On Monday, Deen and her lawyers pushed to have the racial discrimination lawsuit against her dismissed, citing, of all things, the recent ruling against the Prop 8 case that restored marriage equality to California.
The eagle-eyed among us will remember that the Prop 8 case wasn’t dismissed because the challenge against marriage equality was unconstitutional. It was dismissed because the U.S. Supreme Court found that the plaintiffs had no legal standing. As Chief Justice John Roberts put it, “for a federal court to have authority under the Constitution to settle a dispute, the party before it must seek a remedy for a personal and tangible harm.”
Deen is not somehow being sued and her empire crumbling for dropping N-bombs 20 years ago. In fact, she is being sued for systematic racial and sexual discrimination in the workplace that included forcing black employees to work in the back of the restaurant, making them to use separate entrances and bathrooms, all the while condoning her brother/restaurant manager’s penchant for watching porn in his office. Seriously, it’s all there to be read.
Deen’s lawyers are arguing that former employee Lisa Jackson, a white woman who brought forth the lawsuit, has “no actionable claim for feeling ‘uncomfortable’ around discriminatory conduct directed at others,” and therefore they’re seeking to have the case dismissed. Basically, since Lisa Jackson is white, she personally didn’t experience the so-called “personal and tangible harm” that Chief Justice Roberts mentioned in his argument against the Prop 8 case.
Though Deen is losing jobs and corporate partners left and right, she does seem to be gaining supporters in the same kind of people who would grumble about why there’s not a “Straight Pride Day” or go on diatribes about how blacks are the “real” racists.
What do you think? Should Paula Deen be using every avenue she can to defend herself in court? Or is the whole thing, like Deen’s infamous Lady’s Brunch Burger, simply in poor taste?