Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis city. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. His project The Hero Killer was released on January 21 and will be followed up by a full-length with DJ Burn One entitled Cheer For the Villain. Follow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get The Hero Killer here.
I hate talking about race-related issues in this column, because the Internet is overflowing with Keyboard Nazis and Macbook Klansmen. Basically these types of people say ridiculously racist stuff online, but in real life they're all a bunch of wimps. Perhaps surprisingly, I actually respect and admire real-life full-blown racists who live it and talk it. I'm an extremist, so if you're going to be a racist I figure you might as well be a full-time, fully dedicated champion of the cause.
In a weird, twisted way I have some type of respect for people who stand on their beliefs against all odds, even if their beliefs are centered in killing people that look like me. Hypothetically speaking, let's say I move into a house in Chesterfield or O'Fallon, and a few douches take it upon themselves to brick my windows and not reveal their faces. This gets zero respect in my book, but somehow, some kind of way, I have a ounce of respect for the lifelong Aryan Nation member that will hang me from a tree and and videotape themselves setting my body on fire.
I am more annoyed by the fake-ass subliminal racism than I am by the blatant in-your-face racism. I mean, give me a fair warning before you shoot me. And if you must kill me, look me in my eye while you're doing it. I respect this to a degree, even though I feel like any diehard racist is a complete maniac.This brings us to the subject of Paula Deen.
I'm sure by now you've heard a thousand different stories about what has taken place. Basically, an old fat white lady from the South got famous via the Food Network for cooking fried chicken and collard greens. These recipes are probably hand-me-downs from Aunt Jemima and the rest of the house slaves hoarded over the course of time. Initially, when Deen's remarks went viral I wondered,"What is the big deal?" She's an old Caucasian lady from the South, so she's probably dropped her fair share of N-bombs. I wouldn't expect anything less. I didn't think this was newsworthy whatsoever.
If her saying the N-word shocked you, then you, my friend, live in a different and far more unrealistic world than the rest of us. I kinda-sorta gave her a pass when the story leaked, and the first thing I heard about were the N-bomb accusations. I naturally automatically assumed she had some ancient klansmen in her blood, given the fact that she's basically on national TV cooking sharecropper delights. And for the record, I'm sick and tired of racist mugs marginalizing their racism by hiding behind the minutia of the "who can and can't say the N-word" debate.
On the real, if you intend on using the word in a racist context, just own up to it and stop it with the "why can black people say it" back-and-forth crap. This is probably the most childish intellectual argument of all time. When a white person ponders why black people can say the N-word and they can't, this almost always makes the person sound racist, even if they aren't. It's not a smart counter, so just leave it alone. From the jump, when you call a person that word, you fully intended to do so.
Most white people don't give a damn about the word "cracker" because the word "cracker" ultimately doesn't stop the world from spinning. Well, the same thing goes for the N-word, in my book. She can cry all she wants on TV and issue all the Youtube apologies in the world. The reality of the situation is that the public ridicule she's receiving from this incident is, more than likely, secretly making her and her family even less understanding about their perspective concerning race, slavery, and all other things attached to this subject. To put it another way, if she is racist, then it's probably making her more racist to be attacked like this.
It's bigger than her saying the N-word, and I wouldn't have cared much if that was the end of it. She has one of the best PR teams in the world, so they naturally made it seem like people are turned up about her saying the N-word one time in life.That's a blatant lie as well, because we all know the N-word is one of those infectious words you just can't say once. If you've said it once then you've likely said it a thousand times, because it feels good rolling out the lips. It's a heavy word, but people wouldn't use it so much if it didn't sound so melodic when spoken. So, Paula Deen, we all know you're lying about hardly ever using the word.
But I have better things to worry about. I've also accepted the fact that my ancestors were slaves, so this means someone else's ancestors had to be the slave masters. I've accepted the fact that most people, including black people (not just white people), really aren't capable of understanding the brutality attached to the enslavement of African Americans. I'm black myself, and I don't even completely understand slavery. So for me it's a given that somebody like Paula Deen is more than likely totally ignorant toward this subject. If I moved next door to her I automatically expect her to look out the blinds and say, "Hey, there's a bunch of n*ggers moving into the house next door." Is this extreme? Yes. Is this brutally honest? Yes. We live in America, and you know the rest. People need to just be honest about racism sometimes. The '60s weren't that long ago. My mother had to drink out of colored water fountains, and my grandmother worked on a plantation. They're both still alive. The people on the opposite side of the fence that were allowed to drink from the clean water fountains and didn't have to work on the plantations are also still alive.
The best thing you can do concerning this type of action is just be real about it. "Hey, black people, we don't want you guys moving into our neighborhoods, and our grandmothers still refer to you as 'coloreds.'" Just say it and move on so we can all have an honest platform to operate from. Black people are prejudiced as hell as well. Old black people can be assholes when it comes to racism, but no one wants to be honest about this. I went to visit a friend of mine a while ago. She happens to be a young, pretty Caucasian girl. Her black neighbor called the police on me and told them I was breaking into her home. They charged into the living room with guns drawn. She let me in through the side door and he didn't see this, so his dumb ass called the police and these idiots came in the house with guns drawn and ready to shoot.
People from Deen's generation tend to be idiots when race is the topic, so I initially gave her a pass, but she immediately screwed it up. The bit about the plantation-styled wedding was too over the top, and that's where my sympathy card ran out of mileage.The bit about the servers dressing up as slaves ruined her chance to get a pass. The racist aspects of this scenario don't bother me as much as the fact she was being a total moron. There's no way in hell a grown-ass woman with millions of dollars in the bank doesn't realize this is a bad idea. While we're at it, Paula, how about we have a Holocaust-styled luncheon? Let's dress a bunch of Jewish people up in gas masks and have them serve finger foods to a bunch of party patrons dressed like Nazi soldiers. Then we can follow it up with a smallpox blanket picnic, with Native American's serving buffalo wings and corn on the cob to a few God-fearing party patrons dressed like pilgrims. All of the above scenarios are completely ridiculous. Even the most bigoted person alive knows that. The bigger problem here isn't her racist ideologies being exposed, but the fact she actually thought she could take this nonsense to court and win.
The entire country is walking on eggshells right now, due to a few touchy subjects concerning civil rights of all sorts. From marriage equality to the Trayvon Martin murder trial to the black President being on his second term -- and this lady really thought it was all right for her to be a celebrity and dream of hosting a plantation-styled wedding? It's just pure common sense. This was a horrible idea for the obvious reasons. All of a sudden we see the usual shenanigans that we see when something like this happens. Jesse Jackson comes from behind the curtain and does his usual act, like we're too dumb to realize her high-profile publicist pulled some strings and made this one happen. For the record, white people, it's time for a new token. I speak for ALL black people when I say this: We hate Jesse F$%king Jackson.
Usually, when a person is accused of being a racist and they pull Jesse Jackson from behind the curtain, this simply means they actually are racist. Paula says she's not a racist, and this is simply the culture of her family, she didn't know any better, ect. Well, she probably comes from one of those Southern families that also thought Martin Luther King Jr. was Osama Bin Laden. So it's utterly insane that Jesse Jackson is her black male shield of defense. Jesse Jackson is the homeless bum of the civil-rights movement. Similar to Paula Deen, he experienced a breakdown in his sanity/common sense and thought he could actually win a bid for the presidency of the United States in the '80s. He's the original O.J. Simpson; black people dislike like him, and white people hate him. But for some reason he's the first person stupid white people call during these types of situations. If I was her I would've said, "Hell no, do not call Jesse Jackson, we're better off calling David Duke." You're better off calling Dennis Rodman, but Jesse Jackson can go to Hell and share a bed with Hitler. I'll say this for the last time: Nobody likes Jesse Jackson. He's a walking, talking scumbucket.
Paula Deen is not an idiot in terms of building a business, but she is a complete airhead in regard to race. I'm not mad at her; I'm not saying we need to riot in the streets. I don't even think they should take away her TV show or cancel her endorsement deals. But I am saying we should at least acknowledge that she's insane and has lost her mind. These are her exact words about the plantation-styled wedding: "Well, what I would really like is a bunch of little n*ggers to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap-dance around." She elaborated further by saying, "We can't do that because the media would be on me about that." Hmmm, you don't say?
A few uppity Southern negros are in love with her crispy-crunchy golden chicken wings, so they take her terrible explanation of this situation and run with it. In her senility influenced statements, Deen said that she actually was referencing the "beautiful white jackets with a black bow-tie" she saw the wait staff of "middle-aged black men" wearing at a restaurant she visited "in Tennessee or North Carolina or somewhere." My reply to this is kill yourself.
You don't build an empire as lucrative as hers by lacking intelligence. She knew damn well in 2013 it's not OK to have black people at a wedding dressed like slaves and refer to them as n*ggers. She could've took it upon herself to settle this out of court, and the general public would've never known about the details surrounding these incidents. For some reason she was on a soapbox and thought she had enough mojo to beat this in the court of public opinion. Jesus Christ lady, this just seems like one huge over-the-top Dave Chappelle skit. Honestly, I think she should just come out and stand her ground. Like I said earlier, people respect a psycho who doesn't deny the fact that they're indeed psycho.
When asked about her brother Bubba watching porn at work and telling racially charged jokes on the clock, Deen said the following: "Just because he's got a sense of humor does not make him a bad person or incapable of running a business." She actually went as far to say "We have all told off-color jokes...Every man I've ever come in contact with has one." I actually have no problem with this ,because we live in the real world and dumbasses are the kings and queens of planet Earth.
But black staff had to use the back entrance to enter and leave the restaurant. Black staff could only use one bathroom. Black staff also was not permitted to work in the front of the restaurants. Paula's beloved brother Bubba once said, "I wish I could put all those n*ggers in the kitchen on a boat to Africa." Bubba's ignorance doesn't stop there: He once shook an employee (black) and said "Fuck your civil rights...you work for me and my sister Paula Deen." Bubba is the Michael Jordan of the family when racism is involved. He asked a black driver and security guard, "Don't you wish you could rub all the black off you and be like me? You just look dirty; I bet you wish you could." The guy told Bubba he was fine as is. Bubba said the following about President Obama: "They should send him to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, so he could n*gger-rig it."
Paula's son Jaime's best friend was a manager at the Lady & Sons restaurant. He distastefully threatened to fire all the "monkeys" in the kitchen. When Paula Deen discovered this she simply slapped him on the wrist and suggested that the employee visit her $13 million mansion so he felt special and could be massaged. You see folks, Paula Deen truly doesn't give a rats ass about civil rights. Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers died fighting the kind of institutionalized racism she represents, but in today's society we're all pretty much desensitized to the reality of this type of racism. She's a brain-dead zombie, a big bag of moronic flesh. For the record, a white lady is filing the actual lawsuit against her, because all the black people working for Paula and Bubba apparently were in a coma for 400 years and didn't realize the ice thawed. They woke up from their slumber in the 21st century, shell-shocked and humiliated by how much the world had changed since the days of whips and chains. They viewed Bubba as their overseer and were happy with the fact that they could take restroom breaks at free will. These people might be bigger idiots than Paula Deen and Bubba.
Let's see, I go to work and the owner comes in referring to the staff with a racial pejorative -- it doesn't take a genius to know I'll be looking for a new job the next day and/or documenting every single day I spend at work in hopes of hitting these fools with a massive lawsuit. These people working there couldn't have been the brightest tools in the shed. If I worked there this would've been front page news three hours into my first shift on the clock. At one of my old jobs I'm almost certain one of my bosses wanted to make some similar remarks as Bubba Deen did. Guess what? The day she did I'd smile with glee because me and mine would be laughing all the way to the bank and back. But common sense prevented her from doing this even though I'm certain she went into her office slammed the door and let the racist verbal triathlon run like faucet water through her lips.
Whose bright idea was it to put her N-bomb-dropping, porno-watching brother in charge of the restaurant to begin with? We realize Paula Deen is seeing those dollar signs evaporate daily, and it hurts. You're not crying because you're sorry. No one actually believes you're sorry, so you're wasting your energy. I don't think we should cancel her show, because she actually has the right to think and function however she desires. Let the lady be herself; at least now the show is ten times more interesting than it previously was. We should actually add a black lady named Mamie to the show for the sake of being politically correct.
I really feel on some level this shouldn't affect her career, because who didn't think for maybe 2.3 seconds, "I bet Paula Deen has some type of issues with race"? Save those tears, and go home and chef up some more Aunt Jemima heart-disease-inducing fried chicken. This is the fakest sympathy act we've seen in a while; she was drunk off of power and made a sea of bad decisions. Paula Deen is the epitome of a brain-dead buffoon, but she's filthy rich and people still love her, so she'll be OK. Black people actually still like her -- she's probably one of the few people who could get away with being openly ignorant and prejudiced. If I was her I'd stop the sob story and hold my nuts. But then again maybe I'd cry too if I had to witness myself flush millions of dollars down the drain in the blink of an eye. If white people are smart, she's now the O.J. Simpson of your racial all-star team of idiots. Black people hate O.J. Simpson, for the most part. We might not admit it to white people publicly, but when we have the secret black people meeting every year at Malcolm X's grave site we dedicate an entire hour to the sacrificial burning of all O.J. Simpson memorabilia.
I probably won't have a column next week after this one, huh? Well, Paula Deen doesn't have a TV show now either. At least we both potentially went out with a bang. Now feel free to overflow the comments section with your most powerful racist blurbs. Please do us a solid and use your real name instead of hiding behind your Chris Hansen To Catch A Predator screen name. If you're going to be a hate monger, at least be proud of yourself.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.