Paula Deen, who I assumed would spend the rest of her days wallowing in self-loathing and binge-eating
sticks of butter homemade five-star desserts, is once again under fire for a racial comment. The disgraced celebrity chef, while trying to pick up her shattered shell of an ego and rebuild what she lost after last year’s embarrassing racial slur, is most definitely on track to issue yet another apology.
In a recent interview with People magazine, Deen claimed she is trying to move past the incident and find inspiration once again. This is strange, because I was under the impression that the only inspiration necessary to cook top-notch food was hunger. Deen brought into conversation NFL prospect Michael Sam, who you’ll recognize as the University of Missouri’s grade-A badass who recently came out to the public. While commenting on her forever-stained reputation, the 67-year-old celebrity chef stated the following:
“I feel like ’embattled’ or ‘disgraced’ will always follow my name. It’s like that black football player who recently came out. He (Sam) said, ‘I just want to be known as a football player. I don’t want to be known as a gay football player.’ I know exactly what he’s saying.”
I’m not one to be overly sensitive and I don’t get offended by little things, but this pissed me off for a number of reasons. And it’s not because of her God awful perm and Jersey Shore-esque application of makeup, which I also happen to take personal offense to.
First off, Paula, “that black football player” has a name, and it’s Michael Sam. Do us all a favor and learn it, because A) he’s the coolest thing since sliced bread, and B) diminishing Sam’s worth to “that black football player who recently came out” is going to cause your career to crash and burn AGAIN before you even have the undeserved opportunity to put it back together.
I find it ironic that Paula would say this–in text–while she’s in the midst of repairing her reputation. To be clear, I don’t consider “black” offensive. I might not have the authority to comment on whether the word should be used, considering that I’m a semi-privileged white girl, but I don’t consider “white” offensive either. So while Paula calling Sam “black” isn’t necessarily eyebrow-raising in my book, I do think she should be especially careful when referring to anything race-related.
The worst part about this statement is that she compared homosexuality with the drastic destruction of one’s career. Those are two completely different things, so no, you don’t “know exactly what he’s saying.” Sam is talking about a part of himself, a characteristic that he accepts and celebrates. Paula, on the other hand, is talking about a disgraceful usage of the n-word that destroyed her career and forever ruined her subpar reputation.
Part of me bids Paula good luck as she fights to get her name back. But another part of me–the part of me that is a Mizzou student and a functioning human being with a brain and an adequate amount of common sense–wishes she would just stop speaking about anything other than food. The feminist in me is about to implode, but I have to say it: Get back in the kitchen, bitch.