First off, yes, I said it. Once upon a time……Now you know. Am I proud of that fact? No, of course not! But honestly, how many people haven’t at one time or another said THAT word, or another slur that they might have come to regret as they matured in their thinking. Like Paula, I dislike the word, and do not use it today. I do not like to hear a black person use it when talking to one another. I’m thinking there are few people who can honestly say they have NEVER uttered a slur, whether racial, homophobic, sexist, etc. As for me, I love people and do not judge by the color of skin, sexual preference or religion. etc. I never have felt superior to anyone. I would hate to think I could be fired for admitting this. But essentially, that is what happened to Paula. For having the intestinal fortitude to admit this under oath, a commendation would be appropriate! She could have lied. She said that word, does not use it now, regrets it. Personal integrity must mean an awful lot to her, otherwise she would have lied.
I have read many of the blogs, news reports, Facebook posts and comments about the Paula Deen situation. It is so disheartening to find such bitter hatred targeting southerners. The notion that everyone in the south is racist is certainly absurd! The south is a very genteel place. People are friendly, and hospitable, and actually very tolerant. I love Paula Deen because I feel she epitomizes the southern lady. I’ve lived in the south all my life, except for 1966 to 67, a brief transfer to Pontiac, Michigan, Metro Detroit. Yes, right in the midst of the race riots. Oh, so the north has some racial tension? I guess so. If you look into history you will see that the blacks of that area were not pleased with the way local business’ treated them, and the fact that whites were getting most of the jobs. Although, I had a black kindergarten teacher . I was from Alabama, but had never really been around anyone who was black until we arrived in Pontiac. I remember coming home from Kindergarten after my first day. I was so excited to tell my mom about my teacher! I told my mom she was so nice and had the best suntan I had ever seen. Of course my mom had met her already, and realized she was not suntan, she was black. So my mom had to explain that to me. Sometimes the news would be on and I heard the word Ku Klux Klan. I asked what that was. This was all while we were in Pontiac. My mom told me about the Klan, but I was always taught that all races were equal. I never heard “that” word spoken by my mother. She would have never tolerated that. My siblings took a lot of grief from their peers for their southern accents. In kindergarten, the kids were much more kind, or either the teacher would not tolerate such behavior. We moved there from Gadsden, Alabama and there was no way for us to simply blend. It is a blessing my brother was born with Type II fast twitch muscle fibers, because he had to literally run home from school everyday to escape a good “Yankee” whooping! Uh Oh! There I go with a word that might offend! “Yankee”! My friend from Pennsylvania and I used to poke fun at one another, calling each other Yankee and Rebel, so I don’t really have a problem with that word. Just indicates that someone lives above the Mason/Dixon line 🙂
We moved back to the south in time for us children to attend school at Gaston High. (Grades 1 thru 12) in Gadsden Alabama. Then onto Georgia in 1968. Even as a child, I could see the differences in living in the north versus living in the south. I preferred the south. I like the way people wave at you, even if they don’t know you. The overall politeness that just exists in the south. That was missing in the north. Yeah, not everyone there was rude. It was just not the south. I do not expect people from the north to fall in love with the south or embrace it. I only wish they would not bash it and tear it down. For I do believe racism exists both in the north and the south.
I’m flabbergasted at the people who are judging Paula on her use of that word so long ago. Or the way she, or her family ran the restaurant. As I have used THAT word myself, even though I was not taught to use it. I heard others use it. And as an impressionable youth, I used it, although not very often. One particular time was when a group of black girls were picking on me in fifth grade. I never called them THAT to their face. But when telling my friends about them, I may have said that word. Because even then, I knew it had a meaning that was of a derogatory nature. And those girls were really mean to me. One day I took the biggest one on outside at recess. I held her down, as I have always been very strong. And convensed her and her friends not to torture me anymore. She agreed, I let her go and never had another issue. She was nice to me after that. As a grown up, I do not use that word. I cringe when I hear black people call one another that word. Recently I was playing around with the radio and happened across a “Li’L Wayne” song. It was shocking to hear THAT word and so many other words that are offensive. This artist recently, on video, stomped the American flag. Where is the outrage? the backlash? I saw a few videos on the matter on Facebook and the issue is swept away. Yet Paula is crucified for something said so very long ago. She told the truth under oath. I won’t even get into the lying under oath of the attorney general and all the corruption of the government. You know, Benghazi, RIP Ambassador Stephens, Diplomat Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods. Sometimes I wonder if this whole thing is a distraction !
To the sponsors who dumped her I would ask. Can you ask everyone in your employment to sign an affidavit that they have never used that word? I’ll bet you would have a lot of liars for employees or would be hiring a lot of new employees. And do you have any of these videos with THAT word in it repeatedly? Movies like Django, Oh, but Tarantino gets away with this because he HATES the south. Do you listen to comedians who use THAT word? Do you have CD’s with THAT word mentioned repeatedly? I.E. L’il Wayne??? You cannot hold a double standard! What you are doing to Paula is wrong! There has to be a bigger agenda…..Someone needs to uncover it!
I have just about had it with this crazy world and it’s Whackyness!!! This issue is just too CRAZY. I Love my black friends with all my heart. I do not hate in any way. YET, I am as guilty as Paula. If my employer, Kroger, finds out about this blog, will I be fired? I don’t know. Will my black friends abandon me? De-friend me? I certainly hope not. Because I am the same person I’ve always been. I love them dearly.
Some people have abandoned good sense a long time ago…………………………..I think that song is right “God is GREAT, Beer is Good, People are CRAZY!
Postnote: I hope that using the terms black and white does not offend anyone. That isn’t my purpose. No disrespect intended.
Postnote, II: Today I saw a Sound Off comment in the Newnan Paper. To summarize, it basically said people should have shunned Paula a long time ago because of Diabetes. Now, My reaction to that was pure disgust! Are we to shun the makers of anything that is unhealthy? The Mayfield Dairy folks, for instance? They make some rich ice cream full of fat. What about McDonalds, Are we to shun Ray Kroc? Good grief, personal responsibility is the key! Yes, Paula makes delicious fat laden foods. Moderation is the key. I am going to live my life, and ENJOY it. So yes, I will indulge in a good southern meal from time to time!