Paula Deen Controversy

Paula Deen is a popular chef and TV personality. She made sporadic appearances on different Food Network shows before getting a pilot in 2001. Her show aired in 2002 with the title, Paula’s Home Cooking. After the success of Paula’s Home Cooking she started a new show called Paula’s Party in 2006. In 2008 she came out with her latest show called Paula’s Best Dishes and shortly after gaining popularity with her shows Paula started a magazine called Cooking with Paula Deen. After coming out with various cookbooks, Paula published her memoirs using the title It Aint All About the Cooking. She then went on to write two more books called The Deen Family Cookbook and Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible.  In 2007 Paula Deen won a Daytime Emmy Award for best outstanding lifestyle host. Recently Deen created an interactive website where people can watch old shows, access her recipes, and videos of her cooking different items.

Recently Paula Deen was involved in a scandal that involved Deen admitting to using racial slurs in her restaurants. She also stated that she wanted to throw a slavery themed wedding for her brother. She got this idea when she ate at a restaurant with an all-black staff. This led to many members of various social media websites scrutinizing her for what she said. Most of this attention came from Twitter users, who would use different hashtags to make fun of her racism. With any issue, there are always going to be mixed reactions and different opinions as to whether the issue is right or wrong. Knowing this, we think it is important to analyze both sides of the situation in regards to how people reacted to the Paula Deen incident on social media. We argue that online users should not ridicule Deen for her actions because it is only furthering unnecessary racial discourses.

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Hashtagging: Increasing the Awareness of Racism

A person who thinks that racism is no longer prevalent in America is clearly mistaken, as evidenced by a tweet that was made recently by the GOP (Grand Ole Party), also known as the Republican party. The Republican party had made a Twitter post stating, “Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in ending racism,” which caused an uproar in the Twitter community. After tweeting, they realized they had made a mistake but not before a new hashtag was trending, #RacismEndedWhen.  This hashtag was started when a black feminist woman named Feminista Jones, also known by the Twitter world as #NotAllBlkFeminists, said “#RacismEndedWhen Arnold and Willis were adopted by Mr. Drummond.”

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The Michael Sam Story

Michael Sam is a young man from Galveston Texas, and can be described using one word: brave. Michael has played football his whole life. He was a well-developed player in high school, which led many colleges to offer him scholarships to come play for their respective teams. In 2009 Michael accepted a scholarship to go to The University of Missouri. While at the University of Missouri, Michael played four years of football. In his senior year, Michael was an All-American Defensive lineman and he was named the defensive player of the year in 2013. When it comes to football Michael does not mess around. He is there to get the job done. There is just one thing about Michael that many people do not know. In 2013 after graduating, Michael came out as being gay. By doing this Michael may have possibly opened the door for gay athletes and gay’s in general everywhere.

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#itgetsbetter

Everyone has gone through a rough time in his or her life. During that time one might have heard the phrase “it gets better.” For the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community the phrase “it gets better” is something these people can rally around. The “It Gets Better Project” was created to inspire and change the way people think and make them realize that life will get better for them. No matter what hardships they are currently facing, life will get better. Growing up is a challenge for everyone but imagine life for a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender kid or teen. Kids are growing up in a world where society tells them the purpose of a man is to love a woman and the purpose of a woman is to love a man. Not only that, but LGBT adolescents are tormented for expressing their beliefs.

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Real Beauty Sketches

           Have you ever thought about getting a message out to the public?  How would you do it?  The most popular answer would most likely be internet related.  The internet is at the fingertips of every individual whether they want it to be or not.  Dove Beauty Corporation took advantage of this idea and created the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty.  The campaign follows a digital activism approach that uses digital artivism to further support its progress as an activist movement within it’s viral video called Real Beauty Sketches.  Digital artivism is a combination of art and activism often found on a technological device such as the internet whereas digital activism is art being used for a political act or movement. This is clearly seen when analyzing the work of Judy Baca within the works of Chela Sandoval and Guisela Latorre titled Chicana/o Artivism: Judy Baca’s Digital Work with Youth of Color.

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Support Michael and the Acceptance of Speech

“When I was in the third grade, I thought that I was gay. Because I could draw and my uncle was. I told my mom with teacher streaming down my face, shes like, ” Ben, you’ve liked girls since before pre-k.” Yeah, I guess she was a point, just a bunch of stereotypes all in my head–I remember doing math like, ” Yeah, I’m good at little league.” It’s all just a preconceived idea of what it all meant for those who like the same sex.”

These lyrics come from Macklemore’s song “Same Love.” During the 2014 Nebraska School Activities Association State Speech Tournament, Michael Barth, a student from Gordon-Rushville High School, recited the lyrics above in a number of his poems about gender identity and acceptance. He made a name for himself when he won the Class C1 poetry division and became the State Champion. After his astonishing win, he was selected to perform in a prestigious “Best of the Best” showcase on the Nebraska Educational Television PBS and NRP station. Prior to recording, NSAA director Rhonda Blandford-Green requested that Barth change his award winning program. According to Buzzfeed.com, her reasoning was, “We don’t want to use a showcase for the best of the best to promote personal agendas.”

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The Role of Twitter in Spreading Messages of Empowerment and Awareness about TWLOHA

An international non-profit organization just entering its 8th year, To Write Love on Her Arms strives to promote hope, help, and healing for individuals struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury, and thoughts of suicide while placing an emphasis directly onto treatment and recovery.  This is an inclusive movement that welcomes all regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, ability, nationality, and so forth.  According to To Write Love On Her Arms Online,  In March of 2006, Jamie Tworkowski began taking the initiative of creating a personalized rehabilitation program from scratch through a support system based on love in order to help a friend heal when denied acceptance from a treatment center.

TWLOHA

Therefore, there is a heavy emphasis on healing through the simply beautiful connection between people and the effect love can have on the mind.  It is remarkable what this organization shows us we can do to change the world by showing individuals that they are important, that they are loved, and that they are not alone in their battle which allows us to come together as a  whole.  Simply being able to read the words of another person’s story going through a similar struggle allows society to open up and build acceptance— we can beat this mental health stigma when we begin sharing our stories which provides others with the freedom to share their own.  This allows us to realize that it’s okay not to be okay and that it is okay to ask for help.

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An exploration of how race and the Internet collide