She needs to be voted off “Dancing with the Stars”, and not just because she can’t dance, although it’s true, she can’t: Bruno called her a barnacle, which is an insult to arthropods everywhere. They are a crucial part of our ecosystem. I can’t say the same about Paula.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not judging her for saying the word “nigger” a few decades ago. And yes, I write the word out when quoting what someone else has said. In this regard, I subscribe to the Don Lemon -Whoopie Goldberg school of thought. I’m not cleaning up the language of people who spew racism. How else can we truly grasp the depth of their ugliness, unless we hear the word in all its fetid depravity? But no, I am not judging her for something she said decades ago, only because I would not want to be judged for something I did or said decades ago. People can and do change. (Although Paula Deen clearly is still a racist; there is abundant proof of that.) What bothers me is that she referred to an under aged girl as “a piece of pussy”. This was a girl for whom she was responsible, by the way.
And she didn’t do that decades ago, she did that very recently, a couple of years ago, in the famous deposition that she gave under oath. The deposition happened as a part of the lawsuit initiated by Lisa Jackson, an employee who worked at a restaurant owned by Paula Deen and her brother: it seems that Lisa took offense to hearing the N word all the time, and being exposed to pornography on a daily basis. But so many people were so busy bickering with each other and blogging at the mouth about whether or not Paula Deen was racist that they forgot to actually read her deposition (ah, those pesky source materials!)—in which case they would have learned something far uglier about this woman, who just might have soiled her granny panties on this season’s premier of DWTS.
EXCERPTED FROM THE DEPOSITION:
ATTORNEY: . . .There was a general manager in the early days who was fired from Uncle Bubba’s because he was having a relationship with an under aged server. . .And there’s a quote attributed to you in the Complaint about that . . .Is that quote accurate?
PAULA DEEN: That is, absolutely. Out of all of the accusations, I can say that’s the only one--
ATTORNEY: Well, which quote? There are about three in that paragraph. I know the one you’re talking about, but let’s make sure the record is clear …
PAULA DEEN: I said that first sentence that’s in quotes. I certainly did. I said it that day and I would say it again today if it applied.
ATTORNEY: Could you read for me that part that you did say? …
PAULA DEEN: “If you think I’ve worked this hard to lose everything because of a piece of pussy, you better think again.”
So you see, she not only proclaimed it, she stood by it, under a literal, not a figurative, cross examination, under penalty of perjury. And she stood by it proudly. She even loudly proclaimed that she would say it again. Paula doesn’t even have the good sense to be embarrassed, apologetic, or to at least blame it on the side effect of some bad meds. And Paula Deen is 67, no spring chicken; we know that she hasn’t suddenly changed her mind about young girls from the white trash position she defended so vigorously under oath just two short years ago.
The vulgar comment about the under aged server is troubling on so many levels. For one thing, what Paula Deen said was illegal. It is slander under the Georgia Code, possibly libel given that she knew it was being committed into the written record. You can’t go around calling a person, especially a child, “a piece of pussy” and think that you aren’t breaking the law. More to the point, it suggests how completely she was complicit in her creepy-crass brother’s behavior in the work place. Apart from the obvious interpersonal problems and safety issues raised by that fact that he admitted to frequently being drunk on the job—including morning shifts—there is also his disgusting practice, again revealed in Paula’s deposition, of watching pornographic videos in his office, which I suppose the staff, even under aged girls were just expected to endure. And yet none of this bothered the classless Ms. Deen the least little bit. Again, an excerpt from the deposition:
ATTORNEY: Did any of the things that your brother admitted to doing, including reviewing pornography in the workplace, using the N word in the workplace, did any of that conduct cause you to have any concerns about him continuing to operate the business?
PAULA DEEN: No.
That’s it. A big “NO” from the lady who professes to embody grace, tradition, and the sanctity of Southern Womanhood. Think of some of the disgusting stuff that just about anybody can see on the internet, without even going into the dark web. You want your precious little angel, fifteen and new to her first job, to have to walk by the office and see that stuff on a daily basis? But it’s just fine with Paula Deen. She sees nothing wrong with that, the EEOC be damned.
But the fact that it is illegal—to show porn at work, and to call an underage girl “a piece of pussy” when she is in your employ—is, to my mind, not even the worst of it. What makes it truly, deeply frightening is that it going against all human instinct. All maternal impulses and sensibilities. Children are supposed to be protected by adults, and girls are supposed to be nurtured and shielded by women who are older and wiser. And even if this girl did flirt with the adult male in question, or “come on to him” in any way, he should have known better than to respond in any way, shape, or form, except to tell her how inappropriate her behavior was. Adults understand, now more than ever, that teenage girls don’t completely comprehend sexuality or the power of their own sex appeal. If anything, they have more misconceptions about it than ever. Any mother in the world would breathe a sigh of relief to learn that her young daughter’s boss was a woman who would certainly take care of business in this regard. Certainly. How could a business owner do otherwise? A store manager getting sexually involved with a kid? Statutory rape, especially potentially committed in the restaurant? One can just hear someone feisty like Dolly Parton, a true Southern Lady if ever there was one, going off on that horny manager the way she went off on her boss in “Nine-To-Five“: “I’m gonna change you from a rooster to a hen with one shot.” But not Paula Deen. She not only condones her brother’s disgusting and illegal behavior, she engages in worse behavior herself. There is something deeply wrong with Paula Deen. With Paula Deen, and with her “fucking restaurant” to quote her verbatim, again from the deposition.
And for those of you who say that I am being too hard on Paula Deen, calm down. I am not suggesting she be arrested. I am not suggesting she be hurt in any way. I am not suggesting that she be flagellated with a whip made of linguini al dente. I am suggesting that it is offensive and ridiculous to allow this white trash potty mouth to dance around the stage with all of us knowing what we know about her--she is a woman who fantasizes about slave-themed weddings, and who attacks the virtue of young girls when it is opportune.
And for those of you who would say that I am making too much of this, that this is old news and a trivial matter, I would ask you to consider this: every large and horrible and hurtful idea that has caused harm to human beings always, always starts with one person thinking ugly things about other people. Always. Two years ago, the shocking “pussy” comment got buried under a different story; now it is time for Paula to be held accountable.
Paula needs to be voted off. And not just because in that ghastly purple dress, she looked like the primary ingredient in eggplant parmesan. She needs to be voted off because she has an ugly heart and ugly thoughts, and therefore it interferes with the entire purpose of watching “Dancing with the Stars”, a show which is about beauty, and grace, and tradition. The true Paula Deen understands none of those things.
Now, in case you still think I am making too much of this, and that it’s not such a big deal, I want you to picture you and your wife sitting on your front porch, with a nice glass of sweet tea. Your darling daughter comes out the front door, kisses you on the cheek, and says she is going out for the evening. You wish she didn’t dress quite like that, but it’s what all the kids are wearing, and everything is covered up. You are just being overprotective, you tell yourself. Then Paula Deen, who is sitting next to you with her own glass of sweet tea, says, as she watches your child walk away “Y’all know your daughter is just a piece of pussy.”
Now how is that so different from what really happened? Oh right—Paula Deen said that after defending an adult who was engaging in statutory rape with your daughter. I guess what Paula actually did it isn’t quite the same thing, after all.