Paula Deen is in the midst of trying to claw her way back to relevancy over a year after she was exposed as the butter-soaked racist we all probably assumed she was. Steve Harvey and his mustache have a television show to host, advertising dollars to worry about and not a whole hell of a lot of concern for the validity of the "help" and "advice" they dispense. Truly, a partnership between these two is a match made in hypocritical heaven.
Steve Harvey operates a mentorship program for young, fatherless young men in cities around America and this year he has invited Paula Deen to teach culinary skills to some of the boys.
A look through the photos on the camp's website reveals that most, if not all, of the campers are black. I know what you're thinking, but it makes perfect sense that the best way to mentor black boys is to put them under the tutelage of a racist white lady: if you're trying to be an asshole, duh.
Honestly, I can't even blame Paula Deen too much for this one. After being booted off of the Food Network, girlfriend has got a website to run and the rest of her dignity to shill. Gaudy jewelry, false eyelashes and Mariah Carey's retoucher don't come cheap, y'all. I completely understand her decision to participate in this farce. How can anyone still call her a racist if she's willing to teach black boys how to deep fry that which should never be deep fried? Would a racist do that? (Unfortunately for Deen, the answer is yes, a racist with ulterior motives would absolutely do that.)
Besides, Deen doesn't even have to exert much effort. Steve Harvey and his campers will be flying down to Savannah for the cooking lessons because kitchens and food and butter exist nowhere else.
The majority of the blame here is placed squarely on one Steve Harvey, of the shitty and unasked for advice-giving Harveys. But really, we can't expect much better from the man who brought us the bound roll of used toilet paper that was Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.
As Yesha Callahan at The Root points out, aren't there plenty of black chefs Harvey could have hired instead of a notorious and largely unapologetic racist. If nothing else, wouldn't it be more impactful for all these young black men to be mentored by another black man—perhaps even someone who grew up under similar circumstances? Hell, Harvey couldn't have at least hired some white chef who hasn't made their black and white employees use separate bathrooms?
For his part, Steve Harvey has already said that he gives absolutely no fucks what The Bloggers think about his decision. [THANKS FOR THE SHOUTOUT, STEVE.] No, I don't expect better from either of them and yes, I understand that money is most likely the guiding motivator behind this ridiculousness, but I refuse to sit around and act like there is nothing wrong with this.
The real winner here is Paula Deen, who gets another chance to repair her image and will be one step closer to her dream of hosting a dinner party serviced entirely by black men.
Image via Getty.