Paula Deen has certainly stepped in it, hasn’t she? The racial slurs, the plantation-style wedding with servers dressed like “slaves”, and now an uncomfortable 2012 video interview with the NY Times has surfaced where she discusses racism in the South and says one of her employees “is as black as this board.”
I understand that Paula is a 66 year old woman, born and raised in the South. But she’s young enough and wealthy enough to know better than to be so recklessly free with expressing her views on race.
Thankfully, my 71 year old mother knows better.
My mom is no racist (and Ms. Deen may not be either), but she’s had to adjust to living in an increasingly diverse community where English is often a second language. A trip to a fast food restaurant or other business establishment can sometimes be a stressful experience for her. But luckily, she’s got the good sense to only express her frustration at home or within closed quarters.
When her displeasure begins to creep out in public, my brother and I step in to ease the tension. We also work to keep her current and in a reversal of roles, we often expose her to new cultural experiences.
It’s time for Paula Deen’s sons to step up and help their mom rebuild her inner circle. She apologized to them first in her two mea culpa videos over the weekend, so she’s fully aware of the potential damage to their careers. Paula’s Food Network contract is no more and Smithfield Ham dropped her today as a spokesperson, but the boys can help her mitigate any future damage.