She said it.
She’s been saying it.
And now, she’s losing everything because of her decision to reveal her timeless love affair with that word.
A word so heinous, so damaging to our American culture that its usage is only allotted to a select few.
A word so detrimental to the purity of our country that the NAACP, on behalf of the American people, had a mock funeral and buried the word once and for all.
Well, apparently Paula Deen has been partying with its ghost because she didn’t know that the word was dead.
But then again, neither do rappers.
Or anyone else.
Because honestly, this word can never be eradicated or contained within the context of our own borders.
This word is international.
Yet, since I have respect for you all, I will not use the word in question because I don’t know how comfortable you may be with it. Therefore I have opted to use the word ‘porch monkey’ in its place.
Why ‘porch monkey’ you ask?
Because I still need you to feel something from the replacement word’s presence. But as a grown ass man I cannot continuously type the phrase ‘The N Word’ when we all know that the damn N word is
OK, I promise, that’s the only time I’ll type it.
But still, you understand why we’re in this Paula Deen predicament now, right?
It’s because we live in a society of subtlety. A world where we all want to believe that racism is dead, women are treated equally and homophobia is on its way out the door once and for all.
To that I must grab my gut and laugh like Santa Claus, because that notion is hilarious.
Of course we are light years away from where we once were.
However, when you consider that the Civil Rights movement ended almost fifty years ago that’s not really a whole lot of time to pretend like the shit ain’t happen.
And even though African Americans attempted to take ‘porch monkey’ and use cultural re-appropriation to lessen its meaning, that practice backfired.
Because now non-Blacks who say ‘porch monkey’ can use the argument ‘I don’t know why they can use the word and we can’t?’
There are a million reasons why no one should use that damn word. However, if anyone owns the rights to ‘porch monkey’ it would have to be African Americans. Even though you’ll find a lot more African Americans tend to shun ‘porch monkey’ while few others embrace it.
It’s just one of those things I guess.
I know I use the word. Does that make me ignorant and undignified? Probably for some of you, yes.
Does that mean I should stop using it?
Honestly, I did at one time stop using ‘porch monkey’ because I thought it was the right thing to do. I began to use ‘Brotha’ instead (which is still my default to this day)
And then I traveled to a few different countries.
During that time I heard ‘porch monkey’ used in Germany in reference to Jesse Owens. I heard it used casually on the streets of Ibiza, Spain. I heard it used in a hotel room in Sao Paulo between two Asians. But what fucked me up the most was when I heard one black South African brotha greet a fellow countryman with “What’s up ‘porch monkey?”
Did I mention that his fellow countryman was white?
Here I was trying so hard not to use the word on my first trip around the world (cause I’m definitely doing that shit again) when lo and behold it had already beaten me to every corner of the earth.
And the perception of me as just another ‘porch monkey’ with nothing to offer but hip hop slang, swag and mis-education wasn’t that hard to accept from the international community considering that I lived in the birthplace of those ideals and was used to people looking down on me just because I’m black.
That time in my life was a learning experience. When I came back home I realized that on more than one occasion ‘porch monkey’ would come out of my mouth. And whether people like it or not I refuse to change the words I use for others because I know I would be doing it for the wrong reasons. One of the most powerful lessons I learned while traveling was to never let people change who I am.
So if this word offends you when I use it I apologize.
I guess you can see where I’m about to go with this whole Paula Deen thing.
Let me first give you a little background info on Paula, or Butter ‘Betes (as in diabetes) as I like to call her.
Paula was born in Georgia in 1947.
That was a loooooong time ago, so she’s an older person.
Georgia is in the south.
The South don’t like black people. And during pre-Civil Rights activism they really didn’t like black people.
And, I’m not sure if you could tell this or not…but Paula’s white.
Let’s put it all together now.
Paula Deen is an old white woman from the South.
OF COURSE she’s used ‘porch monkey’ before.
When this debacle started it stemmed from a pending lawsuit from one of Deen’s former employees. During a deposition she was asked if she’s ever used ‘porch monkey’ in which she quickly replied ‘Yup! Sho’ did y’awl.’
Her perspective comes from an antiquated time that many think is gone, but it really isn’t.
Racism is more passive aggressive now.
It’s the white people who ask you stupid shit like ‘What was it like growing up in the hood?’ when you grew up near the suburbs surrounded by plenty of other black families.
It’s the drunken asshole that walks up to you and says ‘One day it’s my dream for you to call me ‘porch monkey’ too’.
It’s the man or woman who only dates black people to piss their parents off but would never marry one.
Shit is real y’awl. And Paula Deen’s revelation doesn’t anger me as much as it should because I could only expect this type of mentality from an old white woman who was raised in the pre-Civil Rights South.
Granted, by the time Dr. King marched on Washington, she was about 16 years old. Can you imagine all of the racist jokes she had heard by that point? All of the terrible things people in the South may have been saying about that ‘porch monkey’ Dr. King and all of the other ‘porch monkeys’ attempting to fight for justice.
The South was where all the action was taking place. She was well aware of what was going on and was probably on the other side of the fight, marching with the water hoses as opposed to against them.
We really need to stop living under the cloak of ‘Unity For all’ because we’re still not there yet and this just proves as another example of a sweet face hiding a dark secret.
Because no one wants to believe that this butter loving, adorable grandmother who can cook her ass off could ever be a racist.
She seems so sweet. However, we don’t know this woman.
She’s not our friend.
She’s an Entertainer. Much like an actor or actress. We only know what they want us to know. Once the facade is cracked we get a glimpse into who they really are and then we’re quick to turn on them.
But here’s the Gotcha!
Paula Deen was using that word when you liked her.
Paula Deen was using that word before most of us were born.
Paula Deen was cracking racist jokes with her racist friends at dinner parties with black servants dressed as slaves thinking to herself ‘This Is The Life’.
And none of us knew.
But we know now.
So what happens next?
Honestly, if Fox News has a cooking show she’ll be on there.
I say by Christmas-time people will have moved on, and I’ll tell you why.
Remember Don Imus?
Hell, I’ve got one you’ve probably really forgotten about.
Remember Dog the Bounty Hunter?
Or maybe Michael Richards?
People drop ‘porch monkey’ all the time, and then what happens?
A few months later the repercussions have run its course and then the person who used the word is free to remain fruitful in their careers without any more hiccups because they’ve got a better PR team.
Butter ‘Betes will be fine. People will still buy her shit and she’ll sit down with Oprah and give a teary-eyed interview in which she’ll say something along the lines of:
‘I never understood how hurtful my words were. Growing up in the South really taught me in ways I didn’t know until now’
And then she’ll grab Oprah’s hand
‘I am so, so sorry for this. And I want all you viewers to know that I have learned’
Orrrr, she’ll whip up a batch of fattening, delicious K-K-Kookies and make America fall in love with her ass again.
In any event, this seems to always blow over for people who aren’t ‘porch monkeys’.
Good thing for her she’s not Chris Brown.