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On Paula Deen and Belonging to a Group [View All]

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rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-27-13 03:20 AM
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On Paula Deen and Belonging to a Group
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A couple of points about the Paula Deen situation

The family of my grandmother (father's side) came from Ireland over a hundred years ago. When I was really young, I would be at events that her relations would attend, some of them had the Irish brogue from the old country. To hear the things they'd say would curl your hair. They used all kinds of slurs to describe the Irish when they were angry at a friend, an in-law or other relation.
However, if a person who is not Irish made the same slur that person would get their ass kicked.
Because you're not Irish. Even my grandfather, who was not Irish would never utter those slurs because he wasn't Irish.
Being a part of a group, fairly or unfairly, gives you more leeway because the context of the comment is understood.
My great uncle calling his brother a dumb, shanty, mick is different than a person who is not Irish calling him that.
One is a hate-filled slur, designed to disparage a group of people, the other is a frustrated comment used in a fit of anger or frustration, but not designed to slur a whole people.

I am married to an Asian woman (half-Korean, half-Japanese). The comments she makes about Koreans and Japanese I would never in my wildest thoughts think, much less say. When she utters them I just leave the room or sit quietly and shut up.
I'm not Asian, I don't get to say the things she says. If I said them they would sound like I was denigrating a whole race of people.

Paula Deen is not black, nor am I. Therefore we are both excluded from using that word and a whole host of other words about people from different racial groups. Call it tribalism, call it unfair, call it what you want; having heard the word used on the radio or on TV does not give you license to use it.
I would also add, from my mother, "Just because it's a word doesn't mean you get to use it."

The second point:
Having discussed having a Plantation Wedding where black men dress as slaves sort of negates her I used that word a long time ago.
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