Friday, June 28, 2013

Oh no she didn’t…

The frenzy over Paula Dean’s admittance to using a racial slur got me thinking. Growing up in sixties and seventies, I think a lot of us were subjected to our elders making some off color joke remark about pretty much anything. Having said that, I feel that with the world the way it is nowadays that really shouldn’t exist anymore but clearly it still does. Most recently someone on Facebook commented that the world is too sensitive? I don’t happen to agree with that statement. Why is it considered okay by some to belittle or make fun of someone’s race, gender, religion, nationality, hair color, sexual preference…I could go on and on…and consider it a “joke”? The only problem with those “jokes” is that they are always at someone’s expense. One has to wonder what level of low self-esteem someone has to think that type of joking is okay when realistically it is basically a verbal slap in the face. I can only imagine how bad these joke-sters really feel inside that they have to make fun of others in order to feel better themselves. Laughing at yourself is one thing, but laughing at others is just a form of bullying. Growing up in a Polish family, I cannot tell you how many times people felt obligated to say a Polish joke around me. Oh did I mention that my hair was blonde when I was younger, well then along came the blonde jokes too. And then when I felt offended was told to “lighten up”! Well I did lighten up, I chose to promote kindness instead. It’s too heavy a load to bear to think that you make other people feel badly and feel no shame for it. I am proud of the fact that my husband and I raised our daughter to be accepting of everyone’s differences and embrace them rather than criticize them. Getting back to Paula Dean, whether it was a one time use of a racial slur or something she is trying to say falls under the umbrella of being “southern”, she was irresponsible. When you become a celebrity and spokesperson of not only a television network but name brand companies including your own, there is responsibility that goes along with it. Of course we can forgive and forget, but let this be a lesson to all of us. Whether we are in the limelight, in our little hometowns or with family and friends, use your words wisely and if you can’t say something nice…don’t say anything at all! Imagine what would happen if we replaced those “jokes” with words of kindness. Hmmm…now there is a thought! Keep Smiling! :)

1 comment: