- Went out in public wearing matching red, white, and blue Mother-Daughter outfits with TBC.
- Dated and almost married an abusive man
- Missed a wedding I was supposed to officiate leaving the bride and groom without benefit of clergy standing under a festive tent.
Oh, and there are other, much worse things that I’m too mortified to share one-on-one, much less for people to read about here. And I don’t even have a Smithfield Ham contract to lose.
God bless Paula Deen. Diabetic, southern, butter-loving Paula Deen. She has a brother named Bubba. Of course she does.
Paula Deen has said things she regrets regarding race and culture. Actually all of us have. We just haven’t been subpoenaed to talk about it.
An African American friend of mine confessed the other day that she grew up referring to “Jew Town” as a section of Chicago where the merchants would cheat you. She said that she didn’t even realize it was offensive until she was about 20 years old. Someone had to explain it to her. I’ve said things just this ignorant, and worse.
Paula Deen has more than enough money to survive without the TV show and the ham contract, but how can she redeem herself? How can any of us redeem ourselves when we’ve said and done things that are grievous to other people?
- Read Bruce Reyes-Chow’s new book. Then talk about it.
- Participate in social groups, discussion groups, and worship gatherings with people who are not like us racially, culturally, ethnically, sexually, spiritually. Do not go to pick fights or challenge people. Make friends. Listen.
- Volunteer to serve people we don’t understand. If we find homosexuality uncomfortable, make cookies for a homeless shelter for gay kids and listen to their stories. If we feel resentful towards people who don’t speak our language, volunteer to help refugees coming into the country and help them figure out how to buy bus passes and register their kids for school. If we complain about “lazy unemployed people” then volunteer at a job training center to teach interviewing skills or resume writing.
Paula Deen will be fine and yet I am ashamed alongside her. Sometimes when we fall, there’s something we’re supposed to notice down there on the ground.
Image is The Last Supper sculpted in butter.