The 'execution' of Paula Deen shows how badly we have misplaced our outrage
Government officials betray our trust, but Paula Deen tells the truth and the nation goes wild with rage over a word.
Celebrity chef Paula Deen is being pilloried in the public media for telling the 'truth'. When asked under oath, during a legal deposition, Paula Deen admitted to having used the word "nigger," a racial epithet, in the distant past. Since that admission, she has lost sponsors and public support. However, supporters are coming to her defense saying that her use of a racial term was not particularly unusual or rare for her or others.
Paula Deen shouldn't be endlessly persecuted and harassed because she spoke the truth while under oath. If anything, it reflects on her honesty and integrity, even if we disagree with her speech.
For telling the truth about using a racial slur, which is admittedly offensive and painful, Deen is paying a steep price. Several of her sponsors have dropped her, and her cooking show has been cancelled on the Food Network.
Now Paula Deen's family has also been subjected to public harassment from an angry public. Whatever happened to freedom of speech including offensive speech? We don't have to like it. And for the record, Deen has issued a public apology. In fact, she has issued several.
There is another problem. It's that some words and their meanings are now being manipulated to conceal the truth. Some words hit so hard they are considered taboo and are off limits for some people, while being casually bandied about by others. Other words, such as "marriage" are redefined or watered down.
Sometimes, words are turned entirely on themselves. For example, "gun rights," (rights are inherent to people, not objects). Slogans such as "Conservatives are fighting a war on women," despite the fact the body count shows it's liberals who are murdering baby girls in the womb. Homosexual pairs are somehow "denied the right to marry" despite the fact they are incapable of marrying each other and already enjoy this right under its traditional definition (one man and one woman).
In addition to the absurdity of placing words and terms off limits, and to redefining commonly understood words, we have adopted a sanctimonious attitude toward those who speak differently, or unpopularly.
Such attitudes are usually hypocritical. In common association some people swap racist jokes, make fun of stereotypes, and use racially charged terminology, at least on an infrequent basis. It's a natural human occurence, even if it isn't politically correct.
Nevertheless, in public, we become sanctimonious and judgmental; condemning with the harshest rhetoric anyone caught using such words in public.
We need to take a pause. An American ambassador is killed during a terrorist attack, despite calling for help in the weeks before, and in the aftermath the president of the United States systematically lies about it and we vote for him. The IRS routinely harasses those who are politically unpopular to the current administration, and we leave it to Congress to investigate. We learn that the government is routinely collecting the private data of millions of Americans and we obsess over the question of "where is Edward Snowden" instead of asking, "why is this happening and should it continue?"
Religious organizations are being forced to pay for unconscionable practices based on the edicts of the Health and Human Services and the Obama administration, and we all sit quiet, hoping a judge will intervene and handle the crisis for us.
However, Paula Deen is asked a question, point-blank and under oath, she tells the truth, and the nation loses its mind.
As a nation, we have lost all sense and obsess over non-issues. We punish people for their honesty, in cases where that truth makes us uncomfortable, but we give liars a free pass. The Paula Deen case shows how badly we have misplaced our outrage.
Then we wonder where our freedom is going.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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