Paula Deen’s Mistake

Daily Prompt: No, Thank You

June 22, 2013

If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?

[http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/daily-prompt-no/]

The first thing that popped into my mind on seeing this was that I’d love to ban a few racial slurs. I happened to click on this link [http://www.buzzfeed.com/jtes/heres-paula-deens-apology-for-using-the-n-word]  today when it came up on my Facebook feed as I was scrolling.

The article and the video only mention that Paula Deen, someone noteworthy in her field, had used a certain racial slur, and was under media fire for it; also  her contract was not going to be renewed. Although I was dismayed by the fact that people still use racial slurs in this day and age, I couldn’t figure out why there had been such a strong reaction to it that it became Upworthy-worthy until I read the copy of the legal papers at the bottom of the page.

The brief talks about the blatant and, frankly, disgusting sexism and racism that was shown to a Ms. Jackson during her tenure as manager at a restaurant under Deen. The description of the verbal, mental and physical assault of Jackson made me shudder and feel dirty; dirty because I am a part of the same human race that both perpetuates such acts and allows them to continue unchecked. I admit that prejudice is sometimes inherited, and that I am lucky to have grown up in surroundings that permit free thinking and encourage equality, but I believe there comes a point beyond which no prejudice can account for our mistreatment of our fellow beings, human or otherwise, on Earth.

I strongly encourage anyone and everyone reading this to please have a look at the copy of the legal complaint I have mentioned above. We may not all be in a position to help out those being harassed, but we can at least attempt to remain aware of their struggles; if knowledge is power, and with great power comes great responsibility, then surely to remain ignorant is to willfully shirk responsibility?