Thursday, June 27, 2013

Paula and Prop 8 and Trayvon! Oh My!!!!

I am a former reporter and anchor, and I know that these past few weeks have been a newsmaker’s dream.  Paula Deen, the famed butter queen of the Food Network, admits to having said the N-word. Then, in two separate rulings, the Supreme Court overturned Proposition 8 that banned same-sex marriages in California, while ruling legally married same-sex couples must receive the same federal benefits provided to heterosexual couples. Last, but not lease, the murder trial of George Zimmerman, who is accused of killing African-American teen Trayvon Martin, got underway amidst a flurry of lights and cameras.  There is no shortage of opinions on any of these, so I’m throwing my two cents in, as well.

I’ll begin with Paula Deen. I DON’T CARE. I know this is not the popular opinion among most African Americans, but I am actually surprised that people are surprised.  She is a senior, Caucasian woman who has lived her entire life in the South…the Deep South…the O-G South. I honestly don’t know why people wouldn't expect her to say it. She said it happened 20 years ago, and maybe she is lying.  But, I want to give her props for admitting it at all.  Is it right? No. Does she need to issue an apology? It wouldn’t hurt.  But we have politicians, athletes, and Wall Street investors who lie, steal and cheat every day. They haven’t so much as missed a good night’s sleep, much less lost their means of income. Wal-Mart bailed on Paula, but is known for cutting corners and taking advantage of its employees. Who’s worse??

The fight for equality in same-sex marriages is a little more complicated for me. Whether I agree or disagree is purely a personal decision. But should we, as a country, let personal preferences affect the way we govern our constituents? I tend to think not. Should we deny people the right to get married?  I believe there was a time when slaves were denied the same right. And as for benefits, if you put in, you should get out, right?  If you have been a part of your spouse’s/partner’s life, you should be given the right to make decisions, make hospital visits and receive death benefits, right? Same-sex marriage is not for me, but neither is cauliflower. I don’t know if that means I should keep you from doing what’s best for you. I feel like we, as a society, are in a tight spot. Last I read, freedom was the premise for the founding of this country. We can’t stop following the rules now. But with freedom comes responsibility. And that’s always the hard part.

If Paula Deen hasn’t set black folks back 20 years, the Trayvon Martin murder trial has. A young African-American teen, wearing a hoodie and walking home from the store is considered to be a suspicious character. Because of this “unruly behavior,” he is confronted by George Zimmerman. An altercation takes place and Trayvon is killed. As the mother of two young boys, this scenario bothers me much more than Paula Deen’s slip of the tongue. When does WHWB, wearing a hoodie while black, mean you’re a criminal?   And the trial is no better. The star witness is a young girl who has a bad handle on the English language because English is her second/third language, thanks to Caribbean parents. But the prosecution has no problem mocking her and putting her on display for the nation to ridicule. Instead of being a trial about accused killer, George Zimmerman, it has quickly turned into a circus surrounding Trayvon’s friend. And if we’re not careful, this verdict will be determined by entertainment value rather than facts.

Indeed, it has been a busy news week. Everything from World News Tonight to the Wendy Williams Show has had something to say about the hot topics in the national news. What do you think about what’s happening?  Let me know.


  1. I like it.. news keeps the lights on and gas in the tank.

  2. Lovin' that you have a blog! As a 10 year veteran of the news business myself...anchoring and reporting...I have to say I disagree on some of your points. I think Paula Deen should have known better...27 years ago...or not. C'mon. The 'N' word is NOT acceptable! I support the fact that you are willing to give her a 'hall pass', but really? I don't know exactly how old she is now, but she ain't a spring chicken. 27 years ago she had to have been old enough to know better. That word hasn't been an accepted part of the American vocabulary since the early '60s...maybe even earlier.

    As for Trayvon Martin....I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'm not convinced that Zimmerman was not in danger. I'm not certain that he was not a concerned home owner who didn't feel threatened. From what I understand, there had been a number of trespassers through his neighborhood. I'm not sure if the area is gated, but as someone who lives in a gated community, and a wife of a cop...I am suspicious when I see people I don't recognize who seem to be wandering through my community. However, instead of taking it upon myself...I would call the local authorities. I do agree that Zimmerman made a HUGE mistake in approaching Trayvon on his own. The events that took place were preventable, and unnecessary. Zimmerman likely and stupidly put any danger upon himself. The whole tragic incident could have been prevented. That's what we pay our law enforcement protect! A simple call to 911 could have saved a life and a possible jail sentence. As for racial profiling...I feel that it's very possible this is just the 'convenient' outlet for prosecutors. Whether he was a black person wearing a hoodie, a white person with long stringy hair wearing a dirty shirt, or a buffed skin head...if he's walking through your neighborhood as an unknown and looking suspicious...alert home owners are going to take notice. Take a ride through any decent neighborhood, and you'll notice that there are people who care for their community. You can tell by the way they take care of their homes. They are the folks who walk every day, ride their golf carts around, or work in their yards. I call them 'community commandos'. However, these are the people who are looking out for their neighbors. I don't agree that it was racial profiling. I think it was a concerned citizen who went way too far.

    I'm all for gay marriage! Who are we to decide who can commit themselves to one another and who can't? Amen to you for recognizing that fact, and acknowledging that the Constitution is about the pursuit of happiness...and FREEDOM!

  3. Q - very insightful. You gave me a different lense regarding Deen & WalMart. I have two sons as well... and the TM Trial has me rivited. And as for califlower - take that back! Mashed with a little butter. Beats a potato any day! (: Good job my friend.

  4. LQ..As usual, you are spot on. I just love reading yr blogs. As you know, I'm in FL right now, and I work in Sanford. I am right smack in the middle of the action this week. As a bartender, I have heard ALL KINDS of opinions. It is just a circus over here. Anyway, yr the best. Keep writing. Mere

  5. LQ, As usual you are spot on. I love reading your blogs. I am working in Sanford right now, and let me tell is a circus down here. As a bartender, I am hearing ALL KINDS of opinions. Some from people that know George and others that know the neighborhood. It is definitely a very complicated trial! As a mom, I could not reconcile the loss of a I am having trouble seeing past that. Which is why I would have made a lousy juror. Anyway, keep writing! Mere

  6. Q. I don't get the uproar over PD's use of the N-word, either. In Texas, I've been called things much worse than the N-word. A Democrat, working mother, etc. How about being outraged about the 5 year old African boy who was killed this week and the fact that the Ft. Worth PD determined this particular missing 5 year old did not meet the criteria for an Amber Alert. Can Target, Wal-Mart and however else protest that, please?


Please leave your comments. I would love to hear your thoughts.