In a 20-page opinion released Monday, U.S. District Court Judge William T. Moore Jr. tossed out race discrimination claims made by former Savannah restaurant manager Lisa Jackson against celebrity chef Paula Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers. According to the Moore, Jackson, who is white, was at best, “an accidental victim of the alleged racial discrimination.” This inconvenient reality will matter little to the civil rights lynch mob and their media enablers who have dedicated themselves to destroying Deen’s career. A USA Today story announcing Deen’s victory exemplifies the success of that effort. It was entitled, “Experts: Paula Deen is done despite legal win.”
In testimony, Deen admitted using the “n-word” over a quarter-century ago in a private conversation with her husband, following an armed robbery. When questioned further, she couldn’t recall any other specific instances of usage, but admitted the possibility that she had probably used it, or tolerated its usage, in joking. “But that’s just not a word that we use as time has gone on,” Deen said. “Things have changed since the ’60s in the South. And my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior. As well as I do.”
As a result her testimony, Deen’s career was dealt a severe blow. She was dropped by the Food Network after 11 years, along with pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk, Wal-mart, QVC, Smithfield Foods, Home Depot, Target, Sears, and others. Despite her 15th cookbook reaching number one at Amazon.com in pre-order sales, her former publisher, Random House’s Ballantine Books, canceled it.
Her current status is best described by David E. Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision, a public relations and branding agency based in Suwanee, GA. “The narrative has been set,” he said, referring to a New York Times story attempting to further denigrate Deen regarding her long-term relationship with black Deen employee Dora Charles. Yet despite their best efforts, the paper was forced to reveal that an investigation by Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition found that while some employees at the Lady and Sons, where Mrs. Charles works, said there was bias against blacks, others insisted that it was a terrific place to work. And despite the reality that Mrs. Charles has only a ninth grade education, she currently earns around $71,000 per year.
Furthermore, the so-called narrative is a capricious one, as it relates to taboo remarks. For instance, despite actress Gwyneth Paltrow tweeting a photo of herself onstage at Jay-Z and Kanye West’s 2012 “Watch the Throne” concert in Paris with the caption, “Ni**as in paris for real,” there has been no discernible damage done to her career as a result. Actor Alec Baldwin allegedly called a black NY Post photographer a “coon,” and a “crackhead” in February, followed by a rant in June when he referred to Daily Mail reporter George Stark as a “toxic little queen” and “little bitch” on Twitter. For his “penance,” Baldwin will reportedly be getting his own weekly show on cable network MSNBC’s primetime lineup.
That would be the same MSNBC where racial arsonist Al Sharpton also has his own show, despite his own track record of both racist and anti-Semitic references. It was Sharpton who referred to the owner of Freddie’s Fashion Mart in Harlem as a “white interloper,” after which, he denied any responsibility for the ensuing massacre committed by protest attendee Roland James Smith, Jr. Smith killed seven people plus himself after ordering black people to leave the store prior to setting it on fire. Sharpton also referred to Jews as “diamond merchants” during the anti-Semitic Crown Heights riots in Brooklyn, which led to the death of Australian Jew Yankel Rosenbaum. Yet Sharpton’s chief claim to fame was his participation in the racially-charged Tawana Brawley hoax that resulted in a defamation judgment against him for accusing former New York prosecutor Steven Pagones of kidnapping and raping Brawley.
For Sharpton, a genuine track record of racism appears to be a career enhancement. So, too, for Jesse Jackson, whose career as as media-anointed spokesman for black America has never been derailed by his anti-Semitic reference to New York City as “Hymietown,” his 2008 off-air comment on Fox News during which he accused Barack Obama of “telling niggers how to behave,” or his most recent outburst, accusing the entire state of Florida of being racist, and comparing its Governor Rick Scott to hard-core segregationist George Wallace, because George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder.
Rod Dreher, writing for the American Conservative, offers up the most convincing explanation for why the likes of Sharpton, Jackson, Paltrow and Baldwin get a pass, while Deen does not. “Alec Baldwin, New York liberal, is of the media’s world; Paula Deen, Southern grits-chomper, is not,” he writes. “He can be forgiven for a slur he uttered the day before yesterday; she must be professionally destroyed for something she said years ago. She’s not one of us, dear.”
Meanwhile, Paltrow, whose obsession with body cleansing includes hawking her own kit for $425, stands in stark contrast to the traditional Southern recipes of Deen, who was derisively labeled the “cholesterol-loving chef” by Salon. Such recipes are utterly antithetical to the left’s preoccupation, led by Michelle Obama, of controlling the diet of every American, irrespective of their personal desires. Add Deen’s Southern and devoutly Baptist roots to the mix, two elements which also offend the elitist sensibilities of East and West Coast progressives, who see the rest of nation as “flyover country” filled with Americans who “cling” to their guns and religion, and her ex-communication becomes even more understandable.
Judge Moore refused to play along. He dismissed Lisa Jackson’s claim that she had suffered from racially offensive talk and employment practices allegedly aimed at black workers at Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House. Moore also didn’t buy Jackson’s charge that such prejudices were “more personally offensive” to her because her nieces are biracial. The judge then explained that letting Jackson’s claim continue would “serve to conscript federal courts as human-resources departments that are responsible for imposing and monitoring a federally created standard for harmony in the workplace.”
One suspects progressives would like nothing better than to use the power of the federal government to create a “standard of harmony” for the entire nation. But for now, they will have to content themselves with the reality that Deen’s career may never be fully resurrected, irrespective of the numerous, high-profile apologies she has made. Such a fate may be insufficient for the racial grievance industry, still reeling from the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman murder case. Their reflexive charge of racism, based on Deen’s use of a single word that virtually every one of the “civil rights” leaders have undoubtedly uttered themselves, reeks of hypocrisy.
“We are pleased with the court’s ruling today that Lisa Jackson’s claims of race discrimination have been dismissed,” said Deen spokeswoman Elana Weiss in a statement e-mailed to the Associated Press. “As Ms. Deen has stated before, she is confident that those who truly know how she lives her life know that she believes in equal opportunity, kindness and fairness for everyone.” In a nation where maintaining a racial divide among Americans remains an extremely lucrative enterprise, Deen’s confidence is misplaced.
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