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Saying Grace: Paula Deen, Progressives, and Race
From Dixon Hall ^ | June 26, 2013 | Maria Dixon

Posted on 06/30/2013 6:01:11 AM PDT by don-o

I am sure that it had to be hard for them. After all, it was clear that they were going to have to explain to their African American professor why going to Brixton was so uncomfortable. I had seen that look many times before. The search for the right words; the really right words that would convince both the teacher and their peers that their reactions were normal. I felt for them in that moment–knowing that they were facing a fear worse than being in Brixton–the fear of being perceived as a racist. They knew that if they said the wrong thing; used the wrong metaphor; emphasized the wrong syllable they would be marked forever, with the scarlet R that would make them outcasts–at least in our study abroad program. I wish I could have told them it was ok. I wish I could have told them to ‘be you’ and we will talk it out, interrogate it, and leave you to work it out. But I knew that if this ‘so-called’ group of ‘cool and informed college kids’ heard anything that sounded like an excuse based on race, these two students would be forever ostracized.

Now according to the party line, I was supposed to jump down these two students throats and explain to them the facts of historical racism and how they had been cultivated to fear anything with a skin color deeper than olive. I was supposed to hold up my fist, label them hate mongers; Fox Television disciples; and cast them into the utter darkness of a C- (these days anything below a B is considered the kiss of death amongst our grade sensitive co-eds). But I didn’t and I won’t.

When it comes to discussing race, progressives have little tolerance for intolerance–past or present. We throw labels around as easily as the Pharisees threw stones at adulterous women. How dare someone not have OUR enlightened view on the world! How dare they not have been born with the innate view of justice, righteousness, and soul that we have!

So when Paula Deen’s transcript was leaked to the press last week, the script was already in place. The media would report that she used the “N” word–everybody would gasp–then the outrage would begin. She would be crucified by the New York Times, Facebook pundits, and of course, her fellow chefs. She would be tried by the court of public opinion who would judge her entire life’s work and character by the use of the “N” word in a private conversation. RACIST! we would yell. She would cry. Her business would be destroyed and progressives would declare victory.

Yet, here is the reality: Deen told the truth about her past. Knowing everything: her empire, her contracts, and sponsorships were at stake–she told the truth. She was more honest under oath than at least 3 US Presidents, several dozen Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, and Non-Denominational preachers and countless business leaders. Unlike the Pope, Joe Paterno, or Donald Trump, she acknowledged she hadn’t always gotten it right but that she and her company was committed to doing it better and were doing better.

Let’s get this straight. I am not condoning anyone calling me or anyone who looks like me by any racial slur. But neither am I going to kill someone’s career because they admit that they have in anger, fear, or IN THE PAST have used one. Here it is in a nutshell–Paula Deen has used the N word. She has either told or listened to racial jokes. She has probably said stuff and joked about stuff that went over the line. So here is the dilemma my oh so righteous progressive friends–any one who hasn’t–please step right up and throw the first stone. But before you reach down to pick it up, you better check YouTube; your best friend’s IPHONE; your high school squeeze’s slam book; or your grandma’s video tapes before you do.

Progressives Christians love to talk about grace except when they have to extend it to someone who has offended their political reality. The grace that we proclaim that washes us clean and entitled us to a new life is for everybody as long as they have not offended our politics. A cursory look at the progressive schizophrenic (and hypocritical) view of who deserves grace bears this out. Anthony Weiner shows his weiner to someone other than his wife–Grace abounds. My beloved Bill Clinton gets a handy j in the oval office–Grace abounds. Barney Frank shacks up with a male prostitute–Grace Abounds. President Obama–doesn’t close Gitmo; listens to our conversations; and uses drones to kill civilians–Grace Abounds. A woman uses the N word AND admits it knowing that a great portion of her clientele is African American (I’d say Paula probably has used it more than that)–our verdict: Off with her head, her show, and her ham.

What really angers me is the fact that most of the people really tripping about Deen’s past are from the North. That’s not to say that Southern African Americans are passive about the use of racial slurs but we are also aware of the reality that mindsets don’t all change at the same pace and that if we judged every white southerner over the age of 50 by what they said in the past, we could never buy a car; house, or eat in a Waffle House ever again. Perhaps the reason that much of the civil rights establishment, the men and women who got their heads beat in on the regular, have not condemned Paula Deen is because they know the complexity of the human heart on matters of race. Moreover, they are also aware that someone’s past doesn’t predict their present. Perhaps they remembered that the same George Wallace that stood in the door at the University of Alabama saying that Blacks would never be welcomed, returned in 1985 to the campus to crown and kiss that year’s Black Homecoming Queen, my sorority sister Deidra Chestang at a time when our campus was threatening to boil over in racial turmoil. That kiss silenced the bigots that day and his words begged all of us to embrace a new South. Though we lost that game to Vanderbilt, that kiss symbolized the magnificent change that God’s grace can make in a man’s heart. Many African Americans are standing by Deen, especially those that through the years she has launched into business because they are judging her actions as well as her words.

The South, which houses the largest concentration of African American wealth, politicians, PhD’s, doctors, lawyers, and yes, even the most Division I head coaches in the 8 time BCS juggernaut SEC– is no longer the black and white film of Eyes on the Prize. It ain’t perfect. God knows it isn’t. Racism still exists in the South–as it does in the North, as it does in the East, as it does in the West. It still exists because people are not perfect. It exists because fear is far more comfortable than love. Yet a whole region of people should not be condemn because of its past and neither should a person.

The students struggled with their words–but in the end they learned. More importantly for all of us, their classmates were willing to love them through the process of naming their fear; embracing their root; and challenging them to find a new way of being. At the end of a very tense yet powerful discussion, one student said, “ well all we can say to this moment is–AMEN.” Indeed, Amen.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: deen; doublestandard; racism
It's not clear to me what the "Brixton" episode is all about; but, I post because a self identified black progressive woman is speaking some truth.
1 posted on 06/30/2013 6:01:11 AM PDT by don-o
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To: Mrs. Don-o

She gets it. I wonder if she will suffer the same fate as Paula?


2 posted on 06/30/2013 6:03:02 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory, and He will not be mocked! Blessed be the Name of the Lord forever!)
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To: don-o

Jesse “Jerkson”says she can be”Redeemed”?I wonder how much he’ll charge her???


3 posted on 06/30/2013 6:05:04 AM PDT by bandleader
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To: don-o
Unlike the Pope ... she acknowledged she hadn’t always gotten it right ...

Nothing like a little ignorant mudslinging to start the day. Include yourself, ma'am, in the "we" that doesn't always get things right.

4 posted on 06/30/2013 6:06:08 AM PDT by Tax-chick (I want shrimp tacos.)
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To: don-o
Let’s get this straight. I am not condoning...

Longing for the day when such qualifiers are not necessary and cheering Professor Dixon for her wisdom and sophistication.

5 posted on 06/30/2013 6:08:37 AM PDT by jimfree (In November 2016 my 13 y/o granddaughter will have more quality exec experience than Barack Obama)
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To: don-o

Paula wouldn’t be having this problem if it weren’t for her southern accent. This is anti-south bigotry.


6 posted on 06/30/2013 6:10:44 AM PDT by Mercat
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To: Tax-chick

Right. But, I wonder if she was pressed on this, would she perhaps see her own fault in judgement? Maybe?


7 posted on 06/30/2013 6:10:56 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory, and He will not be mocked! Blessed be the Name of the Lord forever!)
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To: bandleader
Jesse “Jerkson”says she can be”Redeemed”?

I was telling the Mrs that Jackson would have earned huge points with me had he used HIS bully pulpit to defend her immediately. Since he waited until after the dirty work, he lost that opportunity.

8 posted on 06/30/2013 6:14:09 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory, and He will not be mocked! Blessed be the Name of the Lord forever!)
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: don-o

It isn’t a bad article. Both of my knees were jerking in unison, but taking a snippet from deep in the article is certain to ensure you have taken it out of context.

All in all, what she says is true, I think.


10 posted on 06/30/2013 6:20:26 AM PDT by rlmorel (Silence: The New Hate Speech)
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To: rlmorel

I miss your point. What context are you talking about? I posted it all.


11 posted on 06/30/2013 6:22:54 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory, and He will not be mocked! Blessed be the Name of the Lord forever!)
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To: don-o

Sorry, I wasn’t being clear. I wasn’t saying you took anything out of context, I was just making the observation that it is one of those articles you have to read the entire thing closely to avoid that pitfall.

I have often opined that I am grateful to liberals for their inadvertent skill at telegraphing the entirety of what they are going to say in the first few words or sentences of a lengthy discourse. I have likely added years to my life by reading the first few words and realizing: “Okay. XXX is bad. YYY is evil. ZZZ is criminal.” When I read the entire article, I am rarely surprised, so they perform a service. It is the same when you hear a communist using the term “running dog capitalist”, you don’t really have to listen. You know exactly where they are coming from and what they will say.

This article written by a liberal is not one of those.

Sorry about the misunderstanding, poor communication on my part.


12 posted on 06/30/2013 6:40:30 AM PDT by rlmorel (Silence: The New Hate Speech)
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To: Tax-chick
I watched a movie several years ago called "The Dam Busters" which was about the British effort to destroy the German dams in the Ruhr valley during WWII.

They had a beloved mascot, a black lab named "Nigger" (which was killed the night of one of the big raids, hit by a car. It was a crushing emotional blow to the men of the squadron.

What was odd was hearing the word used over and over again, shouted out with joy, abruptly issued as a command, descriptively used as parts of discussion, all with no racial overtone but used as the name of the dog.

When the movie was shown in the nineties, they edited the name of the dog out.

13 posted on 06/30/2013 6:48:19 AM PDT by rlmorel (Silence: The New Hate Speech)
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To: rlmorel

May Nigger enjoy each and every day with his companions at Rainbow Bridge...he was a good boy.


14 posted on 06/30/2013 6:52:07 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: rlmorel

We knew the American RAF pilot, Joe McCarthy. He became a real estate agent in Virginia and managed properties for my mother in the late 70s and early 80s. Fascinating old guy.

I don’t think people should use racial, ethnic, or religious slurs. Thanks to my parents, I never do, and I’m surprised when others do. However, if “nigger” is so destructive that it can’t be said by any white person, even in a historical sense, “The pilots had a dog named Nigger,” then why is it in common use among some of the richest and most successful “entertainers” and political hacks in America?

My answer is that any stick to beat up non-”progressive” society will do, no matter how silly or inconsistent it is.


15 posted on 06/30/2013 6:55:49 AM PDT by Tax-chick (I want shrimp tacos.)
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To: rlmorel

I try to be aware of my own propensity for “shorthand thinking.” It’s easy for me to pigeon hole based on any number of factors. And I’m more often right than wrong (by my lights.)

However, this one caught my eye based on the pivot point she chose - that being forgiveness. That concept has been cheapened, corrupted even.

It was just refreshing and encouraging to see that even suggested as a course of action.


16 posted on 06/30/2013 7:12:43 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory, and He will not be mocked! Blessed be the Name of the Lord forever!)
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To: don-o

Agreed. You have to accept the algorithm can be wrong...and adjust accordingly...:)


17 posted on 06/30/2013 7:37:01 AM PDT by rlmorel (Silence: The New Hate Speech)
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To: Tax-chick

We are in agreement on this...


18 posted on 06/30/2013 7:37:42 AM PDT by rlmorel (Silence: The New Hate Speech)
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To: don-o
The students struggled with their words–but in the end they learned. More importantly for all of us, their classmates were willing to love them through the process of naming their fear; embracing their root; and challenging them to find a new way of being. At the end of a very tense yet powerful discussion, one student said, “ well all we can say to this moment is–AMEN.” Indeed, Amen.

Would have been interesting to witness this little self-denunciation session.

19 posted on 06/30/2013 7:40:00 AM PDT by Yardstick
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To: rlmorel; don-o; Mrs. Don-o

This has an interesting relationship to the discussion about “cracker” over the last couple of days. It’s true that people can people can pick up what’s supposed to be an accusation and make it a point of solidarity, “Okay, I’m a redneck ... wanna make something of it?” However, I don’t think it’s helpful for people to embrace negativity.

As a counter example, our Puerto Rican deacon greets his friends coming into church with, “Hola, Cristiano!” not because they’re all named “Christian” but because it acknowledges the best and most important point about the gentlemen: that they are Christians.


20 posted on 06/30/2013 7:45:30 AM PDT by Tax-chick (I want shrimp tacos.)
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To: don-o; Tax-chick
Don-o, I agree with your assessment: Maria Dixon is "a self-identified progressive black woman who is speaking the truth."

I think some readers will be thrown off by the introductory "Brixton" discussion. Let me give it some context.

Maria Dixon, MDiv, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Communication at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.

She annually takes her students to the U.K. for six weeks in London, which includes the colorful (in every sense) part of The City called Brixton, where over half of the population is of African or Caribbean descent, or Asian (read: Pakistanis and Middle Easterners). It is the home of the Brixton Mosque, the oldest Mosque in South London.

That may be why some of he students were afraid of Brixton.

She herself is progressive and black, but? and? --- this is the best part --- she is apparently a Genuine Christian with a capital G. "Gee ...it's true." As this rather paradoxical blog entry of hers illustrates: "Still Striking Out" (Link)

(What I wanted you to see is that her main complaint about the Christian Church is that it is not Christian enough: it isn't calling people to the saving power of Jesus Christ, our redeemer who died for our sins and has come that we might live in Him. Wow!)

So we've got some real complexity here.

Which is to say: a real human being. Maria Dixon, progressive, black, Methodist, Christian: a real human being.

I am proud to see her defending Paula Deen.

21 posted on 06/30/2013 8:08:14 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Point of Information)
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To: rlmorel

The mascot of the crews building Hoover Dam back in the Thirties was “Nig, the Dam Dog” - there’s a plaque at the site commemorating him.


22 posted on 06/30/2013 8:12:23 AM PDT by Argus
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Maria Dixon is "a self-identified progressive black woman who is speaking the truth."

I would qualify that to "a piece of the truth."

23 posted on 06/30/2013 8:30:05 AM PDT by Tax-chick (I want shrimp tacos.)
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To: Tax-chick
I would qualify that to "a piece of the truth."

Which I can surely identify with. I used to be right about everything.

"I was so much older then; I'm younger than that now."

24 posted on 06/30/2013 8:37:23 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory, and He will not be mocked! Blessed be the Name of the Lord forever!)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Thanks for filling in on Brixton. In that entry you linked, Prof Dixon skewers her own compatriots. Again, that kind of honesty is rare all around. It's easy to slam opponents; it's easy to do it with a hardened heart. It's easy to "play the game" using the enemy's rules.

It's easy to damage ones own soul.

25 posted on 06/30/2013 8:45:58 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory, and He will not be mocked! Blessed be the Name of the Lord forever!)
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To: don-o
The Brixton reference is confusing here. She might be referring to the Brixton district in London that is home to many non-whites and also contains a lot of entertainment sites and a huge market, etc.


Electric Avenue, Brixton, London UK

26 posted on 06/30/2013 9:02:15 AM PDT by Albion Wilde ("Remember... the first revolutionary was Satan."--Russian Orthodox Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov)
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To: Albion Wilde
That's right, Albion, that's exactly what it is. #21
27 posted on 06/30/2013 9:13:42 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("OK, youse guys, pair off by threes." - Yogi Berra)
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To: Tax-chick
Many don't know the origin of the word "cracker". "Craic" is a Gaelic word that means "talk, chatter, buzz, yakking" etc. Many of the original settlers of the South were Irish or Scottish Gaelic speakers. You can hear the word in the BBC series set in Ireland, Ballykissangel; and the word, either as a noun or in verb tenses, is still in use in Ireland. Here's a recent example:

From DailyMail online:

Barack Obama today received huge cheers in Northern Ireland as he asked a room full teenagers: 'What's the craic?'
To the delight of an audience in Belfast, the US President said the popular Irish phrase being used by students 'lounging in cafes' was proof that peace in the province was working.


28 posted on 06/30/2013 9:15:54 AM PDT by Albion Wilde ("Remember... the first revolutionary was Satan."--Russian Orthodox Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Maria Dixon, progressive, black, Methodist, Christian: a real human being.

Methodist ---and Christian? How can DAT be? LOL!

(You may recall my many laments about the Methodist church I was raised in now swirling the PC drain...)

29 posted on 06/30/2013 9:18:48 AM PDT by Albion Wilde ("Remember... the first revolutionary was Satan."--Russian Orthodox Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov)
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