There is something toxic about people who have public histories of being offensive arguing that being criticized for hateful comments is comparable to experiencing hate itself.
Here is Zerlina Maxwell explaining why Paula Deen’s recent articulation is exactly this kind of hijack of experience.
“In a recent interview with People, Deen said (via CNN):
“I feel like ‘embattled’ or ‘disgraced’ will always follow my name,” she tells People. “It’s like that black football player who recently came out,” referring to NFL prospect and former University of Missouri football standout, Michael Sam.
“He (Sam) said, ‘I just want to be known as a football player. I don’t want to be known as a gay football player.’ I know exactly what he’s saying.”
It’s no surprise that Deen would feel embattled, but as someone who said racially insensitive things, it is a surprise that Deen sees herself as the oppressed, instead of the one doing the oppressing. How is Paula the victim if she was the mastermind behind the slave themed wedding? It seems to me that actually being oppressed and embattled by structural inequality and policies that lead to disparate outcomes for people of color is worse than being called out for your bigotry. And being the first openly gay player in the NFL like Michael Sam is nothing like being a celebrity chef exposed for referring to your Black employees in explicitly racist terms.”
1. Writing words or speaking it aloud usually archive ideas marked to bodies.
2. It is worthwhile developing critical vocabulary for this rhetorical maneuver. It is one of the best tactics to resist the call-out.
3. Thanks Feministing. You rock.