Poor Paula Deen can’t catch a break. She went through months of embarrassment and difficulty over some alleged comments that some viewed as racist toward black people. She lost book deals, endorsements, her cooking show, and loads of fair-weather fans.
Since then, Deen has worked hard to claw her way back up the ladder. She started a new subscription-based show. She launched a touring show that combines comedy with cooking.
But now Deen is being accused of racism again.
Deen’s website for her restaurant The Lady and Sons recently featured a photo of a black woman in an apron emblazoned with Deen’s signature “Hey Y’all” catchphrase ringing a dinner bell triangle.
The picture was meant to be part of an announcement for the restaurant’s new hours. But the owner of a Facebook group called “For Black Women ONLY” took issue with the picture. She posted the image, as well as the following commentary.
BLACK WOMEN: we have to LET MAMMY DIE.
This ad for Paula Deen's restaurant evokes images of slavery when our women ancestors would cook for their masters and ring a bell (similar to this one) to alert the family that their meal was ready. Paula Deen longs for the antebellum south when Blacks, especially black women were non-threatening servants
Well, my sisters, Paula isn't the only one. There are tons of folks out there who long for black women to stay like servile team mascots, non-threatening, putting up with second class citizen status as long as you make them a priority. Yeah, and some of these folks share Paula's skin color (obvious) and some share your skin color (not so obvious to many of you).
This is why the black women's empowerment movement (all the supporting pages, channels and sites) are so important. It is CRUCIAL to maintain black women exclusive spaces to address our needs, our rights and to optimize our lives our way. In order to live our best lives possible we need to engage in self-care.
We need to put ourselves first and foremost always.
We need to be honest with ourselves and not be afraid to demand better for ourselves and anyone who comes into our lives.
We need to see ourselves as human beings, and as women and not just as soldiers, workhorses or melanated vaginas.
This means WE MUST KILL THE MAMMY ARCHETYPE, STEREOTYPES AND ALL ITS CHARACTERISTICS.
WE ARE NOT HERE TO SERVE OTHERS BUT TO LIVE ON OUR OWN TERMS.
WE ARE NOT AT THE BOTTOM OF SOME TOTEM POLE OF HUMAN WORTH.
When asked about the picture, a spokesperson for Deen explained that the picture in question has been used on the website for five years. Furthermore “the lady featured in the picture has worked at the restaurant for over 17 years and is like family to the Deens."
So far, the Facebook posting has only 139 Likes and 61 Shares, but it has apparently generated lots of controversy and discussion. The moderator recently posted in the thread:
"It took a few minutes but I cleaned up this thread. Who knew that posting a pic would bring out racist White Americans out of hiding on Facebook. Paula Deen has a fan club y’all!"