Back

ABA Journal

Home

Celebrities

In deposition, Paula Deen says ‘of course’ she has used the N-word, but it was long ago

Jun 20, 2013, 08:04 am CDT

Comments

Well now honey, I doubt too many nice, tuxedo-clad men of color are going to be lining up to work for you or purchase anything from your diabetes on a stick or cancer in a frying pan brand. Shucks Paula - that’s just a shame! The court of public opinion can be a mother!

By Denise Martin on 2013 06 20, 9:54 am CDT

I would be disinclined to believe any person of any ethnicity who claimed never to have used that word in any context in their entire life.

By B. McLeod on 2013 06 20, 10:25 am CDT

Those excerpts from the depo make her sound like she’s full of… well you know what. “I used to use the N-word, but I’m not racist, I swear.”

By J. Mccoy on 2013 06 20, 10:29 am CDT

@2

Hmmm, I wonder what context you’ve used it in?

By J. Mccoy on 2013 06 20, 10:34 am CDT

There is nothing particularly damning in Paula Dean’s statements.  She is 66 years old.  Only the very young or very ignorant could fail to recognize the changes in culture and language that have occurred in the last 66 years.

By W.R.T. on 2013 06 20, 10:48 am CDT

So she was a racist and she is different now? Not buying it!

By Denise Martin on 2013 06 20, 10:53 am CDT

Not saying that she is or isn’t a racist (we can let the facts pan that one out…), but let’s at least put some perspective on the fact that the supposed words of her deposition come from the NATIONAL ENQUIRER:  a magazine not exactly known for it’s “spot on” journalism.  Are we really that hard up to believe that all southerners with conservative viewpoints are racist that we will take the word of a paper known for its blatant disregard of the truth?  Maybe she did say these things, maybe she didn’t and the enquirer is blowing a “factoid” wayyyy out of proportion (which, of course, they NEVER do….)  But shouldn’t we wait until we hear a reliable source of information before jumping down her throat?

By D. Caraway on 2013 06 20, 11:49 am CDT

Another slow “news” day at the Journal?

By Old Lawyer on 2013 06 20, 11:58 am CDT

But she hasn’t denied that she made the offensive comments. She says it was a long time ago. So if racism is that easily cured let’s get Paula her own talk show and get busy addressing this pandemic problem.

By Denise Martin on 2013 06 20, 12:04 pm CDT

@6:  “So she was a racist and she is different now? Not buying it!”

Worked for democratic senator and KKK member, Robert Byrd.

By Marc on 2013 06 20, 12:08 pm CDT

I shall never fight in the armed forces with a negro by my side ... Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.

—Robert C. Byrd, in a letter to Sen. Theodore Bilbo (D-MS).

By Marc on 2013 06 20, 12:09 pm CDT

“I’ll have those n****s voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” —Lyndon B. Johnson to two governors on Air Force One.

“These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”—LBJ

By Marc on 2013 06 20, 12:41 pm CDT

None of you are from the South, are you?  Acceptable language in the region has changed drastically in the last 50 years; words in common usage in the ‘50s are no longer tolerated in public.  Yes, this includes the “N” word, but is not limited to that one word.  People in the South are no less politically correct than people raised in other regions of the country.

This is not limited to the South.  None of you would call someone of another ethnicity by some ethnic slur, would you?  On the other hand, your parents most likely did, back in the day - but I’ll bet they don’t anymore, if they are still around.  So why not give her the same credit you give your own family?  I, myself, grew up with “black” being acceptable, but now habitually say “African-American.”  Would you consider me a racist?

The issue here is a complaint filed by one person against someone who is in a unique position, a Southerner who has amassed a fortune, who grew up when certain words were commonly used, and who is honest enough to admit that she used that terminology.  Does anyone really think that vindication of a civil rights dispute is what is at issue?  Or is it really all about how much money the person who got fired can wrestle out of the insurance company?

By Okra on 2013 06 20, 12:42 pm CDT

Michigan Democrat Calls Colleague the N-Word.

The 63 year-old Democrat later apologized for the “slip of the tongue,” but shockingly insisted that her use of the slur doesn’t make her racist, because she has “eaten Thanksgiving dinner with black friends at their house.”

http://www.mediaite.com/online/local-michigan-democrat-caught-on-tape-calling-town-official-an-arrogant-ngger/

By Marc on 2013 06 20, 12:43 pm CDT

I don’t know what goes on or went on in Paula Deen’s mind.  No one does except her, and she might not remember clearly.

I am weary, though, of smug “gotcha” attacks of the “once a racist. always a racist” variety. Reminds me way too much of the old “one drop” rule for determining race.  No thought required to reach an ironclad judgement. 

Under oath, Deen stated she used an offensive term long ago.  So that, as they say. is that?  really?  Can those attacking Deen demonstrate that they have also judged Jessee Jackson (‘hymietown), Barak Obama (“typical white person”) and Joe Biden (too many to list)  as bigoted beyond redemption for their respective, more recent statements?  If not, then shut the hell up already.

As a society, we will NEVER heal from our shameful past if we keep perseverating forever on old hurts to no useful purpose.  It is as useful as sucking on a bad tooth.  When George Wallace got shot, representative Shirley Chisholm,  at the time the only American American woman in the US House, went to visit him, because she believed it was the decent thing to do.  She caught no small amount of hell for it, but she was right.  You can’t ignore the past, but you need to look forward with hope.  Wallace went on to renounce segregation, to apologize for his past, and to put a record number of African Americans into State Cabinet and other positions.  He changed, he had moved ahead..  Vivian Malone Jones accepted Wallace’s apology for his infamous stand at the Alabama college doorstep to try to prevent her from registering.  His apology, and her acceptance, were the right things to do.  American’s should take a lesson from them.

That is not to say that there is no unlawful discrimination today.  There is too much of it, and it should be recognized and confronted.  The past history of race our race relations, both the ghastly and the noble, must be remembered and its lessons must be used as part of a firm foundation to build a better country.  If the past serves no purpose other than a quiver for “gotcha” attacks and institutionalized resentments, it just becomes a quicksand of inescapable hatred.  Frankly, such antics show a failure to appreciate the dignity of the struggle. 

Did Paula Deen and her brother unlawfully discriminate against and harass the plaintiff?  If a jury says so, then let them be punished as just compensation to the plaintiff and as a lesson to others.  But like any other defendants. they deserve a fair trial based on relevant and material facts.  As attorneys, we of all people should appreciate that.  Would us of the N word by Deen two years ago be relevant?  Heck yes.  But thirty years ago?

By Been There on 2013 06 20, 12:54 pm CDT

@ 2 and 4

If I were asked if I’d ever said the word, the answer would be “yes”, and even recently. For instance, when discussing Samuel L. Jackson’s dispute with an interviewer who refused to say the word used in “Django Unchained”, I used the word itself and not the phrase “n-word”.

I’ve probably used the word when referring to or quoting dialogue from some Tarantino films e.g. when discussing what “...catch a tiger by the toe…” used to be. I may have used the word when discussing the case of the assistant to a politician (DC mayor?) who had originally been dismissed after using the word “niggardly”. I probably used the word at least once as a child because I had overheard it (maybe on “All in the Family”!). Etc.

All of this has nothing to do with whether or not there was discrimination or how or why or when the word was used in this instance, but it is one of those questions to which the answer “yes” may be highly misleading, and the answer “no” is probably a lie or at least mistaken (i.e. someone might forget use as a child).

By df on 2013 06 20, 1:31 pm CDT

@ 6 and 15

Whether someone is “racist” is a complicated question depending on definition of terms, and current attitude and behaviour. As with 15 I have problems with assuming that someone who had once been racist or held such beliefs should forever be judged accordingly.

A few anecdotes that spring to mind, Frederick Douglass met with one former owner who asked his forgiveness and was granted it. Justice Hugo Black had been a member of the KKK but even Thurgood Marshall had supported his appointment by FDR (and later, when Marshall was sworn in, it was in Justice Black’s office as a gesture of friendship).

By df on 2013 06 20, 1:48 pm CDT

@2
I agree.  Never said it under any context? Not repeating someone’s else’s words? Not repeating dialogue in a movie? Not “singing” along with certain songs? Not as a child?

As someone who grew up when “gansta rap” was really cool, I am sure I said it along with the artist who said it first.  So if Eazy-E says it with the specific intent to insult and demean someone and I say it “singing” along as a teen without any intent other than enjoying the music…I am a racist and Eazy-E isn’t?  The only way one could come to that conclusion is that he is dark skinned and I am light skinned and that is all that matters.  That sounds racist to me.

Doesn’t that analysis effectively change the definition of “racist?”

My understanding of “racist” is believing one race is fundamentally superior to another.  We should stick with that definition.

“Racially insensitive” seems like a more appropriate term for those types of behaviors.

As far as “once a racist, always a racist” goes, isn’t the song amazing grace about a slave trader that realized the error of his ways?  That seems like the most drastic example showing the ability to reconsider racism.

By AzAttorney on 2013 06 20, 3:16 pm CDT

This is not news worthy at all, just because someone use’s the N-word does not make them a “Racist” it has slipped out of my mouth many times and and i have plenty of black friends, one who i would say flat out is my brother, i grew up in the late 60s into the 70s and so on. I was at a government building just a couple of years ago, and while the i met a blake man and i was talking to him and explaining a situation at the EEOC and when it came to the N-word word i did not want to use it but, the blake man said!!!  Go on you can say it “Nig-er” i was a little shocked, even after he said that i could say it, at the time i felt very uncomfortable to just come right out and say that “Word” in front of a man who i had only met 15min earlier, just because he said it was OK because it did not feel OK to me. I don’t think that it is a nice word, but just because someone uses’s the N-word DOSE NOT MAKE THEM A RACIST…...............

By E. Brvenik on 2013 06 20, 9:23 pm CDT

Comment removed by moderator.

By Docile Jim Brady – Columbus OH 43209 on 2013 06 21, 1:54 am CDT

I still use the word nigger to describe a set of behaviors that has nothing to do with the color of one’s skin. But Paula’s comments were not so innocent. Her story about the black men in tuxedos just feels icky. Why wouldn’t white men in tuxedos be cool? The lingo may have evolved but I don’t believe Paula has.

My parents were disgusting racists. After my father died I got in my mother’s face about it. “Who told you that you are better than someone else because of the color of your skin?”  She had to think long and hard before she answered. She finally said she just kinda followed my father’s lead and never really thought it through for herself.

Well I hope they are rolling over in their graves. I have a beautiful mixed race child. His father is a black man that is the most racist person I have ever met and no longer a part of our lives. But it has nothing to do with his race, he just chooses to terrorize those who have different opinions then his. People of all races act badly.

By Denise Martin on 2013 06 21, 2:12 am CDT

Good morning , Ms.Martin .

I doubt that I would judge Ms. Dean as harshly as some have .

One of the best meals my wife and I have eaten in a restaurant was prepared and served several decades ago }≈40 years{ by a professional who , in my opinion , had mastered the art and science of preparing salads , entrees and desserts and handling all other aspects of fine dining .. He wore a tux and happened to be Black [ he was darker than brown ].

I recall him , his name and his skill though at times I am unable to tell <i> whether <> I have eaten a meal .

By Docile Jim Brady – Columbus OH 43209 on 2013 06 21, 5:02 am CDT

It’s pathetic that the liberal media would have us believe that her career is over because she admitted to using the “N” word in the 80’s.  Sadly, they’re probably correct.  PC at it’s best.

By Saffer on 2013 06 21, 9:31 am CDT

6, Denise Martin, then why did you fall for it when the KKK/Democrat party made that announcement?

By associate on 2013 06 21, 9:31 am CDT

Hi Jim - I don’t understand your comment. Are you saying that because a black man served you a wonderful meal that Paula wanting only black servers in tuxedos is not racist? What does the fact that the amazing chef who cooked you a memorable meal was dark skinned have to do with anything? I’m sure he is thrilled that you loved his dish but would you remember it or comment about it if a white person had served it? It feels like a racist comment because it is about the person’s color. It had nothing to do with his culinary artistry skills! Peace be with you.

By Denise Martin on 2013 06 21, 10:52 am CDT

Associate - I just found your comment. My brain is foggy I guess. I don’t know what you are asking me. Please rephrase. I love a great debate. Love and peace!

By Denise Martin on 2013 06 21, 10:54 am CDT

@21   I’m very sensize to color.  I can see the reason and beauty of black men in white tuxs or blue plates on a yellow table cloth. Orange dresses with brown shoes.  Appreciating color and style does not a racist make.

By janice on 2013 06 21, 6:10 pm CDT

It appears an apology for a statement given 30 years ago describing the man that pointed a gun at her during a bank robbery has Paula Deen in deep fryer. 30 years is a long time . The press has found a new piece of meat to rip to shreds and Paula s it.  I feel she s honest in her apology. I dont think she a racist. I think it s ridiculous that this has turned into the firestorm it now is. I don’t think the network should have fired her. If thats the case then there s a lot more people out there that should be fired as well for things said as well as actions. How many years ago was it that women were exploited on tv and still are I might add, and the Native Americans . 30 years ago if you have ever laughed at a dirty joke about women, gays or different races,  or people in lower income brackets etc., then your just as bad as the press is trying to make her out to be. We’re trying to evolve past the hate and ugliness of the past, and some people just won’t let it happen. She’s a 66 year old white woman that said somethings in her past that she s sorry for. For pete s sake let it go before more hearts get broken.

By T.Lackor on 2013 06 21, 6:45 pm CDT

T.Lackor - There is a lot of truth and sense to your post. Here’s my issue still. If it was never a racist comment, nothing but admiration for how great black men look in tuxedos then OK. But then why did she apologize or mention that it was a long time ago? Time doesn’t change abusive behaviors into something else so the abuser can feel better about it.

She could have saved the day by saying something like, “In retrospect I can see how my former comments, or even my feelings might be construed as racist. It was a different time in the south and like all beings we are evolving. If that comment was considered a racial slur by anyone then I am sorry.” End of story.

But what she did feels like this to me, “Well yeah I beat my kids, but it was a long time ago and it’s nobody’s business now.” Time doesn’t change the fact that you harmed someone before. If it was abusive 30 years ago you don’t get to call it something else now because time has passed. Make any sense?

By Denise Martin on 2013 06 21, 7:24 pm CDT

“She could have saved the day by saying something like, “In retrospect I can see how my former comments, or even my feelings might be construed as racist. It was a different time in the south and like all beings we are evolving. If that comment was considered a racial slur by anyone then I am sorry.” End of story.”

It was a deposition, not an episode of Ellen.  Depositions don’t work like that. 

Now the media have another scalp to hang from their belt.  And for what, really?  Just another way to get eyeballs on the screen on a slow news day when Lindsey Lohan doesn’t get arrested and no other celebrity does something amazingly stupid. 

This isn’t justice.

It is Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery.

What a waste.

By Been There on 2013 06 21, 7:53 pm CDT

I have been through many depositions, media stories attacking me and interviews. The truth is the truth. If this is all there is then I agree with you that it is probably not a gigantic racist issue, but I’m not convinced that it is anything other then spin. And according to you one should admit to anything in a deposition so how will we know?

Those who have known Paula Deen for decades need to step up and get in the conversation - good, bad or otherwise. One comment does not a racist make, but the tip of the iceberg is the only thing visible until you look under the water.

By Denise Martin on 2013 06 21, 8:32 pm CDT

Denise Martin.Thanks for your reply.I do get some sense of the last line of ur staement .In 30 years we learn by mistakes made. We try to be better then we were before. It was a word in a deposition. Not appropriate I agree, but after 30 years punishing someone for something they couldn’t change except to go back in time.  I understand your issue, but in retrospect ,it is your issue. What I hear from your statement is you dont like her apology. She went on national tv and the web and said she was sorry. She’s lost her job. What else can she do?  The fact that she was the victim of a crime with a gun pointed at her and feared for her life seems to be a none important issue.  You said ” time doesn’t change abusive behaviors into something else so the abuser can feel better about it”. Time teaches abusers how not to be and it teaches people to avoid abusers. In this issue I dont think Paula Deen was an abuser. .What about the man with the gun? Did he get caught,punished?
I hear she s said some things in the past she regrets.I’d bet my last dollar we all have. Im sure being in the business she s in shes met and become friends with a lot of people of all races and cultures. Will those friendships hold up to public ridicule ? She s lost so much more then her job .

By T.Lackor on 2013 06 22, 12:44 pm CDT

Yikes! T. Lackor - Your comment feels racist to me. You are saying in so many words that since a black man committed a crime against her she is entitled to have icky feelings about black people. Our prisons are full of black men that went down for crimes a white man would never even be arrested for.

My father was a white, powerful, racist and sexually abused all his children. I have never held that against any man of any color. My father was a disturbed man. Period.

Can’t you see how offensive your supposedly innocent statement to me can be?

By Denise Martin on 2013 06 22, 12:52 pm CDT

Apparently, admitting to having used “a racial slur” many years ago was enough for the Food Network.  They have had a sudden epiphany that she is abundantly unfit to do any televised cooking now, or presumably, ever again.  Amusing how the media runs away from anything remotely non-PC, no matter how unrelated to the theme or content of the actual broadcast in which the accused person appears.  It is “The Lottery.”  Well and truly said.  But I suppose people in media have just taken this sort of things in stride since the days of McCarthyism.  Why we trust such a legion of gutless wonders to inform the public about anything is beyond me.

By B. McLeod on 2013 06 22, 1:23 pm CDT

I have had a foot in the television industry for 20 years. Fox doesn’t give a rats ass whether Paula is racist or not. They care about their bottom line. If viewers are going crazy over something she said that impacts a whole block of the population they are going to drop her at the speed of light.

What I still am not seeing is a gaggle of her friends coming to her defense. One popped up yesterday and said, “We’ve all know she is a racist.”

If I was Paula I would line everyone of my family and dear friends up in the media to defend me. She claimed it wasn’t true and then she claimed it wasn’t racism and then she apologized. Which is it?

By Denise Martin on 2013 06 22, 1:44 pm CDT

What difference does it make?  Obviously she has to walk the plank irrespective of facts.

By B. McLeod on 2013 06 22, 2:37 pm CDT

I don’t think there are facts involved yet. We are just reacting to Paula’s botched spin about the allegations. When the trial is over, if Paula Deen comes out totally vindicated the media coverage will make her even richer.

Publicity swings both ways. Kim Kardashian hasn’t done a notable thing in her whole publicity-soaked life but she has gotten very rich defending her personal choices. Don’t cry too hard for Paula. In Hollywood no publicity is the only bad publicity!!!

By Denise Martin on 2013 06 22, 5:17 pm CDT

Denise Martin. Nope. Don’t see it. A racist? I don,t think so. Just you saying that is insulting . I gave my opinion. If you don’t like it thats fine but insinuating I’m a racist is not appropriate. My point was, losing her job over a comment made so many years ago I feel is unfair.  Having a gun pointed at you in a robbery is a horrible thing to go through! Period. Are you minimizing the crime?  I’ve re read my comment and had several other people read it also. Wheres the so called racist remark. Unless you come from a higher life form and hold secrets of the universe the rest of us don’t have, then maybe being more forgiving is best . However this ends for Paula Deen won’t be good. Thats already been proven. Will she be forgiven for making a wrong statement? Who knows. If you are one of the few that never said something you regret, good for you. Otherwise casually suggesting another person is a racist when the the message clearly says learning from mistakes is what we are trying to do.

By T.Lackor on 2013 06 22, 5:45 pm CDT

What, No. 37?  Like Fatty Arbuckle?  The truth is that once public figures are thoroughly pilloried in the media it doesn’t matter one whit if they are subsequently vindicated.  The public remembers the accusations and scandal, not the result (which may get a paragraph somewhere on page 3 if a newspaper picks it up at all).

By B. McLeod on 2013 06 22, 5:56 pm CDT

Anyone who grew up in the South prior to the 80s - both black and white people - heard this word on a daily basis.  It was a part of the lexicon.  Children heard it from their elders and had no concept that it was “wrong.”  We HAVE evolved in the sense that we now know it was wrong and offensive. I am sure that Paula Dean said it many , many times just like millions and she could not lie under oath. We have worked hard to teach our children not to use this or any other racial or ethnic slur. Of course our jobs are made much more difficult by the rappers who use this word repeatedly.  It is now part of the entire country’s lexicon but in a much different context.  What amazes me is that people condemn with no chance of forgiveness for past sins in a case like this.  It reminds me of the effort to remove it from Mark Twain’s work.  I guess if we delete it from all records of the past it will mean it never happened.  Just remember that those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

By C. Miller on 2013 06 22, 7:47 pm CDT

I attended a college in the Deep South in the mid-1980s. The N-word was alive and well though not nearly as prevalent as it had been a couple of decades before and usually reserved for use when referring to the African-American equivalent of ignorant, White Trash.

By Southern College Grad on 2013 06 22, 9:25 pm CDT

We have come to the point where there is an infantile element to these witch hunts.  It is similar to those posters who recurrently click the “flag comment” link to tattle on those posters who have used a bad word.  They’re like, “Um!  Um!  B. used a bad word again.”  Seriously, can we grow up?  I don’t see anything happening with this folderol that is doing one, single thing to advance real concerns of social justice or racial equality in this country.  Just a whole lot of people perpetually frozen in first grade.

By B. McLeod on 2013 06 22, 9:50 pm CDT

T. Lackor - If Paula Deen had been attacked by a white man would she have been slinging comments about white men being criminals. I have been the victim of several violent crimes and it has nothing to do with race. You are saying that if someone harms you it is OK to be offensive to every member of that race because they too might be a threat.

Assuming something about any human being based on what another human being did is a form of prejudice. Stop it!

By Denise Martin on 2013 06 23, 10:45 am CDT

#43 This is me taking the high road. I wish you peace and happiness for you. Get over it!

By T.Lackor on 2013 06 23, 11:05 am CDT

Works for me. I wish you peace and love!

By Denise Martin on 2013 06 23, 11:23 am CDT

Now join hands, and let’s have a chorus of Kumbaya.

By B. McLeod on 2013 06 23, 1:05 pm CDT

Nah. How about a chorus of “Bye bye baby goodbye!!!!!”

By Denise Martin on 2013 06 24, 12:33 am CDT

Way to keep single handedly keep racism alive Denise.  Do you work for Al Sharpton, or are you auditioning to be his replacement?

PS:  It’s not actually about your race; it’s much more personal.  Your attitude is terrible.

By associate on 2013 06 24, 11:48 pm CDT

Really? Just sharing my opinions like everybody else. Jim offer me and olive branch and I took it. Not so terrible. Kumbaya!

By Denise Martin on 2013 06 25, 12:29 am CDT

Very wise.  Always take the olive branch before the other person uses it to beat the crap out of you.  And, before criticizing others, try to walk a mile in their shoes (then, if they get pissed off, they’re a mile away, and barefoot).

By B. McLeod on 2013 06 25, 12:33 am CDT

LOL B. McLeod. I will keep your sage advice in mind. Here’s one of my pearls of wisdom - When walking through the jungle - don’t act like food!

By Denise Martin on 2013 06 25, 12:45 am CDT

And always remember: 

The Early Bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese .  .  .

By Been There on 2013 06 25, 2:10 am CDT

And the fate of the early worm is, of course, unenviable.

By B. McLeod on 2013 06 25, 7:30 am CDT

When going through hell - keep going!

By Denise Martin on 2013 06 25, 11:29 am CDT

A corollary to that would be - if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

By NoleLaw on 2013 06 25, 1:15 pm CDT

I have lived in Atlanta and in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  I heard the N-word far more in Minnesota than I ever heard it in Atlanta.  Paula Deen says the incident occurred a long time ago.  So why not drop it?  If there is any white person out there who says they have never used the N-word - well, I will have a hard time believing them.  A lot of peoples jobs are on the line in this dispute, and the last thing we need in this miserable economy is to see this dispute send more people to the unemployment agency.  If her behavior has been modified, then drop it.

By WALTER L. HALL on 2013 06 25, 4:49 pm CDT

I’ve heard the N-word used far more often by people who loudly proclaim themselves “Christians” far more than I’ve ever heard anyone else. Also, back to when I was in college, the word was used most often by member of my College Republicans group who worked on a number of David Dukes’ political campaigns.

By Southern College Grad on 2013 06 25, 9:27 pm CDT

Newly canned chef Paula Deen put her Southern-fried foot in her mouth in a bizarre 2012 discussion of slavery and the Civil War.

Cholesterol queen Deen, talking at an event months before losing her job for using the “N-word,” recounted how her great-grandfather was driven to suicide after his 30 slaves were set free.

“Between the death of his son and losing all the workers, he went out into his barn and shot himself because he couldn’t deal with those kind of changes,” Deen said at a New York Times event.

Deen, owner of a restaurant empire, asserted the owner-slave relationship was more kinship than cruelty.

“Back then, black folk were such an integral part of our lives,” said Deen. “They were like our family, and for that reason we didn’t see ourselves as prejudiced.”

She also called up an employee to join her onstage, noting that Hollis Johnson was “as black as this board” — pointing to the dark backdrop behind her.

“We can’t see you standing in front of that dark board!” Deen quipped, drawing laughter from the audience.

At the same event, Deen at one point described race relations in the South as “pretty good.”

“We’re all prejudiced against one thing or another,” she added. “I think black people feel the same prejudice that white people feel.”

Deen, 66, lost her three Food Network shows Friday after admitting under oath that she had used the epithet in the past.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/paula-deen-appears-defend-slavery-2012-interview-article-1.1379912#ixzz2XKvIVyEo

By defensive lawyer on 2013 06 26, 10:26 am CDT

Paula - answer the phone, QVC is calling. They are cancelling your contract!

By Denise Martin on 2013 06 26, 10:33 am CDT

Been There @ 15 has the best comment on this matter.  Most of us have said something we wish we hadn’t because we know we were wrong.  There is a tendency when angry to want to hurt someone and use language we should be ashamed of and most of us are when reason returns.  That’s one reason I don’t like the use of pseudonyms they encourage bad behavior and bad arguments.  With respect to the N word, my mother was from Georgia and when I was a boy of 4 and she heard me repeat that word the I heard from an older boy, she came off the porch and told me in no uncertain terms that if she ever heard that word from me again I would get a whipping I’d never forget.  No son of hers was going to talk like trash.  My mother and grandmother would have used Colored and not perceived that word as an insult but the N word has always been perceived as a insulting word.  However, people do change and they do learn.  The late Justice Black being a primary example.  I never cared for Ms. Deen’s show but I’m not going to hang her for past stupidity and/or insensitivity.  It’s a matter of what is she doing now.  That should be the question.

By George Sly on 2013 06 26, 2:39 pm CDT

I’ve lived both North and South of the Mason-Dixon Line, and I have never heard the N-word uttered in my presence in the South.  However, I have heard the N-Word used in the old inner-city neighborhood in which I grew up, even during recent visits. It is not that the North is more racist than the South. I have long believed that the use of this ugly word primarily function of socio-economic, rather than racism.

I have never been a fan of Paula Deen and don’t understand her appeal.  I found her show boring and difficult to watch, and she struck me as insincere and off-putting.

The Food Network could have quietly cancelled Deen’s show for any one of a number of legitimate programing reasoning, without appearing to pile on.

By Yankee on 2013 06 26, 9:38 pm CDT

Add a Comment

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy.

Commenting has expired on this post.