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I'm torn. I don't like what she said at all, but man can she cook!
It's not just her use of the word supposedly 28 years ago; it's also the abuse other workers have suffered in her workplace and at her brother's restaurants. If she only said something 28 years ago, it would not be a big deal to me but over the past couple of years there have been numerous complaints about Paula and now it is hitting the fan. If most of those stories are true, then there is a definite pattern of race-based behaviors, e.g.-light skinned Blacks upfront to serve, dark-skinned Blacks in the back to work, Blacks not being allowed to enter, her "dream" celebration wedding idea of antebellum South, etc. She's obviously infatuated/obsessed with the antebellum South. There's a video out there of her talking about how her great granddaddy committed suicide because all of his "workers" left him when slaves were freed and those people were just like family. Yeah, family that was beaten, not paid for the work they performed, traded like trading cards, and thrown out back to live like animals. That shows her psyche and how she thinks. (Blacks are okay, well, the good ones who don't talk back, as long as they just do what she says and not get paid for their work) Look, I'm an African American born and raised in the South, but I have also lived on the West Coast and experienced just as much racism out there so it's not just a Southern thing. Racism exists everywhere.
Does everyone realize the woman said this 30 years ago? Really! I'm sure everyone has said something over the past 30 years that was out of line. This story is a great example of why America is a mess. People here waste too much time worrying about stupid things like this instead of address the real and pressing problems that we face.
I caught the end of Chris Cuomo's interview regarding PD, but didn't get the name of the seriously wrong guest, who said that people are much more tolerant of people having affairs (like Elliot Spitzer) than of this kind (PD's politically incorrect, racist comments) of behavior. I got that CC was skeptical of this opinion, but he let it stand and thanked this misguided man for his explanation of what is ok to forgive. The guest said PD needs to just go away for a while like Elliot Spitzer. I don't disagree with that analysis, but the assertion that affairs are more acceptable than racism? NO WAY. Affairs are not tolerated well by the families that endure this much more damaging "acting out" than simple stupid speech. Families are wrecked because someone can't keep it in their pants? That's more tolerable than the "N" word, which, by the way, I hear more and more professional Black people speaking out against the current practice of using the word often and injudiciously.
Let me give you some insight on race in the south. We don't have a problem with the color of your skin, we have a problem with this "THUG" mentality and THUG lifestyle that we see everywhere. We don't like it when you drive around town with your subs banging so loud that we can hear it two lanes over with our windows UP. We don't like it when you have five kids by five different men none of which you have married. I could go on and on, but this is what people have a problem with, it's how you act, not what color your skin is.
In today society, I am appalled at the excessive verbal condemnation and flogging of Paula Deen. As a society, we tolerate so many more damaging things, yet we condemn her for honest. I am tired of the double standards in our morally and ethically challenged world. This is nothing more than a financial fishing expedition in which in itself is morally and ethically bankrupt.
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this story with us. We appreciate when our audience takes the time to comment. For more on this story & more, stay tuned to CNN.
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I concur with the previous poster. Our next step is to boycott both the food network and Smithfield. Stop watching the channel and stop buying anything from Smithfield. I believe the black population is extremely prejudice and they get away with racial slurs without anyone saying anything. Many of the black Christian leaders are always using racial slurs and never has it pointed out to them. This is a nation of equality?
Are you serious?? Really it was way more than the mere mention of that word... it was that and everything else she said... Might I remind you that "Miss Dean" also wanted a "plantation style" wedding for her brother where black men would be dressed as slaves and serve their guests... WTF??? How is that in anyway positive for the south to shed sterotypes they have more than earned as it relates to its history of slavery and jim-crowe. What's more troubling is that everyone wants to let her wipe away her actions over as many years as it relates to her use of that word, use of racial epithets/slurs and promoting a hostile work environment in her resturants by requiring black workers to use "colored only" rest rooms with a few words "I'm Sorry". It will take much more than that to demonstrate to me at least that she truly understands how her actions and words have done quite a bit of damage to race relations in this country. I also acknowledge a lot of people (black, white, brown) people use the N word, however that doesn't make it right for them either. As a black man with 2 graduate degrees, I accepted a long time ago that no matter how much I accomplish in life, some people will still believe that racisim is a thing of our long forgotten past (144) years ago. To be sure, that's about 1.5 generations in this country if you assume the average person today lives 75 years or so. I want to see Paula get help, perhaps with the help of the NAACP and other prominent leaders in the black community, she can really work to repair the damage. It will certainly help her brand which at this point I will no longer support until her actions are just as compelling as her words "I'm Sorry".
I am not sure I understand the issue. Did she say this within the last 5 years or was it last week or was it 10 or more years ago? If the latter; I am afraid of what I might have said as a child. Someone somewhere said: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." If we want to be recognized as a Christian Nation I think we need to listen to Buddha a bit more and try not to be so angry.
Thanks April.If ever the position of Self Appointed Public Avenger ascends to an elected post, you have my vote. You can run on the Obtuse Party ticket.
Anyone who has a problem with Paula's remark, her honesty, should get their own lives in order. Paula has worked her fingers to the bone, entertained the world in honesty, and fun, so why ruin a good thing? Whoever made her remark into something ugly is either a "N" or "poor white trash". It takes a lowlife so insecure, so unhappy to trash another person's life in order feel worthy. God isn't happy hearing all this racist stuff, and I agree with Him!!!
I have never ever used a racial slur. Paula Dean should be run out of town on a rail.
Guess what? When you use racial slurs and say racist things, you are a racist. The fact that Paula has many fellow racists does not diminish the fact that she is herself a racist.
What's interesting in April's post is that using the N word simply makes one Southern. How charming.
I happen to love Paula Dean and her southern cooking. I feel she is full of Southern Charm. People from the Old South "slave states" use the "N" word more often than those in other parts of the country.
I agree with April. Whats the big deal. I have black friends and they all call each other "n******". Everyone has used that word black or white at some time. My black friends call me a "cracker" and other names. I just laugh about it. And people of Paula's generation (age 40 and up) did also. I am so sick of all this "political correctness" going on in America. Even my GAY buds do not get mad when i call them a q**** or f*****. I don't see the big deal. Its just those overly sensitive people who are up in arms. Get a life!! Get off of Paula's back!!!
The N word is getting most of the press coverage but in my book that isn't the problem..........thinking a slave themed wedding is cute or fun and telling an employee he is as black as the backdrop curtain...........not good. Let's not pretend she was just singing along to a wrap song and used this language. And millions of people use lots of words that get them fired everyday from the work place. Because it makes for a hostile work enviornment. period.
Thanks for weighing in on this story. In your opinion, has Paula Deen exhibited more in her actions and passing comments than in the use of the word? Thoughts?
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No one is really upset by her saying the N word. It's her reasoning for it and her description of a "real southern wedding" with little black kids dressed up as slaves... thats what I and most people find inexcusable and just plain wrong. everybody says the N word, but not everybody wants to return to the old south as she seems to be really cool with doing.
April, you must be a white person because it is a BIG DEAL to Afro-Americans. Anyone that uses the :N" word is a racist. Just because millions use the word does not make it right nor does it make them human. She is a public figure that represented the South in a big way. I liked her show and her until she took the racist road. I am sure a lot of Blacks ate at her restaurant, brought her books, cookware, and watched her show. She was an idiot to bite off the hands that fed her, so I think she is getting exactly what she deserved.
I have never in my life used that term I'm 53 years old, and I have lived in the South my entire life. It is unacceptable on all levels.
Thanks for contributing to this discussion on the Paula Deen story. Do you think that it's not only Paula Deen receiving criticism, but also the South? Thanks for your thoughts on this topic.
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Well its the society we live in today, more or less can't say anything that is not hurtful. However you could drive down the street and blast music that has the N word every other phrase. As I said its the society we live in. Good luck!
I don't think it is about saying the word it is more about who said it, yeah you are right we have all said it but when a person like Paula is caught saying it, that is different to alot of people. In the privacy of your own home you can walk around saying it all day face it no one wants a person promoting their product, then saying the N word plus she admitted to doing! I'm just saying!!!
The problem is not with her saying the "N" word. She wanted to have BLACK SLAVES dress up for a wedding serving the WHITE folks thinking it was funny and entertaining. Her ideals, insensitivity and disregard for other races is disgusting. That is the part the media is leaving out. I hope she loses all her deals. This is not just past behavior, it is very current. The only reason she is sorry is because she is losing money and got caught. When it hits the pockets, every racist apologizes.
To use degrading lanuage to anyone is "sub-human". If it's in ya .....it'll come out ya. Clean your mind and your hind will follow.
I second what April said. From the limited info I'vegathered on the matter, Paula Dean has admitted to using the N word in her LIFETIME. She also admitted that she no longer does because of the nation as a whole sees it as a racial slur. I applaude her honesty as well as the fact that she was able to learn over time that a word that she once experienced as a normal/acceptable is no longer so. It shows progress and compasion that people condeming her do not seem to possess.
Unfortunately, some of what the 'hollering' is about is the spirit in which the words were said.
At one time, it was sufficient to say the N-word by itself and that summed up the 'racial' feeling(s) of the conversation.
Now, long sentences and 'indirection' are used to get to the 'sum' of 'racial' feeling(s).
Ms. Deen should have (and could have) settled this situation before it got to court and the public.
–>I would like to believe that her lawyers warned her accordingly
–>If not, they were negligent
It's just a word–why give it so much power? In the long run, ask yourself who really benefits by giving it so much power? Probably not African Americans! The "N" word? It's ridiculous!
It is not just about the n-word, which by the way everyone does not use. You need to read the detailed lawsuit!!
Paula Dean is no racist -she has made so many contributions to worthy causes – listen to people that really know her -not someone looking for deep pockets – Many companies because many idividuals will avoid ones that drop her- She stood up for her principles because in her heart she knew she said it but didn't mean it as being portrayed – how many people in thier 60's hasn't heard or been taught that nursery rhyme – lets be honest – Far worse things are said each day by many different races -which doesn't make it right but if she didn't have money there would be no lawsuit -I don't think black or white -the " God " I love made us all equal and loves everyone – thank you -
Growing up in the south we heard the N word as kids. Hearing the N word was never used in a derogatory way, that was the way the world was back then, my grandpas generation. We have since moved passed that word in our society. We live in an equal society, we even have a black president, that was voted in by the American people, including the south. I think this treatment of Paula Deen is horrible. I do not believe for a minute she is a racist. She would not have the career she has, because our society does not tolerate it. She would of been pulled along time ago. It is a word the blacks use everyday against each other and that is acceptable. Would there be an issue if a black person used the words White trash or Honkie? I say leave Paula Deen alone and let her continue her great cooking shows that we all love to watch. I do not even know why she has gone on TV and said she was sorry. She is far from being a racist. Paula we love you and stand by you and we do not need the food network anymore.
We need to grow up as a country. I am a black man in Atlanta Georgia. Yes, black. We all need to grow up – blacks, whites, asians, indians and hispanics. We need to work as a truly United States. We need meaningful dialogue on the race issue so that we can all be more respectful of each other. Paul Dean is not right for what she said, but I must say that in an odd way I respect her for saying what's on her mind. Really, only when a problem is exposed can a person get help to correct their thinking. As far as the N word goes we all need to stop using it. As a Georgian I wish Paula Dean well and as a black man I pray that America will grow and stop using every situation that comes along to get upset about the N word and deal with the real issue which is to start a menaingful dialogue about a race.
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this story, as well as your personal perspective. Do you think, that out of this & the ongoing coverage, a meaningful conversation could blossom? Thoughts?
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I completely agree with the above comment. Right on April....
I love watching Paula's cooking show and I am very disappointed in the food networks decision to cancel her contract! She has apologized and we should move on!
Thanks so much for weighing in on this story. Do you think that our society thinks all public figures are required to be innocent of mistakes? Do you think this particular situation with Paula Deen could have been handled differently? Thoughts?
CNN Viewer Communications
These companies are such hypocrites. The food channel did nothing when the Barefoot Contessa turned down the little boy that wanted to meet her as his Make A Wish. This would never have happened except that some opportunists saw a way of trying to get some free money out of a woman whose well known for her contributions to the black community as well as the white. Maybe everyone should listen to some of the rap music and hear what they call themselves.
What ever happened to freedom of speech in this country.
Your point is taken, April. And you are right. Lots of people use the N word every day. What sets Paula apart is that she is a celebrity. Right or wrong, it sets her apart from "everyone else" and she is held to a different standard. This is not news. Celebrities know that their every move, every word is monitored and will be used against them at all costs. Why? It SELLS when a celebrity screws up! The issue here is that every celebrity on the planet knows this. Some act well and some don't. But none of them have no concept that their words and actions will make news. They know. They can choose to act accordingly. Or not. IMHO, it was idiotic of Paula to use terms that she knew could come back to bite her in the butt. It's irrelevant that it's a double standard and thousands of people can use the N word without repercussion. She is held to a different standard and that's just the way it is.
You are teaching people that it is better to lie than admit you did something wrong in your past, because you will be punished for telling the truth. Our country is going down the toilet.
Well said, April! If Paula doesn't come out of this stronger and more widely respected, it will be a sad day. Those people pulling the plug on her endorsements should take a good, long look in the mirror. I won't be patronizing their brands or watching their networks anytime soon. Shame on them!
She's racist, not Southern. Do better.
Those with out sin cast the first stone I really believe that those who are sturing this thing with Paula Deen are just looking for a way to get some free money and not work for it what does that make them I bet they never called a white person a Cracker
There is a difference when white folks use the N word than when Blacks....the difference is when Whites say it they mean it for evil......
I don't understand why it's ok for black person to call another black person the n word and it's ok. But white says it and were called a racist. come man this is a bunch of bs!!!!!!!
I back Paula all the way. This works BOTH ways.To say Blacks are not racist's is crap. It's wrong how you are going after Paula for what she was honest to admit to yet a Black can say what ever they want and not be called a racist! We have all done things and been forgiven like then Pres. Clinton who we know lied! Enough!!! This PC crap is going to far!
They're not firing her for saying the N word – instead, they have chosen not to renew her contract. There's a difference.
Love Paula Deen ! She has my support ! She said she was sorry.. Way to go sons ! Food network you left a bad taste in our mouth. I will not support any company that does not support her.
What is the big deal with Paula Dean saying he N word, everyone speaking against her are nothing but hypocrites. She said nothing more than what MILLIONS of us had said before, it does not make her racist it makes her southern and HUMAN. Before people judge others they need to take a hard look in the mirror and ask themselves am I pure, holy and without fault. Leave Paulina alone. BTY I am not a Paula Dean fan, just sticking up for someone/anyone that is being wrongfully persecuted because she said a word that human race as deemed racist when most of us have said our share of racist or wrongful things.
Totally agree. We are suppose to be a diverse culture–as long as it is cool culture of the moment. Who cares? Let's ruin a career and call ourselves pious.
I understand many have used the word, but that doesn't make it right! It's easy for you to jump to her defense. This word has kept several people down in the dumps! Still today we have racism in the US, and yes several people use the word, but if you are going to be in the lime light, you may want to watch what you say and how you use it!!!! There are several words that should never be used and we as Americans need to know if you plan on being in the lime light check yourself!
Folks,thousands of consumers have bought Paula Deen cakes and other products.To find out that this country girl refers to her darker skin consumers as idiots (ni********) is an insult.For that reason I woill no longer buy her cakes or pies..Oh sure the word is part of our vocabulary but who brought it forth,white folks,who consider black folks idiots,but folks idiots come in all colors...
April, I know exactly what you mean. Paula is not any different from so many Americans when it comes to racial slurs or even innuendos. However, Paula is in the spotlight; a life she agreed to. With that, her expectations and decisions are held to a different standard. Paula should have known what exactly she was saying and doing, and that there was a 99% chance that when she says or does something, America will know about it shortly after. Hopefully there is no condemnation, but because there are so many people that believe they are "holier-than-thou," companies and organizations that represent Paula, have to play it safe and politically correct, and cut their tie to someone who is now known for her 1 mistake, not her southern great tasting cooking and shows that have made her famous over the past many years. Same thing happened with Martha Stewart. Everyone and everything had to discontinue their relationships with Martha for what she had done. A few years later she came back and is even more famous and making more money. I have no doubt, this will not stop Paula. I mean, how can you stop a Southern Woman like her? She should of definitely used words that were not harsh or negative as she did. For that, there is cause and effect. It will fade away. America will go on. This is what we do, freak out at just 1 wrong an individual or group makes and then try our best to drop the,m, until we notice it really doesn't matter. She will be back. I think instead of focusing on Paula using the "N" word, maybe we should focus on equality, ending hunger, putting a stop to human trafficking/prostitution, etc... The list goes on. That's how I feel.
Great answer -
We also forget that the record companies PAY MILLIONS to Rappers that use the word "nigger" 50 times in a song.
Willthe media sensationalize and scrutinize OUR American language for us Now?? – Give me a break!
Oh. So the message is: it's okay to say wrongful and hurtful things because others have done it/said it; or that you were raised that way? How about this: all those 'MILLIONS" of you need to stop saying your 'share of racist or wrongful things'. PERIOD. Just because it's been said by others does not mean it's acceptable. We live in a world where respect for everyone in everything we do and say should be what we strive for. And when we miss that mark, as us non-'pure holy and without fault' humans will do, then like all else in life – we pay the consequences. Will this public vilification change Paula Dean's (or anyone's) thinking? Maybe not. But it's a darn good chance that it will stop, or lessen, the ugly utterances that have landed our grand dame of southern cuisine in some very hot grits! And just maybe you too, April, will think twice about staying in the club of the 'MILLIONS of us' who say 'racist' and hurtful things. Unlike you, I believe the use of the N word is never never never appropriate in conversation. And if you really understood it's origin and painful history in the south then perhaps you would accept it's vileness vs. espousing that it's only 'deemed racist'. BTW: I'm a southerner and a big fan of Paula Dean. I watch her show and her's is my go-to website for guaranteed savory dishes. But on this issue, Paula is wrong. And we need to let her know it. Not to punish her but to continue to send the message that we will not tolerate disrespectful behavior – by anyone. Not to worry though, this will blow over and like Martha Stewart, she'll be back on top and better off for this moral lashing. At least I hope so.
Ever heard the expession, "Two wrongs dont make a right." ? Just because you have used the N-word doesnt make it appropriate. Just because someone is from the South doesnt make it OK either. Its not against the Law to use racial slurs but it is Highly inaapropriate as a proferssional. She's not going to jail, she lost her Job and consequently millions. Many employers (ie. the Military) have a zero tollerance for Racism. Why should the Food network be any different? Inaction would be perceived as condoning the use of racial slurs. People loose their jobs everyday for alot less. Why is Paula D. exempt? Oh because she makes a ton of money and she is from the South.... DUH.
April,. Spot on,..
April, it's like you were reading my miind.
That is an incredibly ignorant statement. The N word is racist because it was used to put African Americans down for years and years and still is today. It was not deemed racist, due to the context of how it has been used over hundreds of years, it IS racist. Arguing that Paula made a mistake and is not a terrible person like some are making her out to be is understandable, but trying to say she was "wrongfully persecuted" is not correct. You have to be professional, especially with a job like hers where millions follow you. Anyone gets fired when news like that becomes public. Its a no-brainer. You need to open a history book.
April, I really believe your view of this matter is off base. The point of why she should receive criticism is awaken her to her outlook of the harm a remark/name like that causes people. It causes many people of African-American/African descent a great deal of pain. It's not about the fact that many people say it. The MANY PEOPLE that say the N-word are WRONG! Why are derogatory comments made about other ethnicities or races are deemed unacceptable? It's simple. It is out of ignorance that the word is used. Whether it is used by Black or White people.
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