The Real Paula Deen

Funkenpants wrote:

The plaintiff's lawyer asks her about allegations that kitchen staff were forced to use different bathrooms and the kitchen entrance, and she says that all employees were supposed to use employee bathrooms, and that she herself used the kitchen door to enter and leave the restaurant.

And that's what I was looking for. Thanks.

garion333 wrote:
Funkenpants wrote:

The plaintiff's lawyer asks her about allegations that kitchen staff were forced to use different bathrooms and the kitchen entrance, and she says that all employees were supposed to use employee bathrooms, and that she herself used the kitchen door to enter and leave the restaurant.

And that's what I was looking for. Thanks.

Reading between the lines of the deposition, I'd say that Paula Deen isn't a closet KKK member and wasn't trying to create a hostile work environment for anyone. But her brother and sons are rednecks, and she spends a lot of time rationalizing their alleged behavior.

garion333 wrote:

First, the ugh story is about the charges that were filed in 2012. So, don't take them as entirely true.

Second, I haven't read the entire deposition so I'm curious about how damning the charges are. It seems she acknowledged using the n word , she knew about the porn she was aware Dustin Walls called his staff monkeys and slapped him on the wrist.

Just a point of clarification:

The first link in the ugh story is about a gag order that was denied by the judge. Toward the end of the story, the reporter notes that Walls was accused by the woman filing the discrimination complaint of calling the black kitchen workers "monkeys."

That incident is then brought up in the deposition where Deen doesn't deny the incident happens at all. Instead, she justifies why no one should see it as a big deal.

Another interesting aspect of the plaintiff's case is that she is claiming damages for witnessing racial discrimination rather than being discriminated against for her own race. I don't know what the law says about that. Seems like a stretch, legally speaking.

Also, there's a line in the complaint that the Deen corporate attorney used to call her at home to 'discuss and sympathize' with her regarding discrimination at the restaurant. That's unexpected. Company lawyers tend to be very oriented to pleasing top management.

I missed this video regarding Deen and her attitudes.

Just a taste of it:

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."

Um... yeah.

Funkenpants wrote:

Another interesting aspect of the plaintiff's case is that she is claiming damages for witnessing racial discrimination rather than being discriminated against for her own race. I don't know what the law says about that. Seems like a stretch, legally speaking.

It's not. If something is discriminatory and makes someone feel uncomfortable, they can make a complaint. It doesn't have to be directed at them personally.

Under federal law or Georgia state? If it's been litigated before it would be useful to look at the caselaw, but I can't find any cases with a quick google search in which the plaintiff wasn't the direct target of illegal discrimination.

Pretty much every form of harassment or discrimination can give rise to these sorts of third party lawsuits.

It comes part and parcel with the whistle-blower protections.

Caselaw? Statutes? All law has a source. I'm just looking for something that identifies the relevant law so I can research it.

Lighter note: This recipe was shared in a discussion of Deen and excess. Laugh for about 5 minutes at the audacity of it, and a good 20 at the reviews.

Chez Pazienza said it best: "A wealthy white woman from Savannah said 'n*****?' Go figure."

I think the "old dinosaur" explanation gets wheeled out a lot to defend unrepentant bigotry in any context even when it has no right being there. The Old Dinosaur archetype applies primarily to participants in long running conflicts who can't stand down from an adversarial viewpoint, usually because they've lost too much to ever forgive. Those people are social scar tissue that will never fully heal.

Now if Deen was some kind of Rosa Parks figure who'd fought against entrenched prejudice her whole life I could get behind that excuse, but she's not. She lives in a world, an era, an environment where racial prejudice has been called out and fought and she's chosen to remain a bigot.

Maq wrote:

I think the "old dinosaur" explanation gets wheeled out a lot to defend unrepentant bigotry in any context even when it has no right being there. The Old Dinosaur archetype applies primarily to participants in long running conflicts who can't stand down from an adversarial viewpoint, usually because they've lost too much to ever forgive. Those people are social scar tissue that will never fully heal.

Now if Deen was some kind of Rosa Parks figure who'd fought against entrenched prejudice her whole life I could get behind that excuse, but she's not. She lives in a world, an era, an environment where racial prejudice has been called out and fought and she's chosen to remain a bigot.

Pretty much.

That said, I'm not terribly optimistic that folks like this are capable of truly positive change. I figure the only thing to do with her is to stick her in a figurative zoo and either wait until she dies or hope she gets hit by a meteor.

Maq wrote:

I think the "old dinosaur" explanation gets wheeled out a lot to defend unrepentant bigotry in any context even when it has no right being there. The Old Dinosaur archetype applies primarily to participants in long running conflicts who can't stand down from an adversarial viewpoint, usually because they've lost too much to ever forgive. Those people are social scar tissue that will never fully heal.

Now if Deen was some kind of Rosa Parks figure who'd fought against entrenched prejudice her whole life I could get behind that excuse, but she's not. She lives in a world, an era, an environment where racial prejudice has been called out and fought and she's chosen to remain a bigot.

I'm with this. My only confusion/concern is that this really should be a phrase heaped with scorn. "Old Dinosaur" should not be an endearing comment you lovingly use to refer to a previous generation, it should be used as an exasperated epithet to describe someone whose mind is so run down and slow that you just start checking your watch, waiting for them to die. Attitudes like this are not sun drenched memories of a golden era, they're 1971 AMC Gremlins you just can't wait to junk.

Seth wrote:
Maq wrote:

I think the "old dinosaur" explanation gets wheeled out a lot to defend unrepentant bigotry in any context even when it has no right being there. The Old Dinosaur archetype applies primarily to participants in long running conflicts who can't stand down from an adversarial viewpoint, usually because they've lost too much to ever forgive. Those people are social scar tissue that will never fully heal.

Now if Deen was some kind of Rosa Parks figure who'd fought against entrenched prejudice her whole life I could get behind that excuse, but she's not. She lives in a world, an era, an environment where racial prejudice has been called out and fought and she's chosen to remain a bigot.

I'm with this. My only confusion/concern is that this really should be a phrase heaped with scorn. "Old Dinosaur" should not be an endearing comment you lovingly use to refer to a previous generation, it should be used as an exasperated epithet to describe someone whose mind is so run down and slow that you just start checking your watch, waiting for them to die. Attitudes like this are not sun drenched memories of a golden era, they're 1971 AMC Gremlins you just can't wait to junk.

Yup. Like lead paint, Civil War surgery, and smallpox, casual racism is not something to be looked back on nostalgically. It should be documented as lessons of a more barbaric time.

Funkenpants wrote:

Caselaw? Statutes? All law has a source. I'm just looking for something that identifies the relevant law so I can research it.

http://www.employmentlawblog.info/20...

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/US/01/24...

In many ways, the EEOC itself exists to bring third party lawsuits on behalf of employees.

Now then, something to keep in mind, standing to bring a suit in the case of the person mentioned up thread is a far cry from being able to win a suit.

ringsnort wrote:

The culture of racism is insidious and many exposed to it, especially as children, are never totally free of it's effects their whole lives. This isn't meant to excuse inexcusable behavior. However, learned racism behaves much like an addiction; either they recognize the racism within themselves, accept that it exists and holds sway over their language usage and personal judgement, and then consciously fight against that aspect of themselves for the rest of their lives... or they don't. People like Dean don't think they're bad people, that they're wrong, that they are doing harm to others. But nothing will change in their lives for the better until they finally do. And then and only then is there any chance of healing and redemption.

I've been staying out of the conversation because I grew up in a Southern household where my parents grew up with a lot of the racist baggage and therefore struggle with it. I also at first thought Paula had the right to be presumed innocent till proven guilty, at least that was until she opened her mouth and confirmed a lot of stuff. However, treating her employees the way she did goes way beyond the casual racism. There's really no excuse for what she did.

For the record, I do think Paula is a bad person. If you actively harass and belittle your staff, there's a sadistic side to you.

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

IMAGE(http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2013/06/23/us/DEEN-2/DEEN-2-articleLarge.jpg)

A bunch of overweight white people upset that Paula Deen is being treated harshly? Yep, seems about right.

KingGorilla wrote:
Funkenpants wrote:

Caselaw? Statutes? All law has a source. I'm just looking for something that identifies the relevant law so I can research it.

http://www.employmentlawblog.info/20...

Why does Peabody apply to a case that involves a private plaintiff rather than a government agency charged with regulating the conduct at issue? Also, is there a part of the opinion I should be looking at? Most of what I saw when I scanned it dealt with a joinder issue.

The situation in Regalado also seems different, since the court considered both plaintiffs as the direct, targeted victims of retaliation - not "collateral damage." In the Deen case, the plaintiff is claiming that witnessing racial discrimination caused her injury, and that's the kind of case I went looking for but couldn't find.

Well my going rate is $75/hr contract unless I need to use advanced resources, typically signed with 3 hours up front. That does not include fees, of course. That seems like a lot for me to draft a hypothetical complaint, however.

But you do hustle pro-bono for fellow Goodjers, right?

Looks like she got fired by the Chinese.

link

Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, said Monday it has dropped Paula Deen as its spokeswoman after the Southern chef admitted she had previously used racial slurs.

The company said in a statement it "condemns the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind."

KingGorilla wrote:

Well my going rate is $75/hr contract unless I need to use advanced resources, typically signed with 3 hours up front. That does not include fees, of course. That seems like a lot for me to draft a hypothetical complaint, however.

wtf. I'm being charged 320/hr by a guy in Royal Oak. PM me if you do liquor law or know someone who does.

Seth wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

Well my going rate is $75/hr contract unless I need to use advanced resources, typically signed with 3 hours up front. That does not include fees, of course. That seems like a lot for me to draft a hypothetical complaint, however.

wtf. I'm being charged 320/hr by a guy in Royal Oak. PM me if you do liquor law or know someone who does.

I have no overhead-no support staff, and this is for simple side research projects when I have the time. No court time. And no, I do not know much of the liquor law myself, nor do I know anyone. I am willing to learn, however.

If I have to crack into the library or get onto say Westlaw, my rate gets steeper.

I am just scraping some cash together on the side to give people the tools to make informed decisions.

It is always so... I don't know the word, hypocritical? when companies start firing people for behavior after it is made public that you know the companies were well aware of before it was public. Food Network had to of known this stuff before, they have dozens of people that work around her. But oh now that it is public we have to look like we care, instead of reacting to the action they are reacting to the reaction to the action. It was accepted there as long as she still brought in money. Disgusting...

LeapingGnome wrote:

It is always so... I don't know the word, hypocritical? when companies start firing people for behavior after it is made public that you know the companies were well aware of before it was public. Food Network had to of known this stuff before, they have dozens of people that work around her. But oh now that it is public we have to look like we care, instead of reacting to the action they are reacting to the reaction to the action. It was accepted there as long as she still brought in money. Disgusting...

Yeah, but if they don't react you get something like the Penny Arcade business a few posts over where people assume someone's personal foibles are representative of the company as a whole.

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

NYT: Many in the South are upset about Food Network's move.

IMAGE(http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2013/06/23/us/DEEN-2/DEEN-2-articleLarge.jpg)

The conclusion is that Deen's "missteps" are explainable because the usage of N-word may get so nuanced and because, well:

“She’s a cook,” Mr. Hattaway said. “She’s not a Harvard graduate.”

Bless their hearts.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/wqlPRjz.jpg)

Saw this elsewhere, liked it.

I think the whole Paula Deen thing is just a "we are not that" ritual that sacrifices someone to a taboo, but doesn't really address the underlying problems. Put another way, if it is revealed that you have ever said a racial or ethnic or other kind slur, you could lose your job. But if you screw a black person on a mortgage, or deliberately avoid giving him or her a job, or institute a stop and frisk policy that will nail black teenagers, as long as the "N" word doesn't pass your lips, you're good.

I think, at this point, my concern isn't particularly over what Paula said but whether or not those attitudes lead to discriminatory business practices.

bnpederson wrote:

Yeah, but if they don't react you get something like the Penny Arcade business a few posts over where people assume someone's personal foibles are representative of the company as a whole.

Isn't "yeah, we have this person working for us who is saying/has done some really, really atrocious stuff but we're going to let it slide/ignore it/not do anything about it" a kinda crappy reflection of your company anyway?

Paula Deen's sons came to her defense Tuesday morning by saying the racial slur scandal 'began as extortion and it has become character assassination'. Bobby and Jamie Deen, both of whom are TV chefs in their own right, spoke out about how their mother is being falsely portrayed as a racist after she admitted during a discrimination lawsuit that she has repeatedly used the n-word.

Link. If I remember correctly, one of them is supposed to be buddies with the manager who referred to black kitchen staff as "monkeys," and Deen noted that her family tends to repeat racist jokes around the house. These two are maybe not the best character witnesses.

'This is ridiculous. It’s completely absurd to think there is an environment of racism in our business and it's really disrespectful to the people we work with,' he said Tuesday morning.

This is why we have litigation. If the conduct was pervasive, then there will be witnesses who will have to testify under oath.