This mime is making the rounds on the internet this weekend.
True, there is a double standard in this society as there has always been in cultures where those marginalized by the haves are unofficially allowed to mock them for an indefinite period of time. But, as we know all too well, the haves can’t mock the group that they victimized once it becomes official policy to seek reconciliation and equality.
That said, condescending rhetoric about any group in a democratic society should be out-of-bounds regardless of who mistreated whom. In regard to the double standard in our society of tolerating openly racist expressions from African-Americans in the entertainment industry, it must be the political left not the political right that must lead the charge to bring such expressions of intolerance to an end. If that charge is led by social and political conservatives who always apt to play the victim card, it will only be viewed as the old perpetrators of the apartheid culture looking to camouflage for their hate.
Paula Deeen may be a person of good will, but her cultural background clearly puts her in the camp of that segment of America that genuinely believe that the role of people of African descent should be limited to either slavery or living in a marginalized, segregated sub-culture. Deen can’t deny her cultural roots any more than a modern German can excuse or try to ignore the relationship between the German people and the Holocaust.
Hip-hop artist are arrogant buffoons daring white America to call them out on their racism. It’s time to do so but that certainly doesn’t justify giving proud cultural icons of the American south a free-pass to use racist verbiage in their public or private lives. Necessary cultural changes only take place when the people who have evolved beyond unacceptable behavior and rhetoric insist that people they genuinely like and respect take those next important steps in their own personal development as well.