The Paula Deen bandwagon

DeenToday Atlanta mayor Kasim Reid just made it official. Everybody and their brother is taking shots at Paula Deen.

Reed went on Meet the Press and declared that her past use of the “N” word was “very unfortunate” and “totally unacceptable.”

The Food Network already fired her.

Even my least favorite political cartoonist jumped on the bandwagon, this time associating celebrity cook Paula Deen with the Ku Klux Klan. And yes, the cowardly Mike Luckovich once again left the comment section closed.

I don’t own any of Ms. Deen’s cookbooks, but I might have to buy one on general principle, even though I have no plans to use it.

The politically correct have spoken unanimously to condemn Paula Deen for an apparently unforgivable sin.

I loathe political correctness. I only care about fairness and justice.

Now when I was a kid, growing up in Savannah, I’m sure that I heard the “N” word a quite a few times. I’m also sure that I’ve used it in the distant past myself when I was very young and foolish, before I understood the insult it represented.

Since I can’t remember when and I’m not sworn under oath, I won’t be apologizing for any specific incident, or for being stupid when I was younger.

I will say that I’m sorry that I’ve ever used the word. Mea culpa.

Now, I’ll politely ask you to get over it. It’s not like the “N” word has been scrubbed from our culture.

In fact, the last time I heard the “N” word used with alarming frequency was when I watched a Quentin Tarantino movie called Pulp Fiction.

The “N” word is also very popular with rap artists. In fact, I’ve heard many interesting words used in the guise of song lyrics. My point is that some people can still say the “N” word with apparent impunity.

Why, if it’s so offensive?

I’m not advocating permission to use the word. The reverse is true. I’d like everybody else to stop using that word, too.

But I think somebody who’s apologized for something that happened in private several decades ago ought to be cut just a little bit of slack.

For the record, I have never been what you would call a fan of Paula Deen. When I have seen her on TV, my habit has been to change the channel.

Her accent seemed put-on for my tastes; exaggerated, and I felt it parodied my own Southern accent.

Yet today, I find myself writing this article in her defense.

She’s being financially ruined. Her television career just took a major blow. I can only feel sorry for her. Political correctness, and telling the truth in a deposition under oath,  is apparently going to end her career.

Let’s get something straight–I hate the “N” word, with a passion. It dehumanizes people, just for having a slightly darker shade of melanin than mine.

We’re all the same, inside.

I don’t hate people, but I can hate a word. I can also hate how people use words.

Once upon a time, Paula Deen was robbed at gunpoint by a black man, and part of her physical description of the assailant to her husband included the “N” word. Understandably, she was still a little upset about having a gun pointed at her head.

Please understand; I’m not defending her use of that word. I would have preferred she use a term like “human scum” myself, but we’re all human.

We all make mistakes.

She said she was sorry. Time to move on.

If Bill Clinton could say he was sorry for committing adultery in the Oval Office and still be named Father of the Year, why can’t Paula Deen keep her cooking show after using one regrettable word, several decades ago?

Please note that in her testimony, plaintiff Lisa T. Jackson admitted under oath that she never heard Paula Deen make a racist remark, never saw her discriminate against an employee based on gender, or sexually harass anybody.

That seems to make the lawsuit against Paula Deen frivolous. She’s being charged with guilt by association of her blood relationship to her brother.

Nevertheless, the damage to her career has been done.

Who are we to refuse forgiving the sin of one who has repented and begged forgiveness?

 

Comments

  1. Thank you for saying what so many of us are thinking. It’s a real shame that this woman will lose the majority of what she’s worked so hard for, for so many years because she admitted to using the “N” word in her younger days. She had every opportunity to lie in her deposition and frankly, most people would have lied but she chose to tell the truth. Now, media and these ignorant so called “partners” are treating her as if she’s been running a sweat shop in her basement, paying $2 for 80 hours worked per week. This whole thing has seriously made me angry. Lord have mercy…..that’s all I can say at this point.

  2. Excellent commentary.

  3. Thank you for writing this. Its sad that people are so quick to bash a 66 year old grandma with out knowing the whole truth! I would like to see the media put the spot light on this ex employee who started this and question what her motives are. Could you write something about this ex employee?

  4. Kelly A. says:

    Nail hit right on the head here! Well said!

  5. Michelle Maulden says:

    Someone understands! Good story, so glad you shared it.

  6. Karen Park says:

    Thank you….. I have been trying to get this information out. I read her deposition, have listened to the news, the Reverend Sharpton, the Reverend Jackson, Former President Carter and numerous others who have supported her. However the bad is all that makes the news. We need someone to get the positive out and support her. The only thing missing from your article is Ms Jackson’s 1.25million extortion request.

  7. John Simpson says:

    Excellent commentary! Although the cowardly Mike Luckovich closes comments on the AJC they were still open at Gocomics. I’m not a Paula Deen fan and never watched her show but to use the KKK in a cartoon in connection with what she admitted? I had to comment that I thought I recognized the late Senator Byrd under one of those robes.
    The point of course that Robert Byrd was responsible for actually raising a local Klan Klavern in the 40′s and now all is forgiven. Even after writing in the late 40′s, “The Klan is needed today as never before, and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia and in every state in the nation.” Gee, Mike! Where was the cartoon about that?

  8. The reason Paula is part of the lawsuit is that she is 50 or 51 percent owner of Paula Deen Enterprises which owns the restaurant where the alleged discrimination and hostile work environment took place. Whether these allegations are true or false, it only makes sense that Paula would be included in the lawsuit. While her use of the word 30 years ago could easily be forgiven, her more recent indiscretions about black people are less likely to be forgiven. A slave/plantation wedding isn’t something that shouldn’t be done because it wouldn’t look good. And to humiliate your “friend” (driver) on video about him being too dark to see is a bit much. Paula may not realize how her “good ole southern charm” is a bit offensive when it comes to how she relates to blacks. Sorry, but those things are wrong and those are not things from 30 years ago. It also appears that she supports her brother at all costs and frankly, he seems like a real gem.

  9. joe hoover says:

    I have never heard of Paula Deen prior to her name and soul crumbled by the media. How can black artists use the N word constantly and be considered” showmen.” I do not watch black action movies due to their language, I have walked out of theaters due to their gross-ness. I can’t consider a rap star using his profane words to be any kind of hero. But they are. I feel sorry for Paula, she seems like a nice person and she is getting a bum rap.
    How come we can use the lord’s name in vain and not be held accountable. How come a black person call a white person a “white M&^$#* honkey and a cracker and that is acceptable? The attitudes of people have changed. There is no more common sense.. I am appalled by this. Paula Deen, hold your head up high, for what you said is no sin.

  10. People make mistakes. It’s the good ones that learn from our mistakes and change our ways for the better. I am behind you Paula Deen. I believe you are a good person and you have been targeted by vicious haters.

  11. Where are her lawyers? Why I would sue each and every company under contract due to Racist Charge by Lisa Jackson, a white woman. I have not heard any P.R. or professional person come to Paula Deen’s defense. This is a railroad job at Paula Deens expense, with a big, big help from the media.. This deposition was done in her home and the charge of the N word is separate from the Lawsuit where the case will be heard in court, possibly with a jury. This is not Political Correctness, it is Sabotage. I am totally ashamed of our country for downright discrimination from the Corporate side who can just wipe someone off the planet and drag them through the mud and not think anything of it. This isn’t the United States of America anymore, not the one I grew up in.

  12. mary anne devine says:

    i heard what Paula Deen said on television and i didn’t consider it to be an apology. it seemed to be that she was saying that if no one else has ever done anything wrong, then she wants to meet them. i think if she was truly sorry, she would be saying just that- no justification, no asking what others have done or not done, she would just admit she was wrong. then she could go on a speaking tour and donate the money to organizations that help with race relations. instead of acting like a victim who has been wronged, it could be an opportunity for her to do some good and show how attitudes of the past and language she used when she didn’t know better does not define her in the present. if she chooses to, she can become a proponent for civility and respect, which is not “PC”, it’s just kindness towards others. with regard to the matter of anyone using that racial term (the equivalent of the “c”-word for women), it does not matter what others do as it does not make something wrong become right. the question, “if one of your friend’s jumped off the bridge, would you do it too?” comes to mind. i appreciate that you want Paula Deen’s punishment to fit her crime so-to-speak and i understand that and on some levels agree, but i also think that she needs to do more to actually demonstrate she is sorry (and not just cry on TV) and help to continue to mend racism in the U.S.

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