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Paula Deen: I’m Just Like ‘That Black Football Player’

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      1. “It’s like that black football player who recently came out. He said, ‘I just want to be known as a football player. I don’t want to be known as a gay football player."

        So she says he just wants "to be known as a football player" but she has to call him "that black football player". There are no words...

        13 Replies
        1. re: MacTAC

          Maybe we're supposed to believe she was trying to be sensitive to his desire not to be known as a gay football player by simply labeling him a black one--just in case we forgot which one she might be talking about. ;P

          1. re: MacTAC

            English teacher chiming in here...

            Remember when we got on Bill Clinton's case for calling Monica Lewinsky "that woman" instead of using her real name ("I did not have sex with that woman.") Folks who know their psycho-linguistics, heard the following in Clinton's choice of words: The phrase "that woman" is inherently demeaning. It says, "That person is so unimportant to me that I can't even be bothered to know/utter her name."

            That's what's going on with Paul Deen. She mercifully didn't use the N-word this time, but assigning Michael Sam a label ("that black football player) instead of using his name shows that Deen doesn't value him enough to learn/utter his name. Of course, she's not above trying to use the "embattled" part of Sam's story to her advantage. But know his name because he is a distinct individual? Not gonna happen according to Deen's values!

            1. re: Indy 67

              Maybe she doesn't know his name. I'm gay and you would think this is something big for gay rights, but I have no idea in the world what his name is.

              1. re: ttoommyy

                So how would you refer to him if you wanted to bring him up in a conversation?

                1. re: DeppityDawg

                  The professional football player who recently came out

                  1. re: debbiel

                    He's not professional yet. That's why the story is considered newsworthy: people want to see how his announcement will affect his chances of becoming pro in May.

                    1. re: DeppityDawg

                      Oh that's right. I forgot. So...The college football player expected to be drafted who came out

                  2. re: DeppityDawg

                    I would just say who is that football player that came out as gay?

                    1. re: DeppityDawg

                      ...and I am not focusing on being politically correct either. I just don't attach any personal characteristics to someone's profession....black doctor, fat waitress, gay dentist, short cop, etc.

                      1. re: DeppityDawg

                        In all honesty? I might say "that black football player who came out." Or I might say "that football player who came out." I come from a time and place where it was commonplace to state something like the former. Do I mean anything derogatory by it? Of course not. Old habits are hard to break. I am not saying I am right or wrong; just being honest. And as a gay man who hears a gay slur/stereoptypical comment about gays at least once a day, well, I have no idea what this says about me.

                        1. re: ttoommyy

                          My father used to do this a lot. He'd be telling a story and say something like, "So the shoe salesman comes over, black guy, and ...." or "This black guy was at the gas station..." When I was in junior high school, I started interrupting him with something like, "Does his being black have anything to do with the story?" He would always insist that it did. We'd get to the end of the story and, nope, race had nothing to do with the story. I'd point that out. Dad would grumble at me.

                          Then sometime in my early 30s, he finally understood that what he was doing/saying was a manifestation of the racism he had grown up with and had been trying to overcome. And he stopped. Though he would occasionally try to get a laugh out of me by saying something like, "So the shoe salesman came over, white guy, and..."

                          1. re: debbiel

                            In my case, it's not a holdover of hateful racism as much it is a holdover of growing up in typically white areas where there were no blacks. If a black person entered into the story, it was "important" back then because it meant someone not from the neighborhood. I don't think we ever meant it to be racist. Believe it or not, you also heard it on TV news reports even when it had nothing to do with the story. Like I said in my previous post, it was a different time and place. Just look at the conversations that go on when people speculate if an actor or actress is gay. I would say this is a very popular workplace conversation, and even the most open-minded person will say, "not that it matters! My college roommate was a lesbian. I'm cool with that." Or something like that. Maybe one day this too will be a non-issue. :)

                            1. re: debbiel

                              My elderly father still does this. Sometimes I correct him. He understands the issue, but like you say, it's a habit.

                  3. Isn't he black? Pssst...I think he knows. Let's not go lynching this lady again

                    32 Replies
                    1. re: BiscuitBoy

                      Psst... He also knows he's gay.

                      You don't see the irony of her saying he only wants to be known as a football player and she calls him that black football player which has NOTHING to do with the issue?

                      1. re: MacTAC

                        But he IS black! And if this is supposed to be about equality he should be treated like everyone else...no special treatment, or tip-toeing around the fact that he's BLACK! I'm no fan of this lady, but I think we're being over sensitive here, and trying to find fault where none exists. Who really cares what this fat old white woman has to say, anyway?!!

                        1. re: BiscuitBoy

                          With you 100% on your last sentence. At least she's not hawking pharmaceuticals anymore.

                          1. re: BiscuitBoy

                            Point is she could have used his name. She's Also trying to compare apples to oranges. She just doesn't get it.

                            1. re: BiscuitBoy

                              "Who really cares what this fat old white woman has to say, anyway?"

                              Well, so long as we aren't judging people's worth based on superficial characteristics.

                              1. re: ennuisans

                                Is there no levity to be had here? SHEESH.

                                1. re: ennuisans

                                  I guess YOU judged her, because I didn't. I just described her...and in nicer terms that some did downthread

                            2. re: BiscuitBoy

                              Of course he knows he's black. But it's not like there was also a white football player who came out. There's no reason to mention the fact that he's black.

                              1. re: donovt

                                There is no stigma to being black, therefore no reason to be sheepish to describe him so. When you assign a negative more to a group of people, you are manufacturing racism, and have become the true racist

                                1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                  That's ridiculous. There's no stigma to being black obviously. If he was white, do you think she would have said "that white football player"? Again, there is absolutely no reason to describe him as "that black football player". He is The only football player who has come out in the last week. Everybody would know who she was talking about without saying that.

                                  1. re: donovt

                                    A few months ago I came across in interesting snippet comparing paula's racist denial/apology with malcolm X's - have to search for it

                                    1. re: donovt

                                      Yeah, I have an elderly relative who describes a friend as "a Jewish woman". I finally called him on it, saying that it was irrelevant, and comes across as derogatory, because it is "classifying" a minority. He wouldn't have said "a Baptist woman".

                                    2. re: BiscuitBoy

                                      Of course there is no stigma to being black. But being black had NOTHING TO DO with why Michael Sam was in the news. It was the fact that he came out as gay prior to being drafted by the NFL. That reason, and that reason alone.

                                      If people aren't supposed to be seeing color, then there is absolutely no reason to have mentioned it in the first place, but she did. So she perpetuates the racism by continuing to mention color, when it was completely unnecessary for her to do so.

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        Ironic, as I see folks like you and donovt as perpetuating racism, by putting terms like "black man" in the closet, not to uttered in mixed company. Also ironic that a bunch of people on a white centric site are discussing this.

                                        If you came home to find a burglar jumping out your bedroom window, would you describe him to the police as 6'2, skinny, that's it? Afterall, he was the ONLY person jumping out your window. No, you would say he was black or white. And if your happy shiney world doesn't see color, or have a deep down prejudice, it shouldn't matter to describe the perp factually

                                        1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                          If you think anyone is putting the term black man in the closet by objecting to its use, you're missing an important point: Michael Sam is embattled because he announced his sexual orientation; he is not embattled because he is black. Sam's race is irrelevant to his situation. The remarks immediately after his announcement ran along the lines of "the NFL isn't ready for an openly gay player in the locker room" No one said "the NFL isn't ready for a black man in the locker room." Therefore, Deen is being spectacularly clueless -- and revealing of her biases -- by using race as the identifying label rather than sexual preference in a situation that has nothing to do with face.

                                          In case there's any doubt about my point, consider the case of Jonathan Martin, the black Miami Dolphins player who was bullied. In that situation accused bullier Richie Ingocnito's taunts focused on Martin's race. Anyone talking about that situation would properly use the words "black player" to identify Martin.

                                          Since Martin's situation does not equal Sam's, the language for the two should not be the same.

                                          1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                            In the case of the burglar, the race is important for the description. Please explain how it is relevant in the actual, real situation we are discussing.

                                            Also, I had no idea this was a white-centric board.

                                              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                If you're referring to the white-centric part, I'm sure there are plenty of black, Hispanic and Asian posters who would be surprised to hear that as well.

                                            1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                              And now you're trying to mix apples and oranges. Comparing PD's use of Michael Sam's skin color when it had no bearing on the actual issue, vs. giving a statement to the police to try and catch a burglar, where color WOULD be relevant, are two entirely different things.

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                Like I said, I'm no fan of the woman, but let's not keep hanging the racist label on her because of some perceived slight, choice of wording, or past incidents. Do we go around thinking every german is a goose-stepping nazi white supremacist? Funny, aren't we supposed to be a kinder, gentler, society?

                                                1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                  And as *I* said, your argument is a straw man, as the situations are entirely different in the use of the descriptive term "black" as it relates to PD's usage about Michael Sam and when giving a description of a burglar robbing a house.

                                                  And for racism to end, the color of one's skin needs to be nonexistent in the eye of the beholder. It isn't in PD's case. But I'm done.

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    NOBODY has a clue what Paula was thinking, let's give her the benefit of the doubt and call off the witch hunt

                                                    1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                      I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt, but when you have a history of something, you correctly are suspect.

                                                  2. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                    Some people enjoy labeling that ignorant white tr*&h as racist, and they have that right!

                                                    I wouldn't think every German is a Nazi but I would think a white person who regular says heil Hitler is a Nazi. In this case, Paula Deen is trying to say she's not a racist but she sure had plenty of plantation owner fantasies.

                                                    1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                      Not past incidents, but ongoing behavior. There were serisous allegatioins of racial discrimination in the businesses she owns in the present day (sexual harassment too). Funny how so many people missed that that was the substance of the law suit and focused on the sensationalized use of the n-word.

                                                      Her recent comments as a part of her "comeback" show that she has not learned or changed her attitudes at all.

                                                      1. re: pamf

                                                        "Her recent comments as a part of her "comeback" show that she has not learned or changed her attitudes at all."

                                                        At Sunday's (2/23) events during the South Beach Food and Wine Show, she was joined on stage by Robert Irvine. At one point, Irvine got down on his hands and knees and Paula Deen rode him like a pony shrieking, "I'm back in the saddle again!" This is sufficiently deranged for it to make the Friday night's opening monologue on THE TONIGHT SHOW.

                                                        In trying to find a link to post about this incident, I found an US magazine article that went into more detail. Irvine gave Dean some advice before getting down on his hands and knees: "This is a warning to you. You've apologized. You've eaten crow. You're done. Don't do it anymore. I've been there."

                                                        Apparently, Paula Deen is a spectacularly slow learner. (More likely, her attitudes are so ingrained that she's tone deaf to the racism in her words.) Within three days of receiving that advice, Deen uttered the clueless "that black player" remark that we've been talking about here.

                                                        1. re: Indy 67

                                                          she's 'riden' Irvine at previous shows in Florida. Sort of their little shtick.

                                                          1. re: Withnail42

                                                            Riiiiiight. Because who wouldn't want to enhance their credibility as a chef/restauranteur by crawling around on a stage on hands and knees or being the rider of such a noble steed?

                                                            1. re: Indy 67

                                                              And something like that can't be unseen…ever.

                                                  3. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                    This is a ridiculous non-parallel. If I'm describing someone to the police, physical/racial characteristics are important. It is a completely different scenario.

                                            2. re: BiscuitBoy

                                              You have no idea why Paula used the adjective "black." As most pointed out, who she meant was obvious so that adjective was unnecessary. Given that it was an unnecessary adjective, then you have to wonder why she used it. If she was really familiar with the story, then she could've identified Sam by name, or the school he played for. Instead, she singled out his race, when the story was really about his sexual orientation.

                                              And what's her point? We should overlook the fact that she's racist (or racially insensitive)? PS - I haven't read the article.

                                            3. Holy crap.

                                              And the writer says "It’s getting to the point where we’re wondering if Deen is just f*cking with us, because no one can be this stupid. Right?"

                                              One would like to think that no one could be that stupid, but in the words of Forrest Gump - stupid is as stupid does.

                                              And Powlah Deen definitely does.