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Paula Deen's Damage Control

By       Message Dr. Cheryl Pappas     Permalink
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opednews.com Headlined to H3 6/29/13

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 From http://www.flickr.com/photos/57339945@N00/6869926961/: Paula Deen
Paula Deen by jcmedina

Paula Deen by jcmedina

Paula Deen's Today Show damage control appearance was, in my opinion, not successful.

As the interview wore on, her strategy was to assert her goodness and point to the bad behavior of others.

This is psychologically considered normal as a personal style of defense, but for as grand a venue as Today and as famous a brand as Paula Deen, the effort was akin to coaxing a dead dog to sit up and bark.

As Deen haltingly introduced an example of what she finds "distressing", her repetition of this word, "distressing", might have served to introduce a straight shot apology.  

I personally was waiting for it.

(Not that an apology takes away vile behavior, but it's a start).

It could have gone something like this:   "I am distressed that this word ever came out of my mouth.   I want to apologize.   Period.   I will be investigating who I am to ever have that word be a part of my language and my consciousness".

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Instead, as we all know, she launched into what sounded like a prepared talking point, about how "distressing" it is for black young people to use the n word with one another.

I say that if you are black and choose to use the n word it is a universe of difference from a white person using the same word.

Flipping the matter over in my mind as a Jewish person, I don't believe we favor using anti-semitic slang with one another.

However, this does not mean that young black people are   communicating self-denigration by using the n word.

That is for the black community to argue.

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No white person can weigh in on this with any authority.

Therefore, the strategy of Paula Deen's "distress" about it is cringe-worthy and transparently a wrong-headed defense.

We could discuss how members of minorities speak amongst themselves, and we can realize quickly that each culture is a separate case in this regard.

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I am a writer, media analyst, and psychotherapist. I'm interested in comedy, satire, politics, entertainment, pop culture, and business; exposing how the media powerfully spins the news we hear, and how this spin creates our feeling states and (more...)
 

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