I don't use the "N" word. I know people who do though.
They range from faux-rappers to construction workers to business types. You know the first kind, the white Jewish kids from the burbs who "wanna be" and refer to one another as "N", while "cruisin'" with their "homies" in Daddy's SUV.
The second sort are the ignorami who fix the clogged drain, the faulty outlet and the dead battery.
The third type are the rich Republican country clubbers who only encounter people of color as busboys, gardeners and maybe caddies but only the latter because of Tiger Woods.
Not because of Vijay Singh or Lee Trevino, talented minorities who helped pave the way for Tiger. No, only because of Tiger because he is black. Not because of Obama because, as we all know, he was born, a Muslim, in Kenya.
So, yeah I know some folks who use the "N" word, and rather liberally at that, which is oxymoronic given the fact that racism is hardly liberal, even if it's perpetrated conservatively.
So when I read about Paula Deen I was dismayed but not shocked. I had hardly heard of her before all of this fuss about her use of the "N" word but that is because I am not a foodie and hate to watch cooks on TV.
I like to cook, although I am not that good at it and I certainly like to eat, as one view of my profile will attest, but I am bored to within an inch of my life by people pontificating about white wine reduction and imported truffles.
My one exception is Anthony Bourdain and that is because I read his excellent "Kitchen Confidential" and because I have immense respect for his "screw you" attitude.
But I must say that I think it is the epitome of hypocrisy to hold Ms. Deen accountable for behavior that is shared, and in some cases, celebrated by millions of Americans.
We delude ourselves into thinking that we have overcome racism in this country because we have twice elected a black man as president and revere black entertainers and sportsmen.
I contend that we would have elected Mickey Mouse as president when Obama ran because of the complete failure of the Bush administration. We re-elected Obama because Willard was too out of touch with main stream voters to give us a sense of confidence in his ability to lead all Americans back to the Promised Land. That doesn't even take into account the absurdity of Paul Ryan and the abject failure of the Republicans in Congress to compromise on anything.
We are a racist society regardless of the laws that have been passed and the occasional high profile success story, and I don't include Justice Thomas in that list.
So, excoriating Ms. Deen for being a racist is like excoriating Martha Stewart for being an inside trader.
We rewarded Ms. Stewart for her behavior (and prison term...) so why not Ms. Deen?
Oh, I know why.
Because inside trading is PC and using the "N" word is not.
I guess we are rather niggardly with our forgiveness then.