By L&T Publisher Earl Watt
There was once a requirement for members of the media to stick to the facts and not allow an accusation to be considered the same as a conviction.
When Paula Deen was recently accused of racial discrimination, by a white employee, Deen admitted that 20 years ago or so, she might have used the “N” word.
Her sponsors pulled out, her show was canceled, and Deen’s career suffered a huge blow.
The judge tossed out the racial discrimination claim. Still, her career came out of the case in shambles. The same employee is now claiming sexual discrimination.
Deen is one of many who has suffered from the false accusation of racism.
Just by throwing the word at someone, great harm can happen, and Deen is a prime example.
Even though the claim was tossed out of court, she will not get her sponsors back. Her show will not be returned.
Can Deen turn around and sue these sponsors, the network and this employee for the false damage they have caused her?
And that’s too bad, because the only victim here has been Deen.
In a similar accusation, a clown at the Missouri State Fair Rodeo wore a mask of President Barack Obama.
Whether that is in good taste or not, the claims of the clown being racist immediately began.
In an opinion written for CNN by Judy Quest, past president of Clowns of America International, clowns aren’t supposed to make fun of others, only themselves.
She accused the clown of being racist.
“The individual who took on the role of a clown in Missouri might have made some people laugh, but it was at the expense of so many others,” she said.
It had a clear target, the president.
Presidents are the target of comedy all the time.
Comedians make jokes about presidents as a matter of professional requirement.
For some comedians, that’s all they do.
Where was the racism in a clown wearing an Obama mask?
It’s not enough to say that if someone disagrees with the president on policy, it has to be racial.
The new political correctness is simple, if you disagree with the president, you are racist.
This new attitude is setting racial relations back decades.
No one can do anything if it even hints of being racist.
And some of it creates racism in itself.
For example, new policies requiring identification to vote are now considered racist.
Instead of us talking about protecting the integrity of the vote, we accuse those trying to protect it of being racist.
According to Rasmussen, 71 percent approve of proving citizenship before registration.
In another poll just four days ago, only 39 percent of likely voters believe elections are fair.
Requiring proof before someone casts a ballot is the way to preserve the integrity of an election.
But opponents of such systems claim racism is involved.
Those making these accusations are doing as much harm by claiming that some races won’t verify their citizenship.
It is the same requirement for everyone, but if you don’t like a policy, the way to fight it is to claim racism.
But the accusation is not the fact, and due to the damage caused by such an accusation, states should consider laws for false racial claims that result in harm.
Deen certainly has a case, and I believe the clown should also be able to make someone prove his motivations were racial. Simply wearing a mask is not a racial act in itself.
Making fun of the president isn’t racist.
Making fun of the president’s policies isn’t racist.
Disagreeing with the president isn’t racist.
Expecting voters to be citizens isn’t racist.
If there is no evidence of racism, quit claiming it, or be willing to pay a price if you can’t prove it.
Too many people are trying to do harm with false accusations, and if they can’t make their case, and they cause harm, they should have to pay for it.