By Kevin Fallon
June 20, 2013
America’s most aggressive butter-peddler admitted to using the N-word in a recent court deposition. We perused 133 pages of court documents for the most scandalous bits.
If there’s something that Paula Deen loves more than butter, it’s black waiters serving wedding guests “Southern plantation style.” At least that’s the takeaway from the unedited transcript of her deposition in the $1.2 million discrimination lawsuit filed against the First Lady of Finger Lickin’ Food and her brother, Earl “Bubba” Hiers. In her testimony, Deen admits to using the N-word, reveals her ambivalence towards people watching pornography at a place of work, and—the arguably racist, definitely bizarre bit that’s made headlines Wednesday—details the Southern plantation wedding of her dreams, in which black waiters serve guests slave-style.
It’s a fascinating and, despite its subject matter, often humorous read brimming with Paula Deenisms. (She uses the phrase “ah-ha” so often instead of “yes” during questioning that she has to be reprimanded and instructed to respond only with “yes” or “no.” She doesn’t.) It’s also 133 pages. Fear not, we’ve parsed the most salacious details for you. Happy reading, y’all.
1. She refused to have her empire destroyed by “a piece of pussy.” (Also, she uses that word!)
Former employee Lisa Jackson said that she was hired to replace a general manager at the restaurant Uncle Bubba’s who was fired for having sexual relationships with underage servers. While demanding the manager be fired, Jackson says that Deen told her brother, “If you think I have worked this hard to lose everything because of a piece of pussy, you better think again.” Asked in her deposition whether she actually said it, Deen responded with an abso-friggin-lutely: “I said that day and I would say it again today if it applied.” She then repeated the sentence, making not being in that room a regret we’ll all have to live with for the rest of our lives.
2. She really wanted to stage that Southern plantation-style wedding. But she didn’t because the media wouldn’t understand.
Jackson said she was put in charge of arrangements for Bubba’s wedding, which Deen apparently said she wanted to have a “true Southern plantation-style theme.” What, pray tell, does that mean? “Well what I would really like is a bunch of little n——rs to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts, and black bow-ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around,” Deen reportedly elaborated. Alas, the wedding Deen envisioned never came to be. “We can’t do that because the media would be on me about that,” she reportedly told Jackson. In her testimony, Deen said that she actually was referencing the “beautiful white jackets with a black bow-tie” she saw the wait staff of “middle-aged black men” wearing at a restaurant she visited “in Tennessee or North Carolina or somewhere.”
3. She did not use the N-word to describe the waiters.
Deen objected to the accusation that she used the N-word to describe the waiters. Asked whether there was any possibility that she may have slipped and use the word, she said, “No, because that’s not what these men were. They were professional black men doing a fabulous job.” Still, when asked why nicely dressed black men would be a part of a “Southern plantation wedding,” she said it reminded her of southern America “before the Civil War.” After being reminded that black men serving people in the South before the Civil War were slaves, she agreed, but said she “did not mean anything derogatory” by her comments.
4. She doesn’t think that watching porn or being racist at work makes you a bad boss.
In her deposition, Deen was asked whether the fact that her brother admitted to watching pornography and using the N-word at their restaurant caused her to have concerns about him running their business. She responded, “just because he’s got a sense of humor does not make him a bad person or incapable of running a business.” Questioned as to whether jokes of a sexual or racist nature are in poor taste at a place of work, she responded, “We have all told off-color jokes … Every man I’ve ever come in contact with has one.”
5. But she does use the N-word!
Deen admitted to using the N-word in her life, after a “black man” put a gun to her head at a bank where she was working. She said she used it because she “didn’t feel real favorable towards him.” She also said she’s sure she’s used the word since, “but it’s been a very long time” and guessed that she probably used it when quoting “a conversation between blacks.”
6. She doesn’t think the N-word is bad, as long as it’s used in a joke.
Deen said that she and her husband taught her children not to use the N-word in a mean way. Asked when exactly that word be used in a not-mean way, she said either when repeating what you may hear “black people” say in the kitchen or when used in a joke.
7. She sees nothing wrong with watching a little porn at work.
A major point in the suit is that Deen’s brother, Bubba, was accused of looking at pornography at work and showing it to employees. Asked whether she has any problem with such practices, Deen said, “If somebody sent him something and he pulled it up and looked at it, no, I would not persecute him for that.”
8. Her bathroom sounds amazing.
Deen’s bathroom has a sofa and two chairs in it. She calls it a “bathroom/den combination.” That’s not particularly salacious. But it’s definitely intriguing.
Copyright © 2013 The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC.
[Photo: Paula Deen. (© Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)]
By Julian Abagond
December 13, 2013
In the 1920 Duluth lynching (June 15th 1920) thousands of White Americans in Duluth, Minnesota took part in the murder of three black men:
- Isaac McGhie (1900-1920)
- Elmer Jackson (1901-1920)
- Elias Clayton (1901-1920)
When the circus came to town, Irene Tusken, 19, and James Sullivan, 18, went that night. Afterwards Tusken went home, briefly talked to her parents and went to bed.
In the middle of the night Sullivan called the police to report that six black circus workers raped Tusken, a white woman, at gunpoint. The circus train was just leaving town. The police had it stopped. They woke up all 140 black men on the train and lined them up along the tracks.
Sullivan and Tusken could not pick out the rapists – the black men all looked alike to them. Tusken picked out six by body shape and size. The police took some others whose alibis were weak.
Two hours the police questioned the suspects. Nothing. They let seven go and locked up the other six. The police chief and his two top men left town to catch up with the travelling circus to find more suspects.
Word of the rape spread through town.
5.00pm: The street in front of the police station began filling up with well-dressed white people, men, women and children. Young men across the street were eyeing the station.
6.00pm: The evening newspaper came out. It quoted Tusken’s doctor:
I believe she is suffering more from nervous exhaustion than anything else.
7.30pm: Men started throwing bricks at the police station, breaking windows. As one of them put it:
We’re talking about a White American girl getting raped by Black savages and left for dead. What if that girl was your wife or daughter? What would you do? Let’s stop yakking!
8.30pm: With the police chief out of the town, the Commissioner of Public Safety took charge and ordered the police not to shoot:
I do not want to see the blood of one White person spilled for six Blacks.
The mob stormed the station.
11.00pm: With the jail now smashed open, they took out the suspects one by one and brought them up a hill to the lamppost at Second Avenue East and First Street. White men beat them, white women kicked them and stepped on them with high-heel shoes. At the lamppost they hanged them.
The mob was yelling, chanting, cheering, singing, laughing.
Blacks in town had put their children to bed early. They sat in darkened living rooms, some with guns ready. No one could eat or sleep. You could hear the lynch mob a mile away.
At nearly midnight, with three suspects hanged and three still to go, the police chief arrived back in town. He ordered the police to use guns to restore order. The mob broke up and went home, the three dead black men twisting in the wind, ropes creaking.
No one was ever punished for the murders.
In 2003 three statues were put up in memory of McGhie, Jackson and Clayton.
Source: Michael Fedo, “Lynchings in Duluth” (2000)
- Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row” (1965) starts with “They’re selling postcards of the hanging” and speaks of a blind commissioner. Dylan’s father was nine at the time and lived two blocks away.
- Sinclair Lewis’s “Kingsblood Royal” (1947) – has a story of the lynching. Lewis lived in Duluth in the 1940s and talked to blacks who remembered the lynching.
- University of Minnesota blackface video - also from Duluth, in 2012
- phantom black assailants
- The pure white woman stereotype
- black rape statistics
- Emmett Till
- C.J. Miller
- Ida B. Wells
- The police
[See also: 1920 Duluth lynchings | Wikipedia]
claude maus - knit vest
By Wesley Stephenson
BBC Radio 4, More or Less
March 17, 2013
Are there more black men in prison than in college in the United States?
It’s an oft-repeated claim that there are more black men in prison in the US than in college. It’s a good statistic that apparently gets to the heart of the problem of inequality in the US, but is it having a negative effect on young black men? And, more importantly, is it true?
In 2007, before he became a presidential candidate, Barack Obama took to the stage to address The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
"I know what you know," he said. "Despite all the progress that has been made, we still have more work to do. We have more work to do when more young black men languish in prison than attend universities and colleges across America."
The statement was greeted with cheering and applause. It was a rallying cry for the activists in the room to continue their fight against inequality.
One man who saw the power of the statement was Ivory Toldson - associate professor of psychology at Howard University in Washington DC and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Negro Education.
He has used the statistic himself in one of his own publications, but became aware that the continuing repetition was having a negative effect on young black men.
"These are young black males who are trying to figure it out. They know that they could do better and I started to feel that a lot of the statistics that we were using were more of a burden to them," he says.
Despite this, the original claim can still be heard today.
"My last time hearing it was last Friday (7 March) at the Howard University Charter Day programme - it was the keynote speaker," Toldson says.
His reaction? “Here we go again.”
Long before this, Toldson had noticed an interesting trend.
"I found that year after year we were gaining lots of black males in college," he says. But the prison population was remaining relatively static.
A close look at the figures for 2009 showed that there were 600,000 more black male college and university students than black male prisoners. The story so often repeated was not true.
But had it been true before?
The statistic was first published by the campaign group The Justice Policy Institute in 2002, using figures from 2000.
Toldson compared those figures with the latest data, and noticed a suspicious jump in the number of black students attending college and university.
"How did we get a 108% jump in the black male college population?" he says. "It didn’t seem feasible for us to achieve that in only 10 years," he says.
He found that a number of colleges reporting a lot of black students today, had reported none, or very few, back in 2000 - results he wrote up in a recent article for The Root.
"The first thing that jumped out was that right now there are 4,700 colleges that report black students. Ten years ago there were about 3,000," he says.
He found a number of historically black colleges and universities hadn’t reported any black students in the first survey, including his own alma-mater Temple University in Philadelphia, where he was a student at the time.
Comparing the reported figures with census data from the time, he thinks that the original figures underestimated the number of black students by about 100,000 - and that there were more black men in college and university than in prison, even in 2000.
The Justice Policy Institute does not agree the original comparison was necessarily wrong.
"I cannot verify if it was wrong," says says senior researcher Melissa Neal. "Perhaps if all colleges were reporting, the statistic would still have been true. There’s no way we can go back 13 years from now and pull that up."
But she does acknowledge that the report was based on limited data.
"At that time I’m not sure our researchers were really thinking about the number of colleges reporting. That was not a limitation we clearly expressed in our write up. I recognise we probably should have done a better job of that."
She says that while she’s pleased that the gap between the number of black men in college and the number in prison is widening, there are still problems that need addressing.
"The reality is that African-American males are still disproportionately channelled into the criminal justice system and they are still not achieving, or able to have the same educational success as their peers of other races and other ethnicities," she says.
Black people account for 40% of the prison population in the US, but only 12% of the population overall.
And, according to Toldson, black men still lag behind their white counterparts in terms of attendance at top-rated universities. The proportion of black male students who drop out before graduation is also higher than average.
So, he and the Justice Policy Institute agree on one thing - there is still work to be done.
Copyright © 2013 BBC.