A crowd of mostly fat and mostly white people lined up in front of Paula Deen’s Savannah restaurant last weekend to show support for the now ex-Food Network Star who is reportedly worth $17 million and no stranger to the n-bomb.
“You still hear people talk that way if people think they are in a group of like-minded people,” Richard Hattaway, 56, told the New York Times. “She obviously didn’t get it but I think they are kind of blowing this up.”
But as Times columnist Frank Bruni explained a few days later, that logic just doesn’t hold water:
Others have urged clemency, noting that she’s 66 years old and has lived her life far south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Please. All of her adult years postdate the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and she’s a citizen of the world, traveling wide and far to peddle her wares. If she can leave Georgia for the sake of commerce, she can leave Georgia in the realm of consciousness.
Beyond which, people can change, growing past wrongful ways in the name of what’s right. We pass new laws. We adopt new language. That’s the recipe for progress: putting justice ahead of habit, principle over precedent.
It’s not one that’s been mastered by Deen, whose worst ingredient isn’t corn syrup or Crisco but willful obtuseness.
Yet just when you think Americans can’t get any dumber in their support of disgraced idols, a group of knuckleheads gather outside a Massachusetts courthouse to show support for alleged murderer and former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez. Okay, innocent until proven guilty but when you look at the allegations that were outlined in Wednesday’s arraignment, it’s hard to see how Hernandez is not at least guilty of severe stupidity and obstruction of justice, even if the murder charges don’t stick.
But even those who are willing to concede that the facts don’t look good are willing to make excuses for Hernandez. The Patriots, according to sports talk radio callers (who are enabled by show hosts who really have no business “covering” hard news like this) are offering all kinds of excuses, when they’re not bashing Patriots ownership for releasing Hernandez before the charges were even announced. We heard one caller (before we turned the radio off in disgust) argue that the problem was that the NFL, when compared to other sports, has too long of an off season, which lets guys like Hernandez languish without the guidance of coaches which, in turn, gives them more chances to get in trouble.
Please. Give me $41 million for a season that is less than six months out of every year and I’m pretty sure I could find a way to pass the time that doesn’t involve first degree murder.