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June 26, 2013 1:07 PM I Is What I Is: A Victim

By Ed Kilgore

I was beavering away on a post about Sean Trende’s “missing white voter” hypothesis and the bottomless crack pipe it might inadvertently offer to certain kind of Republicans longing for a White Man’s Party when I overheard my wife playing some very strange audio from Paula Deen’s interview with Matt Lauer on the Today show this morning. Here’s a partial transcript from NBC:

MATT LAUER:
And there’s not another side of this personality that we see on TV, this— this warm—
PAULA DEEN:
(LAUGH) No.
MATT LAUER:
—sugary, sweet, even sassy girl of the South? There isn’t a side of you—
PAULA DEEN:
No. No.
MATT LAUER:
—that is intolerant and, perhaps, views others as— as not equal?
PAULA DEEN:
No. No. You know, I— I— no. What you see is what you get. I’m not an actress [sic!] I’m heart broken. I’m thankful for my partner.
MATT LAUER:
Heartbroken why? Heartbroken for yourself or your—
PAULA DEEN:
Heartbroken—
MATT LAUER:
—family?
PAULA DEEN:
—I’ve had to hold friends in my arms while they’ve sobbed because they what’s bein’ said about me is not true. And I’m havin’ to comfort them and tell them it’s gonna be all right. If God got us to it, he’ll get us through it. I’ve had wonderful support from Reverend Jackson.
(SNIFF) I’ve had wonderful support. And I tell you what, if there’s anyone out there that has never said somethin’ that they wish they could take back, (SNIFF) if you’re out there, please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me. Please. I want to meet you. I want to meet you. I is what I is and I’m not changin’. And I— there’s someone evil out there that saw what I had worked for and they wanted it.
MATT LAUER:
Let’s end it on that.

Yeah, let’s do that.

In my earlier post on Deen last week, I observed that the one thing she could do to redeem herself would be to refuse to let herself become a martyr to the cause of anti-anti-racism—a victim being persecuted by the “politically correct.” But it sure looks like that’s the way she’s going to play it, and that could be more damning than her original sins.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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