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Lawsuit Alleges that Paula Deen Used N-Word and Had Racist Dinner Parties

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by overedge, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    She also needs to spend more time with her family.

    Tara, Tara, Tara.

    That pretty much sums it up.
  2. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member


    I watched CNN on Friday and one of the commentators said that Food Network might have looked at this as an opportunity to let Paula go for their own good. Apparently there was a lot of hoopla over her very unhealthy recipes which clashed horribly with the fact that she had diabetes and yet she used pounds of butter in everything she made. Even though she's marketable and whatnot I don't think they'd have been able to skim over those facts combined with these allegations...so they made a clean cut of it by not renewing her contract.

    Pity. I hope she had a good financial planner. Take all of her money and run home to Tara, sit on the porch sipping lemonade made with six cups of sugar, eating butter and lard pie, and reminisce about the good ol' days...
  3. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    I haven't had a chance to check this out but I saw Fox News hired Deen.
  4. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

  5. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

  6. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member


    Definition of "prejudice"

    To assume, without any knowledge, thought, or reason, that people share their parents' opinions and attitudes fits the very definition of the word "prejudice."

    According to a previous poster in this thread, Paula Deen's sons have told her to clean up her act.
    OliviaPug and (deleted member) like this.
  7. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

  8. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

    It's unfortunate but at least Deen 'fessed up to it. She's an older Southern lady from a certain era not that that excuses it but it's understandable. I'm sure she was brought up speaking that way growing up in the Pre-Civil Rights era. And I believe many of us are guilty of having let slip a slur of some kind or another in our lives. I truly believe that. I know I heard words around my house and at school growing up that were prejudiced against other religions, races, and sexual preference. I grew up in Philadelphia and I heard racist remarks and ethnic slurs all the time from whites against African-Americans, African-Americans mocking Puert Ricans when they'd speak in Spanish, Puerto Ricans and African-Americans like turning around and calling out 'white bitches' to my sister and I as we walked by. I also remember my younger sister mocking Orthodox Jewish boys who walked by wearing yarmulkes. And they'd mock us for wearing our lacy white veils on Sunday. That's the atmosphere I grew up in. And I know they were wrong and we were in the wrong too but I had to learn that for myself as I grew older (and away from my family). Living in Florida for some years I didn't notice any overt racism (this is in the '90s) so maybe things just mellowed as people got older-and their kids grew up being more tolerant. Although, unfortunately, my nephews and their friends of various races and ethnic grews all call each other 'my n-' and also the 'f' word as if it were cute. I've pointed out to them that it's not appropriate, we have relatives who are African-American who would be offended, we have friends who are gay who would be offended and they just scoff at me and tell me I'm old-fashioned, that it's just a slang words amongst their friends. They insist the words don't have the same meanings as in my day. I guess I am old-fashioned because I cringe whenever I hear them.

    What Paula Deen did in her past (if it TRULY was in the distant past), and she is sincerely sorry and has avoided such disgusting racist slurs again I say forgive and move on. She's paying the piper. Food Network has fired her (or as they prefer to say 'will not be re-newing her contract when it expires) and from news reports, her sponsors seem to be taking a 'wait and see' attitude'.

    Just out of curiousity I tuned in to Paula Deen's show which was advertised at it's usual hour-The Barefoot Contessa was on instead.

    Interesting question. Can't wait to see the answer as this scandal rolls along.
  9. DarrellH

    DarrellH New Member

    I do feel for all of those people that work for her, directly and indirectly. Her products created jobs, which now could be in jeopardy.
  10. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I checked out Food Network's Facebook page and the comments were running strongly Pro-Paula. Not sure what to think about that.

    I liked Deen in the first couple of years but then I got bored with her show. This recent revelation doesn't surprise me. Yes, I know many Southerners of her generation never used the n'word. But many did. I know both my Northern (I'm from Philadelphia) and Southern relatives did. It was wrong, it was reprehensible but I heard racist, ethnic, religious, and sexual preference slurs growing up both North and South. And I heard it from EVERYONE in my neighborhood in Philadelphia, whites, Hispanics, and African-Americans. All of them used slurs of one kind or another towards each other. Many of my older relatives, even older than Paula used such words (they're mostly in their '70s now-my father being one of the worst offenders). I heard it at school. Hell, I FELT it at school. I could tell the Irish-American and Polish-American Catholic nuns (or religious sisters more correctly) didn't all like the Hispanic kids, or African-American kids, even the Portuguese kids who are white, all that much and I could tell why. The same with certain priests. All of my life I knew that it was wrong and I tried very hard to be different from them and never to use such words. My siblings the same, and we all raised our children to respect everyone. But not entirely successfully. It does disturb me that my nephews and their multi-racial/ethnic friends all call out to each other 'hey, my 'n'! Or call each other that word of the 'f' word almost as if it were cute. They've learned this at school. They've all scoffed at me when I try to point out how very wrong it is to call each other such derogatory, reprehensible words. They say I'm old-fashioned, that it's just their 'style' or their 'slang' for each other, that it 'doesn't mean' anything. Two steps forward, five steps back but my siblings and I pray that one day they'll realize how hurtful such words are and that such 'slang' dies a quick death.

    That's pretty much the same in my family. My mother knows better now but my father, an alcoholic who suffered a major stroke last year never changed. My youngest brother who married a lovely lady who happens to be African-American has never brought her or his twins to see his parents-and I don't blame him. My dad, to my shame, made an offensive remark about one of his home health aides who came to care for him after his stroke-she happens to be African-American. He said he didn't want a black person caring for him. He said it in front of her boss who is white (the health aide wasn't present thank goodness). Her boss told us that she could get him removed from the health aide program for such remarks. My sister had to point out that he has dementia, doesn't know what he's saying, has made sexual comments he never did before due to his stroke (all true). But my dad was a racist when he was younger and deep in his dementia he still is. :(

    Your mother was brought up right. I was not only brought up in a racist atmosphere but there was also alcoholism and sexual abuse. But I believe that one can rise above a less than happy upbringing. I sure have.
  11. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    I had the same attitude toward this ... until I read the civil complaint. Dean has "bigger fish to fry" than using the N-words in the past, and I think this is where her sponsors are having problems with her too. She will be on TODAY show on Wednesday. I hope Matt will ask her about what is written in the civil complaint, although she probably can't answer anything about it legally.
  12. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

    Deen is a multi-millionaire. I think she'll survive and I just heard today Fox News hired her to host some 'plantation' morning show.

    In a press release yesterday, Fox News confirmed that they will be introducing a new plantation-themed morning show hosted by former Food Network star, NAACP award recipient and plantation enthusiast Paula Deen. While the network is keeping a tight lid on the details, top executives who requested they not be named admit Fox is trying to cement its standing in a coveted demographic: conservative Southern whites who wish it was still 1852. Some close to the network say that the program will have a plantation theme.

    eta: Nevermind. Just saw it's a satire!

    Paula will survive this fiasco as other celebrities have survived scandal. Just ask Mike RAPIST Tyson.

    It's the people that work for Deen that really concerns me. I hope they'll all be okay.

    It will be interesting to see how she spins tolerating pornography in the workplace. Yikes. :scream:

    I saw that too and posted the link until I realized woops-it's a satire! :D
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  13. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    She isn't 95 years old. She was born in 1947, the year Jackie Robinson made his Major League debut. She did not grow up pre-Civil Rights, but actually in the Civil Rights era. She was 7 years old when Brown v. Board of Education was decided and 21 when MLK was assassinated.

    Many other Southerners of her generation (the Baby Boomers) have managed to move on from racism. Bill Clinton, for example, was born in Arkansas in 1946.
  14. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member


    And many others, in and out of the South, still make racist (and sexist, etc.) jokes in workplace conversations, e-mail messages, etc. I can say from personal experience that it's not just whites who do this. Let's hope that this incident gives them pause and inspires corporate trainers, management consultants, school teachers, and others to address or keep on addressing the issue.
  15. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Yeah. It'd be one thing if she was a small business owner and didn't have much to sue for. However, as head of her own multi-million dollar brand, she should have really known better.
  16. peibeck

    peibeck Simply looking

    Honestly I don't think the Food Network saw this as an opportunity for their own "good", as she has been one of their major stars for more than a decade, and made a LOT of cash off her. An agent friend of mine in NYC said they apparently are having a lot of concern about advertisers potentially pulling out of even her re-run shows. That would be very hurtful for them, as essentially residuals don't cost much on most reality/info-tainment type shows.
  17. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    So you get half-frozen beer or half-frozen butter in a deep fried batter? It doesn't sound very appealing to me. Nor does the fried Mars Bar, Oreo, etc. - back in those cases at least understand how some people might like it.
  18. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

    Thanks for pointing out Deens' birthdate but are you kidding me? She grew up in the '50s and '60s when lynchings took the lives of hundreds of innocent men and women, even children like 14 year old Emmett Til, an Alabama church bombing took the lives of 4 little girls Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Denise McNair to name just a couple KKK bombing and shooting atrocities, race riots were going on, white Civil Rights workers toiling for the cause were murdered, some disappeared and were never seen again! That's the South that Paula grew up in! I can just about guess whose side many if not all members of her family, ancestors of former slave owners, were on. In the South of Paula's youth, African-Americans were still forced to sit at the back of the bus, had to drink from separate fountains, had to swim in separate pools and segregation was still very much the reality in her world and all over the South. She isn't Bill Clinton, she's Paula Deen, and she certainly didn't have his education or opportunities (not that there weren't tons of racist well-to-do folk in the South). I think she's ignorant and still has much to learn. She was obviously taught to talk that way by those who brought her up. Anyone who is brought up calling slaves 'workers' and speaks almost fondly of her familie's slave owning past needs some serious re-education. It's not too late. She has time to improve her backward views of humanity. Apparently her own kids have tried to point out that many of the things she said were wrong. I think there's hope. You seem to be suggesting that she's just an innately bad or evil person in spite of the South she grew up in, whereas someone like Bill Clinton is somehow a Saint, if a tainted one at that. And whose to say that HE never once used a slur or two in his day even if he might not consider himself a racist today? Who are you to say Paula Deen herself can't 'move on'? I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. We've all f-ed up in our lives one way or another. Every one deserves a chance at redemption. And no, I'm not including murderers, child rapists or the like-those people are beyond hope imo.

    Somewhat OT, but oh dear, yet another celebrity, former Reality star Kate Gosselin in a racist faux pas:
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  19. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    Where in the world did you come up with numbers like that? Here are the figures provided from the Tuskegee Institute.


    Paula Deen had a very comfortable life in the south - she was more privileged than Bill Clinton in her youth than he was in his.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  20. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    I was born in 1953. While I grew up in a family that would never use the "N" word, ethnic jokes were told. Ethnic and race jokes were common, then. I will say that there was no specific ethnicity or race targeted, in particular. And that my family was just a likely to tell an Italian joke as any other. But, this is where I have a problem with jokes and words used at the expense of any ethnicity or race. Including your own race. In using them, we approve them. This is why I would never watch The Sopranos or Jersey Shore. As an Italian American, I don't care to support the gangster, guido stereotype. This is why I don't understand why African Americans feel that using the "N" word is okay. It is demeaning, regardless of who uses it. Just like Italians calling themselves guidos or WOPs is. There are offensive words used toward Jewish people, I have never heard them use those words about themselves.
  21. ArtisticFan

    ArtisticFan Well-Known Member

    Please note that I don't think it excuses what she said, but I also have not found her to be pure evil either.

    Yes, Paula grew up in the civil rights era, but it was an era where people in the south - especially rural areas - were fighting for their survival as far as their way of life. Margaret Mitchell (born much earlier) said she did not even know the south lost the Civil War until she was older because of the way people talked about it. My dear sweet friend and confidant grew up in Clinton, TN. Clinton was supposed to become the one of the first desegregated high schools, but protesters arrived and eventually blew up part of the school to prevent it from happening. It is one thing to look back on it now and see the horrible racism, but she has said to me that at the time her only wish was that the protesters, the African Americans, etc. would just leave and let her go to school like she was supposed to do.

    She is not a racist woman, but she has used the terms in the past. Her uncle was a part of the KKK. Her father wasn't but he wasn't willing to get involved. In her living room was a painting of what her great-grandfather had been thought to look like. He did not own slaves, but he was a soldier in the Confederacy. As she has said, she went from a time when she saw nothing abnormal about her family to now not understanding their thinking. She has said she doesn't know how to think of her family or refer to them, as most people will now say they were evil for being a part of things that were wrong. But these are people who she loved or was brought up to respect and honor.

    So even though I was not born here in Georgia, I do feel for those who are trying to figure out their way and understand right and wrong. Sometimes it is not that clear or clean. It doesn't make what Paula said right or appropriate. It doesn't even make it understandable.

    That being said, I have met and interviewed Paula twice. I have become good friends with her cousin and have respect for both women. I don't condone her language and don't know that I could turn a blind eye to it, but I do know that I don't trust or believe everything in the complaint.
  22. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    I don't remember a post that called her "pure evil". Folk have just commented that the time she grew up in Georgia and her upbringing don't excuse her actions or words as an adult. She's not a doddering old woman.

    What I found particularly disturbing about her deposition is the "of course" that she used in her answer about using the n-word. Of course??
  23. ArtisticFan

    ArtisticFan Well-Known Member

    I didn't say that anyone here had.
    Badams and (deleted member) like this.
  24. Simone411

    Simone411 I'm Clippy. I love Ashley and Janny!

    I think I can relate to this in a way. My dad is/was 1/2 Syrian. His father came by ship from Syria to the US in the early 1900's. When my dad attended school, his fellow classmates called him everything from "raghead", "sand .... with the n word" to "camel jockey".

    When my dad served in the Korean war, his Sergeant got his leg blown off in a mine field. My dad and another Marine volunteered to go through the mine field and get the Sergeant when no one else would do it. My dad told me that he had went to the same school with the Sergeant, and that he was one of the fellow classmates that called him all those names. The Sergeant became friends with my dad after that happened, and apologized for all the name calling while they were in school together. They remained friends up until my dad passed away in 2012.

    Here's an article about the Neelys weighing in on the Paula Deen controversy:

  25. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member


    Thank you for sharing your perspective.
  26. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    My dad was a racist and a bigot. But he did occasionally have black friends. That doesn't mean he wasn't a racist. In his mind, those friends were "different" and not like the other n-words. I suspect his black friends thought that the fact he was nice to them proved he wasn't really a racist either. I think it just proves that people are very good at compartmentalizing.

    I think people believe that to be a racist, you must be an evil person that no one could like. Paula Deen is a likeable woman (to some). Therefore, she can't really be a racist. She must just be a product of her upbringing. Or misguided. Or something.

    But it's not like that. My father was a likeable man. He was smart and witty and could be the life of the party. He'd give you the shirt of his back, if you were hurting for it. But he was also a racist. He was sure "those people" were out to get us and had a lower intelligence and where just "different" from you and me and a lot of other complete nonsense.

    As for Deen, she's a grown-up. And I am pretty sure this is NOT the first time she's been called to task for this. After all, it's been said her kids have ragged on her for it. And she said she couldn't have the plantation party because of how people would take it. So she knows damn well it's not acceptable. She just doesn't get it. Which means, IMO, there's a problem with her core values. Because people here have talked about being raised where racist comments and ethnic jokes were common but, because of their values, when they were exposed to another way of thinking, they figured out it was wrong. Or they always knew it was wrong without anyone having to tell them.

    All Paula figured out was "don't say those things in front of certain people because they'll get mad, but I can say what I want in front of my employees because I pay them so they can't complain." And that right there shows a problem with her values -- that she thinks it's okay to treat her employees badly.
  27. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    I knew a neo-Nazi who was for a time very prominent in that world. He could be charming and funny and you never would have known how he made his money or viewed others.
  28. Whitneyskates

    Whitneyskates Well-Known Member

  29. PRlady

    PRlady flipflack

    I have. My mother once referred to a particularly odious relative, who lived down to every anti-Semitic stereotype, as a kike. I was dumbfounded since I was old enough to know what that meant. And Israelis use perjorative language about each other all the time. "Yekkies" are German Jews (from the German/Yiddish for "jackets" because they were so formal in the Middle Eastern sun.) "Chachchachim," when I was young, was Hebrew slang for young what-we-would-call-greasers of Mizrachi (Arab country) origin. I'm sure there's more that our Israeli FSUers could detail.

    And Jewish people have very pungent, familiar words for non-Jews -- goyim, shiksa, shaygutz. Anyone living in a neighborhood with a lot of Jews knows those words, and sometimes use them self-mockingly. (My SIL refers to her recipes as "shiksa cooking.")