Archive for June, 2013
I have been following the Paul Deen controversy and subsequent fall out that started after a discrimination suit was filed by her employees who alleged that they were subject to “violent, sexist, and racist behavior” during five years working for Deen’s various businesses.
During a videotaped deposition as part of that discrimination suit, she discussed her desire to have a “very southern style wedding” for her brother modeled after a restaurant where the “whole entire wait staff was middle-aged black men” clad in white jackets and black bow ties. Deen also admitted to having used the N word and discussed the ways the word could be “not said in a mean way.”
As a result of her practiced racism, a bunch of sponsors, including the Food Network, Smithfield Foods and now even the experts in racism itself, Wal mart, have dropped her ass.
Last week she was on The Today Show spewing all sorts of unapologetic, high grade racist garbage Southern style, including how she would not have fired herself for using racial slurs and engaging in employment discrimination (naturally), and how “every one of God’s creatures was created equal. I believe that everyone should be treated equal, that’s the way I was raised and that’s the way I live my life” blah blah blah yawn, liar, bullshit.
There was a lot of crying and sobbing, undoubtedly because she is losing all these easy millions from lost business opportunities and not because she feels any kind of regret for her behavior as is abundantly clear by her cringe worthy interview with Matt Lauer.
Her defenders have charged to her rescue thinking everyone is overreacting for going after her for something she said 30 years ago and that poor thing was being held at gun point by a black person after all, and she didn’t say it to him, she said the N word to her husband later, plus she is from the South and this is how she grew up etc etc. All the interesting, colorful and pathetic excuses for racism you have ever heard were employed in Deen’s case trying to apologize and rationalize her behavior – as if racism wasn’t harmful and hurting people, even if such racism is expressed and practiced by pouncy-cheeked, rosy, pastry chefs from the good old South. Here is the thing:
1) If racist slurs come to your mind when you’re angry or pissed off at someone who happens to be a member of a racial or ethnic minority, then that is a fucking problem! And that problem is that somehow you seem to think – and thus have rationalized in your head – that using racial slurs is ok as long as those slurs are not said aloud and/or directed at someone to whom they apply. When you rationalize in your head that using racist slurs, especially in private, is ok then you have basically just granted yourself that permission – which makes it a conscious choice on your end. When you have the choice to do one thing, you also have the choice to not do it. I may get pissed at a driver who happens to be black for cutting me off on the freeway, but then I flip him off and call him an asshole, not the N word.
2) Racism harms people. And as we have seen in Deen’s case, her racism was not just confined to her personal, private realm or between her and her husband. The casual racism she practices and which everyone thins is no big deal because she allegedly hasn’t said it to people directly, has obviously translated into discriminatory practices at her businesses. Therefore, this is not just a matter of some old lady having said the wrong thing 30 years ago. This is about a good, old lady having engaged in cold, hard workplace discrimination as a direct result of her racist attitudes and mindsets as well as choices.
3) When you are in the habit of regularly using racial slurs and dream of throwing plantation style weddings with an all black staff whom you pay with beer and, to make matters worse, you go on national TV and keep saying this is who you are and that you won’t change and that you would definitely not have fired yourself for using racial slurs and engaging in employment discrimination, then your behavior harms people on a scale that goes beyond just your immediate circle. That is not ok and we should not condone it or give her a pass because she is old or from the South and set in her ways. I mean, she is not that old. It’s not like slavery ended just 30 years ago.
Racism is a choice, not a compulsion. There is no need to direct ones anger at someone’s individual behavior into an expression of hatred for their race.
This is not about free speech or someone having said something wrong and being punished for it or throwing the first stone if you are the one without sin blah blah blegh. This is about practiced racism by a privileged woman who has been discriminating against her black employees and who thinks it is ok to do so, including romanticizing plantations, because she is from the South and this is just who she is.
Scientology: This shit is expensive!
Agnosticism – I’ll believe that shit when I see it.
Yoda- use the shit, Luke!
FaceBookism: I sure hope somebody likes my shit!
As people may have heard when waking up on this abysmally sad morning (I cannot help but feel like the same morning I felt on 9/11 when the towers came down and the devastation and surrealism of it all dawned on me all throughout the coming day and weeks), the Supreme Court overturned Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, a key provision of this landmark civil rights law that has protected voters – and really, our democracy – since 1965, and as recently as the 2012 election.
This is a huge disappointment and undermines the very injustices that too many eligible voters still battle. Sure we’ve come a long way since the days of Jim Crow and literacy tests, but racial discrimination in our voting process is still alive and well.
Ie. November 2012 – when voter ID laws, shortened early voting hours, restrictions on community-based registration drives, residency requirements, and long lines at the polls kept millions of minority, low-income, and student voters from casting a ballot.
The Court is now sending the Voting Rights Act back to Congress…
It’s on Congress to restore the protections that today’s voters need. But it’s on us to make sure they act, and act quickly, to restore the protections of the Voting Rights Act.
With this ruling on the Voting Rights Act (what the Justice Department has coined “the most effective civil rights statute enacted by Congress”), and discriminatory election practices being advanced in state legislatures across the country, the fight for voting rights and voting equality could not be more important. And we need your support!
The right to vote is too important – it’s the pillar of our democracy – and if we are no longer a democratic country, then we no longer are. Then we will just degenerate into just another one of those fascist countires because, make no mistake, without equality before the law, there is no democracy and without democracy there is no freedom. Democracy is our lifeline.
So please click on the link above and sign the petition by Rock the Vote, write to your Congressmen, assemble on the streets, write to the President – do whatever you can and need to do in order to change this shameful and truly frightening legislation.
The more I think of religion, the more I realize how truly absurd a lot of it is – even the details.
I want to point out that there is absolutely no incumbency upon an Unicornist to provide evidence that Unicorns do not exist, or even to make a case that the assumption that Unicorns do not exist is more reasonable than the assumption that they do. A Theist accepts this arrangement in regards to literally every single mythical creature and fairy tale character they do not happen to believe in (Superman, Easter Bunny, Big Foot, Leprechauns, Fairies…) but is quick to muddy the waters and sling burden of proof about, when discussing their own personal fantasy. I mean come on, a white horse with a large, pointed, spiraling horn projecting from its forehead is ridiculous, but a talking snake is real and if not symbolic. Why the horned horse is not symbolic as well no one knows. Not even religious people. They pick and choose their mythical-turned-real creatures with the same care they choose their gods: at random.
Anyway, today I was thinking…
a) why did things like turning water into wine, walking on water, parting the seas, the virgin birth, healing the sick with a touch of a hand and all the other miracles to be found in religious texts, only happen in the past? Why does none of that happen today? Why don’t we see another extraordinary miraculous act by the divine?
b) why are scriptures and religious texts always so cryptic? Why not just say what you want, how you want it and wait and see if people deliver? Why make it cryptic and symbolic and metaphoric? Why drop vague hints and suggest? Why elude and confuse?
And why even create man one way and then set the rules at the exact opposite? Oh yes the Fall. I know. The fruit of knowledge. I can imagine how non ignorance would be threatening to a narcissistic, selfish god who creates you so you worship him. In fact the whole story of the Fall is absurd. Why is knowledge sin? And why would you make someone you love do “hard time” basically because they did not want to be ignorant and “tasted” from the tree of knowledge. And, for that matter, if you didn’t want them to eat from the tree of knowledge, why did you place one there? A little bit sadistic, are we?
And, while we’re here, what does it really mean tree of knowledge? What’s a tree of knowledge anyway? And how is it possible? I never knew a tree to carry more than fruits and blossoms. See here we are with the cryptic and vague delusional language again. God just never comes right out and says it, he drops hints because apparently that is what gods do: they create miracles but don’t label them and make you guess. For someone so powerful and loving and apparnrly “so there” he sure goes out of his way to make sure you doubt him? And why? Because he thinks making you work really hard on the treadmill for what you want, is the proof he needs to know that you love him. It’s all about him..
I think I’m getting dizzy. I seriously cannot imagine people just right out never questioning these things and going through life really believing in an invisible man out there who pulls the strings and makes every shitty act happen for a reason.
“Smart parents are more likely to have smart children, and their greater intelligence will be reflected, on average, in higher incomes. Of course, IQ is only one dimension of talent, but it is easy to believe that other dimensions, such as self-control, ability to focus, and interpersonal skills, have a degree of genetic heritability as well.” – Greg Mankiw
Clearly, the first question I ask after meeting a privileged CEO who spends more time on the golf course than in the office where his average employee makes a fraction of what he makes in an hour, and whose primary long-term contribution to the firm will be a PR disaster after which he’s fired by the board for “ethics” violations and sent on his merry way with a seven-figure golden parachute, then it is “well my, what an intelligent and diligent worker with great interpersonal skills you gentleman are! Couldn’t we pay teachers, firefighters, college professors and nurses less to give you more money?”
Ah the trials and tribulations of the 1%. I mean yeah folks, exploitation is hard work. So many offshore accounts to create, so much tax evasion to be done, so many loopholes to be exploited, so many unions and worker’s rights to be quashed, so many Congressman to be bribed and bought, so many health benefits to be denied, so many dinners with the President to be had, and so much manipulation to do to get people to vote against their own self interest and buy into the bullshit bootstraps narrative, and yet so little time.
Clearly the 1% need advocates too and that’s where former President Bush/ wanna-be President Mitt Romney adviser Greg Mankiw comes in who was finally brave enough to write a book defending the 1%. Ann Romney would be happy.
Mankiw is a Harvard professor (my condolences to Harvard and all his students) and apparently also timeless comedian who briefly made the headlines last year for telling a hilarious joke (see right). Haha..poor people. Hahaha…seniors on medicare. Hahaha…self deportation. Let’s make the elderly whom Paul Ryan just proposed we take Medicare away from the butt of jokes…hardi har har har.
The party of hate and greed apparently cannot function without inserting that hate and greed into their pastimes and jokes as well. I imagine that as a 1% er who gets richer by the minute because others keep getting poorer, that really must be funny.
His hilarity has been finally memorexed in a book titled “Defending the One Percent” in which he argues that income inequality is not as terrible a thing as liberals make it out to be. And even if it is, fixing inequality is really hard to do in a way that is not totally unfair to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.
Mankiw’s basic argument is that the 1 percent are richer than you probably because they are just better than you. It’s just science! Even the children of the wealthy are probably wealthier and better-educated than you at least partly because their genes are just better than yours, he suggests, and not because these people won the cosmic birth-family lottery that let them be born into wealth and privilege open the doors to the kingdom. Terrible beginnings don’t matter, except insomuch as they make great first acts for Sandra Bullock Oscar movies.
First of all, the fact that we live in a society that rewards intelligence, diligence, and interpersonal skills with wealth, while the lack of those with destitution, is pretty fucked up, because such a supposition automatically views people who are not intelligent, diligent and who lack interpersonal skills as less than.
Less than deserving of fair, livable wages, less than deserving of access to affordable and quality health care, less deserving of receiving a quality education, less deserving of clean air, water, food and soil, less deserving of a bail out and definitely less deserving of overall financial stability. In other words, if you are stupid and lack charm, you deserve being exploited by your employer, have your house taken away, pay outrageous interest rates on your credit cards, have no access to health care, not get a good education, breathe in toxic air and ingest toxic food and overall be punished in society and viewed as a lesser human being.
I guess that explains the homelessness problem and why that prick Reagan defunded all government run mental institutions. People with mental illnesses (which may include “unintelligent” people) and those who lack breeding and pedigree don’t deserve a roof over their heads, medical treatment, a warm meal and a job. Let them rot on the streets, why should we, as a society, care? Let them eat cake… or garbage…
That is what the meritocracy is all about in this country, right? The idea that if you got what you got then it’s ’cause you greased your elbows and worked hard while those who don’t have anything or are barely muddling through despite a job and hard work, are lazyasses who neither want better lives nor want to work for it, ipso facto they deserve starving or succumbing to an illness or else lead a tenuous middle class existence from which they could be unceremoniously exiled after a brush with unemployment or a health crisis.
That is a pretty neat argument when you are part of the 1% or those wanna-bes because it just makes it so much easier to keep focusing policies on the 1% and how to get them rich(er) (and to get you to vote for their interests
so that you too, one day, may join their rungs), as opposed to focusing our resources to create a meaningful social safety net that addresses those very issues. Why worry about leveling the playing field and caring about unintelligent losers who lack charm and clearly deserve to be exploited or else lead a life where they are a paycheck away from complete destitution, when you can focus all your efforts to keep the wealthier even wealthier?
Of course, the assertion that the US rewards intelligence, diligence, and interpersonal skills with wealth is an abject falsehood. As if only 1% of the population possessed such attributes, which then automatically translates into them being deserving of and entitled to everyone else’s money and all the privileges contained therein.
…when Johnny Depp turns 50 years old.
I mean fuuuuuuuck, he is 50 years old. The guy from 21 Jump Street who played a cop going undercover as a high school teen to investigate crimes is turning half a century old. Fifty years. I still remember him as a rebellious teen and now he is a middle aged man in his 50s, which means we are all getting fucking old.
Anyway, Happy Birthday, Johnny – even if it means you are turning 50.