Paula Deen and the word “Nigger”


Fans of Paula Deen knows her story , starting a small business in Savannah, Georgia raising her sons on her own and cooking to supplement her income. Paula’s humility and basic down home no frills cooking has made her national star. Cook books, restaurants, cook ware, food in addition to her cooking show has turned Paula Deen into a major brand.

Being a brand, Paula Deen Incorporated makes her  vulnerable to the same rumors, innuendo that have damaged and destroyed other brands.

A former employee of Deen is suing  for racial and sexual discrimination.     Lisa T. Jackson’s (who is white)  lawsuit alleges that Deen and Bubba Hier(her brother) committed numerous acts of violence, discrimination and racism that resulted in the end of her five-year employment at Deen’s Lady & Sons and Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House eateries in Savannah.

In a deposition taken May 17th, Deen was asked if she had used the word Nigger? Deen said yes.

Jackson lawyer: “Have you ever used the ‘N word’ yourself?”

Deen: “Yes, of course.”

Deen testified that she probably used the racial slur when talking to her husband about “when a black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head.”

“I didn’t feel real favorable towards him,” she said, referring to the robber.

Jackson lawyer: “Have you used it since then?”

Deen: “I’m sure I have, but it’s been a very long time.”

Deen said she couldn’t remember other contexts in which she used the slur, but “maybe in repeating something that was said to me.”

“But that’s just not a word that we use as time has gone on,” she said. “Things have changed since the ’60s in the South. And my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior.”

 “Bubba and I, neither one of us, care what the color of your skin is” or what gender a person is, she said. “It’s what’s in your heart and in your head that matters to us.”  She also stated that “most jokes” are about Jews, gay people, black people and “rednecks.”  “I can’t, myself, determine what offends another person,” she said.

What she may have believed was innocent exploded.

Today, she’s news…  every word , every interview, every video is being reviewed and  scrutinized.

Law suites are often about principle. and M’s Deen believed she did nothing wrong. Someone should have advised  her to write a check to protect her brand.

Today her brand is damaged. Her contact with the Food Network ,her window to the world was not renewed.

Advertisers disassociated themselves from controversy, corporations have backed away from well known public figures such as Rush Limbaugh and Tiger Woods.

The are some who will judge Ms Deen and call her a racist based on her use of that word. However, until there are other reports and witnesses who can confirm she uses Nigger as apart of her daily vocabulary,  I’m not rushing to judgement.  I’m, not ready to place her in the same file as Mel Gibson or Michael Richards.

At the end of the day Ms Deen is a human being, a person who now and then say’s something inappropriate, had a lapse, of in judgement a slip of the tongue

I often find it interesting how quickly some of  us  will villainize an individual  of something we are sometimes guilty of doing..     The difference between Ms Deen and the average person, is her celebrity and because of it she pays a higher price.

IF I openly made a racial slur at my place of employment, its not likely to make news, I would simply join the ranks of the unemployed.

Nigger (Cut N Paste)

I believe by reducing the actual word to a letter in the alphabet gives the word power.

Ms Deen’s use of the word has reopened the debate over who can use the word.

First of all, nearly every community,race has words terms exclusive to them. Comedian Jeff Foxworthy  can call a crowd of white people Rednecks’ and the crowd will erupt in laughter, comedian Carlos Mencia would not get the same response. In you own home you might call your husband a fat slob, but only YOU can call him a fat slob.

Nigger has evolved over the last 20 years.

Like Ms Dean, I am a baby boomer, to many in our generations Nigger, is degrading, using it could cause anger and violence.   As a black baby boomer,Nigger within the community was a negative, it was the lowest of low. my mother said only common people without god in their lives would use the word.

For many people under 30 years old the word has a different meaning.  It could be a greeting, it could mean love and affection.    If you live in an urban area, you might hear young white men calling each other nigga.” That’s my nigga “meaning that my close friend.

Its not uncommon to hear latinos, asians, and other groups calling each other nigga    The word is cautiously used in ear shot of black people until there is an understanding.

I have a large multiracial family. Being a boomer,the word still makes me cringe ,no matter the race of the user.   It  has a completely different meaning to me and I suspect to people near my age.

People often sight the use of Nigger or Nigga in rap music.    Most record companies are ran by white executives  who not only encourage the use of the word they demand the use of  the word in song.

Today, the media is saying M’s Deen’s brand is done.  Perhaps, she has a very large and loyal following, if there isn’t another ticking bomb she may survive America‘s is forgiving

CityFella

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5 thoughts on “Paula Deen and the word “Nigger”

  1. Pingback: Paula Deen Saying “Nigger” Isn’t The Real Issue | From Ashy to Classy

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  4. It is a discrimination lawsuit from a former employee that resulted in a wrongful termination. The lawyers for the prosecution need to establish patterns of behavior. She has said nigger as have just about everyone in the world has. African Americans people call each other nigger all the time so others around them assume they like to be called nigger.

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