I’ve really had a difficult time dredging up even a tiny bit of give-a-shit about the whole Paula Deen racism thing. I’m glad she’s off the Food Network now, but that would be true no matter why it happened. But I do have to laugh about this hysterical overreaction from Glenn Beck:
Wearing what appeared to be a Boy Scout uniform on his Monday Internet broadcast, Beck said that Deen “doesn’t sound racist.”
“When you go down the road of suppression — suppression, discouraging people from speaking their minds, striking terror in the heart and being a slave to political correctness by making them all go away, you’re engaging in McCarthyism and we regress as a society and become less free,” he explained. “How can people advance if we suppress any thought? How can we advance if we train people not to rock the boat?”
“Where would the world be if Columbus and Magellan and other world explorers believed conventional wisdom that the Earth was flat? Or they were told, ‘That’s it, you’re not going anywhere, to jail with you’?” Beck asked. “Where would be be if Martin Luther King didn’t speak and challenge segregation and racism?”
The conservative host argued that Deen’s fate should have been decided by television ratings “if Americans ends up deciding she’s a racist.”
“Instead the Food Network caved and contributed to the growing un-American atmosphere of fear and silence,” he insisted. “Hello, Joseph McCarthy. We’re here, gang. All speech must be defended. Especially the speech that you do not like.”
First of all, it’s a myth that Columbus thought the earth was flat. That was not the conventional wisdom of the time. And seriously, how absurd is the rest of this? McCarthy was a senator and people were persecuted by the government. Free speech does not mean you can say racist things and not get fired for it. This really isn’t that complicated. And of course, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Beck, a member of a church that has long preached that blacks are cursed by God, would defend a racist.