Well, unless you have been living under a rock you know a little or have at least heard about the controversy over Paula Deen and the use of the N-word. I have been reading about it since the news broke and I have been trying to keep up with all the ins and outs of the conversation. I have listened to both sides of the argument and many different pundits as well as news outlets. And, I have, like most people, drawn my own conclusion to the matter. A few questions in my mind keep propping up and for the most part I haven’t heard an answer.
1. My first response and first question; What?
Who hasn’t said something in their past or even five minutes ago that they probably shouldn’t have.
2. Do I, or Paula Deen, need to apologize for anything that was said in the privacy of our own home?
According to many sides, yes? there seems that there is no such thing as privacy, or something said in confidence. This is a shame to me. What ever happened to having a secret to venting to someone and moving on. To living out who you really are in front of just one or maybe two people that have your strict confidence. Teens and children and even young adults are taught to be who they really are, speak their mind, and say it like they see it, yet when someone says something controversial it is suddenly the end of the world and all the freedom mysteriously vanishes. I listen to both conservative and liberal people and on may occasions liberals tell people they are stupid, ignorant and rude for speaking their mind. Name calling on either side is wrong. Yet somehow society has twisted the views of what is right and wrong to be that if you disagree with someone you are hateful and should be done a way with.
3. What about my teens?
I work with teenagers , which in and of itself is sometimes a difficult problem but I love them all and I can’t wait to see what wonderful people they turn in to. With that said, I heard them use the N-Word and much more all the time. I tell them not to say it and to not call names, however most of the time they are using it to refer to each other and to themselves on occasion. Why is it only wrong when someone who is white or older uses the word? What about my teens? When they get a job in the next few years or weeks are they going to have to apologize for using the word, even if it was out of frustration, or to refer to themselves?
4. What, if anything, should our kids be taught about racism.
well, I have thought of this a lot because of what our society is like that we live in. I am white but I live in a predominately black, Hispanic and poor area. And in the past 5 years or so have experienced racism myself. This is not just a white on black issue. With that said, what should children know about race? I have a 7, soon to be 8 year old, a 6 year old and a two year old and only once has a question of “color” every come up. This is how it went;
My youngest daughter, Emma was in the school office with me one afternoon when a Hispanic couple and their daughter came in to look at the school. I stopped to talk to the couple, who spoke broken English and commented on how beautiful their daughter was. Emma watched carefully and smiled at the little girl. When we were done talking and both of us started to walk away, Emma looked up at me, at the time she was 4 and asked; ” mommy, Why is their skin dark?” At first I kind of laughed because I thought it was a strange question for a child who went to school with several black children and had never asked before. I simply said, “because that is how God made them.” It was enough for her she said, “Oh” and hasn’t asked another question about color since then. It is normal for children as they develop to start noticing a difference in boys and girls, white and black, long and short hair. This is normal and healthy. We have several black friends and many black teens and children we work with. I don’t think our children should be afraid to ask questions about race, to wonder why we are all different and unique. It is how the questions are answered that makes all the difference. children shouldn’t be told not to talk about it, not to question, not to wonder. It is normal to wonder and they shouldn’t be made to believe they are being hateful simply because they ask a question about race or color.
I know how kids talk to each other and how teens act and I know that eventually my children will be faced with racism towards them and they might even be guilty was saying something derogatory. When the time comes both will be dealt with but until then, as long as we teach our children to love one another, to respect people and their views, to Love God, to speak the truth in kindness, to state what they believe and not stand for someone belittling them I believe the world would be a different place.
5. Are all southerners going to be perceived as racist?
Well if you haven’t noticed, all white people are racist and all southerners are very racist. Or so we are all told to believe. Even the president, who is suppose to bring all races and societies together, said that his grandmother was just a typical white person. So let me tell you what the typical white southern person is like.
we happen to be white and we are constantly reminded of it, good or bad.
we are told we are racist and that we were born that way.
we are told we owe something to other races.
the south is bad and white people from the south are worse.
This seems extreme and hardly anyone would say these things out loud that believed them but this is how white people are treated at times especially those in prominent positions.
In actuality, I don’t know many racist white people, in fact I don’t know any. I dislike them as much as black people that hate white people. I have no use for that mentality. It’s hurtful
6. last question; Politically correct or Common Sense?
Political correctness is the death of common sense. As a society we are taught that we must tolerate everyone even if they go against, or force their views on us. We are told that in describing a criminal, color shouldn’t come into the equation. We are told that if we don’t agree with someone’s lifestyle, choices, or behavior we are hateful. We are promised life, liberty and the persute of happiness. we aren’t promised that we will always have our way or that people will agree with us. our children need to be taught to toughen up to stand up for themselves and state what they believe in with conviction. It is never right to use derogatory names to describe or refer to someone but should Paula Deen loose her job because of it? A while back Juan Williams lost his job with a certain news outlet because he made a comment about someone that was taken as stereotyping. This, in my opinion was just as wrong. Not necessarily what he said but that he was fired for saying it. It is a shame that politicians can be involved in killing, (indirectly), prostitution, lying and so much more but as soon as someone says something that might be seen as a stereotype they loose their jobs.
Well, I think I spoke my mind enough. I would love to know what you think about it. Have you had your children as questions? how did you handle it? I’d love to know.
Life throws a lot of challenges our way, we need to learn the correct way to handle things and then get over it.