I fucking love Paula Deen, Incidental Racist. By sticking her foot in her mouth she launched one of the most entertaining and successful anti-racism campaigns I have ever had the pleasure to witness.
#PaulasBestDish was the most inclusive, measured, and appropriate responses to casual bigotry that I’ve seen in my lifetime. In fact, the premise and execution of the inadvertent campaign was so amazingly elegant that I, a staunch avoider of most things social media, signed up for Twitter just to witness it.
Historically, the collective indignation of Black America at the mishaps of a bumbling incidental racist has been so severe, so aggressive, and so insular, that it often left non-Black, proponents of anti-racism wondering “uh, is it really that serious?” In stark contrast, the #PaulasBestDish campaign, with its inclusive mockery and comedic approach, allowed for anyone who recognized the ridiculousness of Paula’s language and behavior to get involved in the chastising and subsequently make a collective statement that racism and bigotry in America is whole-heartedly not American in 2013.
It may not seem like it, but we have just evolved.
For reference purposes only:
- Accidental racist: a racist who is completely oblivious to his or her own bigotry.
- Intentional racist: a racist who is consciously motivated by his or her own bigotry.
- Incidental racist: a racist who is neither oblivious nor motivated by his or her own personal bigotry.