CNN iReporter Bobby Lee Whitaker of Decatur, Georgia, responded to the controversy over Paula Deen's use of racially-charged language, saying:
“During a legal deposition, you are required to tell the truth as per the question asked. For someone to admit the truth, she is penalized by having her contract terminated. I am Black and have been for 70 years; if a Black man held me up with a gun, I probably would have called him or referred to him in some stronger language."
“We are all guilty of thinking, saying, and/or doing something...we are not too proud of. Think about it: this would never have come to light unless Paula told the truth under oath. Self-righteous people are too darn proud to admit to wrongdoings."
“I have never met Paula Deen; however, we both are from Albany Georgia. She apologized, and I believe it was a sincere apology. The news media is making this a news frenzy, and this is because of her status. Her statement is not the first, and regretfully, it will not be the last!”
Weigh in on the controversy in the comments below, or via the CNN iReport assignment "Sound Off."
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You are so awesome! I do not suppose I've read something like that before. So great to discover someone with some original thoughts on this issue. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that is required on the internet, someone with some originality.
I've been watching Paula's shows since I was 15 yrs old !!! And in all that time She's had plenty and plenty of guests differing from many racial nationalities!!!! And now after all these years someone or some group is trying to knock down this wonderful and Amazing iconic woman! But on another note you have people saying they're offended and appauled of the use of the word N***er but then you have is new up and coming star Nadia G's B****ing kitchen ???? And she does'nt hide the use of the word B*****ing in her show one bit ! What I'm trying to get at is that word B**ch is as derogatory of a word as N***er is. I dont want my child hearing that word whether its ment in one way or another. Paula does'nt deserve to have her spot on televison or magazines or recepies or merchandise ripped from underneath her ! If thats the case I will call racial slurs, derogetory terms, put downs on Nadia. G , Restaurant stakeout , Robert irvine and plenty more because that kind of talk is used on a daily basis especially on Restaurant impossible, Restaurant stakeout, mystery diners, Nadia G's B****in kitchen !!! Paula was one of the major if not only reason I went to Culinary college at Le cordon Bleu Las Vegas and she made cooking , Being a chef, and Generally just being a kind hearted, Caring, generous and an Amazing person is what Paula Deen encouraged me to want to be before College, During college and now after college! I dont care what other people think or feel cuz thinking of her as racist is just selfish and trying to steal the spotlight for 10 minutes of attention ! I live in the south and know where Paula's from and believe me her heart heart and soul has'nt strayed from her roots but her lifestyle and way of thinking has change from back when that racial slur was used out of disrespect and degration! I will copy this post and share it web wide everywhere I can because if Nadia G and all those other chefs can run there mouths and say which ever words they choose then paula should have just as much of a right ! If not then they should have the same consequences as Paula does now !!
The unwelcome truth is that in this culture of social media, forgiveness is passe, tolerance out of date and ideas such as turning the other cheek unknown. There is not a single person alive that has not done or said something they now regret. But jumping on a woman who said something 30 years ago is required by networks scared silly that their audiences will leave them. Never mind the majority of advertising for people of color is economically racist. Never mind our economy is one where people of color have double the unemployment rate of whites. Never mind housing red-lining still exists or that people of color are not present in most Ivy League schools. No, concentrate on a while woman who bakes cakes. Hasn't anyone read their history books? It is Bread and Circuses time, folks.
I do not get this. A white person can not use N word, but a Black person can. And a white person is fired for it, but a Black Person can make a career as a Comedian or Rapper using that word. And those rappers making their CD, do they hire White Technicians, or exclusively Black. When only a white person could vote and a black person could not that was called discrimination. There is BET, there is not a White Entertainment TV. That does not seem right they can have a TV station that only shows Black Actors, therefore discriminating against an actor that is not Black. Or the NAACP? Is there a College Program for Whites only? That would be called discrimination. I could go on and on, but the fact is that Reverse Discrimination exists all around us and is tolerated. That is discrimination. I am sick of it just as African Americans are sick of discrimination. Another thing, Paula Dean has a right to free speech, and she was Honest in the deposition. How many of you are honest when faced with persecuting yourself in a Courtroom.
Jim Crow dude
I won't spend one dime with any sponsor that dumped Paula because of a very old mistake or watch the Food Network until they bring her back. I hear the "n" work constantly listening to rap, watching movies etc. but hear nothing from the black community who have no problem throwing around Honkey, Cracker etc. How long will people alive today be blamed and punished for slavery that took place before any of them were alive? The race issue is being kept alive by activists in the black community especially this President. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have become multi-millionaires by promoting racial hatred.
He's dead dude.
Good points and I so agree.
Smithfield has a lot of nerve they recently sold out to China so what they say has little consequence, and the Food Network really? self righteous asses. I am not a huge fan of Paula but this is a witch hunt and she is the witch right now. She will pick up and do fine I am sure. She is a self made woman that started with nothing and has become a very rich woman. I am sure the amount of $she has pumped into Savannah and the surrounding community will continue her fans will still love her as well. If I were her I would tell every one to kiss my lilly white ass....
this whole uproar has been preposterous. 'white crackers'...honkeys...give me a break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WHY is it OK for the Blacks to call us white people, Honkies and Crackers AND to also have on TV BET (BLACK Entertainment Awards) night, but we can't use the "N-word" nor have a WHITE Entertainment Awards?? This is definitely REVERSE discrimination. I will also say that there are TWO forms of Black people.....those who act and dress as a normal human being does and those that continue to demand to look like total idiots by having their hair appear as tho' it hasn't been washed in months nor seen a comb or brush and wear their pants down to their knee caps....the first group are Black People, the second group are, and always will be, N*****s!! By the way......what ever happened to "Freedom of Speech" and the old saying..."Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"? I dare you to put this on one of your programs! I am 73 years old, born and raised in the South, AND AM DAMN PROUD OF IT!!
No one could ever tell how 'proud' you were until now. Thanks
And since you were born +70yrs ago, you should fully understand today's 'sensitive' climate, and why it is the way it is. Though I don't like it, the truth is; "The sins of the father will visit the children". This is what is happening.
"sensitive climate"? You mean people who run home crying whenever they are called names?
Or are you defending those who come back and inflict violence after they are called names?
I'll tell you one thing. Having a business destroyed that you have built over a lifetime is a lot more serious than having been called a name. So much for your sensitivity.
Exactly! .... You Age And Birthplace explains it All! Praying For You!
If a Black person were to use those words; cracker/honky, publicly or professionally....believe me....they'd be vilified also. As for "Black Awards" shows....there are white award shows: Grammies, Tony's, Emmy's, etc. When the token person of color is recognized by these organizations it is few and far between. If you've ever watched one of those "Black Awards" shows, you'd see that there are things lauded that receive no recognition in any other venue...thus the need for said awards programing.
THANK YOU CHUCK!
I'm done with food network!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All about business! Paula Dean does not need them.
To The Food Network:
You have been one of my very favorite networks. Your channel has run on my TV almost 24/7. Sadly, I have changed the channel, and won’t be changing back- unless & until you offer to renew Paula Deen’s contract. You claim that you will not tolerate discrimination in any form. It appears to me that what you will not tolerate is the truth. I believe that Ms. Deen was painfully truthful in admitting that she has, in the past, used the ‘N word’. It is clear that it is not something that she is proud of, or language that she uses today. Nevertheless, she has the strength of character to stand there, despite obviously intense pressure from your network, and tell the truth. Yes, in the distant past she uttered that word. Honestly, which dunce at your network genuinely believed for one moment that a woman of her age, raised where and when Ms. Deen was raised, had never uttered that word? I, for one, would have instantly branded her a liar if she had denied it. But a liar, she is not. What she clearly is, is one heck of a lady. She was truthful. She was contrite. She was incredibly graceful under fire. I have a whole new level of respect for Paula Deen. I challenge Food Network to do two things:
1. Find a single person, of ANY racial heritage, of Ms. Deen’s age, who was raised in the deep south, who has never used that word.
2. Stand by your firm refusal to tolerate this type of discrimination and fire every and any employee who has ever spoken that word, regardless of their racial heritage. Either it’s acceptable, or it isn’t. You can’t have it both ways. That would be called a ‘double standard’- exactly the thing we do not tolerate.
I believe that this network is the one guilty of discrimination. You are not judging this lady by who she is today. You have judged her by her past, her upbringing. She had no choice in the way she was raised. She has a choice in her behavior today, and that behavior has been honest, forthright, apologetic, and incredibly graceful. She is not a person to be ashamed of. She is a tremendous role-model for us all. We CAN learn from our past mistakes. We can always behave better than we have before. We should be thankful for the opportunities we’ve been given, and we can and should exit with dignity and grace.
How quick we are to judge. None of us know what else may have been involved in Food Network dropping Paula. Everyone assumed it was solely because of the N word. We don't know if dropping her was already in the works because 12 years on a network is a long time, folks. If you read the complaint (which is that–just a complaint) and her testimony, you'll find more. As a southerner, I just want everyone to know that not everyone uses the N word and haven't for many generations, and if you'll note, we don't say Ya'll every 15 seconds either. Sometimes it's just time to let go and carry on. I applaud her for what she's accomplished, but I don't think she's as unsophisticated as she puts on. To testify that she can't email and then go on to record her own video to go on youtube..well.
You and I don't live in the same south. We have made amazing strides in racism but it was still relatively recent. You show me someone from the 60s who says they never used that word and I'll bet you they're lying. She said it had been a long time since she has ever said it so who says she can't have a change of heart?
Sidenote: We use ya'll all the time. Where do you live that they dont say that very much?
Dawg (Dog) the Bounty Hunter came back from the n-word purgatory (and probably should not have)... Deen will be back Y'all and we can all go back to our stick of butter a day diet.... She should have been axed long ago for over using the word "Y'all"....
Spoken like a true non-southerner. LOL!
Good by food network
Paula Deen will never fully recover from her racism, allowing porn viewed in her restaurant, referring to a female as a p-y, allowing sexist innuendos in the workplace and more. It's NOT just about the N word. People, open your mind and think about the big picture. She may have another cook show, sell pots an pans, hawk her wares and sell cookbooks BUT she will NEVER fully recover from this. She put out recipes for 2 years that contribute to diabetes an she had diabetes. Then she got a contract based on her diabetes so she saw the light an came clean for money. This whole matter will follow her and most likely to her obituary when she passes, her biography and any books about her. She misled people, she lost any sense of integrity an now it's out there. It's MORE than the N word.
If I was asked the question Paula Deen was asked I would have to respond "yes" as well. Though I don't believe there is any time in my life that I directed the n-word at a specific person, I used it frequently when I was growing up without even knowing what the word was or it's reference.
It was used on a regular basis on my school playground when we repeated rhymes like Eenie, meenie, minie, moe, and it was the name used for a game of pile-up. We also used the word when referring to a kind of nut. And I don't recall ever being corrected at school for using the word.
I also don't remember when we stopped saying it or how we realized it was wrong. It wasn't used in my home but I also don't remember being told not to use it in that little rhyme that now seems so obviously wrong.
I didn't grown up in the "South". I grew up in Ohio, and my husband remembers the same references from when he was a kid growing up in Michigan. We're both in our early 50's. I asked three of my coworkers about this today, all in their late 40's, and they had the same experience here in Michigan. It was a word we all grew up using and at some point we realized what it meant, and I for one stopped using it. As far as I know, the people I spoke with do not use or condone it's use now.
I would have punished my children if they'd used it the way I did, but by the time they were growing up those references seem to have disappeared. I heard a 30-something woman talking on the radio today who said that she'd never in her life used that word and anyone who had had used it has problems with their moral character. I think she was speaking from ignorance about how things were just a very short time ago all over America.
I'm not defending or condemning Ms. Deen. I'm just saying that judgment should not be quite so harsh a woman who was being honest about her past actions, and who has changed along with the rest of us.
I totally agree. This has gone way too far. Shame on Food Network and all the rest of the companies for dropping her.
I wonder how many @ The Food Network and Smithfield who have decided Paula Deen's fate have used the very same vocabulary – and worse – and continue to? I wonder if executives @ their companies would have been honest like Mrs. Deen when asked this same question? I doubt it. I'm confused about why it's an issue NOW, if Mrs. Deen used certain verbage in the past – such as 5 or 10 or 20 years ago. Many of us who grew up in the South in the '50s and 60s and earlier were pretty much "taught" these terms by simply listening to our parents, grandparents, etc. It was, unfortunately, commonplace. Not right, but unfortunately a fact of life in another era and in some parts of the country. And what about great literature such as "Tom Sawyer," which was required reading? Or at least it was considered great literaure @ that time. I believe it is now banned from many schools, and Mark Twain is obviously considered a racist by some. Good thing The Food Network never met Mr. Mark Twain. I feel The Food Network is responding the way they think much of the public and their attorneys, of course, dictate is best – rather than having the backbone to do the right thing. And Smithfield followed suit because it's easier than going up against The Food Network or thinking for themselves. So, to The Food Network, Smithfield, and other companies who are on the fence regarding Mrs. Deen, please consider these wise words: "let he who is without sin, cast the first stone." A good thought for me to try and remember each day.
I have so many of the same memories here in Phila. People are so quick to judge, I can't believe that no one at the food network didn't have the same experiences. Paula Deen is not the embodiment of evil or racism.
Don't care for Deen or her kids, watched her show occasionally, also a viewer of the other Food Network shows and the sister Cooking channel. Personally, I thing what the FN did was cowardly, and as such, have stopped watching. I am sick of this PC crap, and don't believe this woman is a racist and the context of her "crime" is ridiculous. Food Network's ratings are dropping before the cancellation curious to what they are now..
A friend wrote this...Paula Deen issue: No I don't think she is a racist. No I don't think it was right for The Food Network to let her go.... Yes I think the lawsuit against her is bullshit and probably brought on by some idiot who seen a way to get some money.... No I will not boycott her or The Lady and Sons... Yes I am calling bullshit on the black community who thinks she is a racist because it doesn't matter whether she used the er version or the ga version if your ass say and you are ok with the Rappers Actors and comedians saying it then her saying it is ok..... We made it ok to say it in our homes cars and to each other... You getting your panties in a bunch because she said it is wrong and stupid.... You don't want white people saying it then your black ass dont say it...and don't allow the hip hop community to say it either...
she apologized,she felt bad,she admitted it.what else does the food network and Smithfield want.all they care about is their bottom lines.she needs to be given a second chance.if not,i refuse to watch the food network or support smithfields products.two can play at this game.
I agree. I hope Paula dosen't give THEM a second chance though:) She dosen't NEED them.
Words from a true Southern Gentleman. Thank you, Mr. Whitaker.
WOW!! Really .. How can you sit there and say it's ok because she told the truth under oath, it's thinking like that is why we as a people are still behind...( Master didn't mean you no harm) slave voice !!!! Get real, America is the racist country in the world .... Remember they have killed more black and brown than any nation in the world ...Just ask the Native Indians well at least whats remains .. A country that refuse to call you an American (Afro)... No other country has a word for N****r in their vocabulary other than America, but since you feel it's ok I guess we should all do so ..Thanks for being the spokemen for all of black America... The chains Remain!!!
Thank You Greg! You are Right On Point! When Will Folks Realize Wrong Is Wrong! Slip Of The Tongue My Ass! Nothing Slips Out Of Your Mouth If You Don't Use It On A Fairly Regular Basis! ... And This Crap ...She Apologized! Really? Well Let Me Bash And Disrespect You Over And Over And Come Back And Apologize (When I Get Caught) ! Things Should Be All Good, Right? No Hard Feelings! GTFOH!
Technically, a lot of native americans initially killed by European settlers were not American, as that country had yet to form. Also, over 200,000 hutus and tutsis killed for being a "different kind of African."
But yeah, its all us dumb white folks. I don't even know what Paula Deen said, don't really care, but yeah, you sound like quite the genius.
Maybe one should use facts rather then anger and stupidity
Only if you allow the CHAINS to remain, your choice, and WHERE were you exactly when ALL these terrible,and they were,things happened? Time for people to let go of past wrongs if ANYTHINGS ever gonna be right in this country.
Only if you ALLOW the chains to remain,it;s your choice. Where exactly were you when ALL those bad things happened? Gotta let go of past wrongs if things are ever gonna be right in this country.
Totally agree!!! People she is not the first and won't be the last to use a racial slur. (esp. the older southern population, but times have change, people have change) I feel everyone in their lifetime as done this so why is everyone making such a frenzy of Paula Deen. I will still support her in whatever she does and only hope the BEST for her. Keep the Faith, God is with you!!!
I agree. If this is the case, every person who lived in the deep south in that time frame who used that word should be fired.
I agree Yvonne.... this store is out of control.
I think uncle Sambo has a right to his opinion leave him and his grin it to win it smile alone
Paula Deen didn't lie, she said what she felt was the truth as clear as she can remember it. Good for her! We've been told and we tell our children to tell the truth. If she loses the battle of public opinion, what does that say about the public opinion. Mainly that it's hypocritical. I don't believe it shines any kind of light on her true feelings one way or the other. Smithfoods and the Food Network, get over yourselves.
Every action has it's consequence. First off It is the context of her using it we are protected from this type of harrassment at work. More over it does speak to her as a person. Plantation style wedding...wanting to be SERVED by middle age BLACK men wearing a suit and bow tie. Boy I bet she would like to be on a plantation with all it's glory.
She dumb enough to get caught.
I would not call her "dumb". I call her honest. So much for telling the truth. Something that is had to find today (especially among those who feel so free to cast the stones).
Okay, she apologized for telling the truth. There is not a man or woman of any color alive that could truthfully say that they have never used a "racial slur" in their life. If there is, then Jesus came back and we didn't know it.
Ya, just do not get caught.
Calling someone a derogatory name does not make that person a racist...When we as human beings are mad, we say stupid and irrational things. Apologize and move on.
This goes beyond using the "N" word. This women is clearly living in the past. Yes there are consequences when you do or say stupid thing on national TV. Ask Tiger Woods!
And where is Tiger Woods? Right back in the spotlight playing his precious golf. Guess it's just who you are whether people will let you move on and get your life back.
Just don't get caught.
Well, if we're going to start patroling via thought police, and cut down people for using this or that word, or having offensive opinions and attitudes, then there's a whole host of people who should lost their contracts and/or jobs. And if a word is declared offensive, then NO ONE gets to use it - treat everyone the same. As it is, I say she apologized, and that's that. I find it ridiculous that use of a word is decried more loudly than harmful actions.
I'm sorry did the thought police tell Paula that is it would be a good idea to have her brother's wedding resemble that of a plantation party. This goes beyond using the "N" word. This women is clearly living in the past. Yes there a consequence when you are on national TV. Ask Tiger Woods!
You're an idiot.
Paula Deen is gracious and honorable person and did tell the truth. You can turn on any MTV / Reality Show and hear far worse language from all ethnic groups against each other but when it is a white person it suddenly turns racist. I personally believe that Paula is being railroaded by the media and the corporate sponsors. To bad non of them have any balls to stand up for her.
if companies are dropping Paula, look at the crass, rude words on MTV> wake up sponsors. Paula Deen is great and you know it. Even in baseball, 3 strikes are necessary before you are out.
Telling the truth is one thing and wishing your brother's wedding reception is like a plantation party is another. I'm black too and strongly disagree with you. It's more than a slip of the tongue but more of a way of thinking!
Repeating yourself profusely prompts me to want to use an ethic slur...but no one's figured out exactly "what" ethnicity you are other than the obvious...Mr/Mrs PERFECT...
Go buy yourself some smithfield chicken and and then visit foodnetwork for a good recipe. it seems your opinion is outnumbered exponentially.
If what you say is true, why do members of the black race call whites Honkeys and Crackers. Why do certain black groups promote hatred for non blacks, Christians and Jews?? No one even blinks an eye when the "slip of tongue" occurs in these situations. Lets face it..degrees of racism exist between all the races (although when confronted with the tough questions the "Holier than Thou" will deny and justify). This WITCHHUNT is a perfect example of the blind hatred and hypocrasy that is alive and well in todays society. The closet racists know who they are...they just lack the courage to be honest (as Paula Deen did). She is now paying the price...so much for integrity...
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