My Opinion ~ Paula Deen

I usually stay away from controversial subjects on this blog, but this is one I couldn't let go.

I live just 72 miles south of Paula Deen and her restaurants. I have children who live in Savannah. I have met her on several occasions over the years before and after her Food Network fame. Like her or don't like her is your choice. With her, it's what you see is what you get just like me.

While I might not agree with her on various cooking styles we respect each other.The current hype is her using the N word to describe a black person THIRTY years ago and under duress. All I gotta say is give me a break and cut her some slack.

What southern person over the age of fifty has not used that word once in their life? Even my unracially prejudice mother in law has said it, it is currently used by teens, and even I've said it once or twice in my lifetime. I'm far from prejudice or racially bias being nonwhite myself.

The points...
  • She was traumatized at the time. Having a gun pointed in your face would kinda do that, don't you think?
  • It was THIRTY years ago
  • She could have lied under oath. It wouldn't be the first time someone did it, but she didn't.
  • Does her use of that one word damn her for all time, it shouldn't. We all say things that we don't really believe or mean at times.
I've watched the story progress because it is close to home. Not because it's how the mighty fall from grace. She's lost her job with Food Network because of it. She's lost sponsors because of it (Smithfield, WalMart). Granted, it's a small chink in the armor of her multi million dollar enterprise, but still it's asinine.

The NAACP has a campaign going to bury the N word, but lately I've heard it said by persons of color mostly to describe each other. Isn't that an oxymoron? If it's wrong to say, isn't it wrong for everyone to say it? Where is the prejudice or racial bias now? When you hold one race to a different standard than your own, isn't that what the Civil Rights Amendment was all about? Equality for all not dependent on race, sex, or religion?

I'm not saying her use of the N word was right because wrong is wrong, but to punish her for the slur now after THIRTY years is ridiculous. It has no bearing on her present day status. At the time, she was a single mother of two trying to make ends meet just like the rest of us. Why must we tear down the successful to make us feel better?

I don't hide to fact that I was a drug addict or alcoholic in my twenties. Now looking back as I approach my seventies, do I regret it? Nope, I've used that experience to move on and help others. That is far more damaging for a minister and semi-public figure than using the N word. We all have a history and a past. We've all said and done things in our past that we might not be particularly proud of in our past. Let it go and move on. Even Christ said, "Go and sin no more."

Just my quarter for my thoughts.
(It used to be a penny but with time and inflation it raised in value)

Condolences and a Prayer Request

Rick's family in 2003
After I finished posting yesterday, I got a call from my Aunt Viv. My cousin Ricky had a massive stroke.

Now Ricky and I go way back to the cradle almost. He's the same age as my little sister, Janet. Every time we were in country we always stopped at Uncle Ferdy's house before visiting my grandmother.

When we arrived in the States after the fiasco in Ceylon in 1971, that family was the first to welcome us home. We were shell shocked and exhausted both mentally and physically. I remember well how Uncle Ferdy's boys drew us out into some sort of normalcy instead of constantly looking over our shoulders for people trying to kill us. Yes, a lot of Escape from Second Eden is factual and really happened.

Between playing hoops, which now I'm not sure I won all those games against the boys fair and square, and exploring excavation sites, they drew us out and started the healing process. I'll be forever grateful to all of them for that. I lost my lucky elephant hair ring on one of those excursions. Ricky promised to keep looking for it even after we left. He never found it.

I was planning to go down to Jacksonville and play cheerleader for him this weekend. The first road trip for me alone since my stroke. Each day I am thankful to be alive and still able to hug my children and grandchildren since my stroke. I'm constantly reminded of those who are not able to do that. One third of the  million plus a year who suffer strokes are not here anymore. I am, for all my griping and complaining, one of the lucky ones. I am a survivor who can relearn what I lost.

I went to the family website, since we are all stretch across this country and a few others, and read where he had died just after midnight. My heart is heavy for his wife, three daughters, and grandchildren today.

Please send a prayer of comfort for the family he left behind.

Nothing is Impossible and Choices ~ Resignation

This is in part a carry over from my writing blog. What does the belief "nothing is impossible," and "The choice to do or don't" have to do with Christianity?


But I will add two deviations here on this blog...Nothing is impossible with determination and faith in the Almighty, and the choice to do or don't is a gift from God called free will.

In my last blog I expanded on belief systems and that even atheists had faith. I know some of you think I was being sacrilegious by saying that. I do read your emails. But basically, I stand on my beliefs. They may not be your beliefs, but I'll allow your choice to see things differently. It is the free will I spoke about above. If God ordained it, who am I to argue?

Nothing is impossible with the faith in God. We may not have the big picture of our lives as God sees it. When my mother was dying of cancer, I prayed feverishly and constantly for God to restore her health. I did this selfishly because I didn't want to lose my mother to heaven. But I actually started listening to her. Her greatest wish was for her to sit on her Big Daddy's lap and talk about all her unanswered questions.

At that point my prayers changed. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to comfort me and mine for the times that would surely come when He took her Home. And come they did, she died within thirty days. The child in me, strove with determined effort to keep her with me, but the faithful side of me realized the truth.

Free will is a double edged sword. When we make choices in our lives as Christians, we judge the goodness or badness of that decision by our Spirit. If it is a good choice, the Spirit will give comfort and further insight to face what comes. If the choice is bad, our Spirit will quake and doubts will set in.

I have come to realize, wisdom born of pain, that even when we make bad choices hope remains. Yes, there will be consequences for the bad choice, but in the overall scheme of things faith will carry you though. God is forever faithful.