I don’t know Paula Deen personally, just via the media, and we all know how reliable its members are. Back in 2009, I was sick for a few days and found myself stuck in front of the television to recuperate. During that time I discovered Paula’s show and liked it immensely. She’s a southern lady, who’s very close to my age and we share many cooking ideas, much more so than most of the other chefs I watched. I kept coming back to Paula. Many of her recipes became my own, and I especially enjoyed her deep contagious laugh.
I particularly liked the shows where she and her sons Bobby and Jamie cooked together. Bobby always wore a white frilly apron as he cooked. These shows reminded me of cooking with my own sons. I firmly believe that boys need to know how to cook. My sons are also excellent cooks and I’m proud of their talents.
When this whole firestorm over the N-word arose, I was shocked, to say the least. There was a time in the south when that word was common. I heard it constantly in my youth. I was around when the Piggly Wiggly first hired black bag boys and when the schools integrated. Even back then I abhorred the word and still do, but our society has made so much progress. Notice, I didn’t say we’re perfect yet. Paula’s honesty in confessing to using the word is admirable. I wonder how many people in her position would have lied. Knowing how the connotation of the N-word has changed and the world’s reaction to it, how many ordinary people would have lied? After all, there’s no way to prove or disprove her word choices since her birth in 1947. It seems that we’re heading in that direction and soon our government will be able to supply that information, but for now, it’s just an individual choice. Paula chose to tell the truth and she’s paying dearly for it.
Millions of people on Facebook and the other social media are speaking out for her. Her supporters are loud and plentiful these days as they fill up those electronic pages. The lady made a mistake, for Heaven’s sake. She apologized. What’s wrong with a bit of mercy and forgiveness? No matter our skin color, we people in the Bible Belt are proponents of those traits. Right?
And all these companies that are dropping Paula Deen at the first hint of racial trouble—they were just there for the money anyway. Nonetheless, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth to see it happening. I wonder if Paula has learned from this experience. I think her character is strong enough now to withstand the storm. She’s clawed her way from the bottom of the heap to get to the top. I bet her parents told her as mine told me that honesty is the best policy. If so, does she still believe it?
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