This topic has been rolling over and over in my head since the story broke. When I first heard about Paula Deen and the trouble she has gotten herself into, I was appalled. I first learned the story from various social media mediums and the information I got was limited. I would see statuses or tweets like “Paula Deen is racist,” “Paula Deen uses N- word and loses show,” stuff like that. As much as I enjoyed her food and thought she was an awesome T. V personality the statuses and tweets did not seem to leave any room for sympathy..until I heard the whole story.
For those who have not heard the WHOLE story, I want to give you a cliff notes version. Paula Deen’s restaurant in Savannah, Georgia is being sues for racial discrimination and harassment. Paula is not personally responsibility for the suit but she owns the restaurant so she is part of the law suit and was deposed. In her deposition they asked her if she ever told racial jokes or used the N- Word. According to CNN this is a transcript of that part of the deposition:
Jackson lawyer: “Miss Deen, have you told racial jokes?”
Deen: “No, not racial.”
Jackson lawyer: “Have you ever used the ‘N word’ yourself?”
Deen: “Yes, of course.”
Deen testified that she probably used the racial slur when talking to her husband about “when a black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head.”
“I didn’t feel real favorable towards him,” she said, referring to the robber.
Jackson lawyer: “Have you used it since then?”
Deen: “I’m sure I have, but it’s been a very long time.”
Deen said she couldn’t remember other contexts in which she used the slur, but “maybe in repeating something that was said to me.”
“But that’s just not a word that we use as time has gone on,” she said. “Things have changed since the ’60s in the South. And my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior.”
The one thing that really sticks out at me is how this happened years ago, likely before my lifetime. As Paula Deen explained it was a different time then and frankly she lived in the deep south where things like this were more common. She was under oath and she told the truth. Why is she losing her entire empire for that? She could have easily lied on the stand and the world would have stood by her side. That is a twisted world we live in.
I am 100 % against racism but I do not think Paula Deen deserves all of the flack she is getting. I think our Country is trying so hard to look not racist that we are demonizing a woman who told the truth on the stand and admitted to at one time being a product of her time. I am sure if asked many women who grew up in the same time and environment as her would admit to the same. Maybe instead of ruining her life we should commend her for her honesty and her changing views. Paula admits to growing with the times, maybe the world can be a little more open-minded as well.
So bloggers I turn to you, how do you feel about the Paula Deen spectacle? Do you believe she should have lost her empire for this?