Won’t someone please think of the wealthy, famous Southern white people!

This is going to be quick and dirty because I am being nibbled to death by ducks and I need a drink.

Lindy West shows us the screencap of Anne Rice saying ridiculous shit in defense of Paula Deen:

I went and found the link to the post on Facebook.

Her post:

What’s happening with Paula Dean? Is it fair? I never heard of her until today, and wow, this looks like a crucifixion. Opinions, thoughts welcome. Thanks to Troy Hawkins for the link. I may be wrong but aren’t we becoming something of a lynch mob culture? Is this a good example of that? What are your feelings?

Further comments, as some of her readers support her:

Agreed. It’s so easy to persecute an older, overweight, unwise, crude, ignorant woman who may very well be a good person at heart who has achieved a great deal in her life. So easy to vilify her and hate her and try to destroy her life. Woe to anyone today who is not slender, young, clever and politically correct.

***

Absolutely. Thank you, Amanda. I lived in the south where I was born, and it’s almost impossible to describe to other people what really happens in cities like New Orleans and Atlanta. They just don’t get it. But all over this country I’ve encountered contempt for white southerners, hatred of them, disgust for them…a blind prejudice against them that is racism in its own way. I’m frankly sick of it. This woman is just what you said. She’s an old southern lady, and she never made these unwise remarks of hers to a black person. We have no evidence at all that she has ever personally insulted or injured any black employee or friend. These remarks were made off hand in private to a white person who has sued her and spread these remarks all over the world. It’s all pretty damn ugly if you ask me. I feel sorry for Paula Deen.

***

According to Wikipedia, Paul Dean was born in 1947 in Albany, Georgia. She has been sued by an employee who has quoted her as saying rather offensive things to the employee. I’m not sure what I think about all this. When I was living in New Orleans I heard racist remarks around me day in and day out from friends, employees and some relatives. I didn’t like it, but it seemed part of the world there. At the same time I witnessed love and harmony among black and white people on my staff and in my employee and was never aware of any discrimination in my organization. I’m not sure it’s all very easy for those who are not from the South to understand. Ideally, we should treat all human beings with respect, dignity and love; and all should have equal opportunities. Does this happen in the South? More or less than in the North? I don’t know. I do know this — the worst racist jokes I’ve ever heard in my life have been told to me by California liberals.

For our edification, Ta-Nehisi Coates has more info on Paula Deen’s racist antics. This is about more than her using the n-word around a white employee 20-odd years ago. This is about a pattern of racist behavior that has created a hostile work environment for her employees.

As Lindy West points out, you do not EVER use the phrase “lynch mob” to describe the backlash on a white woman who’s been caught engaging in racist behavior toward blacks. That terminology is the very opposite of appropriate for the situation.

However, once you’ve said those words and posted them on Facebook to your six-figure following, you’re not in a good position to complain about how it’s so unfair how white Southerners are stereotyped as racist bigots. You want to talk stereotypes of white southerners and how they suck, first of all you should try being an example of a non-racist white Southerner, but in the context of the Paula Deen situation, this is nothing more than a derailment. When we hear about a liberal Californian restauranteur mistreating their employees, then we will rain shit on the liberal Californian’s head, but their racist jokes do not make anything better for the employees who had to deal with Mrs. Deen’s racist jackassery.

Your defense of Southern culture appears to be, “Well, sure, people said racist shit, but it never made ME feel uncomfortable!” I am not impressed. We don’t measure American racial enlightenment by white people’s comfort levels.

As for the “old Southern lady” excuse, or, as other commenters put it, “she’s from a different era,” that’s still not helping. I don’t allow that excuse for my grandmother, who is a considerably older Southern white lady and nowhere near as cringeworthy as Paula Deen. We’re not criticizing her for being “older, overweight, unwise, crude, ignorant.” She does not have the excuse of being ignorant, unwise or crude. She’s a famous TV star who should have learned better by now. When I was a kid, the adults in my life educated and socialized me to believe that gender norms were written in stone, marriage was something all adults did if they had any choice in the matter, police officers were always trustworthy and drug addiction was a moral failing. I’ve gotten better since then. If Paula Deen hasn’t moved past the culture of Albany, Georgia in the 1960s, it’s because she doesn’t want to.

I love the smell of author insanity in the morning!

Every time you use a book as a crafting object, a beloved fictional character is erased from the canon.

That’s the impression one gets from reading the reactions one gets to using an old paperback for something other than reading.

Miss Articulate bought a used copy of Pandora by Anne Rice, wasn’t impressed with the story, and converted the pages into a cute (if mundane) little box with a lid.

Then two things happened. Maybe three?

1. Anne Rice saw the blog post and shared it on her Facebook page.

2a. Anne Rice’s fans descended on Miss Articulate’s blog to tell her how offensively wrong she is to criticize the book and trash the writing skills of The Great and Powerful Rice.

2b. Said fans also took the time to tell the blogger what a terrible human being she is for chopping up a book. Desecration! Removed a book from the world! Nazis destroyed books, too!

It was really, really unprofessional and irresponsible of Anne Rice to share that blog entry on her Facebook page, but the damage is done now.

What I find really amusing is that such a can of worms opens up whenever someone uses a printed book as craft material.

You want to know who destroys more books than anyone else? BOOKSTORES. Whatever doesn’t sell gets torn up. Libraries also trash books when they wear out. Them’s the breaks for the paper and ink.

A book is not a sacred object, nor is it a precious commodity. The world is in no danger of running low on reading material. If you pay for a book, it becomes your property and you’re not hurting anyone if you use the pages for decoupage. Yes, I include my own works in that rule. (It’s a different case if you’ve requested a copy for review, but once the review is posted, go nuts with that review copy.) This here author can tell you: the spirit of the writer does not live in the pages. No metaphysical damage is done when someone chops up a used paperback. If you don’t like to see precious resources go to waste, save your anger for people who waste food.