Sunday, June 23, 2013

Paula Deen In The Stew

Yesterday I saw a video of Paula Deen making this rather vague apology to anyone she might have hurt.  She was clearly upset about it.  She seemed sincere.  I had no idea what she was talking about based solely on her video.

The TV media folks cleared it up somewhat by saying that apparently Paula had made use of the "N" word 20 years ago (or thereabouts) and may have also used other racial slurs.  Really?  Paula Deen?  A woman who grew up in Georgia sixty years ago when the schools were still segregated?  That woman might have used the "N-word" back in the day?  She might not have known any better and repeated the same old garbage that her parents said and their parents before them?  Huh.  I am shocked.

Apparently this "news" is all being brought up once again thanks to a former employee, Lisa Jackson, back when Paula was first getting her start in the restaurant business.  Jackson claims that she witnessed numerous acts of violence, discrimination, and racism during the five years that she worked there.  That didn't stop her from penning the following letter to Paula three months before she quit:

On Friday, CNN's sister network, HLN, obtained a letter to Deen written by Jackson, the plaintiff, three months before she quit her job at the restaurant. It read, in part, "When I came to work for this company, I felt hopeless. I needed something, some opportunity that could provide me hope as an individual, as a woman, to make it on my own. At 15, homeless, without parents and with a young child, my life was headed in a direction no one could ever assume positive. ... Since then I have become the independent woman I have always wanted to be. I have been given opportunities that I never thought possible, all because of you and Bubba."

If you want to read more about Paula's back story (very interesting stuff) you can do so here.  It is also where I found the letter quote above.

Given the letter, it seems to me that Miss Jackson wasn't really all that unhappy about her restaurant job or Paula Deen.  She is just another Greedy Grabber looking to cash in on a good thing.  In so doing, she has dug around and pulled out the magic word: Racist.  You call anyone a Racist in today's world and you can sink their ship.  All we know is that Paula Deen grew up in a time when Racism was rampant and she admits that Back Then she used words that she would never use now.

When you know better, you do better.

That isn't enough for The Food Network.  Apparently, you can still be fired for the sins of a lifetime ago.  I am sure that they are letting Paula go to make sure that they are standing on what will be the Politically Correct side of this thing.

All I can say to that is that if we are all about to be judged for things that we did twenty years ago, that is really going to suck rotten eggs.  This life is all about learning from your mistakes.  If we all can't move beyond every stupid thing we've ever done, can't apologize, then we are all just stuck.  


  1. I haven't heard/read enough about the whole Deen situation to make any comments but I do agree with you about learning from our mistakes and being able to move beyond. Onward and upward, right?

  2. That does seem harsh. Things were different back then.
    At least God always forgives and forgets.

  3. One of the big screw ups is that me judge others' actions from another time by today's mores... (whatever they may be)

    I recall not that long ago that Alec Baldwin called a black CNN cameraman a racially derogatory name... I searched but I can't find the story.

    Strictly double standards...

    Jesse Jackson's 'Hymietown' comment which garnered him very little negative press.

    It's all bullshit... :op


  4. I didn't know the story and assumed Paula Deen had used the "n" word recently. This is crazy. I've said and done things that were racist, homophobic, etc. years ago, because - as you wrote - I copied my parents who copied theirs. I'm glad to have grown since then. This story is so strange. The network must've already disliked her for some reason. Anyway, thanks for posting this, Robin. I'm going to read more about it now.


  5. You hit the nail on the head, Robin. Just another race hustler trying to cash in. It's a shame so many just roll over and give into these sort of shakedowns.

    I'm not defending what Paula Deen said but, as many have said, it was a different time back then. It doesn't make it -right-, but it's just a fact of life.

    I think Morgan Freeman said it best, in regards to getting rid of racism..."Stop talking about it."

  6. There is a song in the Tony award winning musical comedy Avenue Q that goes "Everyone's a little bit racist, sometimes...". The gist of the song is not that racism is okay - it's not - but that maybe we should lighten up a little on being so PC all the time.

    I think it has a point.

  7. Empty Nester ~ My life is about recovering from all that old junk and MOVING PAST it. I sure don't want to stay stuck there forever.

    Alex ~ True enough. I have discovered that forgiving yourself can often be the trickiest part of the equation. If we could all forgive like God this life would be ever so much easier.

    Shoes ~ You got that right. I am so tired of Politically Correct.

    Robyin ~ Do not overlook the power of being Politically Correct right now. Or the tint of being Racist. Our society is so divided right now. Feels like we are living on a powder keg. Sometime, somewhere, someone is going to make a stand. Well, I would say Dr. Ben Carson lobbied the first shot. But, it's all about to get hotter.

    Mark ~ Morgan Freeman has it exactly right. And it isn't going to happen. Right now, it is the perfect way to take anyone down who disagrees with you.

    L.D. ~ I think you are right. Anytime I see any man (of any age or color) with his pants hanging down and his underwear sticking out, I think negative thoughts about that person. Low Class. Looking For Trouble. Not Very Smart. And mostly... Please, God don't let those pants drop to the ankles.

  8. I read over the motion that Jackson has filed and I think there must be a whole heck of a lot more to this story than what we have learned so far. Right now - it sounds like Paula Deen is a cross between Martha Stewart and Leona Hemsley. Hopefully, the real truth will come out soon.

  9. Robin: In one of my college classes, the students were asked if they thought that physical standards for Police Academy candidates discriminated against women. Half the class called the practice "Racism." Where are they getting this S..T! High School? Media?

    We all know what racism is, and we all oppose the concept. However, our children do not have a clue. Some political ideologues want us to pay for the sins of our ancestors with current tax dollars. Perhaps, they are right. Without fueling the fires of racism, how would leaders like Jesse make a living?

  10. There remains something about the state that I live in that makes me very proud- that is that we were never a segregated state.
    I grew up in the 70's and honestly don't remember race ever being something that anybody ever talked about or had issues with. Maybe I was naive. Maybe people I knew just didn't make it an issue. All I know is that I never even heard the 'n' word until I read it in a book and that sometimes I heard things that I later learned were not right to say today that were leftover from history- like the phrase to 'jew' someone down. However, it was never such a big deal.
    Now I feel as if some minority people are just waiting in the wings to pounce on any possible perceived racial injustice. I feel as if the current American leadership is feeding into this and it makes me sad that they seem more interested in dividing everyone for some short term political gain.
    I can't help but wonder why nobody has realized that all minority groups together make up a much larger group than white people do now and treating people like crap because they are the minority is still wrong today, no matter what ethnicity you are.
    I feel as if I am watching the destruction of the American way through crap like this. It is devious and cruel and takes advantage of the fact that so many are uninformed. I hate it.

  11. I agree...we live and learn and move on...hopefully never do something we regret but if we do- I certainly hope others forgive.

  12. Darcy ~ I hope that there is more to this story than we currently know, because if there is only what we know now, it stinks.

    JJ ~ I think that we are in agreement here. If someone were actively being Racist, they should be called out for it. That goes for Reverse Racism, IMO, too.

    Jasmine ~ I think the problem that everyone is having with Paula Deen's use of the "N" word is that she was a product of her times. Most all of her peers used the "N" word. Her parents and grandparents likely did it. Her excuse was ignorance, not hatefulness. And now that she is successful there is someone just looking to take her down. And, even worse, The Food Network isn't backing her because they want to be P.C. and the idea of being close to a "Racist Issue" has them running scared... even if the issue has no merit.

    Going broader on this topic: you are right about this country being a melting pot and white people are now in the minority. So, it really is time to cut the crap and stop pulling the Race Card when things don't go your way, whichever way that is. Racist shouldn't be the Magic Word that gets you whatever you want.

    Rebecca ~ Yes. This post was in large part about Forgiveness. If someone is truly regretful of an action that they have taken, and are not continuing on in that same hurtful way... They have lived, learned, and moved past it... can't we all not do the same?

  13. I agree there must be more to the story. I haven't read all the details. I also think there must have been some pre-existing animosity between Deen and the Food Network.

    I also agree that people need to stop judging the past based on today's standards. That applies across the board to everyone for every situation. Actually, I'm sure there are probably a few it doesn't apply to that someone will point out because that's just how life is. But by and large that holds true.

  14. This smells of someone being an opportunist and taking advantage of the situation. Obviously, all of us have said something deemed politically incorrect in the last 20 years...


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