  469. ‘It has aided and abetted the raising of the raciallist flag from the pinnacle of White Supremacy for years now and is part of the problem, not a solution.” (Mike S)

    Agree with that 100%


  470. “The argument of reverse racism, knee jerk party line followers and other such charges lodged against those who dare question the premise of Mark’s blog have been the theme of bigotry for the last 50 years.”

    Well, yeah, but I didn’t make those arguments. Did I, Mike?

    Prejudice isn’t the same thing as racism, but racism is a form of prejudice.


  471. Gene,

    You’re calling people prejudiced who used their judgment of the things a person said to draw a conclusion that said person is a racist. You did the same thing. You read what we said and used your judgment to draw the conclusion that we are prejudiced.


  472. Activist: Paula Deen allegations just the tip of the iceberg

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/activist-paula-deen-allegations-just-tip-iceberg/nYYDW/

    Excerpt:
    ATLANTA —
    Channel 2 Action News has learned about some new explosive allegations from an Atlanta civil rights activist against embattled celebrity chef Paula Deen.

    Marcus Coleman told Channel 2’s Tony Thomas workers in Deen’s restaurants are preparing another lawsuit claiming race and equality issues.

    This comes as more companies cut ties with the Georgia-based cook.

    Atlanta-based Home Depot, which sold Deen’s cookware online, pulled the merchandise off its website Thursday.

    Coleman said the initial allegations against Deen are just the tip of the iceberg.

    “It’s sad to see people fearful when they are truly being treated unfairly,” Coleman said.

    Coleman said he’s been meeting with as many as 20 current and former Paula Deen employees for 15 months.

    “(It’s) a rainbow of employees, many of them Caucasian,” he said.

    Coleman said they kept silent all this time waiting for a former manager’s lawsuit to begin. That lawsuit is what’s prompted the recent firestorm.

    The workers are still reportedly too scared to talk on camera but allowed Coleman to speak on their behalf. He said they complain of being passed over for promotions, pay inequities and other racial issues.

    “We’re talking about qualified workers with tenure that have been skipped over management positions because of their race,” Coleman said.


  473. No, Elaine.

    I forced people to consider that logically and by definition a rush to judgement can be every bit as much a prejudice as racism is a prejudice and some found that idea uncomfortable. I didn’t say it made you bad people. As OS noted, everyone has some degree of prejudice. It’s an inescapable part of human psychology, but it is an outcome based phenomena in deciding whether it is good or bad. It also is what it is. The Law of Identity holds. Again . . .

    “I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies.” – Pietro Aretino

    Sorry for the inconvenience.


  474. Gene,

    You made a judgment about people based on what they said–just as the people you labeled as prejudiced did. I didn’t say it made you a bad person.

    “I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies.” – Pietro Aretino

    Sorry for the inconvenience.


  475. No, Elaine.

    You can mischaracterize that all you like, but it doesn’t make it so. Words have meaning. If the meaning of the word “prejudice” presents a problem? I’m pretty sure that English doesn’t have a complaint department.

    Not all truths are comfortable, but they have the merit of being true.


  476. Gene,

    I didn’t mischaracterize anything. I guess we just have a difference of opinion.


  477. I reckon so, Elaine.


  478. Mike S:

    No one’s integrity was questioned merely their breathless rush to condemn based on awfully thin evidence. Sorry you feel the way you do but the bottom line is that if I’m blind for demanding convincing proof of racism you might consider you’re blind for not. You forget I’ve lived in it since birth and have some feel for dumb versus diabolical when it comes to this topic.

    My premises in this whole endeavor are simple:

    A person shouldn’t be tarred for something said 50 years ago in a situation far different than the present.

    I’ve seen no proof that Ms. Deen harbors any racist sentiments despite what some disgruntled employee seeking cash says or based on a skewed interpretation of a video snippet that nobody complained about at the time.

    If you want to make that your case, so be it, but like everything else on the blog we can let the readers decide.


  479. By the way it has been a good discussion and one that needs to be had — by everyone.


  480. Elaine, Tony and Mike “won” this argument long ago, there are just too many egos who didn’t examine all the evidence to be had — or didn’t want to — and now they’re too puffed up to admit they were wrong.

    Please stop flogging this dead horse. It’s tiresome, and it makes a largish group of you look petulant and childish.


  481. Mespo,

    I agree that it has been a good discussion.

    “I’ve seen no proof that Ms. Deen harbors any racist sentiments despite what some disgruntled employee seeking cash says or based on a skewed interpretation of a video snippet that nobody complained about at the time.”

    *****

    “Skewed” interpretation? That’s your opinion. People view things differently.
    Bob has no problem with friends who use the word “nigger” for effect in conversation. I would. Fortunately, I have never heard any of my friends use that epithet for a Black person.

    Do you have any evidence that shows that the “disgruntled” employee doesn’t have a good reason for her charges of discrimination?


  482. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 8:39 am Anonymously Yours

    But what a cracker or white bread….. Are those slangs?


  483. AY,

    Are you asking me that question?


  484. Juliet,

    I’d to thank you for your absolutely stellar contribution which is the argumentative equivalent of “you’re a loser, dooty head”.

    It looks good on you.


  485. AY,

    Cracker is pejorative slang, but white bread is slang that can either be pejorative or denoting something bland and uninteresting. Compare:

    “You white bread, *(*)$(*(%@$$!”

    and

    “That’s kind of a white bread paint job.”


  486. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 8:53 am Anonymously Yours

    Oh, so its a race to the term racist….so was Martin or Zimmerman the bigger racist…


  487. I’m fairly certain that’s a secondary consideration to whether Zimmerman is a murderer (degree TBD) or acted in self-defense, AY.


  488. Gene,

    There’s another common usage often uttered by young men to their buddies: She’s white bread and you, my young friend, are toast.


  489. Blouise,

    I like it! Never heard that usage before.


  490. However, since I like my gals wry, what does that make me? :mrgreen:


  491. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 9:08 am Anonymously Yours

    Gene,

    Wry toast….

    Blouise that was great….

    Off topic…

    Did anyone see that an army general is being charged with leaking classified info under the espionage act….


  492. AY,

    Excellent. Just a few more ingredients and I’ll be a Ruben.

    Yeah, over the STUXNET deal? That cat may actually deserve it too. If true, he wasn’t revealing wrongdoing against the public, he was revealing information about an ongoing foreign intelligence op. I wonder how the USCMJ is going to treat him too. You know the Espionage Act isn’t the end of it.


  493. AY,

    No … which general?


  494. Wry … perfect!

    You downtown boys are dangerous


  495. Mark: Except your premises have nothing to do with this case!

    Mark: A person shouldn’t be tarred for something said 50 years ago in a situation far different than the present.

    Except the instance she admits to occurred in 1986, 27 years ago, and she admits to later usage than that. Her situation was not “far different from the present” in 1986.

    Mark: based on a skewed interpretation of a video snippet that nobody complained about at the time.

    Well first I didn’t see it “at the time,” but I complained about it upon seeing it. Second, “skewed” is your subjective characterization of our interpretation, you present no evidence to demonstrate we are misinterpreting it other than your own assertion that you wouldn’t interpret it the same way.

    Juliet: Sorry, but I won’t let it pass. I can agree to a standoff, but if I have the time to answer, I will not let falsehoods stand as the last word.


  496. P.S. By “this case” I mean this case of whether Paula Deen is a racist; not the court case. And I will amend one statement to make it stronger:

    Except the instance she admits to occurred in 1986, 27 years ago, and she admits to later casual conversational usage than that. Her situation was not “far different from the present” in 1986.


  497. Blouise,

    Former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff retired Marine Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright. He hasn’t formally been charged under the Espionage Act yet, but he is the target of a Grand Jury investigation. Given that the EA is the Obama administrations tool of choice in pursuing leakers? That’s likely the charge forthcoming. But that’s the least of his problems would be my guess. My knowledge of the USCMJ is limited, but it’s generally much harsher than civilian law.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/28/james-cartwright-leaks_n_3515559.html?utm_hp_ref=politics


  498. Gene,

    Thanks … cyber warfare run amuck


  499. mespo:

    I’ve seen no proof that Ms. Deen harbors any racist sentiments despite what some disgruntled employee seeking cash says or based on a skewed interpretation of a video snippet that nobody complained about at the time.

    Interesting frame. Here’s another:

    There’s no proof that Ms. Jackson isn’t trying to seek justice for all her years of abuse except for Ms. Deen, who is desperately trying to hang onto her status and cash flow.

    Funny how the frame changes the picture.

    Without the frames we have she-said v. she-said. Without the frame, who has the most to gain and who has the most to lose? Ms. Jackson might get $1.5 million which, after the attorney’s cut and taxes, may amount to $500,000. On the other hand, Ms. Deen risks substantially more, maybe tens of millions of dollars.

    Interestingly, Ms. Jackson admits she only heard Ms. Deen use the n-word once. From her deposition, Ms. Jackson’s attention is not focused on Ms. Deen but on others.


  500. There has to be a huge market for white guilt therapy. The problem is those afflicted are in denial, so it would be a tough market to access. But, one the floodgates open, there will be shrinks everywhere administering the therapy.


  501. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 11:13 am Anonymously Yours

    Thanks Gene…


  502. “No one’s integrity was questioned merely their breathless rush to condemn based on awfully thin evidence.”

    Mark,

    When I’m discussing this issue calmly, without rancor and I see discussion dismissed as a “breathless rush to condemn” which certainly connotes certain things, then I rightly feel my integrity is being questioned. Those words in this context connote sloppy thinking, knee jerk reactions based upon political reasons and a blatant disregard for an individual’s condemnation in the media.
    Had I decided to use such connotative words to characterize the arguments put forth by yourself and Bob, Esq. I might have used something like “the racial insensitivity you two display.” I didn’t go that route because I respect the integrity of you and Bob and feel I know you two better than that. This is a disagreement Obviously it seems that me, Tony, Elaine and Blouise are not held in similar respect regarding our integrity. Not myself, nor any of the other three has been intemperate in their arguments against your position, nor have they used such ad hominem characterizations to assert their beliefs. I could give you contrasting quotes but the record is in the comments above and I do think you should reconsider some of your comments in this discussion.

    “I’ve seen no proof that Ms. Deen harbors any racist sentiments despite what some disgruntled employee seeking cash says or based on a skewed interpretation of a video snippet that nobody complained about at the time.”

    Sorry to burst that bubble but I watched the Paula Deen episode on Dr. Henry Luis Gates excellent TV show “Who Do You Think You Are” when it originally aired since that is one of my wife and I’s favorite shows. The TV interview that Juliet linked to referenced that show I looked forward to that episode since my view of Paula was positive at that time and I had watched her on her own show and as a guest on Craig Ferguson’s “Late, Late Show”. As a guest she was a pleasure who kept up with Craig’s signature double entendres. After watching “Who Do you Think You Are” I came away disturbed with Deen and a little annoyed with Doctor Gates, who as host was overly solicitous to her statements particularly regarding her “slaveholder” ancestor. The show went through the county census records where one could see the 37 slaves (not workers) listed as property. Ms. Deen made the expected appearance of being shocked, but then she is a performer. As a therapist though, I was disturbed by her performance because it didn’t ring true. Here is the link to watch that show: http://www.yidio.com/show/who-do-you-think-you-are/season-3/episode-12/links.html

    What interests me too is your continuing assertion that Ms. Deen “only” used “nigger” a few time 50 years ago is based on her testimony to which you obviously give determinative credibility, while at the same time dismissing the plaintiff as merely a self-serving seeker of financial reward. This formulation discounts the fact that Deen’s testimony can be seen as just as self-serving because she has a lot to lose. To give it more credibility, even based on the snippet of testimony you provided in your blog post, is I think accepting the improbable, especially in light of the 2012 tape which at least five commentators here based their judgment as to Ms. Dean insincerity on matters of race.

    I must also mention the intemperance which Juliet had heaped upon her for presenting that video and for her remarks upon it. All she presented was done with civility and class, yet she was attacked as if she was someone like Ralph Adamo. Since she seems new to commenting here it was a pretty rough welcome, not deserved by her comments. I hope this will not deter her from commenting in the future, since it would be our loss.

    Finally, I can’t end this without a mention of the use of the term PC. This is a most pernicious term, coined at a Conservative Think Tank, as a means to allow racial intemperance to return as acceptable means of discussion. It further allows bigots to call those who label comments as racist, to be called racists in turn. Words and phrases do have meaning as asserted by Conservative wordsmith Frank Luntz and PC has made it safe for people to be outright bigots again. Now some, perhaps yourself, would defend this assertion by saying that there should be no banned words if we are to have free speech. I agree 100% with that concept and I would never for instance ban the epithet “nigger” as much as I wouldn’t ban the word “kike”, or even “Christ Killer” to his closer to my home. What PC does though is limit my right to call out bigots by diminishing/dismissing my protestations as mere PC. While we should never ban any speech, I am an absolutist on this, neither should we diminish the ability to bring societal opprobrium upon those who use speech in a hurtful, offensive manner.

    All in all though I must thank you for producing a guest blog that has engendered such a wonderful discussion. While I point out what I see as intemperance in your characterizations, none of it lacked civility and this thread shows we can discuss sensitive topics, that touch a nerve in each of us, in the calm civil manner that Jonathan Turley asks for. Well done, even if I disagree with you, this has been fun and never at any point aroused anger in me because of the quality of everyone’s dialogue.


  503. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 11:23 am Anonymously Yours

    Gene,

    We know you’re already a sour kraut…. And your theories have more holes than extra sharp Swiss cheese….. Just funna ya….


  504. Thank you, Mike. I’ve had my Internet chops busted by my better (and worse) than these. I’ll be around.


  505. Mike S.,

    I’m sorry, but I take issue with your accusation of me using ad hominem against you.

    Yes, it is true that I resorted to ad hominem while referring to Tony C. as a solipsist, but that’s simply because I have no patience for someone who refers to his own opinion, musings and post hoc rationalizations as axiomatic. It’s as childish as a kid covering his eyes and screaming “you can’t see me.”

    You on the other hand, have no standing whatsoever to accuse me of resorting to ad hominem in the traditional sense of the term.

    Why?

    Ad hominem means “to the person” as opposed to “to the argument.” As I’ve objected to and you’ve bragged about, you form your “arguments” based on your gut feelings; leaving little to nothing to “argue” over objectively.

    The reason I brought up the nursery rhyme was to point out how ridiculous your standard metric is on the use of the word “nigger.” According to your rules, all those children growing up in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s are racists for saying

    Eeny, meena, mina, mo,
    Catch a nigger by the toe;
    If he hollers let him go,
    Eena, meena, mina, mo

    Reductio ad absurdum? You bet! Made possible only because you present your feelings instead of an objective moral position justifying a witch hunt.

    Furthermore, I re-allege that you derive schadenfreude from Paula Deen’s fall based on your admission to relying so heavily on your feelings per your comments on this issue; if anything, her fall from grace justifies those feelings of yours, which can only feel good.

    And I also re-allege that you are so consumed with exposing and proving the evils of Paula Deen that it’s hard not to conclude you’re not obsessing over the darker portions of your own shadow. Evidenced in part, to me, based on all the times I’ve seen you wisely reserve judgment in many other matters.

    You can call it ad hominem, I call it an honest critique of the position you’ve presented. It’s “to the person” because you made yourself the centerpiece of your “argument.” You can’t start a fight in a pool of water and then turn around and accuse your opponent of getting you wet.


  506. I refuse to eat anything that is White Does that make me a racist?


  507. “Yes, it is true that I resorted to ad hominem while referring to Tony C. as a solipsist, but that’s simply because I have no patience for someone who refers to his own opinion, musings and post hoc rationalizations as axiomatic. It’s as childish as a kid covering his eyes and screaming “you can’t see me.””

    Bob,

    Ah yes. Justifying an ad hominem attack with a further ad hominem attack. That’s the ticket. Also, re-examine your own words on this topic and one might characterize them as rationalizing your beliefs as axiomatic. The truth is that you couldn’t refute Tony’s logic with anything more than your “feelings” and so
    went the ad hominem route you did.

    And yes Bob, you are correct I do use my feeling to assist in forming my arguments and it really is a pity that you can’t understand that and need to rely on the musings of philosophers who actually justified merely what were their “feelings” into intellectual terms to make them sound more official. That is the different standpoint from which each of us deals with life. If yours works for you fine, but mine works very well for me. My philosophy is that of the rejection of the mind-body split. I try to be in touch with the “wisdom” of my organism. This wisdom informs me intellectually and Bob this wisdom also informs my logic, which is every bit as good as yours and I’ve proven that here time and again.

    “According to your rules, all those children growing up in the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s are racists for saying

    Eeny, meena, mina, mo,
    Catch a nigger by the toe;
    If he hollers let him go,
    Eena, meena, mina, mo

    Reductio ad absurdum? You bet! Made possible only because you present your feelings instead of an objective moral position justifying a witch hunt.”

    Well not only are you employing ad hominem, but also adding a straw man to the argument. You think doing that enhances your “logic”. You imply that I characterize ALL children growing up in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s as racists. Try to show me where I said that and you will fail because I never even implied that except in your “oh so logical mind” with your vaunted, yet non-existent objectivity. You’ve shown no objectivity here, only characterizing those who disagree with you as not being objective. By the way where I grew up we didn’t use “nigga” in that way, perhaps because it was a less racist than yours.
    We used “catch a tiger by the tail”. My friends also didn’t use “nigger”, but then racism wasn’t cool where I lived, so I suppose that your growing experience was different and less PC than mine. Yes that was irony, not ad hominem. Your arguments here have been so weak that I have no need to
    rely on personal attacks. Would that you could do the same.


  508. Bob Esq, Terms like “Racist,” “sexist,” “ad hominem,” “homophobe,” “liar, “are thrown around like peanuts @ a Dodgers game. If you don’t follow the pc line, or if you argue w/ certain people, it’s their default insult. Look upon is as a badge of honor, because it usually is. I’ve not yet been called “racist” but I have been called the other 4 along w/ other epithets. I’m a horrible human being.


  509. Teji, That makes you a person who believes in the “No White Food” diet. I clear you of racism, and hope your bowel movements have improved.


  510. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 12:32 pm Anonymously Yours

    Ok nick…. Without any basis… You’ve now been called a racist…. You throw out the term wop….wasp….dago….. I’m offended…. You’re a racist…


  511. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 12:33 pm Anonymously Yours

    Oh and for good measure nick… You’re a sexist….probably a closet sexist…. But none the less…


  512. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 1:49 pm nick spinelli

    AY, Deep in the closet, wearing women’s undies! I guess that makes me something else. J Edgar Hoover.


  513. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 1:52 pm Anonymously Yours

    Nick,

    A real man never tells….


  514. Mark: You resort to ad hominem attack when you cannot answer rationally. That is the problem with ad hominem attack, it is irrational (bad logic) by definition.

    So I don’t mind, really, because my goal is to prevail in the rational argument, and once you resort to the irrational, and cannot be brought back to answer rationally, I think it is safe to presume you have exhausted all your rational defenses and are choosing instead to vent your anger in insults, so the rational argument is over and I have prevailed.


  515. Nal: Interestingly, Ms. Jackson admits she only heard Ms. Deen use the n-word once.

    I wouldn’t say “admits,” but that she “testified.” And that “once” was in a decidedly casual conversation under no stress whatsoever.

    That is part of what makes me put more weight on Ms. Jackson’s recounting than Paula Deen’s vague recollections; in my experience lies are very rarely that subtle; in fact Paula admits to the content of that conversation (wanting black people dressed up like Plantation-era slaves). If Ms. Jackson was going to lie about some unverifiable conversation, I think she would have invented something a little more damning than a single instance of N-word usage directed at persons existing only in Paula’s imagination.


  516. One cannot be “ad hominem”. As noted, ad hominem means “to the person” as opposed to “to the argument.” As such, it is a tactic normally described as an informal fallacy, but more precisely it is an irrelevance (with the very narrow exception used in court where a declarant asserts something as true with no substantiating proof and relies solely upon their veracity as proof). One can only employ the tactic, but one cannot be “ad hominem”. However, one can employ the other words as part of the ad hominem tactic.

    “Racist”, “homophobic” and “sexist” are dual use and apply to statements and can be a pejorative similar to the slang term “white bread”. They can also simply be accurate descriptions of arguments. For example, when it is pointed out that Scalia has a history of homophobic statements that evidence a homophobic stance on his part (such as his practically foaming at the mouth dissent in the DOMA case), then it is both fair and simply accurate to describe him as homophobic. Why? Because he makes arguments that are homophobic, thus revealing both the state of his thoughts and his intent. The same applies to calling Deen a racist. Just because something is accurate does not mean it is ipso facto not a form of prejudice. “Liar” can be ad hominem, but if one is lying, it is appropriate and accurate as are the terms above.

    However, it is an individual moral/ethical judgement as to whether or not a speakers words are a reflection of either intent or state of mind. Such things should be evaluated on a totality of evidence and that evidence must be considered in context and based on their arguments and assertions. One very well may think Deen racist for using the word “nigger”, but you’d be a fool to come to the conclusion that either Richard Pryor was for using the word “nigger” or George Carlin for that matter. Context and intent are critical.

    Simply using a word is insufficient basis.

    For example, a white friend of mine once played guitar in an otherwise all black funk band. I used to go watch them practice all the time. One day, he wanted to take a break and – playing guitar – I sat in on a couple of songs. The first song out of the gate was one I wasn’t familiar with and I screwed it up because I had no idea what key it was in. The bass player turned to me and said, “Nigga, please!” and the trumpet player laughed and said, “I know he knows better. He’s not that white.” We all had a good laugh over it. No one was upset. Why? Intent and context. There are no bad words. There is bad intent. Bad thoughts. And words.

    Since Deen’s words are being attributed as motive for creating a discriminatory work environment, it is still wiser to wait for proof of harm caused by said alleged intent as what she has said is not a per se crime or tort. Then her intent is manifest in the harm created.


  517. “If Ms. Jackson was going to lie about some unverifiable conversation, I think she would have invented something a little more damning than a single instance of N-word usage directed at persons existing only in Paula’s imagination.”

    Then again, Tony, too much fabrication or embellishment has brought more than one lie down. The deployment of misinformation is always better suited by simplicity in execution and by embedding just enough truth in an assertion to make it plausible. The Devil, as they say, is in the details.


  518. I dont think George is right about that. Words have specific meaning. I know they can change meaning with time but the N word is symbol for a specific, evil concept.

    from webster’s 1913 edition:

    n*gger – n. A negro; — in vulgar derision or depreciation.

    As in making someone less than human and that is disgusting, I dont care what George Carlin says about it.

    Is Paula Deen racist? I dont know, only time will tell. But I dont think you can call her a racist based on the knowledge available today.


  519. But can you call her racist without evidence as to the intent behind the usage, Bron?


  520. tony c:

    Gene is right, chances are a 67 year old southern woman has said the N word in her life. That was a very large target for Jackson to hit. She could have been blind and handcuffed and still hit it.


  521. Nal:

    “There’s no proof that Ms. Jackson isn’t trying to seek justice for all her years of abuse except for Ms. Deen, who is desperately trying to hang onto her status and cash flow.”

    ***************
    I’d allow for that too. I just won’t presume it from what I’ve seen. Let’s see her proof not her allegations.


  522. Mike S.,

    A few points.

    1. Mark and Gene have done an excellent job of delineating the flaws in Tony C’s reasoning. You exclaiming victory on behalf of him is, how shall we say, less than convincing.

    2. I don’t know what schools you went to, but it’s rather sad that you came away with the notion that reliance on your feelings serves as an excuse for your ignorance on a topic; e.g. philosophy.

    3. Per your comment: “Well not only are you employing ad hominem, but also adding a straw man to the argument. You think doing that enhances your “logic”. You imply that I characterize ALL children growing up in the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s as racists. Try to show me where I said that and you will fail because I never even implied that except in your “oh so logical mind” with your vaunted, yet non-existent objectivity.”

    The only one employing a straw man here is you. I did not say you characterize children of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s as racists. I used your litmus test for racism against you via reductio ad absurdum. You adopted the strict rules, and I simply applied them to a group of people who did use the word “nigger” in their life and yet no rational person would consider them racist; other than you by your rules. That’s a fair ball.

    And finally, I grew up in the 1970’s; long after the phrase ‘catch a nigger by the toe” was out of vogue. That’s your generation; not mine.


  523. Tony C:

    I always get angry with folks who aren’t intellectual honest like you. Call me crazy!


  524. Juliet:

    “Thank you, Mike. I’ve had my Internet chops busted by my better (and worse) than these.”

    ******************
    That’s something we all can get behind.


  525. Nick,

    To quote Bartles & James

    Thank you for your support.


  526. Mike S:

    “All in all though I must thank you for producing a guest blog that has engendered such a wonderful discussion. While I point out what I see as intemperance in your characterizations, none of it lacked civility and this thread shows we can discuss sensitive topics, that touch a nerve in each of us, in the calm civil manner that Jonathan Turley asks for. Well done, even if I disagree with you, this has been fun and never at any point aroused anger in me because of the quality of everyone’s dialogue.”

    ****************
    You do that most every week. Just trying to keep up.


  527. Gene H:

    “But can you call her racist without evidence as to the intent behind the usage, Bron?”

    ***************
    Of course not. See Bob, Esq. supra.


  528. Gene H:

    I dont know the answer to that question. Some words are just better left un-said.

    The C word and the N word are 2 that would make the english language better if they were erased from the dictionary and I dont say that lightly. And I also understand the ramifications.


  529. A small interjection gentlemen, over the years I have noticed that when the argument morphs into a discussion of semantics, the one doing the semantic search is the loser.


  530. Well, we “opened up this quarrel between the present and the past,” maybe we can end it with this. Good job by all concerned;


  531. Mike,

    You’re right about “catch a tiger by the toe” … that became popular with my childhood friends thanks to a gasoline company’s commercials “put a tiger in your tank”.

    Sorry Bob … nobody I knew was using the phrase “catch a n*igger by the toe” … fellow or tiger were the words we used


  532. Bron: [Paula Deen] … has [probably] said the N word in her life. That was a very large target for Jackson to hit.

    Except she referenced a very particular conversation about a wedding a few years ago, a conversation Paula Deen both confirms happened and confirms that the gist of that conversation was her desire to dress blacks like slaves, but she feared the media would be upset with her about doing that.

    Ms. Jackson did not complain about general usage of the N-word, she complained about a specific usage about a specific topic recently enough that Deen remembers it happening, and I seem to recall she named another witness present besides herself.

    Typically when people make things up to be damning statements, they insulate themselves from proof: The made up statement will be from a time and innocuous context the alleged speaker is unlikely to specifically remember, and the accuser is the only one that heard it, and the statement itself will be clear and damning, and often “in the voice” of the accuser instead of in the voice of the alleged speaker.

    I think it takes skill to write realistic dialogue in the voice of a particular character; certainly a lot of beginning fiction writers and script writers exhibit the literary-deficit of all their characters sounding like either the same person or caricatures. I do not think Lisa Jackson is a professional writer, she is a restaurant manager, yet the statement she attributes to Paula Deen sounds (to my ear) like Paula Deen, as a fan of the Food Network I have heard Paula speak frequently and at length. Another amateurish writing malady is an improper understanding of the formulation of spoken English; but the statement alleged by Jackson does sound (to my ear) as realistically conversational.

    My experience with liars makes me assign a much higher probability of truthfulness to Ms. Jackson than I would assign to Paula Deen.

    That isn’t prejudice or prejudging, it is just what seems most plausible, particularly in light of the other behaviors Deen exhibits: Deen is dodging the questions by claiming amnesia, making excuses for actions she refuses to admit (her black kitchen help uses the word with each other), and making ludicrous assertions on the stand (she can’t tell, herself, if her use of the N word offends somebody — but she also knows she isn’t supposed to use it).


  533. Blouise: “Sorry Bob … nobody I knew was using the phrase “catch a n*igger by the toe” … fellow or tiger were the words we used”

    “Older versions of this rhyme had the word nigger (instead of tiger) and are less popular now because of the waning public acceptability of the word,”

    The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 156-8.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eeny,_meeny,_miny,_moe

    Sorry Blouise, this was the way my mother learned it while she was growing up.

    Care to argue that my mother is a racist now for uttering those words as a child?


  534. Mike, Blouise: Same here, I was taught “Tiger.” I did not hear the original usage until I was past the age of using the rhyme at all.


  535. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 4:20 pm Mike Spindell

    “Mark and Gene have done an excellent job of delineating the flaws in Tony C’s reasoning.”

    In your opinion, which I thing is wrong.

    “I don’t know what schools you went to, but it’s rather sad that you came away with the notion that reliance on your feelings serves as an excuse for your ignorance on a topic; e.g. philosophy.”

    I got my Masters from Columbia University on a full tuition scholarship. One of my girlfriends at the time was a philosophy major and at her Gatsby like house on the Gold Coast of Long Island, she gave parties for the Philosophy Department. I met many scholars there and while tripping on mescaline used to listen to faculty males trying to score sexually by quoting Wittgenstein, who was big at the time, to students. One of the funniest things I’ve ever observed. In any event Bob I’m as well read and erudite as you are. I’ve never been interested in the intellectual pretensions of people who try to explain life. If it works for you then more power to you. This was your problem in discussing this topic here, your perception, rather smug, that you are the repository of all wisdom due to your background in philosophy.

    “Try to show me where I said that and you will fail because I never even implied that except in your “oh so logical mind” with your vaunted, yet non-existent objectivity.”

    You said my litmus test for racism:

    “According to your rules, all those children growing up in the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s are racists for saying

    Eeny, meena, mina, mo,
    Catch a nigger by the toe;
    If he hollers let him go,
    Eena, meena, mina, mo

    Reductio ad absurdum? You bet! Made possible only because you present your feelings instead of an objective moral position justifying a witch hunt.”

    Actually Bob, you failed because you can nowhere find my “rules”, or my saying anything of the sort. That you imagine that I implied rules like that is unsupported by the facts of what I wrote. That makes it a “straw man” argument. You inferred and saw what you wanted to see in what I wrote, which only proves that despite your philosophical and logical bent, that you’re the one that lacks objectivity. Show I’ll send the challenge back. Show me where I said or implied that I adjudged people racists because they used the epithet “nigger” in their childhood. I clearly rejected the falsification that Deen only used that term in her childhood and the evidence (you know that little thingy lawyers are supposed to use) that was presented here backs me up. Show me the money Bob, where I said, or implied what your “straw man” asserted, or you fail.

    Fear not though Bob, you have gained a new disciple in Nick, or is it that you’re the disciple based on Pope Nick’s pronouncement to our long time contributor Teji Malik:

    “Teji, That makes you a person who believes in the “No White Food” diet. I clear you of racism, and hope your bowel movements have improved.”

    I think that Nick cleared you of racism as well, which must bring you all sorts of comfort.


  536. Bob, Esq: has said the N word in her life. That was a very large target for Jackson to hit.

    I consider childhood a valid excuse, children are pre-rational, that is why we don’t let them control their own lives. I would argue, however, that the adults that taught her (and therefore condoned the use of) that word were likely racists, which was pretty common when my mother was a child.


  537. Bob: Oops, sorry about that, my cut was from a previous comment. I meant to quote this line: Care to argue that my mother is a racist now for uttering those words as a child?


  538. Mark: I always get angry with folks who aren’t intellectual honest like you. Call me crazy!

    No, I think I will call you a liar, a sore loser, a person that cannot answer with reason so they resort to emotional name-calling and make false claims of intellectual dishonesty, a person that, analogous to a racist, made up their mind they were right and could never be wrong, damn any facts or reason.

    Like I said, reason prevailed. Your distress at being on the wrong end of that is understandable.


  539. Bron 1, June 28, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Gene H:

    I dont know the answer to that question. Some words are just better left un-said.

    The C word and the N word are 2 that would make the english language better if they were erased from the dictionary and I dont say that lightly. And I also understand the ramifications.

    *****

    They are definitely the top two on my list of words that are best left unsaid.


  540. On the lighter side…

    Hank Aaron Settles The Paula Deen Racism Debate (Sort Of)


  541. Mike,

    It is a given that your primary evidence that Paula Deen is a racist is her use of the word “nigger” — just as the title of this post suggests. As such, you have held it out as a litmus test bootstrapping all your other conclusions.

    The reason Gene, Mark and I have been pointing out the difference between the use of the word “nigger” with and without racist intent is because you and your cadre REFUSE to acknowledge any such distinction. Thus my use of the term ‘litmus test.’ The counter-arguments by Gene, Mark and myself are the objective evidence of your rigid position.

    “Show I’ll send the challenge back. Show me where I said or implied that I adjudged people racists because they used the epithet “nigger” in their childhood.”

    Can you read? Or don’t you ‘feel’ like it?

    I said:

    “I did not say you characterize children of the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s as racists. I used your litmus test for racism against you via reductio ad absurdum. You adopted the strict rules, and I simply applied them to a group of people who did use the word “nigger” in their life and yet no rational person would consider them racist; other than you by your rules. That’s a fair ball.”

    And the only smug one here is you; by virtue of your delusion that you can dismiss an entire discipline of thought based on your ‘feelings.’ Philosophy and logic are the building blocks for that little thing called law; you know, that subject which forms the basis of this blog?


  542. Tony,

    Consider this per Mark’s point:

    “Older versions of this rhyme had the word nigger (instead of tiger) and are less popular now because of the waning public acceptability of the word,”

    Waning public acceptability of the word. This is what Mark’s referring to regarding growing up in the South.

    It is ex post facto to penalize a person for using a word in the past at a time when it was socially acceptable relatively speaking per geography.


  543. Bob, Esq: … is because you and your cadre REFUSE to acknowledge any such distinction.

    In my post of June 23 at 10:13 AM, the fourth, fifth and sixth paragraphs detail precisely that situation, and the first paragraphs detail the reasons that black-on-black use of the N-word is very different from any mixed-race usage of the word.

    Now it is time for you to refuse to acknowledge any error on your part and call me some names.


  544. I’m sorry Tony. I should have qualified my assertion by stating I was referring to that “gray line” of Tony C’s.

    My apologies for disrupting your world.


  545. Bob, Esq: It is ex post facto to penalize a person for using a word in the past at a time when it was socially acceptable relatively speaking per geography.

    Except, as I have already detailed, Paula Deen’s bank robbery was in 1986; and she admits to using the word after that, and frequently enough (or in situations innocuous enough) that she cannot recall the details of that usage.

    I was an adult working businessman in 1986 with three working businesses behind me; I recall 1986 and the subsequent years pretty clearly, it was the year I met my wife-to-be, and it was not a time when use of the N-word was “socially acceptable.”


  546. I will also point out that Gene’s story falls under the third paragraph of that post (June 23, 10:13). A black using the N-word to refer to a white man cannot be implying the white man is inferior to himself; it is simply like “brother,” in Gene’s case a way of softening an expression of irritation with an endearment.


  547. Bob: Fake apology fake accepted.


  548. tony c:

    per the hold-up, I think you are expecting too much of people. Now what if it had been a white man? Could she have called him a c*ck sucker without being labled homophobic?


  549. This is a bit of a tangent but it may interest some reading this thread.

    Apparently Mayor Bloomberg claims that minorities are stopped too few times in the NYC ‘stop and frisk’ program. You can read about it here:

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/06/28/us/ap-us-nypd-oversight-bloomberg.html?ref=news

    Apparently he believes that the fact that 90% of murder suspects are minorities justifies stopping minorities in greater proportion than whites.

    Groups opposed the mayors ‘stop and frisk’ policy point out that these stops are not made on the basis of a description.

    It seems to me that the kind of reasoning reported in this article is an example of one kind of racism or bigotry.

    The logic seems to be that a true statement about one person or one small group can be used to make reasonable inferences about an entire group.

    Similar logical inferences include:

    some individuals in a group have trouble in school so no one in the larger group can excel.

    some individuals in a group have substance abuse problem so they are all likely to be addicts.

    some individuals in a group are not good workers so all members of the larger group are incompetent.

    I could go on. But perhaps the reader sees the pattern and the fallacy.

    There are many different types of racists. They may all be equally culpable. But they differ greatly in the damage they do.

    I will admit that I may be wrong. And I will admit that I may not have all the facts. But I am comfortable reaching a tentative conclusion that Mayor Bloomberg is a bigot and a dangerous one at that.

    I will point out that I consider my conclusion tentative because I am prepared to revise my opinion if and when I hear of data the refutes or mitigates earlier information.

    If you believe that I am wrong about Mayor Bloomberg or if you believe that I have formed an opinion without enough information then make the argument. I will be glad to read it.

    BTW: when it comes to a comparison between Mayor Bloomberg and Paula Deen, I have reached tentative conclusions about each. There is no question in my mind regarding which one is more dangerous. To borrow a phrase, Mayor Bloomberg is a clear and present danger to the community. In comparison, Paula Deen is merely an irritation or amusing depending on your point of view.


  550. Tony,

    Then you missed the part where the trumpet player said, “I know he’s not that white.” Or maybe it’s just more convenient to gloss over the salient point of the story.


  551. From Paula Deen’s depostition, page 133, regarding a 2007 discussion of “Bubba’s” wedding:

    Q Is there any possibility, in your mind, that you slipped and used the word “nigger”?

    A No, because that’s not what these men were. They were professional black men doing a fabulous job.

    What an odd answer. Deen wouldn’t have called them “niggers” because it’s wrong, or demeaning, or that she doesn’t refer to black people by that term. She didn’t refer to them as “niggers” because they’re doing a professional job.

    In a case of she-said v. she-said we have to compare the two accounts of this incident. I find Deen’s account less compelling.


  552. bfm,

    The most appalling thing about Bloomberg is the massive evidence that he’s a fascist. I’m thinking that if he had his way, every New Yorker would likely be stopped and frisked unless they wore Armani and had someone drive a Bentley for them. Got to make sure they aren’t drinking any 64oz. sodas.


  553. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 5:36 pm nick spinelli

    I have no proof or studies. So, this is just an opinion from an average Joe who has been around. From reading newspapers, watching tv, reading blogs like this, you would think the country is obsessed w/ politics. Actually, it seems to me the vast majority of folks don’t care. Our paltry voting record over the decades tends to bear that out. Folks have only 2 choices, like neither, and say why bother.

    This “racist, “sexist” “homophobe” seems quite similar in that regard. It’s mostly people invested in the duopoly and this is a great place to score political points. When Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are the “go to” experts you know it’s bullshit. Few black folk look upon those 2 as anything but fools and only white guilters pay attention. As stated previously, I used to like the Food Network. They had real chefs. When this shrill bimbo, w/ here horseshit recipes, and a voice that makes me want to vomit, became the star, the Network lost me. Is she a racist. Who gives a flying f@ck. That’s the attitude of average Joe. Of course, many here have expressed their derision for average Joe also. C’est la vie.


  554. nal:

    She only uses the word to describe non-professional black people doing a lousy job?


  555. Most people are apathetic toward the study of quantum mechanics and yet they wouldn’t be enjoying their cell phones without it. Most people are apathetic about the study of chemistry and yet people would die every day without it. Most people are apathetic about the law (until it directly impacts them) but it provides the framework for civilization. Most people are apathetic about politics but every day it shapes the law.

    Commonly held apathy does not negate either the relevance or importance of a subject.


  556. Bron,

    That’s what her answer is saying to me.


  557. nal:

    what do you call non-professional white people doing a lousy job?


  558. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 5:57 pm Anonymously Yours

    Born,

    I call them congressmen/women and senators……


  559. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 5:58 pm Anonymously Yours

    Or Judges…l take you pick..l


  560. Bron,

    Incompetent.


  561. AY:

    Exactly!

    Nal:

    that too.


  562. Bron: I think you are expecting too much of people. Now what if it had been a white man? Could she have called him a c*ck sucker without being labled homophobic?

    As I said, she admitted in the deposition (quoted in this post) that she had used the word AFTER that, but could not remember the context in which she did. The fact that she could not remember that LATER context suggests it was not used in a high-stress situation at all, it was used in a forgettable situation, in fact so forgettable that even under oath when remembering was important, she could only guess at it.

    I suppose c*cksucker was originally a “you are gay” slur for a man; but I do not think most people today use the word with that intent. Just like b*stard and motherf*cker aren’t typically used with the intent of conveying their actual meaning; being born out of wedlock no longer suggests a promiscuous and sinful mother, I don’t think most people have incest in mind when they say motherf*ucker.

    The N-word, however, retains its full, original, racist meaning.


  563. Gene: Or maybe it’s just more convenient to gloss over the salient point of the story.

    Perhaps you can elaborate; I truly do not see how that changes what I said. Blacks cannot demean you by calling you black because they cannot be implying you are any less than they are.

    It occurs to me you might think they were demeaning white musicians, but that has nothing to do with the use of the word in question; as you relate the story I think the person that used it did so as a term of brotherhood to soften his complaint about your playing.


  564. Nick: I have no white guilt. My bloodline does not trace far, but my grandparents were all immigrants circa World War I, and were not involved in slavery. I was raised with black and Hispanic relatives, I have the same well represented among nieces and nephews; Christmas at my mother’s house is a melting pot.

    I have no guilt, I have outrage at the racism experienced by people I love, and I have outrage at the racists I meet that “test me” with jokes and innuendo to see if I share their repellent sickness.

    Now you will say, Oh, Tony is in denial. But if you think that is a valid criticism, I say Nick is a racist, a hateful stupid loser, and if he denies it or tries to prove differently: Hey, Nick is just in denial. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, Nick.


  565. Tony,

    The use of “Nigga, please!” was indeed exactly as described – not pejorative in the slightest but rather brotherly. You’re too focused on “the magic word” of the moment. But had I not known the trumpet player and his intent? The “he’s not that white” could have been interpreted as having racist tones. But I did know him so it wasn’t.

    Again, no bad words, just bad intent and bad thoughts.

    That’s the point you’re glossing over.


  566. TONY C:

    could your love for your family members influence your judgment? I know it would for me.


  567. Tony,

    I’m with you on the whole “white guilt” thing. I don’t get it. I’ve always dealt with people based on the content of their character, not the color of their skin. I’ve never owned a slave. During slavery, which started before my ancestors got here, they were either tenant farmers (considered little better than blacks socially at the time) or skilled tradesmen who didn’t own slaves. And even then most of them faced discrimination on their own for simply being Irish. I don’t owe anyone jacksquat let alone guilt over their being a different color than me.


  568. Jimmy Carter: Paula Deen should be forgiven

    Former President Jimmy Carter said embattled celebrity chef Paula Deen should be forgiven, arguing that while there’s no condoning the racial slurs she uttered, the well-known personality has been candid and apologetic.

    “She was maybe excessively honest in saying that she had in the past, 30 years ago, used this terrible word,” Carter told CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux in an interview Friday. “I think she has been punished, perhaps overly severely, for her honesty in admitting it and for the use of the word in the distant past. She’s apologized profusely.”

    Carter said he remembers that the n-word was used “quite frequently” when racial segregation was the “law of the land” throughout the country, not just the South, where Deen is from and resides.

    Carter mentioned Deen’s programs in Savannah, Georgia, that benefit “almost exclusively oppressed and poverty stricken black people.” He advised her to get people she’s helping to speak up and “show she’s changed in her relationship with African-Americans.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/28/us/georgia-carter-deen/index.html

    Oh dear!

    Could it be that the man who accused Obama’s detractors of being racist is claiming that Paula Deen is in fact NOT A RACIST??

    How could that be?

    Or didn’t Gene Mark and I already cover that?


  569. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 7:36 pm nick spinelli

    Well Gents, First BREATHE..BREATHE. I did not accuse anyone here specifically of white guilt. And, I honestly didn’t put either of you in that category. I have a personal policy that has been shown over and over again that unless I have conclusive proof, I take people @ their word. So, Tony you didn’t need to go Jerry Springer on me, I believe you when you say you don’t have white guilt. The same for you Gene. However, I mentioned that topic once previously and a commenter went ballistic saying white guilt is a myth. Do you gents believe white guilt is a myth? Now, knowing you guys this may be seen as an opportunity to argue w/ me. I’m not in an arguing mood. So a simple yes or no will suffice. If you say “no” there is no white guilt in our culture, I would appreciate a brief explanation. Let’s not make this the OK Corrall, how about just sitting in the town tavern. Tony, I know you’re not a drinker, but you can have some “Sioux City Sasparilla.” A reference I bet Gene gets.


  570. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 7:39 pm nick spinelli

    Bob Esq, With the knockout punch? “Down goes Frazier..down goes Frazier.”


  571. Firstly, I never even addressed you on the issue, nick. I simply expressed agreement with Tony that I don’t do “white guilt” either and why. Why would you think I thought you were making an accusation? I’ve never hesitated to directly address such things before.

    Secondly, yeah, “white guilt” is a real thing.

    Thirdly, my respiration is normal and my resting heart rate is 55. Thanks for your concern.

    Lastly, I hope your mood keeps improving whether you’re feeling argumentative or not. And I don’t think they make SCS in diet so I’m not sure Tony would drink one. They are, however, rather tasty.


  572. I’d leave a comment–but I’m just a deep-fried solipsist. What could I contribute to the discussion?


  573. Your usual?

    Intelligence, wit and sarcasm.

    Although the deep fried thing could be a real issue, Elaine.

    Some of us are watching our cholesterol.


  574. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 8:05 pm Mike Spindell

    “It is a given that your primary evidence that Paula Deen is a racist is her use of the word “nigger”

    Bob,

    I don’t care what the posts’ title was. I didn’t call Paula Deen a racist because she used that word, I referred to a lot more than that. You would like to frame the discussion that way, just as Gene would like to frame it in judicial terms, because that represents your strongest case, though also a loser. Show me though where I ever framed it that way in my comments. You know you can’t.

    “The reason Gene, Mark and I have been pointing out the difference between the use of the word “nigger” with and without racist intent is because you and your cadre REFUSE to acknowledge any such distinction. Thus my use of the term ‘litmus test.’ The counter-arguments by Gene, Mark and myself are the objective evidence of your rigid position.”

    Bob, poppycock! Again this is the frame all of you use and it is not responsive to anything I or the others said. That none of you has once addressed exactly what we have been saying directly, you’re the ones with a rigid position
    because you are incapable of seeing any other point then your own. This is frankly the worst job of logic from you that I’ve ever seen and I can only think some personal nerve has been touched and no dammit I would never call or imply that you are racist. However, I know nothing of your history so I can’t judge what personal pain such discussions bring to you.

    An example of this is your example of “Eeeny, meeny, Miney, Moe…..” You presented your version as if it was typical of children all over. I’m older than you and I grew up in New York. I think Blouise is older than you and I think she grew up in the Mid West. Tony is probably younger than us and I think he grew up somewhere else. None of us heard the formulation you quote as common until we were adults, or do you think we’re lying to you. I take it that you and Mark grew up in Virginia, or at least the South and I would expect it was so common there that you would naturally think it universal, it wasn’t. you really need to assess what is personal about your argument and what is the stuff of reason, becvause I think you have them confused.


  575. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 8:11 pm Mike Spindell

    And you know something else I actually had a gun pointed at me by a Black teenager, during a mugging I tried to stop in the mid 80’s and when I related that story to friends I’m not even sure I referred to the teenagers as being black. They were thugs and it was irrelevant. That same summer I was attacked by five White teenagers, they were thugs also.


  576. “just as Gene would like to frame it in judicial terms, because that represents your strongest case”

    Actually, Mike, I framed it a way to use context to make a point about the nature of prejudice in a parallel argument. Her being or not being a racist in fact is largely immaterial to the larger point I was making.


  577. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 8:17 pm Mike Spindell

    “The most appalling thing about Bloomberg is the massive evidence that he’s a fascist.”

    Gene,

    Agreed, but I must admit that I was a little surprised by BFM’s quote since it showed Bloomberg in bigoted terms. He’s a little weasel and thank God he’s not running again. He and Giuliani helped turn NYC into an Eden for the rich and screw everyone else. 800 square foot apartments in Manhattan, not in particularly desired neighborhood, go for about $1.5 million.


  578. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 8:20 pm Mike Spindell

    “When Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are the “go to” experts you know it’s bullshit”

    Finally, you said something I agree with. What you may be missing though is that it’s the establishment media that is obsessed with these two, rather than Black leaders who are not so self serving.


  579. Tony C:

    “No, I think I will call you a liar, a sore loser, a person that cannot answer with reason so they resort to emotional name-calling and make false claims of intellectual dishonesty, a person that, analogous to a racist, made up their mind they were right and could never be wrong, damn any facts or reason.

    Like I said, reason prevailed. Your distress at being on the wrong end of that is understandable.”

    ****************************

    Self-proclaimed victories are the most fleeting kind.


  580. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 8:26 pm Mike Spindell

    “Jimmy Carter: Paula Deen should be forgiven”

    Bob,

    I haven’t forgiven Jimmy Carter yet for Ronald Reagan, why should I care about any opinion he has?


  581. Gene,

    Bob was the one who called me a deep-fried solipsist. I rarely eat deep-fried food. My favorite restaurant serves a fried oyster po’ boy that
    is mighty tasty. i have indulged myself a couple of times.


  582. I don’t know what the appeal would be to reside in NYC if it costs that 1.5 million for a small apt. Do they Tulip Auctions there as well?


  583. Tony C:

    “A black using the N-word to refer to a white man cannot be implying the white man is inferior to himself; it is simply like “brother,” in Gene’s case a way of softening an expression of irritation with an endearment.”

    *******************

    Not content to merely be angry for African-Americans even when they aren’t angry, you now presume to speak for their inner-most mental intentions while they speak idioms.

    I’ve got a gig for you. How about a stint as Carnac?:


  584. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 8:59 pm Mike Spindell

    Darren,

    Thee Tulip Bubble makes a good analogy. After we sold our house we moved to Florida because we could no longer afford to live in our home town, which we continue to love.


  585. Bron: could your love for your family members influence your judgment? I know it would for me.

    Sure, but I could claim the opposite. I was fortunate to be raised in an environment where I would be naturally inoculated from that particular mental disease, where I could not catch it because even when I was young and rationally immature, I could not be tricked into thinking there was any significant difference.

    I say “the opposite” because it is the racist’s environment of either isolation and racial monotony, or suffused with the toxins of pre-existing racism, that influences them to be mentally malformed, while my richer racially diverse environment allowed me to develop without absorbing that defect.

    I do not say that with arrogance but humility; I count it among the gifts I have that I never worked for, or even knew I was receiving.


  586. Bob,Esq:

    ““I think she has been punished, perhaps overly severely, for her honesty in admitting it and for the use of the word in the distant past. She’s apologized profusely.”

    ************************

    The prejudiced never forgive no matter how sincere, profuse, or interminable the apology. Like our own arbiter of human frailty, Tony C, says some sins by the “evil” ones are “unforgivable.” (Now was that before or after he dispassionately considered all the evidence?)


  587. Gene H:

    When do the god-fearing townspeople boil the tar and start gathering the chicken feathers?


  588. That’s what that smell is . . .


  589. Gene H:

    Smelled like fire and brimstone to me. All orthodoxies stink the same though.


  590. “I think Blouise is older than you and I think she grew up in the Mid West.” (Mike S)

    Northeast Ohio and I’ll be 68 in November. Bob’s version of “Eeeny, meeny, Miney, Moe…..” was never one we knew or used … “Out goes Y.O.U.”


  591. It’s not the god-fearing townspeople who are getting the tar and feathers ready. It’s the corporations who fear that Deen has tarnished her brand. They are dropping her like a hot, deep-fried potato…with sour cream, bacon, and cheese.


  592. blouise,

    I’ll be 67 in November.

    I grew up in Massachusetts. I did hear the “Eeny, meeny…” version that Bob spoke of.


  593. Gene and Mark,

    These are a lot of very public cancellations. Do you think it’s within the realm of possibility that they all know something we don’t?


  594. I love it when the “free market” actually works like it’s supposed to.


  595. Mike S.: “I don’t care what the posts’ title was. I didn’t call Paula Deen a racist because she used that word, I referred to a lot more than that.”

    Yes, most of it personal musings about things in no way connected to Paula Deen’s thoughts and actions. Nonetheless, you did make her use of the word the sharpened point of your spear.

    Mike S.: “Personally I think Deen using the word “nigger” is more immoral than Anthony Weiner texting a picture of his erection.”

    And then you said this:

    Mike S.: “Were the evidence to show that Ms. Deen used the term “nigger” 50 years ago and has since learned of its hurtfulness, than of course she should be forgiven. Hoiwever, the 2012 tape to my mind showed that this has been an ongoing pattern of belief through the years.”

    So, based on her use of the word “nigger” and your viewing of the “2012 tape” you feel you have sufficient evidence to call her a racist.

    Yet along comes Jimmy Carter. You remember Carter, the nobel peace prize winner who called the republicans who would yell out “you lie” during a state of the union address racists?

    So Carter says Deen should be forgiven; mentioning:

    “Deen’s programs in Savannah, Georgia, that benefit “almost exclusively oppressed and poverty stricken black people.” He advised her to get people she’s helping to speak up and “show she’s changed in her relationship with African-Americans.”

    Could it be that Jimmy Carter was in less of a rush to judge Paula Deen a racist than you? Could it be that Carter took the time to weigh more evidence than the use of a word and a “2012 tape” to come to his conclusion?

    MIke S.: “I haven’t forgiven Jimmy Carter yet for Ronald Reagan, why should I care about any opinion he has?”

    Could it be that the world deems Jimmy Carter’s opinion on issues such as racism more valuable than the opinion of Mike Spindell?

    Hmm… Let’s flashback to 2002 …

    Friday, October 11, 2002 Posted: 5:48 PM EDT (2148 GMT)

    OSLO, Norway (CNN) — Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter won the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for what presenters cited as decades of work seeking peaceful solutions and promoting social and economic justice.

    Carter, Democratic president from 1977 to 1981, has won praise for his tireless work as an ex-president in trying to bring peace to places from Haiti to North Korea.

    Announcing the winner on Friday, the five-member Norwegian Nobel Committee praised Carter’s decades of “untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”

    =============

    Gee, I don’t know.

    Two final points Mike.

    1. My mother grew up in Valley Stream, NY; not in the world of your baseless suppositions.

    2. The goal of argumentation is to win the assent of the audience. On June 23rd I was awarded the Mike Appleton seal of approval:

    To wit:

    Mike Appleton 1, June 26, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    “I agree wholeheartedly with the excellent and thorough analysis by Bob, Esq. on this issue.

    It is also my belief that there are no forbidden words for the reason that there are no forbidden thoughts.”

    Having won the assent of the sharpest knife in the Turleyville drawer, as well as two other notable blades, I’m quite satisfied with the quality of my reasoning here.

    You have a nice day.


  596. Elaine,

    I never called you a solipsist. There can only be one solipsist and its name on this thread is Tony C.

    And Tony, don’t forget me! I don’t want to vanish from existence!


  597. Elaine,

    Tex spent all his summers down in Texas on his grandparent’s ranch and he said it was a common chant down there.


  598. Mark,

    I think the apology is overshadowed by her charity work with black youth. But I see what you mean.

    It’s annoying when people show up at your door with pitchforks and torches.


  599. Blouise,

    “These are a lot of very public cancellations. Do you think it’s within the realm of possibility that they all know something we don’t?”

    Yep. Their quarterly and year end profit projections as impacted by a PR nightmare and a C/B analysis of cost to fix the problem versus cost of cutting her loose. Their corporations responding to a media frenzy, but as corporations they are amoral actors whose first priority and duty is to their bottom line. If their management thought it wouldn’t cost more to salvage the brand than it is worth? They’d be lined up defending her.


  600. on 1, June 28, 2013 at 11:22 pm Anonymously Yours

    Growing up in Texas I may have heard and even uttered the N word…. I think in some parts of the country it’s still very common… But then again… I treat everyone the same until I have reason to do different… There is a lady with some disability that will stop at the store for bus fair…. I usually get her something to eat as well…

    As OS had posted dont tell me what you believe … Show me how you act and ill know what you believe…. OS…. What was the name of the guy that posted this on the Kos?


  601. Blouise,

    Are you a Scorpio too? I’ll be 69 in November.


  602. Mike S.,

    Yep … Scorpio through and through


  603. Gene,

    What I’m wondering has to do with the the porn aspect of the complaint and Bubba. She’s done a piss-poor job handling the N-word problem … I bet they figure she’ll do even worse on the porn especially if she knowing permitted it all.

    Perhaps they’ll stick the boys out front as a means of saving whatever is left of the brand … unless they’re a problem too.

    I never watched her much on the Food Network but I’m glad to say Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is still going strong.


  604. Bob,

    You really have a thing for authority don’t you. I spent some time on Long Island myself. I didn’t realize Valley Stream was so racist, then again it did border Rosedale. Obama also won the Nobel prize, yet you are no fan of his.. As for Mike A,a good, highly intelligent man , but like you he can err as well. So can I which is the difference twixt you and me, I have mo problem when I’m proven wrong I admit it. You on the other hand evince the need to admit no fallibilty, even when in this instance you are overwhelmingly wrong in the mind of most commenters here and in the higher court of logic. Now in the interest of truth I admit that I am treating you flippantly and will continue to do so on this thread. I see that it doesn’t matter when I show your constant mischaracterizations of my beliefs and positions to be false, since you prate on ignoring the proof, only to mischaracterize me further. The record of the writing stands and through six hundred comments a majority reject your position. Thats enough authority for me.


  605. Blouise,

    It figure’s and that is why Tex is a lucky man.


  606. He’s on vacation this next week so I’m a lucky woman. We’re going on a few road trips to investigate some spots we haven’t seen in awhile. We like the open road.


  607. An appeal to authority is not a fallacy if the authority is relevant and proper.

    Mike A. is a trained logician. Oddly enough, so is Bob. And Mark. Hey! What do you know? I’m one too.

    Hell, Mike, you’re having a problem differentiating that the argument I’ve put forth is in parallel, not in the alternative or serial.

    Sometimes authority counts. But that being said . . .

    Still, there is no logical refutation about the larger point about the nature of prejudice. A lot of indignation at not everyone gleefully jumping on the “she’s an evil racist and deserves to be punished” bandwagon. But nothing that refutes that, in context, saying she’s definitively a racist without proof of intent and/or actual harm is just as much a form of prejudice as the very racism you’re accusing her of.

    Or are we to the point of the argument where someone is going to argue that racism is special and deserves special treatment as a form of prejudice?

    I hope so.

    I love the fallacy of special pleading.


  608. Have fun, Blouise.

    I hope your back is up to the road trips.


  609. . “I didn’t realize Valley Stream was so racist, then again it did border Rosedale.”

    Apparently just as racist as Massachusetts; according to Elaine.

    You have a nice day.


  610. Gene,

    Mike S. argues that I need to confess that I’m wrong here.

    Does that mean you, Mark, Mike Appleton and Jimmy Carter are wrong as well?


  611. Gene,

    “Mike A. is a trained logician. Oddly enough, so is Bob. And Mark. Hey! What do you know? I’m one too.”

    Are you implying that the arguments of those of us who aren’t “trained logicians” can’t be as valid as the arguments of those who have been trained in logic?


  612. Bob,Esq,

    I assumed that you left that comment for me because it was posted just after a comment that I had made.


  613. Elaine: I think Gene is appealing to what he thinks is the irrefutable authority of having made passing grades in law school.


  614. Bob: I do not believe I am not a solipsist. Which means if I were a solipsist, then since I believe my mind decides reality, I would not be a solipsist.


  615. Bob: Oops. I do not believe I am a solipsist. …

    Ah screw it, I phucked that joke up… I hereby declare you non-existent.


  616. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 7:54 am anonymously posted

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/eugene-robinson-paula-deens-slurs-are-a-bitter-pill-to-swallow/2013/06/27/be0cc248-df5c-11e2-b2d4-ea6d8f477a01_story.html

    Paula Deen’s slurs are a bitter pill to swallow

    By Eugene Robinson, Published: June 27

    Paula Deen needs to give the self-pity a rest. The damage to her carefully built image is self-inflicted — nobody threw a rock — and her desperate search for approval and vindication is just making things worse.

    Sorry to be so harsh, but come on. Deen is tough and savvy enough to have built a culinary empire from scratch, in the process becoming the most famous Southern cook in creation. She incarnates the whole “steel magnolia” archetype, with razor-sharp toughness beneath the flutter and the filigree.

    “I is what I is,” she said in her weepy exculpation on the “Today” show.

    And that’s fine. Go ahead, be what you be. Just don’t try to make everybody else responsible.

    For anyone who somehow managed to miss this whole melodrama — distracted, perhaps, by trifles such as landmark Supreme Court rulings or shocking revelations of government snooping — Deen’s troubles stem from a deposition she gave last month in a lawsuit filed by a former employee.

    Under oath, Deen acknowledged that “of course” she had used the racial slur known euphemistically as the N-word. This was years ago, she explained, and, well, people use inappropriate language when they’re telling jokes, but she never used that word in a hurtful way.

    On the contrary, Deen told “Today” host Matt Lauer, she is now the victim — of “very, very hurtful lies” and the erroneous judgments of “people I have never heard of (who) are all of a sudden experts on who I am.”

    I guess that includes me. But I believe Deen is familiar with the Food Network, Smithfield Foods, Wal-Mart, Target, Caesars Entertainment and the Novo Nordisk pharmaceutical company, all of which have severed or suspended their business relationships with her in recent days. Executives of those firms are the constituency that Deen seems to have lost, even if much of her fan base remains loyal.

    The question isn’t just whether Deen used an ugly, forbidden word, or how many times she used it, or how long ago that was. The question is whether there is anything about race and diversity in this country that she really understands.

    For me, the most jaw-dropping passages in Deen’s deposition concern plans she was making for her brother Bubba’s wedding. In thinking about how the food service should be done, she recalled visiting a restaurant “in Tennessee or North Carolina or somewhere” that she admired.

    “The whole entire wait staff was middle-aged black men, and they had on beautiful white jackets with a black bow tie,” Dean says in the deposition. “I mean, it was really impressive. And I remember saying I would love to have servers like that, I said, but I would be afraid that somebody would misinterpret.”

    Her fears are well-founded.

    “Of course I’m old but I ain’t that old,” Deen goes on. “I didn’t live back in those days but I’ve seen pictures, and the pictures that I’ve seen, that restaurant represented a certain era in America.”

    Asked what era she’s talking about, Deen replies, “Well, I don’t know. After the Civil War, during the Civil War, before the Civil War.”

    The attorney questioning her says: “Right. Back in an era when there were middle-aged black men waiting on white people.”

    Deen answers: “Well, it was not only black men, it was black women.”

    She goes on to acknowledge that in antebellum years those well-dressed servants would have been slaves but clarifies that she “did not mean anything derogatory.” She needn’t worry, because the only person she’s derogating is herself.

    The woman is 66, not 96. She was all of 7 when the Supreme Court issued its Brown v. Board of Education decision, which means she’s had plenty of time to get used to it. She has spent her adult life in an America where black people are not compelled to be subservient to whites. She has made her fortune in an America where most people, white as well as black, consider warm-and-fuzzy nostalgia for the days of slavery and Jim Crow to be highly offensive.

    I’ll put it in terms that someone who missed the last 50 years might understand: All black people are uppity now. Every one of us, I’m afraid.

    I hope she figures it out, because anyone that fond of the deep-fryer can’t be all bad. A period of silence would be a good start. My advice: Eat some hush puppies. And don’t talk with your mouth full.


  617. Paula Deen Is America’s Racist Grandma
    She may embarrass us, but that doesn’t mean we can—or should—ignore her.
    By Tanner Colby
    Tuesday, June 25, 2013

    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2013/06/paula_deen_she_s_america_s_racist_grandma.html

    There was this Thanksgiving dinner once, at my aunt’s house in Houston. That morning we’d read an op-ed in the local paper about a school that still used corporal punishment. A white teacher had paddled a black student. People were up in arms about the obvious racial overtones, and my grandmother, my sweet little 70-year-old Nanny, offered that she, too, didn’t think the white teacher should have paddled that black student, because she “wouldn’t want no niggers beatin’ on her kids, neither.” This occasioned lots of eye-rolling from the grandchildren and some gentle rebukes from our parents. Then someone passed the gravy.

    As a typical Southern white family, we didn’t talk much about race. But whenever the older generation hauled it indelicately to the surface, it was an opportunity for us grandkids to see the ugliness our country would rather forget. For our parents it was a teachable moment, a chance to show us just how ugly prejudice is. In this way it was useful, instructive even, to have an old racist grandma at the dinner table.

    Which brings us to Paula Deen. By now Deen’s crimes are well known. Among other offenses, she’s confessed to saying she wanted “a bunch of little niggers” to dress up in antebellum finery for an Old South-style wedding feast she was throwing. As punishment, she has been stripped of her Food Network show and her endorsement deal with Smithfield Ham. In other words, polite society has tried to sweep her ugliness under the carpet where we can safely ignore it.

    That’s exactly the wrong thing to do. Whether it’s Ross Perot’s “you people” or Don Imus’ “nappy-headed hos,” our reaction is always to ostracize the offender. But as perverse as it may seem, you cannot have a National Conversation About Race and not invite racists to be a part of that conversation. Paula Deen represents a sizable constituency in this discussion. Witness the support for her among Southern whites, which has been unapologetic and loud. The morning after the Food Network dumped her, the line outside her Georgia restaurant snaked around the block. The “We Support Paula Deen” Facebook page has 376,558 likes counting. Deen has the kind of mind that can look back on America’s Holocaust and see nothing but cotillions and hoop skirts. There’s little use in pretending that mentality doesn’t exist. All we do is push it back into the shadows where it waits to spill out again.

    Paula Deen is America’s racist grandma, and we should treat her as such. Racist Grandma may be racist, but she’s also your grandma. You can’t just disown her.

    And, contrary to what some might think, having a racist grandma isn’t entirely bad. No doubt there are many white families where racism is passed down generation to generation like some cancerous gene. But for others, seeing that gene and knowing you’re predisposed to it is a warning sign, a nagging reminder to take preventive measures for yourself. I say let’s push racist Grandma back to center stage and let her keep talking.

    The counterargument to keeping Deen on the air is that someone with her repugnant views shouldn’t be rewarded with a lucrative television contract, and that’s fair as far as it goes. But Paula Deen is already a millionaire. She will remain a millionaire whether her TV show exists or not. And had the Food Network kept her on, Deen would hardly be the only racist in America with a decent job. Deen has a platform. That has value. It can be used for good or ill, but eliminating that platform helps no one. Should she be punished for her actions? Of course. Our racist grandmas may get a pass, but as a public figure, Deen has responsibilities. Which is precisely why she should be forced to remain on television.

    Because here’s the thing about white people: They hate dealing with race—are incapable of dealing with it, in large part. Have you ever seen a white CEO stand in front of a black audience and tell them how much he “cares about diversity”? I have. It’s excruciating. What better penance could there be than to have Deen wake up on Monday morning and stand in front of a camera and open her mouth and do her job? Because she’s become far more than just a TV chef. She has set herself up as a voice for all that is good about the South. And despite its sins, one thing the South can rightly be proud of is its food. Southern food is a big bucket of deep-fried awesome. Who doesn’t crave a heaping helping of biscuits and gravy or shrimp and grits? Southern food also perfectly captures the complexities and contradictions of how race is lived in that part of the country. When you find moments of genuine interracial community in the South, it’s usually over a plate of red beans and rice or a huge slab of ribs, people sharing favorite recipes or swapping stories about whose grandfather liked to cook this or that; food may be the thing poor Southern whites and poor Southern blacks have most in common. But Southern cuisine also gives fuel to some of our worst racial stereotypes. Fried chicken and watermelon and all the rest of it. And the politics of food, of who serves what to whom, the very thing that got Deen in trouble with her antebellum dinner party, is ever present. Whether it’s whites refusing to serve blacks at the lunch counter or blacks in dinner jackets serving the soup course to whites, you could write a whole book on the power dynamics of putting a plate on a table below the Mason-Dixon Line.

    Food and race and the South—it’s a minefield. And I would love to see Paula Deen walk through it on national television. She knows exactly where she screwed up and why, and to have to face that with the whole country watching? Just imagine it: with no pause for “reflection,” with the eyes of a multiracial nation upon her and “the N-word” like a yoke around her neck, Paula Deen standing in front of a big Sunday spread of buttermilk fried chicken, barbecue brisket, collard greens, corn bread, fried okra, pigs’ feet, and sweet potato pie. Let her stand there and explain where all that good food came from and how her mama’s housekeeper used to make the best green bean casserole and see if she can learn how to do it without putting her racist foot in her mouth. Then, when she screws up, make her go back and do it again. That would be a punishment that fits the crime. It would make her a better person. It would make our National Conversation About Race a conversation worth having. And it would also make fantastic television.


  618. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 8:09 am anonymously posted

    ‘Come out here Hollis! We can’t see you standing against that dark board!’

    http://www.eurweb.com/2013/06/and-just-who-is-paula-deens-black-black-friend-hollis-johnson-watch/


  619. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 8:14 am anonymously posted

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-oped-0630-page-20130630,0,3687193.column

    Paula Deen’s menu: Foot in mouth

    Clarence Page

    June 30, 2013

    You knew Paula Deen was in serious trouble when the celebrity chef turned for help to the Rev. Jesse Jackson. He’s still the go-to guy for celebrities in dire need to patch things up after breaches of racial etiquette.

    “I’ve had wonderful support from Rev. Jackson,” she said in a tearfully apologetic interview with Matt Lauer on NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday, a week after news broke of her admission in a videotaped deposition for a discrimination suit that she had used the “N-word” racial slur in the past.

    Fallout from that revelation and other racial remarks began to unravel the celebrity chef’s food and media empire with breathtaking speed. The Food Network dropped her two shows, and a parade of major corporations have cut business ties with her and her products.

    But Jackson, who has stirred up more than a few racial controversies of his own over the years, stepped up to defend Deen. She shouldn’t become a “sacrificial lamb” to the cause of racial tolerance, he told The Associated Press. If she is willing to acknowledge mistakes and make changes, he said, “she should be reclaimed rather than destroyed.”

    I’ll go even further. I think Deen should be thanked, not just spanked, by those who believe as I do in the value of candid racial dialogue. Americans don’t like to talk enough about race across racial lines, partly out of fear of offending someone. Deen apparently was too ignorant to be afraid.

    While being questioned on May 17 in a discrimination lawsuit, the celebrity cook, Food Network star and Savannah, Ga., restaurant owner was asked if she has ever used the N-word; Deen boldly replied, “Yes, of course.” Although she also said, “It’s been a very long time,” her bold “Yes, of course” probably was not the most diplomatic way for a defendant in a discrimination suit to respond.

    Lisa Jackson (no relation to the reverend), former general manager of Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House, one of Deen’s Savannah restaurants, filed the $1.2 million lawsuit in March 2012 against Deen and her brother, Earl W. “Bubba” Hiers, over allegations of racial and sexual harassment involving racial slurs and off-color jokes.

    The federal lawsuit contends among other charges that racial slurs and jokes about women, Jews and blacks were common at Uncle Bubba’s. Questioned about racial and ethnic jokes, Deen said in the video deposition and on the “Today” show, “I can’t myself determine what offends another person.”

    By now I hope she has a better idea.

    Her cross-cultural cluelessness shows itself vividly in the video of her appearance at The New York Times last October, in which she cheerfully observes, “I feel like the South is almost less prejudiced because black folks played such an integral part in our lives. They were like our family.”

    Integral, indeed.

    Since my family is rooted in the South, I’ve been hearing that “like our family” line since I was a kid. I’m Deen’s age, 66, but I have a slightly different view of what life was like in the 1950s from the black side of the “white” and “colored” signs. Movies like “The Help” offer a pretty good recreation.

    Deen offered a hint, although not in the way she might have meant, when she pointed to a dark backdrop on The Times’ stage to illustrate how her long and trusted driver, bodyguard and assistant, Hollis Johnson, is as “black as that board.”

    “Come out here, Hollis,” she added, looking offstage. “We can’t see you standing against that dark board.”

    With that, she reminded me of some of my white dormitory friends in college who thought they were oh so clever every time the lights went out and they said, “Smile, Clarence, so we can see you!”

    Why, I wondered aloud, do white guys always think they’re the first to think of that joke?

    My classmates have learned better since then, I hope. Paula Deen still appears to be learning.

    Clarence Page, a member of the Tribune’s editorial board, blogs at chicagotribune.com/pagespage


  620. Paula Deen’s words echo South’s racist past
    By James C. Moore, Special to CNN
    June 26, 2013

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/26/opinion/moore-paula-deen

    (Editor’s note: James C. Moore, a Texan, is a business consultant and partner at Big Bend Strategies, a best-selling author and an on-air TV political analyst. He also writes at http://www.moorethink.com.)

    (CNN) — Maybe the American South is more complicated than anyone realizes. We seem to exist down here in a kind of a moral and physical duality. The land gives up bountiful crops while it also grows vigorous weeds. There is no other valid explanation for the actions of either Paula Deen or the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Deen, a televangelist of butter, let slip in a court deposition that she had used a degrading racial term to describe African-Americans. Imagine the surprise of almost no one in Dixie. Deen came of age in a country that was just beginning to institute the equality it had been bragging about for almost two centuries. If her childhood was like most Southern baby boomers, she was raised on the lexicon of discrimination, and probably used it.

    Un-ringing such a bell is not simple. Passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 meant that people who had been taught that it was socially acceptable to use terms like the N-word in public suddenly found themselves struggling with restraint on their language. Unable to exorcise the term from their vocabulary fully, they took it into private quarters and used it among friends who had similar experiences and sentiments. It is grossly foolish, though, to dismiss Deen’s stumble as a minor ineptitude with speech. In certain cultural circles in America, racism abides. And sometimes it simply forgets to close the door.

    Apologists racing to Deen’s side are equally awkward in their articulations of defense. Author Anne Rice fretted about our “lynch mob” culture crucifying Deen, seemingly oblivious to the racial freight hauled around when using such a phrase to defend a privileged, Southern white person. Less than 100 years ago a 17-year-old black farmhand named Jesse Washington was lynched on the courthouse lawn in Waco, Texas, chained to a tree and burned alive. Parts of his body were sold as souvenirs to a cheering crowd of 10,000. He had admitted to a murder many historians doubt he committed.

    How hard is it to understand that any ethnic person whose race has a history of being so victimized in a nation that espouses equality is likely to have a justified sensitivity to the bumblings of Deen, who had also expressed an offhanded interest in a “plantation-style” wedding dinner where the waiters were black males?

    Deen might have argued that her attitudes were forever altered when a black man robbed a bank where she worked in 1986 and held a gun to her head. But sympathy is a tough emotion to conjure when reading her 2012 interview with The New York Times where she speaks of slavery as a familial relationship, not an injustice, and says, “(F)or that reason we didn’t see ourselves as prejudiced.” She also used the same forum to suggest that the freeing of her grandfather’s 30 slaves was the cause of his suicide.

    Consequently, it is disturbingly wrongheaded for comedian Bill Maher to argue that what she said is “just a word.” Words are powerful things. Words have changed the world. Regardless, it is still a bit awkward labeling Deen a racist when she had Pat and Gina Neely on her program so frequently that the African-American barbecue chefs became stars of their own cooking show.

    It is probably a gross oversimplification to suggest Deen didn’t know any better because she lives in two parallel and contradictory environments. No such explanation is sufficient for the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act, either.

    The court’s perceptions are as confounding as Deen’s. A conservative majority voted 5-4 that Congress used “outdated facts” to force mostly Southern states to seek federal approval for voting rules changes that affect minorities. We can infer from the opinion’s language that the problem of racial discrimination in the former slaveholding states has been mostly resolved. Can we all share a “hallelujah”?

    Unlike Deen’s mishap, this news will generate surprise among minorities, particularly those living in Texas and Arizona. The high court had already ruled that the Texas Legislature drew congressional district lines in a manner “designed” to discriminate against minority representation, which, not surprisingly, meant nothing to Gov. Rick Perry and his Republican, conservative legislature. They recently readopted the plan that had been ruled unconstitutional.

    The high court also has a kind of Southern duality that puts it at odds with its own rulings. A week before the Voting Rights Act decision, the justices struck down an Arizona law that required people to show proof of citizenship when registering to vote in federal elections. A judicial body that contradicts itself one week after a progressive ruling is struggling as much with the law as it is with the reality of the culture where it is employed.

    In the South, people understand how Paula Deen and judges can be as wrong as they are right. Unfortunately, there is considerably more at stake in this discussion than the buttery delights of a Southern cooking show. Regardless of how much we debate and legislate ourselves toward equality, we have not yet arrived. America seems immobilized by its history; we just can’t stop staring at that tree on the courthouse lawn in Waco.

    And we wonder why we still haven’t got this right.


  621. Blouise: “These are a lot of very public cancellations. Do you think it’s within the realm of possibility that they all know something we don’t?”

    Well, I have to agree with Gene; but I will add my own twist: I think they all know something we know. Like politics, it is not unusual for the entertainment industry to go to great expense to figure out what the public is thinking, employing statisticians and computer modeling of reactions.

    Like politicians they don’t always get this right, but I think it is a mistake to think their reactions to charges of racism are either reflexive or short term thinking; analysts (sociologists like my sister) study this stuff and help write the play book to minimize damage.

    But the play book depends on their audience, so if the scientists involved are competent, they tend to replicate (or copy) each other’s results, and all do the same thing.

    So indirectly what this tells us, as individuals, is what we collectively believe: We find racism, as indicated by the casual use of the N-word repellent; except in the circumstances I have discussed that make it highly improbable the word is being used for derogatory effect.

    I don’t know what their models demand in the long term, but for most of them it is apparent the first best (least costly) action is to put as much distance between themselves and Paula Deen’s crumbling house as possible.

    Considering Paula’s age (no offense) I am not sure a long term come back is feasible. Like the surge of commercial support for Chick-Fil-A, I think she will enjoy some “political statement” commercial success, but that doesn’t last in the long term.

    Market Reasoning: People that weren’t going to Paula’s restaurants before are unlikely to become life long converts, they will almost all return to their old habits and favorite haunts. What appealed to them about their faves before, and kept Paula off that list, will reassert itself. A few percent (early adopters, first exposure category) may become regulars, but the 95+% will revert.

    However, those repelled by the attitude of Paula and family, like myself, are likely to stay away permanently. Because NOT going to a place is different than going to a new place; were I a fan of Deen’s restaurants before, I could not sit in one again and be happy: I would be angry at myself for supporting a racist family to satisfy my own hedonistic pleasure; which I find intolerable. For me at least, and I suspect those that despise racism, the prospect of ever buying another Deen family product is now intolerable. So those customers are probably lost for good; any new customers will be lost by reversion, and most restaurants are a relatively low margin, high volume business; if she suffers a net loss of 20% of her traffic, that is probably too much to remain in business.

    Because she doesn’t have much career time left to be rehabilitated, and her food is decidedly non-mainstream, I think it more likely than not Deen is gone from the national stage for good. There are still moves she can make, and since she has hired professional help I half expect those moves will be made; so this story isn’t over.


  622. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 9:16 am anonymously posted

    Perhaps there’s a reality show in the offing.


  623. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 9:22 am Mike Spindell

    “Mike S. argues that I need to confess that I’m wrong here.”

    Bob,

    You keep making up things that I’ve said. I haven’t asked for your confession on anything, nor have I asked you to cry uncle so to speak. Nor have I even called you names or implied anything but that you are an upstanding fellow, who is wrong on this issue. You obviously twisted that belief from what I wrote:

    “I have no problem when I’m proven wrong I admit it. You on the other hand evince the need to admit no fallibilty, even when in this instance you are overwhelmingly wrong in the mind of most commenters here and in the higher court of logic.”

    My clear point, which I obviously must translate despite your trained logician’s mind, is that when I find myself proven wrong I personally admit it and that in your history here you have never done so. It was certainly not a call for confession on your part because your clear history here is that you never think you’re wrong. Since for a logician your seem at times challenged (or is it a tendency to take words out of context) in your reading comprehension, I’ll also try to explain what I said to you in its context. You had written a comment where you cited that on your side were Mark, Mike A. and Gene and so that should carry the day. The context of my response was that the majority of comments on this thread disagreed with you four and that was clearly what my entire comment was about.


  624. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 9:29 am Mike Spindell

    “Mike A. is a trained logician. Oddly enough, so is Bob. And Mark. Hey! What do you know? I’m one too.”

    Gene,

    Maybe you have encapsulated the problem right there. Oddly enough all four of you are lawyers as well, or is that what you mean by “trained logician”. A lawyer is trained to argue every side of a case, whether she/he believes it or not. With that training goes the obligation to defend their clients to the end and beyond. You four trained logicians have a loser of a case in this one, yet like the good lawyers you are you won’t quit. An admirable show of ethical (from your perspective) behavior in a lost cause. :)


  625. Juliet:

    I love it when the “free market” actually works like it’s supposed to.”

    ********************

    Like when the orthodox-ests from the other side burned Dixie Chicks CDs and drove them off the stage for saying other “unsayable” words? FYI the pre-sales of her book were off the charts, but likely the publishers feared the backlash from reasonable folks like you and Tony C.

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/paula-deen-book-sales-surge-following-n-word-controversy/

    Facts keeping getting the way of your arguments, don’t they?


  626. Mike S:

    We haven’t argued for anything except moderation, circumspection, and not rushing to judgment. Maybe for a little forgiveness, too.

    If we’ve lost that battle we’re all in trouble.


  627. That explains it, Mike! In more than a quarter century of working with and for them, I’ve never known a lawyer who could admit being wrong about anything.


  628. mespo,

    Should we forgive Deen before all the evidence is in? What if she is found guilty of discriminating against Black employees?


  629. Once again, mespo, you prove yourself unworthy of a seat at the grownups’ table.

    It was extremely unwise for the Dixie Chicks to bite the redneck, knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathers hands who fed them. Fan ire was to be expected, because freedom isn’t free. Free market. Don Cathy turned his chicken stores into anti-gay zones. Some people boycotted. Others went out of their way to show support. Free market. I am certainly free to call my boss a bitch, but she in turn is free to fire me, if I do. Again, free market.

    Be smarter.


  630. By not rush to judgement do you mean we should maintain our previous judgement? On what evidence should we base the retention of our previous judgement?

    By moderation do you mean analogizing those who hold a different opinion from you to a lynch mob? Or analogizing what’s happening to Deen to tar and feathering? Or analogizing what’s happening to Deen to a mob with pitchforks?

    Deen has lost her position of privilege. The pedestal of privilege is a precarious perch.


  631. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 10:24 am Swarthmore mom

    Nal, You are the true “logician” here. :)


  632. Bob,

    No.
    ___________

    Elaine,

    What it means is we’re all trained to look at arguments (and evidence) dispassionately. There seems to be a lot of passion coloring the arguments for a rush to judgement. So much so that some are having a problem understanding “she’s a racist” and “prejudice is more than just racism” are parallel arguments albeit one is an argument that doesn’t really favor pillorying Deen without knowledge of her intent or proof of actual harm for something that in neither crime nor tort. While such passion is laudable as a personal trait, it can get in the way when looking for justice.

    Again, I return to the Martin case as an example. The original injustice – aside from the death of an unarmed teen walking home from a Skittles run – was that Zimmerman wasn’t arrested and investigated as anyone else would have been in that situation if their father wasn’t a magistrate and the suspect wasn’t getting preferential treatment. That was a manifest injustice as it was giving a confessed killer a pass without adequately investigating the situation to find out if the killing was a chargeable offense or one of the narrow exceptions for a permissible use of lethal force. I said quite a bit about that situation of Zimmerman’s treatment by LE. Since he’s been investigated and subsequently charged? Not so much. In fact, I’ve said almost nothing. Why? Because we’re in the process of sorting out the fact from fiction by conducting a trial. Did Zimmerman kill Martin? Without question. We have a body and Zimmerman’s confession. Was that killing some degree of murder or self-defense? Was their intent and to what degree and what was the actual harm (which would be none of found to be self-defense)? I could have said “he killed the boy! burn him!” but I didn’t. Why? Because in the light of dispassionate analysis, we didn’t know enough from examining the totality of the evidence to say what Zimmerman’s intent was or whether or not the facts of the matter showed a legitimate use of lethal force.
    ______________

    Tony,

    No. I’m pointing out that maybe someone well versed in logic and evaluating evidence just might be on to something if they are pointing out flaws in your logic and how you are evaluating evidence. An appeal to authority is only invalid if the authority is invalid. You’re not talking to a bunch of concrete finishers or ophthalmologists about the logic, reasoning and evidence related to the pursuit of justice. You’re talking to a group trained as professionals in the pursuit of justice and the attendant logic, reasoning and evaluation of evidence. A group who is uniform in rejecting the logic of your “sides” rather impassioned (albeit misguided from a justice standpoint) argument.

    If 9 out 10 doctors tell you that you need surgery, are you going to credit their expertise or ignore it?
    _______________

    If the fact that the refutation of the rush to judgement is being deployed by a rarefied tactic – argument in parallel – is confusing to some? Doesn’t invalidate either the form, function or content of the argument.

    Still, there is no logical refutation about the larger point about the nature of prejudice. A lot of indignation at not everyone gleefully jumping on the “she’s an evil racist and deserves to be punished” bandwagon. But nothing that refutes that, in context, saying she’s definitively a racist without proof of intent and/or actual harm is just as much a form of prejudice as the very racism you’re accusing her of.

    Having a double standard about prejudice exposed can be as uncomfortable as having any double standard exposed, but that doesn’t mean the holders of said double standard are less than human. In fact, if you take OS’ observation about everyone having prejudices about something as valid (and I do), then such things are evidently just part of being human. You want to think Deen is a racist? Okay. That’s not the point of the parallel argument. The point is you should examine that your branding of her – in the context of the pursuit of justice – is every bit a form of prejudice.

    At least Elaine has stipulated that Deen may very well be a racist and not have created a discriminatory work place. And Tony has admitted that some of the proof is non-existent. And both have admitted that, yeah, it might be wrong to wrong to prejudge Deen in a judicial setting.

    Yet you are all missing the point that by narrowing the focus to judicial proceedings, a larger point out the nature of prejudice is being made.

    One that doesn’t comply with a rush to judgement because Deen’s remarks don’t comply with your moral/ethical standards or considering the problem of prejudice only within the narrow confines of its inclusive subset racism.

    Mike S., however, is impressively obstinate.

    You’ll either come to grips with the idea that combating one form of prejudice with another presents inherent contradictions or you won’t. I’m not questioning the purity of your motives. Racism is an evil. I am questioning the underlying logic (or lack thereof) of your tactics. If she’s found to have proven bad intent and caused an actual harm? Much like if Zimmerman is found guilty of some degree of homicide, I’ll gladly join the “she’s a witch! Burn her!” brigade.


  633. Nice confirmation bias there, Smom.


  634. “That explains it, Mike! In more than a quarter century of working with and for them, I’ve never known a lawyer who could admit being wrong about anything.”

    Juliet,

    In the dogged defense of a client it is their best quality. In the marketplace of ideas it can be a handicap. Those defending Deen here are admirable in their doggedness, in what is really an indefensible case given the evidence already presented in the comments here. The saddest thing though about this defense is that it has nothing to do with the court case, though that initiated the issue. It is about race and ethnicity in America and how many people refuse to acknowledge that beyond the issue of slavery was the issue of a type of genocidal behavior. That creates a dichotomy since slaves were viewed as property, one would think that they would be protected by their “Masters”. Yet when societal traditions are purposely expunged, when names are capriciously changed, when parents are separated from children and when people are given the right to murder their “chattel” this is certainly a case of cultural genocide. The situation is of course clearer in the case of Native Americans, since the obvious aim there was to decimate the population.

    As a Jew where the “Shoah” is usually ever present in the back of my mind, I don’t use the term genocide lightly. For us Jews this was the singular event of the 20th Century and I must admit even today I am wary that it could happen again. I’ve learned though of the other genocides that are occurring daily in Africa, abetted still by the exploitation of imperialist corporations. Certain the Armenian genocide should never be forgotten either. That Black people in America survived through the ordeal of slavery by creating their own culture and borrowing from the culture around them is in itself a remarkable story. That they still survive today, with far too few thriving in a severely inequitable environment is likewise a remarkable tale.

    I write this as a White man, who was not only privileged to be raised by parents who were remarkable in their time for impressing upon me the inequity of America’s treatment of Blacks, but also as someone who spent a career as a co-worker with a large percentage of Black Americans. They were my mentors, my bosses, my peers and my employees at various times. Some I loved, some I liked, some I admired, some I distrusted and some I hated. Many were my friends and some indeed were my enemies in the work situation. But all were human beings whose lives while differing in a minor cultural sense, were just like mine in a human sense.

    Since I worked in NYC’s Welfare Department, most of my time was spent in Black communities throughout NYC. I spent days and evenings in places made famous in the media as being terrifying and dangerous such as Bedford Stuyvesant, Ocean Hill Brownsville, South Jamaica, Harlem and even “Fort Apache” in the Bronx. These were areas that the 11:00 o’clock news spewed out stories of horror and danger. Police admitted on camera that they would only patrol in pairs. The movie “Fort Apache” showed a police station that was “under fire” from a community of “thugs and killers”. As I walked the streets, during the day and many times late at night I was the only White face to be seen. The police presence was infrequent. I never once was threatened and most times when meeting peoples eyes I was greeted with a “hello”. I am not a brave man physically, but I never once was frightened or threatened. I was at two muggings in my life and both took place in upper middle class White areas. As I would watch the news coverage of crime and the fear that it engendered I would see that there was a disconnect.between the Black people portrayed in the media and the Black people living real lives.

    I could go on, but I feel I am preaching to the choir. Probably yourself and many others here have had similar experiences, if not more insightful experiences. I wrote the above because racism and bigotry are obviously touchy subjects for me and ones where I think I have some expertise. Above I was told that my arguments came from my emotions and I proudly admit that they do. Then again I come from training as a psychotherapist in a discipline that believes our emotions are the wisdom of our organisms.
    It is not my intention here to pillory Deen, because though she is bigoted, she is certainly not the worst, or most dangerous example of that delusion.
    However, I also see no need to minimize what she has revealed about herself, nor feel sad that this rich celebrity has besmirched her image. There is no tragedy here, except for the ongoing tragedy of the misunderstanding of the effects of bigotry in our country and the ongoing attempts to downplay its effects.


  635. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 10:52 am Anonymously Yours

    Some are cute, some are witty…. Some folks logic is shitty…. Gene that a confirmation bias….


  636. Mark: “We haven’t argued for anything except moderation, circumspection, and not rushing to judgment. Maybe for a little forgiveness, too.

    If we’ve lost that battle we’re all in trouble.”

    Amen.

    Gene: “Mike S., however, is impressively obstinate.”

    Pity. He just won’t let go of that torch and pitchfork of his.


  637. Gene,

    I’d say that there has been more passion exhibited by most of the identified logicians here. I went back and read through this thread. It appears to me that it was logicians who began labeling/criticizing other people and their comments. We keep hearing the same thing–that the people who disagree with the “logicians” rushed to judgment. I’d say that the logicians have been extremely judgmental of those of us who expressed opinions different from theirs.

    I’m not particularly passionate about the Paula Deen case. I become passionate when I get accused of things of which I know I am not guilty. I’ll stand my ground and argue my position…and not change my opinion because someone tells me that I’m wrong…or prejudiced…or bearing a pitchfork…or rushed to judgment when I know I didn’t.


  638. AY,

    To paraphrase Steve Martin, “Some people have a way with logic and some people . . . have not way.”


  639. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 11:17 am Swarthmore mom

    Elaine, Most of the highly trained logicians here are self proclaimed. I guess it is a tool of argumentation. One bills himself as a highly skilled logician and therefore he wins. I don’t care that much about the Paula Dean case, either.


  640. Elaine,

    Who “started it” is irrelevant to the emotional content nor is judgement being proffered for the logical error being pointed out. If anything, it has been pointed out more than once that showing a prejudice doesn’t automatically mean someone is a bad person. No one anyone expects you to change your mind based on ipse dixit. Logic is logic. It has rules. Whether one finds the outcome of applying logic comfortable or acceptable is not relevant to it being logically correct.

    However, there is still no logical refutation about the larger point made about the nature of prejudice.

    As for my argument?

    I think you’d be hard pressed to show it has been anything but dispassionate.

    And to some degree, it’s that very dispassion that some of you are finding unsettling. How can a guy you know isn’t a racist from your experiences with him possibly disagree on whether or not someone who said “nigger” is in fact a racist or guilty of committing a particularized harm to others based on said racism? It causes some to perhaps question what they considered a moral/ethical certainty. Most people don’t do well with uncertainty. It’s our nature.


  641. Smom,

    Chuck is an authority on forensic psychology, but when he brings that up, I don’t see him being attacked for it being “self-proclaimed”. He is what he is. We are what we are. Logic is a demonstrable skill. If you’re claiming that neither I nor Mark nor Bob nor Mike A have demonstrated that skill in abundance, then I suggest the preponderance of the evidence over time shows otherwise. Again, an appeal to authority is only a fallacy when the authority is invalid.


  642. “Like politics, it is not unusual for the entertainment industry to go to great expense to figure out what the public is thinking, employing statisticians and computer modeling of reactions.” (Tony C)

    I keep forgetting that entertainment is her field of employment and Juliet’s mention of the Dixie Chicks helped in focusing my thoughts also. Of course you are right concerning all the studies by sociologists and the like and the impact said studies have on business models. And may I add to the list that contains the matter of habits, etc … consumer age. The younger generation has the up and coming buying power.

    “Considering Paula’s age (no offense) I am not sure a long term come back is feasible.” (Tony C)

    Lol …none taken

    BTW … a total side note … sociologists like my sister … I kept trying to figure out where you picked up all that “example” knowledge you sprinkle throughout your posts and now I know. The field of sociology has always attracted me but I simply had no time to get a degree in it. (I have three totally worthless degrees as it is) It’s always been my “dream” job and I envy your sister.


  643. mespo has a thread that has lasted a week. It’s been one of the more interesting posts here since I started reading. How judgmental some people can be, particularly on issues of race, is mind boggling. I don’t think there are any black commenters on this thread. I wonder how many folks here have close black friends..you know folks that come over for dinner, and vise versa. If you did, you would realize just how clueless many of you are. I can tell you, the vast majority of black folk don’t give a rat’s ass about this.

    There was an incident during the NCAA b-ball tournament when an analyst made an off the cuff remark, “I”m the token white guy on this panel.” The press, and I’m sure some folks here jumped on this guy. Charles Barkley had his back and ended the controversy immediately. If you don’t have any black friends, here are a few mainstream people you can count on to be honest about race. The aforementioned Charles, Michael Wilbon, James McWhorter, Glenn Loury to name a few.


  644. Juliet Lester Neary,

    I do hope you keep posting and expressing your viewpoint. You survived the onslaught of name calling with ease.


  645. Blouise, I was licensed to teach high school sociology. However, no schools have it as part of their curriculum, ala civics!


  646. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 11:36 am Swarthmore mom

    Mike A has not identified himself as a “highly skilled logician”. Neither has Mark. You used the same argument against the people that were for gun control……. accuse your opponents of being emotional and you win.


  647. Gene,

    You missed my point. It wasn’t about who started “it.” It was about the logicians’ ability to argue a case/issue dispassionately…unlike those of us who are untrained in logic and only use passions/emotions and not our intellect, judgment, and common sense to draw conclusions about an issue and to argue our position.


  648. “The pedestal of privilege is a precarious perch.” (Nal)

    Very true


  649. Psychology is the class that buried sociology and most of the psych. teachers had just fundamental knowledge, @ best. I could have gotten 6 more credits and be licensed for psych and there’s NO WAY I would have been knowledgeable enough to teach it.


  650. nick,

    Tex is in the middle of your wife’s book and liking it. I will read it after he is done.


  651. nick,

    This thread isn’t about blacks …it’s about white’s attitudes towards blacks and white’s attitudes towards other whites concerning blacks. (The Complaint was brought by a white caucasian female)

    The invisibility factor is at play here and if you know and are friends with as many blacks as you claim then you know what the invisibility factor is.


  652. Smom,

    Ummm, arguments aren’t won on the basis of pointing out emotionalism itself, but by logic that counters that emotionalism as . . . wait for it . . . illogical and/or irrational.

    As I said, logic is a demonstrable skill. Mike A’s express claiming of that skill or not is irrelevant to him demonstrating it just as claiming it is irrelevant unless the skill hasn’t been in fact demonstrated. Again, if you’re claiming that either me, Mark or Bob hasn’t demonstrated said skill, the evidence over time belies your assertion.


  653. Oh, and while I’m at it, thanks for arguing to the person instead of the argument, Smom.


  654. Thank you, Blouise. I have no intention of allowing anyone to run me off.


  655. Blouise,

    In the broadest sense, this is about the nature of prejudice.

    Prejudice knows no racial (or cultural) boundary.


  656. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 11:57 am Swarthmore mom

    Juliet, Hope you stay here,too.


  657. nick,

    psych never interested me … one on one

    It’s groups, 2 or more, and their interactions that fascinate me.


  658. “It’s groups, 2 or more, and their interactions that fascinate me.”

    As earlier noted, this whole thing is a fascinating study in social psychology and how the media can bias proceedings.

    So is the Zimmerman case for that matter.


  659. Gene,

    One person’s prejudice is another’s independent thinking.

    See … I can play the semantics game too.


  660. Blouise,

    Except for that statement being semantic nonsense, sure. Independent thinking and prejudice are not the same and to assert such is a false equivalence. Independent thought may or may not be prejudice. Prejudice is prejudice. Or are you asserting the special pleading that racism is a subset of prejudice that deserves special treatment?

    That special pleading is an insidious fallacy.


  661. Why, thank you. And to that end, I have just made a more permanent account on WordPress.


  662. Blouise, I have always worked and socialized w/ black people, I’ve said that previously. My wedding photos and family albums verify that, although I don’t sense you doubt my veracity. I never doubt yours.

    I understand your point, but my point is if you’re white, and don’t REALLY know black people, any discussion on any dynamic of race is going to be limited. I get what you’re saying, but I still believe white’s discussing other whites attitudes toward black folk, absent any personal relationship w/ them, is limited. And, I see that limitation here and in other permutations of racial posts we’ve had here in the past. The NYT has a site called Blogginheads. The aforementioned Loury and McWhorter have an interesting discussion on Deen.

    Can we call Tex, Charles Kuralt. We have similar souls. I too like just driving places and meeting different people, eating different food[Roadfood is a good source], experiencing different cultures. I was introduced to the Indian culture when I moved from the east coast to KC. However, in the past decade I’ve read and travelled through their reservations. They are spiritual people. I think they would have made great PI’s..they see right into your soul. We hit it off immensely. They know little of the Italian culture and some are as fascinated w/ that as I am w/ theirs. That’s when you know you got real folks. Those who ask questions, not just speak interminably like most Americans. Most Americans don’t listen, they just wait[often impatiently] to talk. Indians are direct and of few words, like myself. I’ll be happy to share any info on places I’ve been where you may be headed.

    I love both sociology and psychology. Both were key to my career, although psych a bit more pertinent. My psych. is some book, but mostly street. I have book, people and street smarts. My strength is people and street smarts. Without it I would have been dead, and I’m not talking career.


  663. Blouise, Thanks to Tex and I think you’ll enjoy it. There’s a lot of personal painful stuff my bride drew upon to write that book. Infertility, panic attacks, and dear family w/ addiction issues that ruined a very successful career.


  664. Gene, My bride’s masters is in social psych, from UMKC.


  665. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 12:34 pm Anonymously Yours

    Off topic….. But crazy if true….

    Scalia arrested

    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In a shocking end to an illustrious legal career, police arrested Justice Antonin Scalia today as he attempted to set the Supreme Court building ablaze.

    Justice Scalia, who had seemed calm and composed during the announcement of two major rulings this morning, was spotted by police minutes later outside the building, carrying a book of matches and a gallon of kerosene.

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/06/scalia-arrested-trying-to-burn-down-supreme-court.html


  666. Everyone is welcome, Juliet.

    Just FYI though, there are a very few rules to the forum:

    1) The Civility Rule: you’re encouraged to attack ideas, but not people and as such ad hominem attacks are discouraged as are physical threats, incitement to violence and defamation. Public figures are held to a slightly different standard, see Sullivan v. New York Times. As this thread illustrates, there is some necessary flexibility to how this rule is applied on a situational basis. Sometimes what appears ad hominem isn’t but rather critical of a position. This is not the case with the other two rules.

    2) The Anonymity Rule: Posters are allowed to post anonymously and control the amount of personal information they reveal. To reveal someone’s identity or personal information without consent is forbidden. If someone does that to you, make a complaint to one of the Guest Bloggers and we’ll look into the matter. If the claim has merit, the offender will be dealt with.

    3) The No Stealing Identity Rule: If someone impersonates you (using your regular posting name or stealing your Gravatar, etc.) that is forbidden. If someone does that to you, make a complaint to one of the Guest Bloggers and we’ll look into the matter. If the claim has merit, the offender will be dealt with.

    Refusing to adhere to the Civility Rule or violating the other two can get you banned by the owner. The last two especially.

    Enjoy your stay.


  667. AY,

    Borowitz is a satirist. Just sayin’.


  668. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 12:45 pm Anonymously Yours

    Ya don’t say… But… Do you think he could do it….


  669. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 12:49 pm Swarthmore mom

    Duh, The Borowitz Report is like the Onion.


  670. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 12:54 pm Anonymously Yours

    Duh… Equal opportunity attacking…. Some people are like onions….


  671. Gene,

    It’s okay … you missed the point as you missed the point of Elaine’s post.

    Try this one on for size … Deen and I are the same age (she’s 2 years younger), the same race, and we grew up in the same country facing the same choices. The only marked difference was parental based. At the age of 12, I was learning that racism, no matter how benign, is meant to be fought while she, that same year, watched her granddaddy send a black woman to jail for “spanking” her.

    Paula Deen’s world changed. Mine didn’t.


  672. Blouise,

    “That special pleading is an insidious fallacy.”

    *****

    Better watch out with that insidious fallacio, Blouise. It’s frowned upon around these parts.

    ;)


  673. AY,

    Scalia is perfectly capable of lighting a match. We aren’t talking about Thomas.

    As for your other gibberish, it’s refreshing to see you adhere to your previous demonstration of double standards and by refreshing I mean totally expected.

    _______________

    Blouise,

    I understand that and as stated before, just because a prejudice has reasons doesn’t make it not prejudice nor does having reasons always equate to fully reasoned.


  674. Gene,

    Prejudice is a white privilege frame. It’s an old, emotional argument used to justify a thought process that white guilt drives anti-racism.

    This is why I’m also way ahead of you on the gun issue … ;)


  675. Gene says: You’re not talking to a bunch of concrete finishers or ophthalmologists about the logic

    Neither are you, and there is a pretty good chance you are talking to people that are more heavily trained in understanding the logic of mathematical proof and statistical inference than you are, with more daily experience in doing so.

    If you think I am talking to ophthalmologists, it is because I am logical enough to understand the value of making arguments accessible to laymen by avoiding the Latin and formalism, even if I lose some only impressed by Latin and formalism they do not really understand. My goal is to be understood (on occasion sidetracked by the goal of salving irritation with insult).


  676. “Better watch out with that insidious fallacio, Blouise. It’s frowned upon around these parts.” (Elaine)

    Only by those who prefer pitchforks.

    (BTW … Nicely done ;) )


  677. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm Anonymously Yours

    Gene,

    Didn’t want to disappoint your diplomatic approach…. Yours is and was not unexpected either… Duh…


  678. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm Anonymously Yours

    May I point out you are not only a diplomat here…. But your logical skills are superior to anyone else’s…. But you knew that already..


  679. Prejudice is prejudging, Blouise. Words have meaning. The definition holds. Logic has rules. The Law of Identity holds true and is not emotional.

    And I think you’re simply wrong as a matter of the principles upon the which the 2nd was formulated, not ahead, but we’ve had that discussion. Not to mention that the 2nd has squat to do with the issue of prejudice being larger than simple racism. But if you want to talk about emotionalism distorting arguments in that context, I’ll note that the vast majority of recorded gun crime is suicide by adults using handguns, that suicide should not be considered a crime in itself, that as a simple technology outlawing guns would be ineffective, and “think of the children!” is the very height of emotionalism in addressing a problem that has a far larger scope.

    :*


  680. Gene,

    “Logic has rules.”

    *****

    And you’re getting impatient and frustrated with those of us who aren’t playing by your “logical” rules.


  681. AY,

    If your personal condemnations mean nothing to me, your personal praise – even when mocking – means even less. Of course, you can still keep making the matter personal if you like. It compensates for your demonstrated lack of skill in argumentation and logic. Thus proving that not all training takes and depends as much on the student as the teacher for success.

    Get back to me when you reconcile your whining about the rules being applied equally doesn’t render your own previous benefit of the rules applying in an equivalent situation completely hypocritical.

    Oh. That’s right. You can’t.


  682. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 1:56 pm nick spinelli

    Blouise, I don’t believe white guilt drives anti racism. I believe it’s an impediment, one of the biggest problems it presents is it makes an open dialogue impossible. You’ve heard that term bandied about over the last several decades, “open dialogue.” How’s that working out so far? It’s not only whites who get their heads bitten off when they say tough, hard truths, it’s black folk too. The black folk I know have derision for the white guilters. And I think that’s pretty much across the board w/ most regular regular folk. It’s really condescension, which nobody likes.


  683. Elaine,

    “you’re getting impatient and frustrated with those of us who aren’t playing by your ‘logical’ rules.”

    That I’m remaining both emotionally detached and engaged in the conversation despite some people’s refusal to address logic by offering a logical and evidence based refutation belies that assertion. However, if the Law of Identity and the consequences of applying it to the concept of prejudice bothers you, I suggest you take it up with the remainder of Aristotle. They aren’t “my rules” just as other rules aren’t “my rules” but that doesn’t make them any less rules or any less valid.


  684. Gene,

    You know I just stuck that in there as a gentle tease but I do believe that on the gun issue it will be your world that changes, not mine.


  685. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 1:58 pm nick spinelli

    Elaine, You finally noticed the “rules” guy is not benevolent. This is a big day.


  686. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 2:01 pm nick spinelli

    Blouise, In a Blouise perfect world, what would gun laws and restrictions look like. I lean toward the second amendment folks, but I’m not close to being a zealot.


  687. Elaine did not say that, nick.

    That bit of ad hominem is all yours. But don’t be angry about it. You’ll either figure out the rules apply to you or they don’t. We’re pullin’ for ya, champ!


  688. Sorry I have to leave the discussion for a time. My niece is having her annual cookout/family gathering today. Will try to brush up on my Aristotle while my husband drives. Actually, Aristotle and I have had a wonderful Platonic relationship over the years.


  689. Blouise,

    Maybe, but I don’t see that issue changing course in that short a time period. We as a species don’t evolve that quickly and an evolution is what is going to be required to address the problem in a manner that we’d both find acceptable.


  690. Tony,

    Actually I think you’re discounting expertise.


  691. Elaine,

    Have good time. Don’t let that Socrates fellow near the punch though.

    I’m about to be absent for a bit as well.


  692. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm Anonymously Yours

    Ok Buckwheat ….. Remember you started it with me….you made the first personal attack….


  693. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 2:18 pm nick spinelli

    Elaine did not say what? I was referring to what she did say. The fairly simple sentence that ended w/ “those of us who aren’t playing by your “logical” rules. Now, Elaine has excused herself for family and food, two incredibly important values. Let’s not give her agita, and let her enjoy her day. Hopefully the weather is good back east. June is my favorite month in the northeast, followed by September. The beginning and end of the best season.


  694. As will I. Tex and I are leaving on one of our adventurous road trips.

    The car is packed which I was not required to do because of the back pain. :)

    I will have my iPad but only because the children and grandchildren no longer trust our ability to travel by ourselves and, not content with hotel computers or texting, bought us an iPad so they can employ “facetime” as a reassurance that we are well.

    “Maybe, but I don’t see that issue changing course in that short a time period.” (Gene) Hey! Was that an “you’re old” dig??!!


  695. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 2:38 pm Swarthmore mom

    Have a good trip, Blouise :) Hope you back gets better soon. We are stuck here with 102 degrees….. cleaning out stuff and getting repairs done.


  696. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 2:39 pm Swarthmore mom

    oops! your back back


  697. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm nick spinelli

    Blouise, For an old fart I have come to see the value of Facetime. The 2 girls our daughter nannies for Facetime us virtually every day. Their anxious nanny also gets comfort from it. I don’t buy into a lot of shit from that generation, but that is a big winner in my book. The older we get the more our children, grandchildren worry about us dying. I’m 60 and James Gandolfini kicking it @ 51 caused some serious Facetime and logical plus emotional comfort. The logical being we both saw him recently in Zero Dark Thirty and he was a solid 300lbs. The emotional being that tomorrow is promised to no one, live in the moment and trust in God. We are logical and emotional beings, w/ balance being the key..to everything really. “Take the roads less travelled.”


  698. AY,

    Buckwhatever. Also, the word “sequence” is one you should brush up on.
    _____________

    nick,

    Elaine did not say I was not benevolent. You did. Pretty easy to grasp. Unless you’re so angry that you can’t tell your own ad hominem attacks from a statement from someone else that wasn’t. Get well soon.

    ______________

    Blouise,

    No age dig at all. I meant the time period of my lifetime. And several more generations more than likely unless we as a species experience some form of punctured equilibrium in our evolution.


  699. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm Anonymously Yours

    Well now that Buckwheat is established….. Your logic is faulty in this regards….your personal attack preceded anything I said to you in response…

    Just in case you need to brush up on your illogical and faulty rhetoric…. I grabbed the definition for your aging mind….

    se·quence
    /ˈsēkwəns/
    Noun
    A particular order in which related events, movements, or things follow each other.
    Verb
    Arrange in a particular order.
    Synonyms
    succession – order – series – sequel – run


  700. Yep. And I guess the part where calling your statement “gibberish” isn’t an ad hominiem attack but rather to your statement flew right past you. That changes your timeline, sport.

    Really, AY, if you can’t distinguish what an actual ad hominem attack is, you should stop accusing others of it.


  701. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 4:20 pm Mike Spindell

    “Pity. He just won’t let go of that torch and pitchfork of his.”

    I’m just a garden variety peasant storming Castle Frankenstein.


  702. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm Mike Spindell

    “I’d say that there has been more passion exhibited by most of the identified logicians here. I went back and read through this thread. It appears to me that it was logicians who began labeling/criticizing other people and their comments. We keep hearing the same thing–that the people who disagree with the “logicians” rushed to judgment. I’d say that the logicians have been extremely judgmental of those of us who expressed opinions different from theirs.”

    Exactly Elaine as your reading of the record proves. Those “calm logical minds” rushed to personal attack mode at the temerity of anyone not to agree with their self-congratulation. When they opine that all reasonable people agree with their point of view, that really mean the rest of us shouldn’t dare to disagree with them and forgets the fact that in this quite long thread their opinions are in the minority and their “proofs” are superficial at best. Then too, it always is a good tactic to frame the argument the way that suits ones viewpoint best, while attacking the “disbelievers” state of mind. Seriously, considering that they all have good minds it has been surprising how weak their arguments are.


  703. I had to laugh about being given the “rules list” in the same thread where my person had been attacked so viciously.


  704. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 4:46 pm Mike Spindell

    “Who “started it” is irrelevant to the emotional content nor is judgement being proffered for the logical error being pointed out. If anything, it has been pointed out more than once that showing a prejudice doesn’t automatically mean someone is a bad person.”

    Gene,

    Who started it is quite relevant when the logic of the logicians argument fails. They were immediately rebutted with the 2012 Deen tape and other facts. Rather than logically rebutting the tape the response was that any “reasonable” person would see it their way. Bob even brought up a statement that I made two years ago about emotions. That he didn’t understand the point about Gestalt Philosophy then, was compounded by his failure to understand it now. The way the “logicians” framed the matter you would think it was about IQ, legal training and reading dead philosophers and the rest of us barely literate peasants should step aside in awe at their pronouncements. I’ll match the intellects of Tony C., Elaine, Blouise, Juliet and myself any day against you logicians. When Bob, or was it Mark or you, said the proof of the merit of their position was that Mike A. agreed with them, I laughed out loud. That’s no disrespect to Mike A., that is just a stupid argument to make.

    The funny thing is that I agree with Elaine and others who say that they weren’t particularly interested in the Deen case, neither was I, but the thing is when someone’s wrong they’re wrong. It was the scathing reactions by Mark and Bob that set me off initially. You did try to keep it on the high road I must admit, but kept mis-characterizing the arguments put forth to force it into the frame of the court case.

    The bottom line though is that you all lose because Nal is the smartest of all of us Guest Bloggers and he’s with the side of truth and justice. :)


  705. Really.

    Still struggling with the idea of an argument in parallel, I guess.

    Some have even gone to great care to point out the criticisms of particular statements was not a blanket criticism of all statements nor of the people making them. Again, while not uniform, some have taken great care to not pass judgement while discussing the matter of prejudice as a larger concept, Mike.

    But your grouping everyone making that point together as a uniform whole sure is interesting. It couldn’t be a manifestation of the idea that anyone not joining the PC wagontrain is ipso facto wrong? Why . . . that would be prejudicial based on a PC meme. Who’d have thought acting like the Thought Police was a bad idea. Why . . . that would be some of those on your very “side”. Yet that doesn’t bring any cognitive dissonance about one of the very distinctions made: you’ll never convince someone they are wrong by telling them, only they can change their mind.

    The arguments – from either “side” (which is a misnomer when dealing with a parallel structure) – speak for themselves.

    The insistence that there is any winner or loser other than good and bad logic seems futile.

    But as for weakness? Agreement is not required.

    The arguments stand as they are.

    Either you find one or the other persuasive.


  706. Mike,

    If you want to think this entire story isn’t framed by a court case?

    Then that’s simply a refusal to acknowledge the reality of the statement previously made: there would be no story here but for the court case.

    And still, if you’re having a problem understanding that arguing in parallel isn’t a “mischaracterization”?

    Then maybe that’s a lesson that can only be learned and not taught as well.


  707. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 5:01 pm Mike Spindell

    Gene,

    I defer to your logical wizardry in the sense of it being legerdemain.

    You see you don’t know the back story here. Mark was jealous of your status of have the longest thread of any guest blogger and your contributions will soon topple you from your throne. Well played Mark and done with a wry, ironic touch.


  708. Oh yeah! That’s it, Mike. :roll:

    Well, Mark has more than thirteen hundred comments to garner before I have to defend the crown, so I think I’ll rest easy at this point. :D


  709. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 5:19 pm Mike Spindell

    Gene,

    This is 719 and counting. He’s a comin for ya Sparky. Some of those master logicians have devious minds and Bob has it in for you for an argument you two had years ago. As for that thread of yours remember it had Tony C. playing a prominent role. All the elements are there and this thread is a week old. Just sayin………:)


  710. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 5:43 pm Anonymously Yours

    Well golly gene whiz buckwheat…. When everyone’s in toto to your demands, do you stop the personal attacks…. Or do you just keep them going so everyone will know you are the master baiter? Or is that debater…. You got up early to attack some folks…. I didn’t attack you until you started it out Gomer….. I was kinda defending myself…. But there are some like you that will take attention anywhere they can get it…. Maybe the light will shine on you….. And you’ll get lucky and quit picking on folks….. Yes, Ernest T. Bass I do have a right to defend myself…. Especially when you started it…. Look up sequence…. Already defined for you…. And if you’re too stoopid to comprehend what you read… That’s not my problem….


  711. Mike and Gene,
    I want to commend Mark that in the 700 plus comments, no math whatsoever! :)


  712. Mike S.: “Bob even brought up a statement that I made two years ago about emotions. That he didn’t understand the point about Gestalt Philosophy then, was compounded by his failure to understand it now. The way the “logicians” framed the matter you would think it was about IQ, legal training and reading dead philosophers and the rest of us barely literate peasants should step aside in awe at their pronouncements.”

    Mike,

    My critique of your argument had nothing to do Gestalt; it had to do with your meandering from one feeling to the next and presenting it as if it were an argument. Your over reliance on feelings and your almost exhibitionist urge to rely on personal anecdotes to justify said feelings, as opposed to furthering the argument which you left dangling in mid air, is quite annoying in a Grandpa Simpson kind of way. (“so I tied an onion to my belt; which was the style at the time.” etc.)

    Arguing is reason giving.

    Reasons are justifications or support for claims.

    Rationality is the ability to engage in reason giving.

    The alternative to reason giving is to accept or reject claims on whim or command.

    When you make a claim and then attempt to support that claim by telling us how you feel or providing anecdotes to explain why you feel that way, you’re not making an argument. You’re not attempting to win the assent of your audience, you’re actually looking to win the assent of yourself; since the rest of us don’t go through life based on how Mike Spindell feels.

    And this is where I object to the absence of any objective moral criteria.

    See how Gestalt has nothing to do with it?

    Mike S.: “When Bob, or was it Mark or you, said the proof of the merit of their position was that Mike A. agreed with them, I laughed out loud. That’s no disrespect to Mike A., that is just a stupid argument to make.”

    It was tongue in cheek; but I do I consider M. Appleton to be the sharpest knife in the drawer. Come to think of it, it was a lot like the arguments you make; only I wasn’t trying to win the assent of an audience; just providing another justification why I’m satisfied with my reasoning here. Whadda ya know, I won my own assent. I’m so proud.


  713. raff,

    Aye. It has been a few months since we’ve had anything approach 1,000. Mark did an excellent job.

    __________

    AY,

    Sorry if the truth is simply inconvenient to the narrative you want to create about being attacked. It’s not my fault you cannot differentiate between yourself and your statements. Is your sense of identity so weak you cannot tell the difference? Or perhaps it’s teh drain bamage? But if it makes you feel better? Seriously, venting is good for you. I wouldn’t want you to spontaneously combust even though we’re not friends anymore. Don’t you have someone who cares to complain to about how victimized you are by the entire world?


  714. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 6:20 pm Anonymously Yours

    Golly gee…. I’m sorry… Didn’t realize gibberish was to a statement….but double standards are to the person…. Maybe I have those reversed…. But buckwheat…. Read what you wrote…. It was personal…. But hey…. You see it as you see it….the rules are at your disposal…. And as a matter of fact… You dispose of most of them when it’s to your advantage…


  715. Apparently you don’t know what the word “gibberish” means, AY.

    gibberish /ˈdʒɪb(ə)rɪʃ/, n.,

    unintelligible or meaningless speech or writing; nonsense:

    How can a person be “gibberish”, AY? I’d like you to explain that. English works better when you know how to actually use it.

    If I wanted to make it personal? There would be no room for doubt. You certainly wouldn’t be required to manufacture offense and/or outrage. I’d gladly provide it in explicit terms.

    Run along.


  716. Gene: there would be no story here but for the court case.

    True, but that doesn’t mean it is framed by the court case, it would not even have to mean the story had anything to do with the court case.

    For example, suppose there was a court case involving Donald Trump refusing to pay a contractor (it wouldn’t be the first time) and in his testimony he gets angry at the attorney questioning him and uses the N-word. Reporters get hold of that and he digs himself in deeper.

    We could still have a story about celebrity racism, initially exposed by a court case, but the court case (say a breach of contract) has nothing to do with the racism; it doesn’t frame the racism debate.

    In fact something similar has happened here; the issue of whether Paula Deen is a racist, as you yourself have noted, does not mean she has created a hostile work environment, and such an environment can be created without the ingredient of racism.

    As it hypothetically would be with Trump, it applies to Deen, testimony in the court case revealed a heretofore unknown (to me) side of Deen. I have long thought she was an artificial personality probably exaggerating her accent (as my mother frequently heavily exaggerated her Brooklyn accent when far from Brooklyn, for reasons I have never known and sometimes to my embarrassment). But until reading her Matrix Slo-Mo Bullet Dodging testimony I did not suspect she was a full-on racist, I was not motivated to seek out more information on Paula Deen, or watch her interviews.

    The court case raised a different question, for me, and it is not framed by the court case, just exposed by it. The court case question is whether she is responsible for a hostile workplace, and although it appears to me the workplace was indeed hostile, that may well be down to Bubba much more than Paula; I don’t know.

    The independent question raised is whether Paula Deen is still a racist. Friendly or not, does she consider blacks an inferior race to whites? That is not a question to be tried in court, it isn’t an illegal practice. But between her testimony under oath, previous interviews brought to my attention and subsequent dodge-and-weave interviews, I think the answer is yes, she is. She may not be a hateful racist, I think she’s a garden variety, demeaning, insulting white supremacist. And I think that attitude causes harm to society, and should be punished within the options available to us.


  717. Tony,

    Isn’t racism a form of prejudice? Isn’t the court case rooted in prejudice even though it’s only so tangentially as motive to creating an alleged discriminatory work place? Isn’t prejudice of any sort the larger issue? What about homophobia? Sexism? Religious discrimination? Are they not problems and forms of prejudice?

    Prejudice, in and of itself as an inclusive set, is a larger problem in both parallel lines of argument.


  718. Tony,

    Also note, the thrust of my parallel argument wasn’t that Deen is undeserving of the social and economic fallout of her statements (and her generally poor handling of the matter as far as that goes). It’s that rushing to call her a definitive racist is a form of prejudice albeit more visible in a larger framework.


  719. Gene: Well I was talking about racism, but I believe sexism, absolutist religious fundamentalism and homophobia are all ills that should be punished within the options available to us. I personally have boycotted Chick-Fil-A on those grounds. I was not a regular customer but I was an occasional customer, and will never be again.

    Is some form of prejudice necessary to create a hostile work environment? I honestly do not know the law on that point, it seems to me Gordon Ramsey on Hell’s Kitchen creates a hostile work environment (all for show with contestants that know full well what they are signing up for) without resorting to prejudicial statements. If that were a real-life boss calling his employees “f*cking Idiots” would that be a “hostile work environment”?


  720. Tony,

    A discriminatory work environment is a special kind of bad work environment. It may or may not be hostile. It can be perfectly passive. But a hostile work environment need not be based in prejudice. With the Ramsey example, from what I’ve seen how he acts on TV? It’s got to be in part an act. If not, I’d be really surprised he doesn’t get both sued and his ass kicked on a fairly regular basis. As it is, I’ve read a couple of times of him being sued for breaking deals with suppliers and taking advantage of his workforce (something to do with tips and overtime if I recall). But I’m thinking that he plays it up a bit for TV.


  721. As for your second post, as I said it comes down to your definitions. I do not think I “rushed” to call her a racist, I strolled there. At some point the question is easy to answer; I believe she is a casual user of the N-word by her own admission. She uses racist tactics to avoid responsibility, she admits to using it but “can’t remember” any instances of using it; she tries to make it seem common; she tries to make it seem distant; she tries to make it an isolated circumstance under stress; she tries to dilute her racism by classing it with more acceptable appelations like “redneck”; she tries to license her use of the word because blacks use the word to each other (despite undoubtedly knowing that being black is the license); she tries to plead that she cannot read minds and doesn’t know for sure if anybody is offended by her use of the word; and in the end she claims equivalence by saying she thinks blacks feel the same prejudices as whites feel (so the scales have been balanced).

    I do not think I rushed to judgment. I think I reached a conclusion based on the evidence for Paula Deen being a racist.


  722. Let’s assumed you strolled, Tony.

    You’ve also admitted that the media can actually prejudice proceedings.

    Walking to prejudice and running to prejudice gets you to the same spot.

    It also doesn’t change that you (as you admit) don’t know either intent or specific harm.

    Prejudice in any other framework is still prejudice. Does that automatically make the prejudiced bad? Their intent bad? Does it always create a specific harm? No. But it still it what it is. The Law of Identity isn’t going anywhere.

    What we currently have is allegations yet to be examined in a procedural manner in which both parties have a vested interest.

    Would Deen being found innocent of creating a discriminatory work place change how you feel about her “need to be punished”?


  723. The homophobic claim that gays are freaks of nature is being disproved. IMO it will be understood as a natural hereditary design within our genes and in a shiny future of human civilization being gay will be as significant as “what sign are you”.
    The rallying, organization, and truthfulness of argument in support of GLBT rights has been amazing and successful.
    The commons have been swayed. I see no way this genie (and genius) goes back in the bottle.

    The definition of Race from one hundred years ago has been exploded and exposed for idiocy. The foundation of this one hundred yr old definition no longer exists. Homosexuals are not freaks of nature, Gay slurs are an exposure of the slurrers ignorance.
    Racial slurs are the same.

    I see the most important barrier to destroy, is this idiot perception of the concept of race as it was understood 100 years ago.
    Ask any Racist what he/she bases their ignorant spiteful comments on. I’m sure they will come up with concepts from 100 years ago that have been destroyed by modern scientific study. To change the fundamental ignorance that keeps racism alive, I promote wide exposition of the established true scientific definition of race today. Race is meaningless to a human beings ability to be full equal human beings. Any argument to the contrary is ignorant at least, evil, or worse than evil at most.


  724. On Ramsay: All those shows are competitions, and the contestants all sign waivers out the wazoo before they ever appear on camera. The rage and cursing is all a performance for the cameras, to heighten the drama and consequences of screwing up. I would be surprised if there is any hole in that contract that lets them sue for anything.

    Graham Elliot once introduced him (on MasterChef) as, “The man that put the ‘F’ in cooking.”

    The tip controversy is common; many places “split tips” or “pool tips” and split them up evenly, or by some formula between the front of the house (dining room) and back of the house (kitchen help and line workers).

    So the waiters are not the only ones that get tips. Busboys get a share, cooks get a share (dishwashers don’t dammit), and it is legal to count tips as contributory to minimum wage.

    Waiters are not particularly happy about splitting tips, but some owners make it mandatory, and I have heard of waiters being fired by owners for concealing tips (like only contributing half the tip to the pool). I haven’t heard of anybody being sued over it, I don’t know who the “tip” belongs to, really, the owner or the waiter, or if the owner has the right to make tip splitting a condition of employment.


  725. Gene: Would Deen being found innocent of creating a discriminatory work place change how you feel about her “need to be punished”?

    No, I think she should be shunned and denied her exalted income for her racism by those of us that believe such shunning will help contain racism and reduce its harm.

    The case is a separate matter for me; I don’t know if she is guilty, or Jackson is entirely truthful, or Bubba is the real culprit. I will let the jury parse that out.

    I am convinced she is a racist, and should be punished for that. And although I agree racism is a form of prejudice, racism is far worse in my mind than other forms of prejudice. Lemon juice and sulphuric acid are two forms of acid, only one of them is safe to sip.


  726. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 9:10 pm Anonymously Yours

    Like I said fool… You speak the true foolish language… You are a fool… And you don’t know the difference….. Your logic is like crap… You are as much a logician as I am a used car salesman…. One you can do the other you struggle like a monkey…..


  727. Oooo. More ad hominem drivel. Out of ice cream?

    Seriously, get a f*cking grip. You’re embarrassing yourself, AY. Not that I care, but you might when your lil’ fit passes. Then again, you might just be used to embarrassing yourself by now, so maybe not.


  728. Tony,

    You do realize you just made a special pleading, right? And that the relative safety of sulfuric acid and citric acid is contextual?


  729. David Blauw,

    Good points all. “To change the fundamental ignorance that keeps racism alive, I promote wide exposition of the established true scientific definition of race today.” This is a wise strategy. It gives the information required for the racist to “do the math” themselves.


  730. on 1, June 29, 2013 at 9:46 pm Anonymously Yours

    You started it drooling fool…. You don’t understand what any of the definitions men…. Pity the fool… I support the ADA…. Fully… I see I should be kind…. Even though you have some form of Tourette’s…..


  731. AY,

    Still trying to manufacture some sympathy for an ad hominem attack on you that only happened in your mind? How’s that workin’ out, sport? If you’re going to make shit up about being attacked, you should go all out. Make it zombies or alien hookers or a bunch of dwarfs wearing Richard Nixon masks. Maybe zombie alien dwarf hookers who look like Nixon. Aim big.

    If you have a problem with the definition of “gibberish”, then I suggest you take it up with the people here: http://oxforddictionaries.com/

    And I didn’t realize 12 year old ice cream was a thing.

    Thanks for the information.

    Please continue to embarrass yourself though. I don’t mind at all. I think it’s funny. Not “ha ha” funny. More like “awwwwww” funny. Poor AY.


  732. This is beginning to look like the Jake Kilrain / John Sullivan fight in 1889.

    Bare-knuckle, 75 rounds

    I guess that is one way to get the numbers up, fight it out to the last. :)


  733. Saying someone is “not benevolent” is a personal attack?? Whoa big fella!! Unless you are known as, Benevolent Gene, or have numerous people calling you “benevolent”, it not an ad hominem. Just trying to distract that Elaine and others have called you on you role as judge, jury and executioner, on all things logical. This has shown, to even your friends, the controlling of all things logic. Until control freaks get help the problem does not go away or even stay the same. It just gets worse.


  734. on 1, June 30, 2013 at 12:18 am Anonymously Yours

    Gene,

    I really don’t care… You are the fool that most of the off blog community feels you are …..that’s enough for me,….


  735. on 1, June 30, 2013 at 12:19 am Anonymously Yours

    Gene,

    You are a bully.,,, evidenced by your attack on swm…


  736. nick,

    If you’ve got a problem with my logic? As I’ve said all along. Prove me wrong. Use logic and avoid logical fallacies. Use evidence and cites. You thinking I’m not benevolent is irrelevant to the argument. Learning to argue better is a skill you can learn. Good luck.

    Control freak? Just not getting it, are you? Sorry, but speaking of logical fallacies, you still haven’t figured out what ad hominem means. Obviously you haven’t since you resorted to ad hominem again just above. You’ll figure it out eventually. Or not. We’re all pulling for you.

    ___________

    AY,

    So now you’re making up attacks on other people? Good luck with that.

    Telling Smom that:

    “Ummm, arguments aren’t won on the basis of pointing out emotionalism itself, but by logic that counters that emotionalism as . . . wait for it . . . illogical and/or irrational.

    As I said, logic is a demonstrable skill. Mike A’s express claiming of that skill or not is irrelevant to him demonstrating it just as claiming it is irrelevant unless the skill hasn’t been in fact demonstrated. Again, if you’re claiming that either me, Mark or Bob hasn’t demonstrated said skill, the evidence over time belies your assertion.”

    Is not an attack on her person. It’s an attack on her claim.

    I’m sure if Smom thinks she needs your help, she’ll ask for it, but I wouldn’t be holding my breath on that one if I were you. In the meantime, you might want to consider that she’s a grown woman capable of speaking for herself.
    _______________

    Do either you have anything relevant to add to this discussion? Watching your mutual exercises in futility are entertaining to a point, but they add nothing of substance. They may make you feel better, they make me laugh (although sometimes it is a sad laugh), but they don’t advance the topic.

    The topic is racism, prejudice and Paula Deen.

    The only thing preventing you from participating in a meaningful fashion is yourselves.


  737. JulietN:

    it was you who championed the morality of the free market. I just showed you a counter-example. We lawyers aren’t always right, and I might be wrong here. The point is that you are certain and like I said only the fool is certain. Concede a little doubt and we’re on the same page.

    By the way, welcome aboard; no one was trying to run you off. To the contrary, challenging your half-baked ideas has brought you aboard as it does most folks who want to learn here.

    It’s Hell to be manipulated by those nasty lawyers who provided you an income ain’t it?


  738. raff:
    I want to commend Mark that in the 700 plus comments, no math whatsoever!

    *********************

    I like to think that’s the story of my life.


  739. You and Mespo are the most egregious offenders of the “civility rule.” You’re a tiny bit less blatant, but a frequent offender, nonetheless. Whether you call someone an idiot, or merely imply it, the result is the same. You are the one who looks ridiculous, when someone you’ve insulted reacts to your ad hom attacks with what I’ll call an ad hom defense..

    I would suggest others ignore you both, when you’re blatantly trolling, like I do with Mespo.


  740. JulietN:

    Funny that in your ignoring you always respond. Like I said you’re predictable.


  741. Juliet,

    Speaking of trolling . . .

    If one feels like an idiot, that is their reaction upon exposure to something they haven’t encountered before that challenges their worldview or when what they considered a brilliant statement is met with less than stellar reviews. One is not responsible for others reactions. They are responsible for their own reactions. Speaking of which, is it your normal reaction to attack people who’ve welcomed you to a forum? Free speech is not for the faint of heart nor is there any sort of compulsory participation. Now I say to your ad hominem what I said to that above:

    Do you have anything relevant to add to this discussion? Watching exercises in futility are entertaining to a point, but they add nothing of substance. They may make you feel better, they make me laugh (although sometimes it is a sad laugh), but they don’t advance the topic.

    The topic is racism, prejudice and Paula Deen.

    The only thing preventing you from participating in a meaningful fashion is you.


  742. I’ve written all I care to write on the subject. However, you keep straying from the topic, with your uncivil lectures on civility. Or are you somehow exempt from the rules?

    If what I’ve been given is a welcome, I’d hate to see what a shunning looks like.


  743. It’s uncivil to tell people what the rules of a forum are, Juliet?

    Then by that logic, the Constitution is uncivil as well.

    You’ll either sink or swim here like everyone else: on the merits of your arguments (such as they are). Or like some you’ll simply flounder. Enjoy your swim.


  744. on 1, June 30, 2013 at 9:29 am Swarthmore mom

    Or she can leave, Gene. The girl from Seattle received some rather rough treatment here . Never see her anymore. Back to logistics….. logistics is clearly a male dominated field in academia. Most recognized logicians are philosophers or mathematicians that teach at the university level. Maybe Slarti is the true logician.


  745. on 1, June 30, 2013 at 9:30 am Swarthmore mom

    Blouise and I welcomed you, Juliet.


  746. Gene H ,
    Thank you for the notice.

    The supreme courts decision on the Voting Rights act got my gourd.
    The words Race and Racism, were thrown about, argued, evaluated, measured, and decided upon. The point I’m attempting is the Court never defined Race. They never introduced the modern scientific understanding, research, evidence of what race is significant of today. Which IMO (and science) is insignificant in evaluating individual worth. One hundred fifty years ago it was accepted in law a black person was 3/5 human. … Yes we did fight a civil war to change that.
    What I see lacking in modern day Race talk, is a “Civil” discussion, a National Civil discussion of its definition in modern scientific terms.
    The supreme court could have WACKED from the highest legal mountain this ignorant, malignant, false, understanding of Race that has plagued civilization for X number of years. ….
    We need leadership, discussion, and the acknowledgement that Race as a determining factor of individual worth is Bulloney. The Supreme court fell on its face, and as far as I can tell, No One Noticed.
    …Regards to Racist figuring the math out on their own, Yes and excellent.
    A ruling in Law stating what Race is, what its significance is, would supply quasi non committed racists with a reason to change their mind. The facts that insignificant phenotypes and alleles do not determine worth should be trumpeted over and over. The prejudiced, ignorant wall our past society built to divide races will begin to crumble and dissipate in the light of modern scientific true definition of Race.

    Mr and Ms Supreme court, “Tear down this wall”
    OOPs you folks just ignored it, and it is not going away.


  747. It was noted and appreciated, Swarthmore mom. I figured out pretty quickly which folks are interested in a lively discussion of he issues, and which are interested in stroking their own egos.

    Have I already mentioned I think Paula Deen is a racist, and that racism is perpetuated, in no small part, by those who excuse it? If I haven’t, there it is.


  748. Juliet:

    Gene left out the last — but maybe the most — important rule: The regular commenters don’t suffer fools gladly. Ask anyone including Gene and myself who have been here longer than most and who got the same critical analysis of our thoughts. You don’t like our style? So be it.

    The deep end is always open if you want to swim in it.


  749. “challenging your half-baked ideas has brought you aboard as it does most folks who want to learn here.”

    Mark,

    I’m sure you warmed the cockles of Juliet’s heart with that warm and welcoming statement, which basically told her her ideas were silly, but that if she joined the crew you and others would teach her to be logical. The problem is that on this specific issue, I and many others consider your ideas to be “half baked” and Julia’s to be not only perceptive, but also presented in a quite civil manner. The original attacks upon her were certainly not welcoming and from my perspective not persuasive, but defensive. In any event I’m just doing my best to help you overcome Gene’s record for comments. In that regard, a little advice for you. Attack Tony C. some more, because Tony will never quit and I have found in most instances his thoughts to be quite informative. As in this thread for instance. :)

    P.S.: This is why the charges by some about the unity of thought by the Guest Bloggers being lock step and rigid is absurd. As I said before, we are metaphoric “cats” whose positions are rarely predictable on any given subject. I consider that a sign of independent thought. Actually there are clearly three GB’s on your side and three on the other. So the battle for the GB “intellectual championship” of this debate looks to Larry and Chuck. :)


  750. The person who thinks I’m a fool does so at his peril. Longevity doesn’t make one smarter or more logical, as you prove, over and over. What I do see is if anyone disagrees with you or Gene, the personal attacks begin, immediately and viciously. It’s uncivilized and unwarranted. Therefore, it’s hypocritical to lecture newcomers on their alleged lack of civility.

    Don’t like my style? Too bad. I’m not going anywhere.


  751. Smom,

    “Or she can leave, Gene.”

    As noted, participation is voluntary and all succeed or fail based on the merits of their arguments.

    “The girl from Seattle received some rather rough treatment here . Never see her anymore.”

    I rather liked her but your recollection of her stay does not comport with mine. She came. She spoke. She left. We have lots of transient participants like that. But I don’t recall anyone giving her “rather rough treatment”. That being said, free speech in the marketplace of ideas is not always a big hug-fest love in. Ideas being scrutinized is not always pretty. As noted, free speech is not for the faint of heart. There are alternatives to a hot kitchen.

    “Back to logistics….. logistics is clearly a male dominated field in academia. Most recognized logicians are philosophers or mathematicians that teach at the university level. Maybe Slarti is the true logician.”

    Logic is the foundation for both philosophy and mathematics. Philosophy is the foundation of law and mathematics is an indispensable pillar of science although it is in part also based on philosophy. Slarti is a true logician. So is Tony. So are me, Mark, Bob, Mike A. and Raff. While there is a marked deficiency of women in the sciences (for reasons mostly cultural), they do exist. There are a fairly large number of female attorneys though. In 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic, women constituted 31.1% of all lawyers. In 2011, according to the Census Bureau, woman made up a raw number of the population (not accounting for being in or out of the labor force) that was 50.8% of the population. Even if taking being of age to be in the work force is taken into account, that’s still probably a significant difference statistically, but consider that the composition of women in the field of law is a growing number, and it looks like that gap is narrowing. Will it ever reach parity with the population percentages? Who knows. But all of that is ancillary.

    The relevant difference, Smom, is between a trained logician and untrained. Just like a fighter (or a chef or a pilot), the trained person is going to have a broader skill set and understanding of the subject than a layman or even (in general) a gifted amateur. Gender has less to do with it than training. Logic is a skill. Like all skills, some are better at it than others, but anyone can learn it. It is not, however, the sole province of men. One of the most logical people I ever met was a female mathematician I hung around with in college. Your daughter is now a trained logician, so there is anecdotal proof of that alone. That we don’t have more women from the sciences and law participating here? Is a mystery, but it isn’t a conspiracy, nor is it to say you or Elaine or Blouise is bereft of logic. You three often display excellent logic. But it isn’t a huge component of your primary fields of study. It would be unreasonable to expect you (or anyone without said training) to have the same understanding or mastery of the skill.
    _____________

    Mike,

    Why do you keep insisting that the shape of victory is “us vs. them”?

    Have you stopped to think that maybe that wasn’t the shape of victory I intended when joining this debate? Not only does the shape of victory change, it is individual.

    What is the shape of my victory?

    To “win” over “them”?

    Or to make others think about the nature of prejudice as a whole and the wrongs (and possibly rights) of prejudging?

    Defeating an opponent is not the only possible goal or even only desirable outcome in conflict.

    It’s not as if you’ve never seen that exact strategy deployed here before.


  752. on 1, June 30, 2013 at 10:27 am Swarthmore mom

    Gene, I have to run but this is the only place I have heard of attorneys referring to themselves as logicians and I know plenty of them .I asked my daughter about being a logician. She said “what”?


  753. Juliet:

    “I would suggest others ignore you both, when you’re blatantly trolling, like I do with Mespo.”

    *************************

    Ignore away but you can’t mistake the salutary effect the blog has on our newbie:

    Let’s look at Juliet’s intellectual growth over the course of this argument from bomb throwing ideologue to more reasonable person. As you see the hammer blows of logic have caused her to “modify” her silly original thoughts into something approaching reasonable.

    THEN:

    6/23–8:01 am: “This wasn’t 50 years ago. Quit excusing racists.”

    6/23 — 8:07 am: “No one said the earth will stop spinning, but that racist woman won’t have a show, anymore, and that’s good enough for me.”

    6/25 9:45 pm: ” She’s a racist now, then and probably her whole life.”

    NOW:

    6/30 10:03 pm: Have I already mentioned I think Paula Deen is a racist, and that racism is perpetuated, in no small part, by those who excuse it? If I haven’t, there it is.

    By the way, Juliet, you’re undirected comment which I have assume was to me about not liking Obama and hence my sentiments is about as silly as the rest of your drivel. I voted for him twice, fund raised for him, and defended many of his policies on the blog — some of which I now regret.

    You might consider that the very, very few plays begin just because you enter the scene.


  754. Mike S:

    “I’m sure you warmed the cockles of Juliet’s heart with that warm and welcoming statement, which basically told her her ideas were silly, but that if she joined the crew you and others would teach her to be logical. ”

    **********************

    But Mike we did! Maybe not logical but at least reasonable. See above.

    There’s the win you’re looking for.


  755. You really need to learn the difference between ad hominem and insult, Juliet.

    The Right to Free Speech comes with a guarantee that you’re going to feel insulted by something at some point. There’s a huge difference between saying “that’s an idiotic idea” and “you’re an idiot”. Many people cannot make the separation of self from assertion and are thus insulted when their assertions are challenged or rejected. Those people are known as “poor at argumentation”.

    Just ask Bron. He gets it heavy all the time because many of the ideas he advances are those of a sociopath. Just because on has bad ideas doesn’t mean one is a bad person. It might, but usually it’s just a plain old bad idea. It used to upset him that his ideas were rejected. He would lash out and try to make things personal. He got over it. His argumentation is even improving. And it doesn’t mean we think he’s a sociopath. Well. Tony might, but by in large he’s now seen as just another productive member of the community.

    We don’t suffer fools gladly around here. And if you think that’s the sole province of me and mespo, then you haven’t gotten the pleasure of being on Blouise’s bad side yet. Or Elaine’s for that matter.

    You’ll either make it in the kitchen or you won’t.

    Some prefer cooler climes.

    ______________

    Smom,

    Does she or does she not have training in how to argue and employ logic and legal reasoning? She better have at this point or she’s going to be in for a bumpy ride.

    A martial artist may not think of themselves as a blocker or a kicker or a striker but that doesn’t mean they don’t have those skills and have trained to them.

    Just because you’ve never heard it phrased that way or explicitly before doesn’t make it an incorrect observation.


  756. “You might consider that the very, very few plays begin just because you enter the scene.”

    Ooooo. I like it.


  757. I’m glad i could word things so you can grace me with your approval. i often have one or more of my toddlers crawling on me, so brevity is necessary for me. your nitpicking isn’t necessary. However, your response is exactly what I deserve for feeding trolls, especially trolls of the “I’m a lawyer, therefore I’m smarter than everyone who isn’t one” variety. Well played, sir, but you should be aware you’re quite predictable, as well.

    I have no idea to what Obama comment you’re referring, but I wouldn’t automatically assume it was directed at you. I truly learned quickly not to bother responding to your “arguments.” And, furthermore, I’m no champion of our President. He’s a crushing disappointment. I just find it infuriating when people don’t like him based purely on race, when there are so many legitimate reasons to dislike him.


  758. That’s ad hominem and not a valid counter-argument. His response is what you deserved for making an insipid argument. Learn to argue better, Juliet. Or don’t. Your choice.


  759. Please explain how that was ad hominem, Gene. I await, at your feet, for enlightenment. And, pray tell, who gets to decide what one “deserves” and what one doesn’t?


  760. “Speaking of which, is it your normal reaction to attack people who’ve welcomed you to a forum? Free speech is not for the faint of heart nor is there any sort of compulsory participation. Now I say to your ad hominem what I said to that above:

    Do you have anything relevant to add to this discussion? Watching exercises in futility are entertaining to a point, but they add nothing of substance.”

    Gene,

    This was nonsense and a complete misreading of Juliet’s original comments here and the reaction to it that she received. It is also patronizing and therefore annoying as has been Mark’s response to her. Juliet has been outspoken and verbal in her reactions, but hardly faint of heart, nor complaining about the fact she was attacked. She has shown on this thread the ability to defend herself well and yet has been me with dismissal. She is hardly your typical you know what (not naming names) who comes on here guns blazing. Also, whether you reject it or not she has backed up her statements with evidence. I’m not saying this because on this topic Juliet and I agree. I state it because she has easily fit into the type of rough give and take we engage in here. From my perspective has held her own in the debate. She was not welcomed to the forum, but immediately set upon. I don’t say this in criticism of Mark’s reaction, but to the point that “welcome” is hardly the term to use. As to the relevancy of the points she has added to this discussion, that is in the eyes of the beholder. I and others think her points are quite relevant.

    The interesting thing Gene is that some here see you and I as joined at the hip because we are obviously friends both off and on blog. They don’t realize that you and I answer to a “higher authority” which is our ethics, morality and logic. We disagree on this strongly as we have on other topics before and will on other topics after. That doesn’t affect the fact we like each other, but we each have our own unique perspectives. I think you, Mark, Bob and Mike A. are wrong on this issue, or at best discussing another issue entirely. Then again you feel the same about me, Tony, Elaine, Nal, Blouise and Juliet. In reviewing all the cooments above in preparing to write this I realized that Raff is on the good side of the issue, that makes our count 4 GB’s to 3. You guys better work on getting Chuck involved, or you will lose the GB vote, as you’re losing the commentor vote and the overall debate. BTW if this keeps going on your comment record is toast. :)


  761. Gene: You would have to be more specific for me to answer more specifically; but I think it is only a special pleading if I accept your definitions and framing, which I reject.

    Shunning somebody on the content of their character and shunning them based on the color of their skin are two different things. I can see that for myself, but if you want a cite, Martin Luther King has mentioned it.

    Nor do I accept your claim that I am prejudiced (because I made a decision based on reason), or that I rushed to judgment (because I believe there is overwhelming evidence of Paula Deen’s racism, in her casual use of the N-word as a derogatory term for African Americans.)

    I do not claim I should be exempt from a punishment I think Paula Deen deserves; because I am not guilty of the casual denigration of a race; in general I do not claim an exemption from a rule without any reason for the exemption.

    It is true that racism is a proper subset of prejudice [for readers, a 'proper' subset means the subset is not identical to the superset, i.e. the superset contains more than the subset], which means “prejudice” generalizes racism.

    However, a claim that I should be consistent in punishing all prejudice identically to my punishment of racism is a logical fallacy. What is true of a subset is not necessarily true of its superset. For example, some birds can fly, but not all birds can fly. Non-flightless birds are a proper subset of birds, deserving of particular treatment that does not apply to all birds. For example, if one wishes to keep captive non-flightless birds (like penguins or ostriches) then a ten-foot tall open-top enclosure will suffice, but that treatment will not keep captive a flying bluejay.

    Similarly, I believe a proper subset of criminals (certain types of violent criminals) should be incarcerated for life; that does not mean I believe all criminals should be incarcerated for life.

    Racism is a proper subset of all possible prejudices. Treating Racism differently than prejudice is not a special pleading. To be a “special pleading” I have to claim there is an exception to a rule without providing any reason for the exception; I have to assert “Case A is different” without explaining Why.

    I do not think I have claimed a rule in which all prejudice should be treated identically; if I have then I made a mistake, so point it out and I will recant that claim and correctly put the argument of which it was a part.

    I believe my claim has been that there is a role in society for voluntarily executed social opprobrium, or shunning, or boycott. I think the law is not and cannot be air-tight, I see no way to outlaw racism and still preserve freedom of speech and thought, and I think the latter is of far more importance.

    To me racism is essentially the result of fallacies, such as mistaking correlation for cause, parts for the whole, etc. That would merely be humorous if it did not have such negative (sometimes fatal) consequences; and what makes perpetuating and teaching those fallacies to the young are those consequences. We can do what we can to outlaw the most clear-cut of those consequences, like a discriminatory work environment, but that is not all of the consequences (for example, higher unemployment and rate of incarceration, more punitive sentencing, lower pay for the same work, less education due to greater poverty due to lessened earning power, etc).

    I can’t outlaw fallacious thinking; which means even though I know racism is wrong, the best I can do in a free society is discourage the perpetuation of racism by using my freedoms of speech and market choice to impose consequences upon its expression.


  762. And I think Mespo is certainly capable of fighting his own battles with someone as insipid as I? Right?


  763. “But Mike we did! Maybe not logical but at least reasonable. See above.
    There’s the win you’re looking for.”

    Mark,

    We won the debate a very long way up thread, now we’re just enjoying beating a dead horse and threatening Gene’s record. And I thought “What Makes a Good Law, What Makes a Bad Law” was guaranteed to attract comments. Even on the Turley Blog, celebrity defense and pile on seems to have great traction.


  764. “Or she can leave, Gene. The girl from Seattle received some rather rough treatment here . Never see her anymore. Back to logistics….. logistics is clearly a male dominated field in academia.”

    SwM,

    Thanks for saying what I’m not physically equipped to say :) , but have been thinking about all through this thread.


  765. Oh, he’s absolutely capable of handling you.

    You’re just not likely to like how he does it.

    As for ad hominem? “Troll” without a argument is an attack on his person, not his position.

    It’s a fairly simple concept, really.

    ________________

    Mike,

    And dismissal can be a consequence of bad argument. You seem to have no problem with dismissing arguments you don’t like, so I suggest you look at what your house is made of before picking up another rock.

    And I’ll start to worry about the crown when this reaches 1,800. If I lose it to Mark? There is no shame in losing to a worthy contender. Just gives me a goal to aim for.


  766. How much longer until this dead horse joins the previous record-holder at the glue factory, Mike? This is a good day for a flogging, as I’m somewhat confined to my iPad and feeling a tad feisty.


  767. I never called him a troll. You should learn to read better, and I’ll work on my arguing. Deal?


  768. Tony,

    “[A]lthough I agree racism is a form of prejudice, racism is far worse in my mind than other forms of prejudice” is a form of special pleading. Is racism really worse than sexism or homophobia or religious persecution?


  769. Mike S:

    “We won the debate a very long way up thread,….”

    ***********************

    Debaters don’t decide debates; judges do. The readers can decide. Plus and regardless of the numbers, I’m happy to concede Gene’s article as the all-time comment attractor. It’s a great article.


  770. “However, your response is exactly what I deserve for feeding trolls, especially trolls of the ‘I’m a lawyer, therefore I’m smarter than everyone who isn’t one’ variety.”

    Maybe you should learn to write better, Juliet, in addition to learning to argue better.


  771. I am always skeptical of demands that I qualify what is obviously an opinion with “I think” or “IMO” or “I believe.” I do it to distinguish claims of fact from opinion, but I think it is obvious what I write IS just “what I think” or “my belief” when I am writing in the context of a dispute about that very thing.

    If Juliet or I write that “Paula Deen is a racist” on a thread that is all about whether Paula Deen is in fact a racist, isn’t prefacing that statement with “I think” just a superfluous nicety? Not every comment in a conversation is intended to stand on its own merit in isolation.


  772. “And dismissal can be a consequence of bad argument”

    Gene,

    Absolutely, and that has been the tenor of most of the arguments presented here by Mark, Bob and you. Look at the record objectively, if at this point that is possible for you three. You all have consistently used dismissal as a prime tactic and have used little evidence other that “we know better” to defend your position. As for the implication that I’m living in a “glass house”, perhaps but the truth is I’m capable of admitting I’m wrong publicly and on this thread at least Mark, Bob and you haven’t been able to give one inch though there is no logic to support the point you are making except a pronouncement of your superior logical wisdom. Gene, I don’t employ the terminology but my logic, Elaine’s logic, Tony’s logic and Blouise’s logic are equal to the logic of anyone here. They and I have all proved it time and again, without resorting to the tactic of blowing our own horns.


  773. Juliet in reply to mespo at 10:45 am:
    “However, your response is exactly what I deserve for feeding trolls, especially trolls of the “I’m a lawyer, therefore I’m smarter than everyone who isn’t one” variety. Well played, sir, but you should be aware you’re quite predictable, as well.”

    Juliet in reply to Gene at 11:11 am:
    “I never called him [mespo] a troll. You should learn to read better, and I’ll work on my arguing. Deal?”

    Gene reads quite well it seems. Juliet … er … misremembers. Facts seem to hurt her arguments, but she’s around for the long haul. This should be fun.


  774. Tony C:

    “I am always skeptical of demands that I qualify what is obviously an opinion with “I think” or “IMO” or “I believe.” I do it to distinguish claims of fact from opinion, but I think it is obvious what I write IS just “what I think” or “my belief” when I am writing in the context of a dispute about that very thing.

    If Juliet or I write that “Paula Deen is a racist” on a thread that is all about whether Paula Deen is in fact a racist, isn’t prefacing that statement with “I think” just a superfluous nicety? Not every comment in a conversation is intended to stand on its own merit in isolation.”

    *****************

    You’ve really outdone yourself with contradictory drivel.


  775. There are several people of that variety, both on this thread and in my personal life. I did not call him a name, nor did I attack his person instead of an argument. I realize subtlety is often lost here, but you’ll just have to contend with that as part of the price for intelligent conversation.

    However, calling someone’s comments idiotic is not any less of an ad hominem attack than is saying that person is an idiot. It’s still an attack on the person, instead of a refutation of the argument. Perhaps a refresher course in logic is in order for you.


  776. Mike S:

    While we all like to be solicitous of newcomers, let’s face it, Juliet can’t keep her facts straight or reply to a counter-argument with anything approaching valid argumentation. It’s always “poor, poor hurt feelings me.” Either she does more than merely assert or she gets challenged; it’s really that simple. I don’t hear Tony C whining that his poor feelings are hurt. he’s making his points and we respect that.


  777. Juliet:

    “I did not call him a name, nor did I attack his person instead of an argument. ”

    *********************

    Now you’re just being dishonest :

    You called Paula Deen a racist (numerous times) and a “dick.”

    You called me a “troll (twice),” a drinker who posts, a “straw man,” “petulant,” “childish,” and “ridiculous.”

    Anyone can read them in your comments above. I don’t think you’re built for high horses.


  778. Gene: Is racism really worse than sexism or homophobia or religious persecution?

    Yes, I think it is, because the consequences of racism have been far greater.

    Putting sexism aside for the moment, homophobia and religious intolerance are not based on genetic differences in appearance, like racism. (Homosexuality is probably not a genetic difference in the person, at this point it is most probably a phenotypical brain organization difference due to flukes in fetal brain development that may be traced to physiological or genetic differences in the mothers of homosexuals). But those are not observable; we cannot look at a photograph of a naked newborn and claim “this person will be a homosexual” or “this person will be a Protestant.”

    Sexism is probably closest to racism in that respect, but I think the effects of racism are worse and more pernicious upon their victims. Those effects throughout history can be vehemently argued I am sure; in some countries sexism amounts to complete subjugation and slavery of women.

    But in modern America I think if a young unskilled laborer is looking for a job, the young white woman has a better chance of finding one than the young black male, or the young black woman.

    I will say, by the way, that assessment is also backed up by sociological studies and experiments in employment, with both high school graduates and college graduates; with black and white students chosen as “matched” based on school, SAT scores, GPA, height, weight, and even using resumes identical except for the name.

    So yeah, in modern America I think racism is worse, being a woman doesn’t make your sexist employer assume you are a criminal that cannot be trusted, or that you are a drug user, or will explode in violence if provoked, or that you are only suitable for work where clients won’t see you, or that you are more expendable and should be preferentially assigned to more dangerous tasks (as I have seen in high voltage handling).


  779. You understand there’s a difference in refuting an argument with a personal attack and making an observation on someone’s behavior, right? You’re welcome to refer to it as “name-calling,” but never once did I respond to any argument — yours or otherwise — with an attack on the person, instead of the argument.

    And you’re still behaving childishly. I am reminded of the little boys who used to pull my pigtails, when I was a girl.


  780. Oh, and I’m not arguing with Deen. Therefore, no ad hominem. What law school did you attend? I’m unimpressed.


  781. Mark or Gene: Hm, I posted something a few minutes ago that hasn’t not yet appeared; but other comments have. Can you check if I got caught in a filter?


  782. Mark: You’ve really outdone yourself with contradictory drivel.

    Don’t worry, you are still the champ.


  783. Gene,

    “The relevant difference, Smom, is between a trained logician and untrained. Just like a fighter (or a chef or a pilot), the trained person is going to have a broader skill set and understanding of the subject than a layman or even (in general) a gifted amateur.”

    *****

    One trained in logic may have a broader skill set than those who lack that training. That doesn’t mean that the trained logicians are always right…always take the correct position on issues…are able to convince those who are not logicians of the errors in their thinking.

    The justices of the Supreme Court are all trained logicians. Yet, all nine rarely come to a unanimous decision when ruling on cases. Just because people are trained logicians–it doesn’t mean they will all reach the same opinion/position on a subject.


  784. Mike,

    You neglect one thing: because I dismissed Juliet does not mean I dismissed the others. You’re also still stuck on the paradigm that “my victory” requires “your side” to “lose”. Argument in parallel doesn’t always work that way. I was arguing to a different point than you were. That is was a point that makes the commonly held position “on your side” on Deen vis a vis racism uncomfortable or seeming at odds with an otherwise perfectly valid point is not a point aimed at your shape of victory.
    ____________

    Elaine,

    You’ll notice that here there is often disparity of opinion on all manner of things, including SCOTUS decisions. Opinions, however, are neither logic nor fact simply be merit of being opinions. Neither are all wrong nor all right.

    I never asserted universal correctness. Something can, in fact, be formally logical and factually incorrect. Consider:

    All UFOs are beige.
    All telephones are beige.
    Therefore all telephones are UFOs.

    Formally logical. Factual nonsense. Or to paraphrase Ian Ketterling, “Logic is a system in which you can go wrong with certainty.” It’s a tool. Not all users – as you note – use the tool with equal skill or to equal results. You can build a house with a hammer. You can also build picture frame, break rocks with it or use it as a paperweight.

    You are also still making the same error as Mike. You assume the goal of the argument in parallel was to vanquish. It wasn’t. It was to make “your side” and the audience consider the issue of prejudice in a different light. The goal was prompt thought, not change minds, because as noted by extension, no one expressing prejudice has ever come to the conclusion it was wrong by being told it was wrong. They need to do the math themselves. Changing your opinion was not and is not my goal. Getting you to examine them is though.

    I think it worked pretty well.

    Except for Mike. :D

    ______________

    Tony,

    No one was questioning your opinion. The absolutist nature of your statement was questioned though which as were several other statements made by you re-qualified after making them. And still, the question remains vis a vis special pleading:

    “[A]lthough I agree racism is a form of prejudice, racism is far worse in my mind than other forms of prejudice” is a form of special pleading. Is racism really worse than sexism or homophobia or religious persecution?

    ______________

    Mark,

    In re: Equine Height

    Shoot low, Sheriff. They may be riding Shetlands.


  785. on 1, June 30, 2013 at 1:49 pm nick spinelli

    Elaine, Hope you had a nice family reunion. The food, I always need to know the food.


  786. nick,

    If it’s like most of Elaine’s family gatherings, it’s only going to make you hungry. You should have heard about her daughter’s wedding reception. It makes me hungry just writing about it.


  787. “Shoot low, Sheriff. They may be riding Shetlands”

    Be careful about shooting too low, Mark. You might hit your buddy, by accident.


  788. You’re adorable when you try so hard.


  789. So are you, sweet pea. :)


  790. That’s the beauty of mastery. It looks like work but isn’t.


  791. on 1, June 30, 2013 at 2:11 pm Mike Spindell

    “Juliet can’t keep her facts straight or reply to a counter-argument with anything approaching valid argumentation.”

    Mark,

    Or maybe it was because she provided that 2012 video of Paula which revealed that your “50” years ago premise was flawed. Seeing Paula was her counter argument and it was a good one. Perhaps though I should believe your version of it, rather than my lying eyes and ears?

    Gene,

    Do you really want to press the point that by going to law school one becomes a “trained logician”? If that’s the case perhaps I should have more respect for those lawyers who graduated from Regents School of Law, or maybe I should respect John Yoo’s legal opinions more? Shall I mention those prominent trained logicians from Yale and Harvard. Perhaps the wisdom and logic of Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts. Being trained in logic does not make one a better critical thinker now does it?

    You guys who I like, admire and respect keep digging deeper holes for yourselves in your vain attempt to provide cover for a woman who is obviously by the evidence presented, personally racially clueless, but nonetheless understands how to hide it as a celebrity. Unfortunately, the truth about her private beliefs caught up with her. A mixture of hubris and an inability to overcome prejudgments from her youth did her in. We have reached the point of diminishing returns from this debate, since neither side will convince the other.
    So what is really happening here is vying to have the last word.

    So I will have my last word and end my involvement no matter what invective is hurled at me. You guys lost the argument as to whether she is a racist at heart based on the evidence at hand. You won the argument that the trial outcome might be different, but not many here disagreed with that anyway.

    Finally as to the argument whether she should have suffered financial problems and loss of TV show, that was always a matter of opinion, since the networks and public are quite fickle. Phil Donahue had MSNBC’s top rated show but was fired because he opposed the 2nd Iraq War. A business decision that gives me the viewer the option to watch that network or not. I regularly watched the Sci-Fi Network, but when they dropped “Farscape” the best Sci-Fi series ever, I literally never watched that network again. That was opinion and so is whether or not Deen deserved to be fired. Opinion can always be