I read this fantastic open letter this morning(http://afroculinaria.com/2013/06/25/an-open-letter-to-paula-deen/) from a share of a facebook friend and started a comment, which was really good til FB froze on me and I couldn’t post it and wondered if that was not the place since I began to go in another direction – but I stopped before I did. LOL
So I will try to recall most of what I began writing and since now I am on my blog extend it some – not a lot but some.
I have to admit that I was disappointed in what Paula Deen was accused of saying but why all the hype? Oh – a very powerful and successful white woman said it – what about all those powerful and successful white men who have said some of the worst racist things but were and have never had the balls to apologize for it? They still have their jobs and networks and sponsorships!!! Why are we so focused on on this? IMO it is because we as a society have yet to admit we are all racists. We have made statements that are racist in nature and haven’t a clue they are. I have made them – not with the taboo words which make headlines but with nicer words and innuendos, body language which only other racists understand, eg “those people”, “them” and “you who I am talking about”(with a nod of the head). These are worse for they are disguise and subversive. As a white woman I am privileged, not in status or class but just by being a white woman. I do not come near to admitting what others have suffered because of their race and gender. What this world has put upon people of color(and of the LGTB community), I don’t have that in my life.
I have made statements that I immediately been appalled that they were actually a prejudice comment and cannot take it back – throwing a rock threw a glass windw!
But this stuff with Deen is outrageous – why does the media have to focus on this and not the larger picture of injustice toward the poor, hungry and displaced. I always try to treat my sisters and brothers as Jesus would treat them, but I am human and I screw up. We all screw up. Get over it! Improve yourself! Admit you made a mistake and work harder not to do it again and if so recognize it.
There are some who have no idea that they make statements and gesture others preceive as racist. And when we hear and see this happening, do we bring it to their attention?
The author of the letter writes from a culinary and Southern perspective – and beautifully conveys how jointly the Black and White, Slaves and Slave-Owners created the hospitality and food that makes up the South today. but we still have a long way to go. Rev Bruce Reyes-Chow has just published a book on race(I Don’t See You as Asian) and he shares the subversive nature of prejudice affected his lif and what the Church needs to be aware of in discussing openly this matter of race. It is a part of our cultural – our race does define us but it should not be the barrier that keeps us apart. God create all and we are mandated to serve all, not just those who are like us.
So, I am going to finish reading Bruce’s book, make a copy of this letter by Michael Twitty, and lay my canon of Scripture beside them to create a study for my context – a community in the Delta of Arkansas that has lost its vision and hope to grow and is in a survival mode that is choking the life out of us.
So watch out FC City Council and Chamber of Commerce – you are about to hear from me and others!
I will keep you posted-