“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” – Maya Angelou
Paula Deen's cooking show contract with the Food Network expires June 30 and will not be renewed. The announcement was made Friday after Deen, 66, apologized on video for using the word “nigga” and canceled a “Today" show interview with Matt Lauer.
Lisa T. Jackson, a former manager at Bubba's Seafood and Oyster Restaurant in Savannah, Ga., which Deen owns with her brother Earl “Bubba” Hiers, has accused Deen of racial discrimination and Hiers of sexual harassment. A $1.2 million lawsuit is pending.
A Business Insider article, “The Craziest Quotes from the Paul Deen Deposition,” showcases her memorable and now infamous words.
When asked about Hiers looking at pornography in the restaurant and forcing others to look, she responded:
"If somebody sent [Hiers] something and he pulled it up and looked at it, no, I would not persecute him for that…Bubba, I don't think, would ever do that if he thought there was somebody in the room that he—it would insult…Bubba would never force somebody to read the crap that comes up on that computer."
Deen was asked about the alleged decision to have only whites work in the front of the restaurant:
"Bubba and I, neither one of us, care what the color of your skin is or what is between your legs, it's what's in your heart and in your head that matters to us."
Her response to is it OK to ever use the "N-word?:"
"We hear a lot of things in the kitchen. Things that they—that black people will say to each other. If we are relaying something that was said, a problem that we're discussing, that's not said in a mean way.”
If Deen is using the excuse that she heard “black people” using the word “nigga,” so it's permissible for her to use it, that's inexcusable. The word “nigga” is used in hip-hop and gangsta rap music, but many African Americans and others find it offensive.
There are “blacks” who have chosen to use the word “nigga” which they claim takes the sting, hurt and inhumanity from it. And there are also whites who refer to themselves and others as "hillbillies" and "rednecks," but these too are racial slurs and any one who calls whites these derogatory names is wrong.
Another accusation against Deen is she spoke to Jackson about dreams of a “plantation-style,” pre-civil war era wedding for Hiers, complete with middle-aged black men dressed in formal attire serving guests.
Why didn't Deen throw the fantasy wedding for Hiers? Because she knew the media would not understand and would be all over her for it, per her own admission.
In the deposition, Deen referred to racial slurs as jokes:
“It’s just what they are—they’re jokes...most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks...gays or straights, black, redneck, you know, I just don't know—I just don't know what to say. I can’t, myself, determine what offends another person.”
As the writer's father—a Southern gentleman—once said, “What's in a person is going to come out.” The authentichas been revealed.
During the free time she'll have sans a Food Network show, maybe her brain can marinate—just like a good, ol' Southern barbecue pork roast—on what's offensive and what isn't. In an apology video, Deen said she would like “to learn and grow” from the experience, and now she can. After the pork cools, she can confess on Oprah and later make a comeback.
Reference links embedded in article text.
Click here for more articles by Phyllis L. Smith Asinyanbi.