The Real Paula Deen
Remember the good, quaint, lovely days of America when you had tuxedo-clad, middle aged Negro men who waited on the gentile white women and their strapping white husbands?
Yeah. Me neither.
But that is the time Paula Deen longs for according to a deposition taken in a discrimination lawsuit against her, some of her family members and many of her companies and corporations from an ex-employee who claims she was treated to a "violent, sexist, and racist" atmosphere in several of Deen's businesses.
According to the complaint, Jackson began working for Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House, a restaurant run by Hiers, in early 2005 and left in August 2010 due to the inappropriate behavior she said she was subjected to in her time there. In the deposition, Deen said she owns half of the corporation that operates Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House. Jackson also said she did some other work for Deen’s company and a restaurant she runs. The complaint alleged “racially discriminatory attitudes pervade” Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House where Jackson claimed African-American employees were required to use separate bathrooms and entrances from white staffers. Jackson also said African-Americans were held to “different, more stringent, standards” than whites at the restaurant and that Hiers regularly made offensive racial remarks.
While we will have to wait to see if Jackson's allegations are true, Paula Deen's deposition gives quite the insight into the thinking for the celebrity chef. Here are some various tidbits:
“I remember telling them about a restaurant that my husband and I had recently visited. And I’m wanting to think it was in Tennessee or North Carolina or somewhere, and it was so impressive,” Deen said. “The whole entire wait staff was middle-aged black men, and they had on beautiful white jackets with a black bow tie. 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.”
Yeah, I can see how someone could misinterpret what she said, specifically when she mentioned the race of the servers. I mean, that's what people always say when they go out to eat, right? "Honey, wasn't that white server just great?" "Sure, but she didn't stand a prayer against that Oriental-looking hostess or that Arab busboy." "True that. And they were so impressive in their matching ecru aprons."
Deen said “that restaurant represented a certain era in America.”
That would be this era:
And Deen has latched on to spousal privilege with both hands and isn't letting go anytime soon.
Though she said she does not tell “racial” jokes herself, Deen said she was “sure” members of her family have told jokes that contained the N word and that her husband “is constantly telling me jokes.” Billips asked whether Deen is “offended at all by those jokes.”
“No, because it’s my husband,” she said.
Note to Rubb Ed: Yeah, that's a deal breaker.
Not to be outdone in the racial harmony department, Ms. Deen also isn't sure that there's a problem with her brother (who manages one of the businesses) looking at porn at work:
Q: If you had been there on a daily basis, it's unlikely your brother would have been looking at pornography on the work computers too, would you agree?
Deen: No, not necessarily.
Q: Would you have a problem with it if he's sitting there at work looking at pornography?
Deen: If somebody sent him something and he pulled it up and looked at it, no, I would not persecute him for that.
Q: What if there were other employees in the office at the time that he pulled it up and looked at it?
Deen: You know, that's not black or white. It's -- that's -- it's not a black and white answer.
I am pretty sure I am on firm ground when I state that the number of justifications for viewing pornography at work is right at zero.
Meanwhile, the PR Department over at the Food Network, where Deen has quite a foothold, crafted the perfect non-statement statement:
"Food Network does not tolerate any form of discrimination and is a strong proponent of diversity and inclusion. We will continue to monitor the situation," a Food Network spokeswoman said.
Yes, they will monitor it while the lawyers review her contract backwards and forwards looking for the clause that allows them to kick her and her quaint notions to the curb.