Paula Deen Discrimination Suit Settled – Racism, Not [Updated w/ Incredible Statement From Lisa Jackson]

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

paula-deen2_custom-0b30419dbbe077460d439775b6a773a8fdd8c906-s3-c85We’ve been following the discrimination suit brought by an employee of restaurants owned by  food maven Paula Deen. Lisa Jackson, who is Caucasian, claimed that she was subjected to a racially hostile work environment at Deen’s Uncle Bubba’s and The Lady and Sons restaurants. Jackson alleged that Paula Deen’s brother, Bubba,  routinely used derogatory racial epithets and sexually suggestive comments during her working hours as a manager at the restaurant. She also alleged that Deen acquiesced in the treatment and used racist comments herself.  A firestorm of negative publicity formed after Deen’s deposition transcript was leaked to the media in which she admitted using the term “ni**er” many years ago. Deem lost two national cable television shows and a host of endorsements following the story. Her two video apologies did little to assuage the sentiment that she was a racist.

Early this month, U.S. District Judge William T. Moore Jr. dismissed the key elements of Jackson’s racial discrimination claim ruling that, as a Caucasian, she could not claim that racial epithets directed against African-Americans resulted in discrimination against her — which does meet both the legal and common sense test.  Jackson did not rule that Jackson’s claims were true merely that IF they were true they still would not meet the test for racial discrimination against her.  Jackson’s other claims for sexual harassment and abusive treatment were still pending until the suit was settled yesterday.

According to the court filings, the parties agreed the dismissal would be “without any award of costs or fees to any party. ”  Meaning Ms. Jackson did not get any  reimbursement of attorney’s fees or litigation costs suggesting she may not have received much, if anything, by way of a financial settlement. Ms Deen released a statement saying  that she believes “in kindness and fairness for everyone. While this has been a difficult time for both my family and myself, I am pleased that the judge dismissed the race claims and I am looking forward to getting this behind me, now that the remaining claims have been resolved.”

Left unexplained are the claims by Jackson and her attorneys that scores of other African-American employees were subjected to the same discriminatory  treatment and who wouldn’t be subjected to the prohibition to sue imposed by the law against Jackson who is white. Nor have any complaints been filed by the Rainbow/PUSH  organization who say their investigation has “found evidence of systemic racial discrimination and harassment” by Deen and that “a family member consistently referred to a black cook as ‘my little monkey.'”

The net result is that a self-made celebrity chef has been brought low by unproven allegations of racial discrimination and subjected to vilification usually reserved for mass murderers simply based on comments she admitted she made decades ago. If there truly are people out there with bona fide claims of racial discrimination against Paula Deen they should bring them on and not hide in the shadows releasing dribbles and drabs of allegations through civil rights organization spokespersons.  Anonymous statements, lurid narratives, and innuendo are not proof and guilt rendered by character assassination is not law.

Paula Deen may be an unjustified victim of a media fueled racial divisiveness and unwarranted rage or she may be a closet racist with much to hide. Despite all this turmoil and public fall from grace we simply do not know. What we do know is that she –as any accused citizen — deserves  the benefit of the doubt until the allegations are proven. Sadly, this recent episode proves only that we have a long way to go in our national struggle with racism and  that trial by newspaper and leaked court documents to leverage money settlements will not aid us one iota in ridding the country of the scourge of racism.

In fact, rush to judgment situations such as this only gives hate groups ammunition as they always contend that progressives and the news media are habitually harping on racism claims that, in their view, do not now exist, unless, of course, it’s reverse racism.  The blame the left-wing media for hyping these claims for profit and fostering the reverse discrimination. Here’s one comment we can print from a white supremacist site:

They’re at it again, folks! Another successful White entrepreneur goes down in flames, over supposed “racist” jokes, and the use of “the n” word. The food network fired Paula today, over these supposed “racist” jokes. Apparently, quite a few years back, Paula was joking about hiring all black waiters or something. I’m really sick of seeing successful White people ruined/destroyed, because of these jealous/lazy/White hating savages. These are the same hypocrites eating her food, watching her shows, using her cookware, and buying her books. No, I’m not a Paula Deen fan, but, she’s older/White and from the South. So, it’s hardly a surprise that suddenly, she’s now labeled a “racist.” I suppose now, she’ll be making her rounds on all the liberal talk shows, getting grilled by the slew of “anti-racists'” on the daytime television circuit. It’s pretty scary/disgusting, seeing how much power blacks have over White America, now. How they can blatantly destroy someone’s life and career just like that, is absolutely frightening. How much longer are we gonna sit back, letting these thug creeps run wild on White America?

For a lot of our fellow citizens, downtrodden by life and resentful of  America’s social programs, this sadly rings true– whether we like it or not. If we truly want to move past this sad chapter in our history we will have to adopt the seemingly unattainable virtue that Martin Luther King, Jr. embodied in his prescription for fixing  the problem.  That’s going to require “a nation where [one] will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” It will also require that we exercise some restraint when judging emotionally charged allegations at the time they are made.  There is always time to see if the those complaining are motivated by principle or greed and this is doubly true when the allegations are against the most lucrative of targets, the rich and famous. Even “they” are entitled to the benefit of  blind and equal justice.

It was the Greek philosopher and playwright Euripides who reminded us that a tree is best judged by its fruit and not its leaves. That was good advice two and a half millennia ago; it’s good advice today.

Source: CNN


From the Huffington Post:

Before the settlement, the magistrate judge found that Lisa Jackson’s lawyer, Matthew Billups, Esq.  had engaged in conduct warranting disqualification. He was accused of using the media to pressure Deen into a settlement by leaking information and asking irrelevant, embarrassing, and personal questions at her deposition.  Here’s the order requiring Billups to show cause why court-ordered sanctions shouldn’t be imposed. Read the order now.

Here’ a post-settlement statement from Lisa Jackson singing quite a different tune now that the case is settled to what she called her “satisfaction”:

“I assumed that all of my complaints about the workplace environment were getting to Paula Deen, but I learned during this matter that this was not the case.The Paula Deen I have known for more than eight years, is a woman of compassion and kindness and will never tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind toward anyone. I now know that the workplace environment issues that I raised are being reviewed and will in the future no longer be at issue. I wish Ms. Deen and her family all the best in all of their future endeavors and I am very pleased that this matter has been now been resolved and can now be put behind us.” [emphasis mine]

Principle or greed? Do tell there, princess. Do tell.

But a more important question: Where does Paula Deen go to get her reputation back?

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

112 thoughts on “Paula Deen Discrimination Suit Settled – Racism, Not [Updated w/ Incredible Statement From Lisa Jackson]”

  1. bigfatmike: ….”You seem to assume that because the owner captures the income not paid to US engineers, then the same kinds of goods will be purchased. That seems unlikely to me and in fact there are studies to demonstrate that the market basket of goods consumed changes dramatically with income.”

    Exactly. That’s why having 60%+ of the world’s wealth in the hands of 1% of its people causes world-wide economic stagnation and IMO, destruction.

    Your comments on this thread have been excellent.

  2. “So what if $200k is spent by one person? The net result is the same in the local economy.”

    No, Bron. It’s not the same, because he’d have had to pay the American engineers 3 to 5 times more than the Indians and that difference would be spent in the American economy. One guy spending $200,000 isn’t the same as 10 people spending $70,000.

    I insulted your ideology. I and others have more than amply illustrated its flaws in the past but I can pound you into the ground again if you wish. I’d rather not repeat that simply because you want to pout. I pointed out that your children’s book was from as dubious a book as your adult choices in reading material and due in no small part to the credibility of the author. I said greed was stupid.

    Are you greedy, Bron?

    Because unless you are, I didn’t insult you.

    I insulted your ideology.

    I can if you’d like though.

  3. Gene:

    I dont think you pointed out any flaws. You insulted me, you pointed out that Kiyosaki has legal problems. And then you said greed is stupid.

    What argument did you make?

    So what if $200k is spent by one person? The net result is the same in the local economy. The additional benefit is that consumers of engineering services can pay less and our owner could grow his business by taking business from higher priced engineers. Or they lower their prices to compete.

  4. bigfatmike:

    yes, discrimination is real.

    I know a person who owns a restaurant who will not hire white middle class kids because he says they are lazy, dont know how to work and expect too much for their limited skills.

    How does he know this? He has hired some and interviews others and all have come up short in his opinion.

    He only hires Hispanics because they work hard and make him money. When it comes to making money people discriminate at their own risk. Try being a racist basketball team owner, you would never win a championship let alone a game. Well you might win a couple but the fans wouldnt come to watch a losing team.

    I think most company owners would agree that the only color which really matters is green. Unless they are just completely racist a$$hats.

    Make yourself useful by gaining skills and doing a good job for the owner.

    1. ” profit from the use of Indian engineers is used locally by the owner. The net result is the same.”

      You are right I have not read a lot of von Mises. But your analysis, which I think you have to admit is pretty simple, leaves out a lot.

      You seem to assume that because the owner captures the income not paid to US engineers, then the same kinds of goods will be purchased. That seems unlikely to me and in fact there are studies to demonstrate that the market basket of goods consumed changes dramatically with income. As a practical matter it might make a lot of difference to all of us how much income we devote to luxury cars and how much income we devote to school books – of course that is a very simple example, but maybe you get the gist of my remarks.

      In addition you seem to assume that if the owner captures all the income from the US engineers then the same proportion of income will be consumed and saved. Again that seems unlikely to me and again I am pretty sure we can find some studies to show that is just not true. Even the most extravagant lifestyle may have trouble spending all the income available to the top earners. Income not spent would be saved. Savings are not always invested, and even if invested not always invested in social useful ways.

      The fact is that changes in the distribution of income also change the way society works. Sometimes those changes don’t matter very much. Sometime they make a great deal of differences. Your analysis does not seem to recognized those changes at all, let alone distinguish which changes are OK and which ones might cause problems.

  5. “the profit from the use of Indian engineers is used locally by the owner. The net result is the same. Money the owner doesnt use to pay for salaries is used in America. Money the owner doesnt use to pay for salaries is used in America.”

    By one guy instead of many.

    Like you said, simple stuff really.

    Greed is stupid. Thanks for that illustration.

  6. Bron,

    I understand both just fine. That’s why I’m so easily able to point out the flaws in your arguments and to why Objectivism’s necessary outcome is tyranny. Which is what I was addressing by mentioning your source materials since Rand and von Mises informs damn near everything you say.

    As for Kiyosaki, I would never buy an adult’s book giving economic advice from a guy who bilked his partners for almost $24,000,000 according to a U.S. District Court and then bankrupted one of his companies attempting to avoid paying damages much less a book he wrote for children.

    Then again, picking bad books from dubious sources seems to be your specialty, not mine.

  7. Gene H:

    the profit from the use of Indian engineers is used locally by the owner. The net result is the same. Money the owner doesnt use to pay for salaries is used in America.

    If 2 American engineers are put out of work because of the Indians all that means is that about $200,000 more dollars is going into the owners pocket for him to spend locally. The net result is the same. Dolce Vita doesnt care if Robert comes to eat 4 times a month with his wife or Dick and Jane dine twice a month with their spouses.

    Mr. Vitale still serves 8 meals a month.

    This is pretty simple stuff Gene, I am surprised you dont understand. Well not really.

  8. Gene H:

    As for the cartoon, that was from a book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. So I am not sure how much of Von Mises/Rand you have read if you cannot distinguish between Kiyosaki and Von Mises. It is quite obvious whatever the amount, you dont understand the basic principles behind free markets and free people.

  9. “You dont think white men work their a$$es off to achieve success? ”

    I do think that most men and women work very hard for their success.

    But I think it is a fallacy to believe that the concept of ‘white privilege’ implies that white men do not have to work hard. Nothing about the concept of white privilege suggest that white men do not have to work hard for their success.

    White privilege goes to what happens when individuals with similar skills and different skin color are evaluated for the same position. Studies demonstrate a phenomenon that might reasonably be called white privilege.

    Whether white men have to work hard for their success goes to the employment pyramid and the number of high level positions available compared to the number of white male job candidates. Getting a job or a promotion is not easy no matter who you are. Any position is likely to have many qualified white male candidates. White males work very hard for success.

    But white males are more likely to be selected when they compete against women or dark skin males who have the same skill level.

  10. nick,

    I didn’t address my comment to you.


    Chill out. My husband is a white male who has worked his butt off. That said, it is usually more difficult for women and minorities to make their marks in the world. Some people work their butts off all of their lives and never catch a break.


    My rhetorical question was meant to address the issue of exceptions to the “rules.” Some folks seem to think that the exceptions prove that there is no discrimination against minorities and those often discriminated against.

  11. The net result isn’t the same. The Indian engineers spend their money like the American engineers: locally. It’s called logic. I know it’s a hard for a binary thinker operating under the constraint of outcome determinism to follow that, but do try to keep up.

    Also, we do have property rights, Bron. They just aren’t absolute. Thanks for acknowledging that reality.

    As for cartoon? I enjoy a good cartoon. That didn’t qualify. However, a format traditionally used to address children is appropriate for a philosophy geared toward adolescent and/or otherwise stunted intellects.

    You keep forgetting, I’ve read your source materials.

    I just don’t worship them.

  12. “Actually, you are making my point for me. American engineers being paid the value of the services locally would have roughly 3 to 5 times the disposable income of their offshore counterparts to spend in the domestic economy ”

    prove that.

    The profit the owner made is what would pay for those other engineers, so all that has happened is that money is spent elsewhere to create different jobs, the net result is the same.

    Stick to political “science”.

  13. Gene H:

    First of all you would be better off selling the mineral rights. Secondly, your neighbor should have the ability to sue you for damage.

    The atomic bomb is absurd. Government should be the only entity which has the right to use/control that degree of force.

    Property rights should be one of the foundations of a free society. No matter the absurdity of your argument. You assume, in that example, that property rights exist in a vacuum. They dont which is why I think property rights should be held in high regard and should be near absolute.

    I linked to a cartoon because I thought it would better hold your attention.

  14. Actually, you are making my point for me. American engineers being paid the value of the services locally would have roughly 3 to 5 times the disposable income of their offshore counterparts to spend in the domestic economy – which none of the offshore engineers participate in. So for one guy to maximize his profits by not using domestic labor, you’ve removed several engineers from participating in the local economy by rendering them unemployed in the pursuit of higher profits through the exploitation of cheap labor.

    Well played, Chumley.

    Yeah. Reality is a harsh mistress. Too bad you and she aren’t on regular speaking terms.

  15. I know a guy who has an agreement with a company in India to help with engineering and the Indian firm charges him 1/3rd of what he charges his clients. He [my friend] takes all of the financial risk and finds the projects. By your way of thinking it should be the Indian engineer who makes the most money because he [my friend] is not really doing any value added work except reviewing the plans and putting a stamp on them.

    The Indian firm has access to a new market, my friend can work on other projects and a few Indian engineers are employed which wouldnt have been otherwise. The benefit is that my friend can make more money because he has leveraged his time.

    So while an American engineer is displaced by cheaper labor, the extra money my friend makes can be spent on a new car, a new house, stocks, or something else which raises the standard of living of Americans.

    The Indian engineers make about $7/hour vs. 25-50 for an American engineer. Is the Indian engineer being exploited?

    Child labor for young children is wrong but what are poor countries going to do? Reality is a harsh mistress.

  16. Say I own a piece of land in fee simple absolute (don’t let the term of art fool you) – the most basic and total form of ownership possible. On this land are uranium deposits. That ore is mine . . . to mine even. Say I mine some ore and refine it – at facilities on said property that I paid for – to make weapons grade uranium. I then build – again on that property with facilities that I bought and paid for – a nuclear weapon. These are all within my rights as a property owner with absolute property rights. I owned all the materials and facilities outright to make the weapon(s). Would I be allowed to be the world’s first private individual nuclear power?

    Only for as long as it would take for my property to be taken from me and/or destroyed – possibly me along with it.

    Not coincidentally, I could have all of my property seized for failing to pay taxes on it.

    Or seized to satisfy a judgement a neighbor got against me for the radioactive runoff from my property poisoning his land and ground water.

    The notion that property rights are absolute is pure fantasy in any form of society that has a government and courts.

  17. “property rights should be almost absolute.”

    The fallacy of appealing to wealth and the mind projection fallacy.

    Property rights are not absolute in the real world, nor have they ever been, despite that you think they should be, Bron.

  18. property rights should be almost absolute. When the state takes your property it needs to be a valid reason and the government should pay slightly above market value to compensate for the disruption.

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