Friday, June 28, 2013

It's All Connected

This weekend I went to an event called PlayDate Pittsburgh. It was an adult game night with oversized Jenga, Connect 4, Checkers, Operation, Clue... pretty much any game you could want to play. It's a fabulous alternative to the club scene. I went with a friend of a friend who was super nice and introduced me to pretty much everyone she knew from Pittsburgh.

The event was at a museum downtown, literally steps away from my home. I don't even have to walk a full block to get there. We'd gone to see Mo'Nique at the Improv earlier that day, so I packed it up at the Improv at about 1:30 a.m. and walked home.

As I was walking home, I noticed five drunk white guys... I live in Pittsburgh, this is a site I see all the time. Then I hear something faint. I actually heard EXACTLY what he said, but it was easier to ignore it than acknowledge it.

Then he said it again.  

How much?

As a single woman who lives alone in a city with no family, I thought it was in my best interest to act like it didn't happen and go home. And I did. And I didn't think about it again the next morning. And it didn't ruin my evening. And it didn't taint my opinion of all white males everywhere.

Every day, African Americans and women deal with the deep seated hatred that people have for us because of our race or our gender or both. And every day we ignore it and get on with our lives because if we added it all up and tried to seek justice for the injustices we wouldn't have time to do anything else.

So when I learn that Paula Deen has allowed (and maybe even perpetuated) this deep seated hatred against my race AND my gender happen in her place of business, there is no way I can forgive her. I can't do anything to the jerk who treated me like a prostitute for simply walking home, but it's all related. I can actually affect Paula Deen's pockets. I'll never visit her website again. I unfollowed her Pinterest boards. And if I so much as find out a dish has been cooked in a Paula Deen pot, I'm not eating it. 

And speaking of simply walking home, if I was younger and a male, I might not be living to tell that story. Apparently my very presence as a black person is problematic and while I'm not going to pick up this torch and carry it, I am certainly not going to spend my hard-earned AMERICAN dollars supporting someone who hates me.

If Paula Deen melted her crocodile teals into a buttery sea of type 2 diabetes and floated off into the southern sunset it would make me no never mind.

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