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The Ballad of Paula Deen

July 1, 2013

“Christ you know it ain’t easy,
You know how hard it can be,
The way things are going,
They’re gonna crucify me.”
–The Beatles, “The Ballad of John and Yoko”

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I’ve done my best to stay away from the entire Paula Deen/racist comments debacle that has overwhelmed the media as of late. In the midst of the daily announcements of one business or another breaking ties with Deen, I couldn’t help but notice that she is still listed as the main attraction at the upcoming Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show that is held each year in various locations, including here in Washington, DC. I was surprised they hadn’t dumped her sooner, and figured they would be distancing themselves from Deen as soon as possible–just like everyone else.

I received an email from the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show this afternooon. (I attended a show several years ago, so I assume that is why I am on the mailing list.) I was extremely surprised to read that they are, in fact, keeping Deen in the show. They noted that she formally apologized for her mistakes, and that ours is “a nation of forgiveness and second chances.” I was happy to read that they were open minded and accepting of Deen’s apology, and, to be honest, I didn’t think much more about it.

A fews hours later, I happened to check my twitter account and was absolutely amazed at the tweets that went out to the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show, chastising them for keeping Deen as a presenter. It just struck a chord in me. When is enough enough? I agree that what Deen said was wrong. I agree that her comments were unacceptable for anyone, let alone a public figure. She admitted as much and formally apologized. What more can she do?

I applaud the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show for doing the right thing. I had no plans to attend this year, but I think that attending the event this year to show my support is the right thing for me to do. For tickets and additional information, check out http://www.metrocookingdc.com.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 1, 2013 9:28 pm

    That’s a tough one. I agree “when is enough enough?” but also, is it possible that there are some egregious errors that can’t be simply wiped clean with an “I’m sorry”? Off the top of my head I can’t answer you question about what else could she do. Maybe someone as famous as her need to go the step further and put her money where her mouth is – or better yet, volunteer her time somewhere that positively affects others.

    Something as deep-seated in a person as bigotry and racism doesn’t go away because the person apologizes for voicing their bigotry. And I think forgiveness shouldn’t be expected quite so soon after a simple apology. It’s pretty clear when someone makes a racist statement how their feelings go, and that they meant it. It’s not as easy to see the sincerity in someone with as big an empire as Paula Deen who has a professional PR person writing her apology script. So she read an apology speech, how do we know that she meant it?

  2. July 1, 2013 10:43 pm

    I believe that ours is a forgiving nation. Paula made those remarks 30 (thirty) years ago. I believe her to be a sincere and kind person. As much as I can, I wish her well. Is there anyone among us, who has not made an unkind or thoughtless remark in the past?

    • July 2, 2013 7:36 am

      30 years ago? Clearly I have not read the whole story. I thought this was a recent gaff. I retract my previous statement – I think any dumb statement should definitely be put to bed after 30 years!!

    • July 2, 2013 7:46 am

      Well said!!

      • JGC permalink
        July 2, 2013 1:02 pm

        She made the remarks in 1989 after being held up at gunpoint. I suggest that were anyone subjected to that frightening experience one might let a few zingers fly. There isn’t a racist bone in Paula’s body. She is being extorted by a former employee and this has become a PC witch hunt.

      • July 2, 2013 1:03 pm

        Thanks for your comment! Well said & I agree!

  3. RTieche permalink
    July 2, 2013 6:09 am

    Well said! If she had murdered a person instead of making a racist comment, she’d be living free or at worst on parole by now. I’m not making excuses – public figures have a certain responsibility to be role models for any that may want to follow their lead, but first – thirty years ago was a different era, and second – who among us hasn’t said something we deeply regret at one time or another! People – she’s human… With all our capacity to screw things up. Let’s do the right thing and accept her apology and let her move on with her life!!! I, for one, do not live in a glass house.

  4. sydney permalink
    July 2, 2013 8:22 pm

    Apparently many are unfamiliar with how this all came out. Deen was being sued by an employee for discrimination, harassment, etc. It was revealed in the deposition that she made racist and homophobic remarks and the media seemed to gravitate toward the remarks. And in the deposition she seemed very comfortable with idea of using slurs in jokes, etc. I highly doubt this is a behavior of long ago. I think what’s more important here is that she is in a position of power and her views could very well have negatively impacted many she employed. I can be called a slur by a stranger and not care but by someone who signs my paychecks and is responsible for how I’m treated at work is a totally different story. And let’s not forget that she said very clearly on the Today Show: “I is what is and I ain’t gonna change.” If you support that, then go right ahead.

    • July 2, 2013 8:53 pm

      Thanks for reading & commenting! I think you make some excellent points and I’m happy to share your comment!

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