Most black people don’t like Paula Deen. The main exception, of course, is Steve Harvey, who chose Deen to help him mentor boys at his summer camp. This decision didn’t sit well with all of the black chefs who would be dying for the opportunity that an allegedly racist white woman received without even asking for it.
Now, Deen is being questioned again for choosing a woman to appear on the cover of her website in what some feel is a derogatory pose. The black woman in the image is ringing one of those “come n git it!” dinner bells that Deen thinks are so adorable when a black person is ringing them. Deen once asked her black “soul sister,” Dora Charles, to ring the bell, and she refused, stating that she felt degraded by doing so.
According to the Urban Dictionary, a mammy is defined as “a black woman, depicted as rotund, homely and matronly. The mammy is an archetype, portraying a domestic servant of African descent who is generally good-natured, often overweight, and loud. The stereotypical mammy is portrayed as obsequiously servile or acting in, or protective of, the interests of whites.”
Based on the definition above, it’s difficult to say that Deen’s image isn’t insensitive, let alone ridiculous and insulting.
The image is being used for Lady & Sons, a restaurant in Savannah, Ga that Deen owns. The Facebook group called For Black Women Only is saying that the image reminds them of a mammy and they want to see it gone.
“Paula Deen longs for the antebellum South when Blacks, especially black women, were nonthreatening servants,” the group says on its page.
According to Eater.com, the image has been on the site for years. They somehow seem to believe that this fact takes away the idea that the image could be considered racist toward blacks.
“The lady featured in the picture has worked at the restaurant for over 17 years and is like family to the Deens,” the statement said. Maybe they should have also said that Paula Deen is Steve Harvey Approved and therefore beyond reproach for any black person who might complain about her business activities.
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If you recall, during her deposition when she was sued for discrimination, Deen said she had many black people who were like family to her, but she still had no problem calling them the n-word.
Deen, who is embarking on getting her career back on track, has been the poster child for redemption when it comes to apologizing for her past. Her most recent appearance on Steve Harvey’s talk show shocked many people, especially after Harvey announced she would be mentoring 100 black boys at his mentoring camp.