Saturday, June 22, 2013

Paula Deen and the Politically Correct Police

I've been thinking again. (Dangerous, I know.) Unless you live under a rock, you know that Paula Deen's made some news recently for actions in her distant past.

It got me to thinking.

I've said some cuss words (a lot of them if you ask Lilly to judge it) and told some borderline inappropriate jokes and laughed at some very inappropriate jokes (one right in the middle of a funeral where I had to fake a coughing spell and actually get up and leave).

Makes me wonder; are they gonna ask me to leave church?  Or my job teaching at the Christian school? Cause I'm telling you that I actually did the thing I'm accused of. I am completely guilty and would have to own it in a court of law.

And I didn't do some of that stuff 25 years ago. Like, I did it last week. I almost hit another car and when my full cup of coffee bounced off the dash and all over me, I yelled out a really choice three-dollar kind of word that I hope my kids don't even know yet (wishful thinking). See, I'd heard my daddy say it, oh, like a million times growing up, so it's up in that grey matter and just dying for an opportunity to get some airtime. Garbage in/garbage out and all of that. I said it. I meant it when I said it. I admit that I said it.

And that ain't all, Folks.

Until I was a collegiate puppet troupe member of Kids on the Block at UAB, (read more here:  a group that taught elementary school-aged kids about interacting with disabled people, I called friends "retard" as an endearing way of meaning "stupid" or "silly". Today, I punish my children if they say that, because I know better. It really never occurred to me until then. If you put me on the stand I'd have to say that yes, at some time in the long ago, I used that word. And I meant it.

We don't use the n-word EVER in our home. When my kids were young they didn't even know there was a way to refer to black people and called them "brown people" (which could have been horrifyingly offensive if you didn't know they were trying to describe someone on a television show to me and they didn't know the words "black" or "African American" even existed), because we were so careful to not make personal observations. Today I would punish my children if they said that, because they know better. It's completely inappropriate. But I might have heard a joke or two with the word salted over the punchline and laughed. And if you haven't done the same, then you've laughed at a cracker or spic or kike or raghead joke in the same vein. Or made the joke yourself. Remember, you're under oath. Don't perjure yourself.

So, what about you? Want to be convicted for stuff you said and did twenty-five years ago?  I vote a hearty 'no thank you' on my ballot. I'm not sure that it's even remotely fair, because if we all really examine ourselves, we've said a lot of nasty things that we don't want played back in a court of law for everyone to hear. I know I have anyway.

In college, I used to sing this Jimmy Buffet song out loud to myself when I was at a loss for words. It was a peppy little ditty that went like this:

"My head hurts. My feet stink, and I don't love Jesus. It really was that kind of morning. It really was that kind of night. I try to tell myself that my condition is improving, but if I don't die by Thursday I'll be rollin' Friday night."

I didn't even flinch when I hummed that tune as an unbeliever. Now it makes me feel sick at my stomach. But if you asked me to swear on a Bible, yeah, I sang it. And yeah, I meant it. Guilty. And now I call myself a Christian. A disciple. A follower. Not a fan. I have to be covered in the Blood every single day just to get along. How about you? Hey, Paula Deen? I'm just like you, Sugar. And so is everyone else. They just didn't go under oath and have to swear to it in front of the entire world.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Amen and hallelujah!