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)

1 comment:

Gina Gao said...

I completely agree with you on this post. Although it IS wrong to use the N word under any circumstance (in my opinion), this DID happen 30 years ago.