Blogs Jun 21, 2013 at 2:38 pm


Whenever I see a SLOG post with a celebrity name, and nothing else, as the subject line, I assume it is because they have died. In this case, I was a bit surprised that the article was not about a long-awaited cholesterol-powered total coronary inversion.
She's seen butter days.
Article says that there's Paula Deen cookware out there. Was that shit any good? 'Cause if it is, I'd probably buy it at the discount prices they'll be going for.

(Of course, I've never seen any, either, so it's not like I'm likely to come across it. Just the Martha Stewart and Emeril stuff that I never bother with at Macy's.)
It was just a matter of time....
Celebrity cookware is just a way for manufacturers to sell their failed designs and recoup R&D costs.
@3 - I remember seeing a 1-quart butter warmer with her name on it.

Because who would ever eat a quart of cold butter.
@3 - Incidentally, the butter warmer was basically just a deep skillet.
i once ate with my parents at a restaurant in Cincinnati (the Phoenix) that had waiters of the type she described in her deposition - black men dressed in white coats & bow ties, waiting on you hand and foot and calling you "mister solomon" and "sir", etc. real cliched, southern step 'n fetchit shit.

it was the weirdest, most uncomfortable experience of my dining life. this was in the late 90s.

So a woman born in Jim Crow south uttered a racial slur? Shocked!
I like that she says "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."

Non-racists would have ended that statement after the word "used".

Buh-bye. She was the Thomas Kincade of chefs.
I blame "Gone With The Wind". Too many people think that stupid schlockfest (both book and movie) are an authentic portrayal of southern life prior to The War of Northern Aggression.

@10 That's hilarious. " any cruel or mean behavior."

@8 I Googled it and there was formerly a Cincinnatti restaurant named The Phoenix in - could it be? - Race Street. It is now "a private event space." It's apparently very classy. I wonder how the place you describe could have stayed in business.
Not to defend Paula Deen or anyone else who uses the word, but just to address the point that @10 brought up: my people all hail from Alabama and I have had a LOT of exposure to them and the whole spectrum of their horribly racist ways. There are definitely people who use it as casually and with as little emotion as any other descriptor - example: " ... the cute 'lil nigger girl who works down at the Piggly Wiggly." To them it's the same as saying "the cute little black girl." They know it's not politically correct, and while they don't really care about that, they definitely do differentiate themselves from the hateful racists who use the word as "cruel or mean behavior." (And yes, believe me, my family has plenty of them, too). They know enough to not say it to or in front of anyone who would take offense, but they'll say it casually, privately, among their own. They see a difference, even though the rest of us don't. So yes, still terrible and ignorant of course, but she isn't completely full of shit when she says there are people who don't use the word with **intent** to be cruel or mean, because they're just using it amongst themselves, and therefore don't see it as a victimization of anyone or part of a larger problem.
@12: yep, Race Street. it was in business for about 10 years - my parents loved it.

the building is friggin' gorgeous. i think it was a private men's club back in the 19th century.
I blame the railroads for the whole classy-places-have-black-waiters meme. The Pullman company started that crap, and simple-minded people who never got anyplace classier than a dining car took notice. They told their simple-minded offspring, who believed everything Granpaw or Mema told them, and a story was born. (That's why they hate unions too - people who weren't bright enough to get into the skilled crafts complained to their children and grandchildren)

But even up here in the north, "nice" restaurants didn't let women wait tables for the evening dinner service. Men only - and probably only white and Asian men. And when I first visited Seattle, women couldn't tend bar, or even be seated at a bar alone, according to the liquor board (who, along with the SPD, regularly shook down the gay and black bars)

In a way I feel sorry for Deen. I don't think she's a hard-core racist, just a product of her culture. If she had been coached better in her apology, she could have been gracious and properly apologetic, donated some money to some appropriate group, and this all would have blown over. If she lays low and doesn't jump on the Southern Victim train, she still can make a comeback in a few years.

But her recipes are truly awful.
Let's not forget that, media coverage aside, this wasn't just about a single use of an unacceptable word. The whole issue arose in court in a lawsuit about a whole pattern of this sort of thing and systematic racial discrimination throughout a pretty large organization headed by Deen.

Whatever her personal views or her personal style, as a businesswoman in the 21st century, she (or her lawyers) had an obligation to behave appropriately and in accordance with state and federal law.

It's for the courts to decide whether there's any merit in the legal claims against her. But it's certainly valid for Food Network to decide not to renew her contract if doing so makes them appear to be complicit. As big a money-maker as she is for them, I doubt this is just a knee-jerk response to unsubstantiated allegations. It could be. People who should have known better have jumped the gun before this.

I suspect she will be rehabilitated by the PR machine and rise from the ashes in short order.
@2 I have a set of her cookware. LOVE it. Going to get a second set if the discount is deep enough. Probably won't need it, they're really durable. Amazon carries them, so does wal mart

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