Deen: Should the N-word be unforgivable?
Paula Deen was dropped by the Food Network over a court deposition in which she admitted having occasionally used the N-word.
“Well, well, well. The fried chickens have come home to roost,” said Jamilah Lemieux in Ebony.com. Paula Deen, the butter-and-cream-loving chef who built a million-dollar empire on artery-clogging Southern recipes, was dropped by the Food Network last week over a taped court deposition in which she admitted having occasionally used the N-word. Deen gave the deposition as part of a discrimination lawsuit filed against her and her brother, Bubba Hiers, by a former manager at their restaurant in Savannah. In her deposition, Deen also admitted to having wanted a Southern “plantation-themed wedding” for her brother, with an all-black wait staff. Deen begged for forgiveness when the deposition became public, but the “big ol’ bigot” is only sorry she got caught. Deen can “take her deep-fried, bacon-wrapped, cheese-covered ‘sorry,’” and go.
Deen deserves another chance, said Charles C.W. Cooke in the NationalReview.com.She’s 66, and grew up in the Old South when language that’s totally unacceptable today was commonplace. Many other public figures have survived using slurs, from Jesse Jackson’s “Hymietown” to TV comedian Bill Maher’s use of the “C-word” to describe Sarah Palin, “retards” for special-needs kids, and “rednecks” for half the population. Why must the N-word be a career-ender, but not “retard” or “c--t?” The N-word now has a unique status in our culture, said John McWhorter in Time.com. It’s so taboo that if uttered by a white person even once, under any circumstances, it immediately leads to the social equivalent of the death penalty. But when “taboo enforcement” becomes this harsh and unforgiving, it is “not thought but sport.”
I’d give her a pass on the racial slurs, said DeWayne Wickham in USAToday.com,“but her repeated use of the word ‘butter’ should have gotten her fired long ago.” The Southern belle’s biggest crime by far is that she has gotten rich hawking calorific “gooey butter cakes,” fried butter balls, and glazed-doughnut cheeseburgers in a nation with a growing obesity epidemic. She kept peddling her life-shortening gluttony even after discovering she has type 2 diabetes—a disease fueled by high-fat, high-sugar recipes like hers. Deen then quietly went on a diet, and got even richer by becoming the commercial face for a pharmaceutical company that sells a type 2 diabetes drug. It is for her self-serving, hypocritical indifference to her viewers’ well-being that “she should be run off of TV.”