Paula Deen and the Scarlet Letter
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 classic book of fiction titled The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne was engaged in a scandalous affair, which culminated in the birth of a child. She was convicted of adultery and sentenced to wear a scarlet “A” on her clothing for the remainder of her life. It was a symbol of her shame. It is a wonderful example of American literature with a contemporary application.
Here we are 163 years later and a new “Scarlet Letter” has emerged. The “A” has been replaced with an “N” and the new Hester is none other than Paula Deen. She has been convicted by the modern day Racial Inquisition. To the race pirates, Paula Deen has committed the ultimate sin. She has admitted to using the “N” word. It makes no difference whether it was uttered during a conversation in the privacy of her home 35 years ago or whether she stood at the top of Mount Everest and shouted it to the world.
In their minds, Deen is comparable to the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. Just as Hester was forced to mount the scaffold to face her shame in the Scarlet Letter, Paula has been strapped to the “public whipping post” for all to see.
What is particularly disturbing is how the accusers have worked behind the scenes to effectively destroy her business interests. Public scorn is apparently not sufficient punishment for this crime.
Predictably, Deen can achieve forgiveness with her checkbook. A large donation to some nebulous charity benefiting race relations is the pathway to cleansing. It is extortion at its highest level. God only knows where that money ultimately ends up. Paula has little choice but comply. She has her children to think of.
America, common sense tells me that Deen represents what is good about our country. She is a dedicated mother who in the face of insurmountable odds chose not to wallow in self pity. By working hard, taking risks, and putting her faith in God and family, she made something of herself. She developed a business model that is the envy of any entrepreneur. That is why she is such a viable target.
To the race mongers, Deen represents everything they hate. She is white, Christian, a mother, a Southern woman, and successful. If she were black, homosexual, poor, a rap star, a movie star (Alec Baldwin comes to mind!, or a Hollywood director (Check out the language in “Django Unchained”!), we would not be having this conversation. Do you see the hypocrisy?
By the way, where are the feminist groups in this country? I thought they were in the midst of a War on Women. Apparently, they are selective in their support. Perhaps, if Deen could not pay for her own birth control pills they may have called.
Paula, you are no racist. You owe nobody an apology. Nobody has the right to define you. As the Bible says, “He who is without sin among you let him first cast a stone at her”. The public knows this is monumental overkill.
Interestingly, black Americans are not her primary accusers. They are standing on the sidelines and bewildered at the spectacle. The reason is simple. In reality, this is a “white problem.” It is perpetuated by ultra liberal white race mongers supported by a few black extremists and a predatory press. They justify Deen’s demise to perpetuate some misguided philosophy called “white guilt”. These people are dangerous and a root cause of the damaged race relations in this country.
Beware America. This race mongering will continue until all Americans make a stand.
Get on the phone. Call those spineless companies that have caved to cultural and political extortion. Let the press know how you feel. They will be forced to listen. It may not help Deen but it may save the next American who is targeted.
In Hawthorne’s book, Hester Prynne survived her humiliation and ultimately earned the respect of all who knew her. If Hester were alive today, she would have this to say. “Paula, you will not only survive this ordeal but emerge a stronger woman because of family, real friends, and your faith in God”.
Paula Deen will come back. You can bet on it.
The writer lives in Laurinburg, N.C. and has a home in North Myrtle Beach.