Deen’s Debacle

The recent news concerning Paula Deen has caused an uproar on both sides of the issue. For those of you that haven’t heard, Yahoo news reported that Deen’s Food Network contract wasn’t being renewed due to her alleged racism; she and her brother’s Savannah restaurant is currently being sued by a former employee for discrimination. 

Deen made two apology videos; the first, a clearly edited 45-second apology, was quickly removed. The 2 minute, unedited version that replaced it is still being harshly criticized. 
 
The Yahoo News article mentions Deen’s use of the derogatory N-word during a deposition as well as an idea for a wedding in which all the servers would be black and dressed as slaves. Both instances clearly point to racist thinking.
The only account I’m truly accepting is what is on file from the deposition. I’m disappointed that a Southern icon such as Paula Deen would add to the negative stereotype of being racist. One can be Southern without being racist. 
As a Southern lady myself, I love Southern food and culture. However, like any culture, the South’s history is not unmarred. Yes, slavery took place– all over the U.S. Unfortunately, the South fought to keep it due to their already faltering economy and bigoted mindset. Racism still occurs all over our country and the world. Bigotry in any form is ugly.
What surprised me is the uprising of viewers supporting Deen. I’m not going to judge her as a person, but what she said while being deposed is, let’s admit, racist. Many people are. However, I try not to invite bigots into my living room.
 I support the Food Network not renewing Paula Deen’s contract– not firing her, simply not re-hiring her– because I, for one, want to see a Southern cook who doesn’t conform to stereotypes. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a new cook showing the world how to make delicious Southern food without any cloaked racism hiding behind the veil (or, in this case, apron)?
Southern cooking is a style; you don’t have to use five tons of butter or fry everything you eat to make it southern. I have a flaky, delicious Southern pie crust recipe that doesn’t have any butter at all in it. It probably still isn’t healthy, but, as with most things, moderation is key.
What do you think about Deen’s demise? Do you agree with the Food Network’s decision?

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