Paula Deen is claiming to relate to the plight of a gay Black man reportedly. Michael Sam (NFL prospect) recently took a huge step for all gay and lesbians around the world by announcing publicly that he is gay. Any homosexual male in sports, whether high school, college, or professional, faces possible prejudice and ridicule by “coming out of the closet” to allow the public to know a very personal and private side to their intimate relationships. Many would say keep that information private because it is not the world’s business to know with whom an athlete is spending his quality time with when not on the field or court.
Much of the gay community want the world to realize their community is made up of every walk of life (politicians, soldiers, CEOs, athletes, etc.). They want the world to know the gay community isn’t such a minority as many believe. With public figures “coming out” gay, it possibly makes it safer for other gay and lesbians to stop living in fear – especially African-American males. For Paula Deen to use the N-word to describe African-Americans and then use the coming out of a gay Black man, many struggle to see the similarities Paula Deen allegedly sees.
Paula Deen was adored by millions of fans across the country. She had come into the homes of many Americans through the Food Network sharing her delicious southern recipes. Though Paula Deen was worth over $17 million, according to ABC News, the Food Network cut ties with the attractive, charming southern belle for admitting using the N-word to describe African-Americans. The Food Network may have seen this as the last straw with the famous chef, as a question of integrity had come up before. Paula Deen had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, but did not inform the Food Network that her southern dishes loaded with butter, salt, and sugar demonstrated to millions of viewers on how to prepare for their families was possibly the culprit to her illness. Reportedly back in 2012, Deen had kept her diabetes diagnoses from her fans for several years until drug maker Novo Nordisk offered her $6 million to endorse the drug Victosa. This stirred many eyebrow raising questions as to why Paula Deen possibly misled many of her fans for years.
A disgruntled employee in one of Deen’s restaurants filed a suit against her and her business partner and brother for alleged racial and sexual harassment. Deen was questioned if she had ever used racial slurs. Paula Deen answered honestly that she had used the N-word years ago and confessed to wanting her staff to dress up like slaves to serve guests at an event recently. When this news hit the airwaves, Food Network, Smithfield, Wal-mart, Sears, JC Penney’s, and the list continues of companies who promoted the Paula Deen brand helping to make her a business mogul, pulled the plug on their partnership with her growing reported $17 million net worth.
Paula Deen took to the Today Show crying. Many could not decipher if she was pleading to her sponsors to keep from losing her revenue or really sorry for offending the African-American community. She never stated in the Today Show interview she was apologizing to the African-American community for using the N-word. Since then Deen has allegedly dealt with being called a disgrace when her name is mentioned. According to New York Daily News, Deen says she is like the black football player who came out gay. Instead of being known as a football player, Deen is reported stating his name will be associated with being gay.
The Los Angeles Times reported Paula Deen stating her world had crashed down when she had lost her multi-million dollar partnerships, but she stands proud a survivor of it all and plans to make a come back with a new investor. Michael Sams never used a slur to demean an entire community of Americans. Michael Sams did not ask African-Americans to dress as slaves to serve guests. Michael Sams is not under suspicion of believing an entire race is superior to another. Many believe Michael Sams revealed his sexuality in hopes of freeing others to live without fear. Somehow Paula Deen reportedly sees herself as a survivor who was victimized.
It was never clear to whom Deen made her Today Show apology for using the N-word. This might explain why many still believe Paula Deen is an alleged racist. It was never understood why she wanted African-Americans to dress as plantation workers in the 21st century to serve guests at a wedding. So why is much of the public trying to get clarity as to how Paula Deen compares her plight to that of a gay Black athlete? Though she may possibly score big to win the game with her alleged new $75 million private investor, many believe there will always be suspicion surrounding Paula Deen. Feeling the same fear and pain of a gay Black man isn’t one of them.
Editorial by Meleika Gardner