My Turn: Paula Deen's history brings racism to the forefront - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

My Turn: Paula Deen's history brings racism to the forefront

It may make some of us nervous to discuss, but I think there is a possibility that we're poised for a good discussion about race and racism.

Paula Deen's admission that she used a racial slur years ago has already cost her a bunch - financially, personally and emotionally.

She made a bad mistake, and she admits that.  I find it interesting how so many people are quick to jump on something like this and start tearing the person apart.  And Deen had a pretty good Biblical retort for that. 

But she also said something in her interview that may have gone unnoticed by those wanting to see her continue to suffer.

Deen said, "It's very distressing for me to go into my kitchen and hear what these people are calling each other.    …..I think that for this problem to be worked on these young people are going to have to take control and start showing respect for each other and not throwing that word at each other."

She makes a good point.  She may have messed up with what she said many years ago. But punishing her won't get us anywhere close to solving this problem as long as thoughtful respect is not being practiced by everyone.  

That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Emailed comments from viewers:

The PC police, our corporate watch dogs , are attacking a CEO who said a bad word.  I am glad that they are taking the high road and punishing the CEO- canceling her show or not selling her products. OOP's the TV shows production people are out of a job, the items sold at Walmart and Target are small contributors to their bottom line but  do they care what happens to the people who will be laid off or terminated from the bakery sections that made her items or transported her baked goods to the retail market, this has a ripple effect throughout her business model.

Maybe the PC police should have asked her to do Public Service Announcements to atone for her use of the word-. Maybe they could have asked her to make donations to diversity groups to help educate the people that still use the word. Maybe she could have set up a scholarship fund at a business college to stress to future CEO's the importance of not using the word.

Paula Deen's empire will take a bad hit from the PC police, but the real loser's will be the people she employs.


Paula has admitted to making these racial slurs in the past. How many of the accusers have been asked the same question. The lawsuit making claims of her being ignorant has not even started yet she is already found guilty. I say shame on all of the people destroying her life on the basis of a statement or rumors. There are way worse things to condemn someone for than racial slurs. I'm not saying it's right but I feel it is over the top.


I find it very upsetting that she is being put this for something that happened many years ago!!! While singers can step all over our flag in a video... presidents of multi million dollar franchise can continue to voice his opinions on gays, and nothing happens to them! But Paula can say one wrong word and everyone snubs their noses at her! 


This is the way these companies treat honesty. Paula Deen was honest enough to admit she had used the n word so she was dumped. I wonder are these companies going to refuse to sell to anyone who has used this word in the past?


I don't understand why such a big deal is being made. 30 years ago lots of people threw that word around. It all depends on how they say it, the dictionary defines that word as a lazy, slovenly person, no matter your color. I don't remember exactly when black people were wanting to either be called black or colored person. I was raised up in a black neighborhood, so to me , we are all the same, altho public laws said different. I still remember my neighbors names. We could stand at the edge of our yard and talk to them( the 2 kids were our age) but we couldn't play with them. Those times have been gone for years. Something else that gets me, lots of us white kids had no more than the blacks, so I don't understand why they always blamed all whites for their problems. It's funny how things keep coming back around. The new thing now is , having to enroll so many minorities into collage or whatever. That started in the late 70's, because my son was going to go only that's not what kept him from it. Why??? can't things just be left alone.


Paula Dean should have never brought up this subject and I am really surprised she did!  she has really opened up a "can of worms!" However, I understand her point with waiters.  One of my favorite places in Wilmington was Trail's Inn Restaurant.  The atmosphere was divine with all our southern waiters.  The food was unbelievable.  I sit on the pier and reminence all the wonderful summer evenings spent at that restaurant!

Actually, I think it could have a positive effect because we all need to address name calling and bullying.  So many people of all races call each other names.  We need to start practicing brotherly love for love is of God.  Yes, Paula Dean should be forgiven. We all fall short and make mistakes. 

Who knows....I just bout the most delicious brand of pimento cheese on the market from Food Lion, called Pimento cheese with Soul from Pawley's Island.  It tastes just like my homemade spread!  Maybe Paula Dean and Pawley's Island can unite and become the best southern cooks on the coast:) I would love to be their marketing director!


It is so upsetting to see and hear all of the negative media coverage that only concentrates on what Ms Dean said years ago and most of the media refuses to acknowledge how she conducts her life today.  I wish her remarks about respecting each other could be publicized.  That is definitely what we all need to concentrate on in this world.


I'll give Paula a pass on the racial slur issue. The biggest damage to her integrity was not coming clean about her diabetes and not eating or cooking what she was pushing on tv. She had a huge chance to say right away " I've just been diagnosed with diabetes and I can't cook or eat this way anymore. Neither can you if you have diabetes. I'm going to help you clean up all my recipes ". It could have been a whole new series of shows and cookbooks.


Very well said reference to Paula Deen!!!


Matt Laur asked Paula Deen if she regretted being truthful in answering the question about using the N word in the past.  She said no.  That is consistent with a someone who's personal standards are high.  Many would have said no when asked the same question. 

How many folks could truthfully answer no?  The truth is,  that word was not uncommon in those years from the sixties or so and back.  Nor was it a word that was heard only in the South.

It has always been a degrading and very hurtful word,  but it was used.  

Having said that,  I think maybe her "mistake" was in her answer to the original question.  I realize she has a law suit pending in which the truth might have come out anyway but,  if she had answered "no",  none of this would be happening.  

BTW,  the "this" I am referring to is a massive effort to be the next to pile on and be seen as enlightened.


Wow, I thought she just made this remark. Who hasn't said something in their lifetime , black or white. Leave the woman alone. And the companies that are dropping her, I will stop buying and shopping at their place of business. Like she said, cast the first stone ---.


You called her failure what it really is, a mistake.  I am in the same age range as Paula and was reared in the south, North Carolina.  I have in the past used the N word myself, however it has been many, many years.  I would like to hear from any person of any color, race, origin that has never used the N word or other slur of any nationality.  Paula Deen is very correct in that the black culture are quick to use the N word whenever, wherever and directed to whomever they want, even in today's culture.  Whenever the white race is called a slur, we are supposed to overlook it.  I want to know where equality is.

Paula Deen has suffered a great deal professionally and financially, but the most is the emotional hurt and the damage to her health.  She looks much older than in pictures just a couple of months ago.  I am praying for Paula Deen and all who have made a mistake - I think that includes all of mankind. 

Feel free to share this with Paula Deen.


You are exactly right about these young people throwing the N word around and showing no respect for people. If you go back some 20 years or more I guarantee you will find many more people who used the word and it has never been mentioned again. Someone is out to destroy her for some personal reason of their own and are jealous of the lifestyle she has made for herself on her own. What about the movie "white man can't jump"? Why weren't they condemned and the movie removed when it came out? I am so sick of this racial stuff. I am part Indian (cherokee) and I don't care if people do the tomahawk chop or name their team redskins. That just means we are people to fear and are  a strong breed of mankind.


I am not necessarily a Paula Deen fan, but your commentary today was spot on. I find it interesting that others use the same word, racial slurs and mass profanity under the cover of "freedom of speech" and actually profit from it. Listen to the filthy music that is produced by Lil' Wayne and other "artist" and the N-word is in nearly every sentence; but, that's OK mind you--its "freedom of speech" in that case. 

The word is same regardless of who says it or what context it is used in. Our society is built on political agendas, and the N-word today is nothing more than a political agenda. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson make a living off of running to the rescue of anybody who has been called the N-word. There foundations and coalitions profit the whole way to the bank every time the word is spoken.

You are correct--beating Paula Deen into the ground is not going to improve our society's feeling about the use of the word--teaching respect to ALL of our children is best path to paving an understanding that using the N-word or calling someone a "cracker" is the same. Does not matter what color you are- a slur is a slur. 




I think Paula Deen is getting what she deserves!!!   I have been to her restaurants and store, she hires all blacks. 

Paula is forgetting where she came from, all the money and power has gone over her head.  She is opinated and always has said whatever she wants, no matter who it hurts.  The employees she has have been thru hell working for her and her family.  They have been mistreated from the beginning, and all the crap will come out of the closet now, they will all stick together.

Her empire is dommed.....couldn't happen to a more mouthy person.


A few years ago I remember during the OJ Simpson trials that there was a police detective that testified for the state & was asked the question if he ever used the N word, he stated no! At that time this officer was blasted by the press & I believe asked to retire. If he had said yes I think the results would be the same. I read the blogs today & find this word(N) used frequently by not only the black or African American people but by young white people who apparently find this to be cool however not intended to be cruel or offensive, that I don't understand! A person can ask all of us who are Ms.Deans age if we ever used the N word & if he or she said no I would be highly doubtful. Today we the people 60 yrs. or more are having a hard time understanding the young people or even the big company's who pay the so called artist of music millions of dollars to use the N word or even the B word in the movies or in there music, but one elderly southern lady admitted she used the N word decades ago & is being punished. I don't get it. Thank you.


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