June 26th, 2013
04:45 PM ET
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No matter how you slice it, Southern food is complicated. Some detractors dismiss the whole menu as an over-larded, gravy-drenched, carbed-up monolith; they clearly just haven’t been invited to the right homes for supper.

At its core, Southern food is one of the most multilayered, globally-influenced and constantly evolving cuisines on the planet. It’s inextricably and equally tied to the rhythms of the seasons and the lives of the people who cook it the way their grandmother did, and her grandmother before her, and so on.

No one cooks Southern food alone; there’s always a ghost in the corner giving guidance. For millions of people, that’s Paula Deen, a celebrity chef whose sugary, bubbly bonhomie has earned her the moniker “Queen of Southern Cooking” - as well as her share of critics.

Deen has come under fire in the past for promoting aggressively unhealthy recipes, then failing to disclose her diabetes diagnosis for three years before picking up a lucrative endorsement deal for a drug to treat it. Her more recent admission of using a racial slur in the past and that she had once discussed putting on a “plantation-themed” wedding party - complete with waiters dressed in a manner reminiscent of slaves - has proven even more sickening to some.

Internet backlash was fierce and pointed, and at least six of Deen’s major sources of revenue - the Food Network, Walmart, Caesars Entertainment, Home Depot, Novo Nordisk and Smithfield Foods - have cut ties with her and condemned her words. Although many fans have gone out of their way to express support for her online and at her flagship restaurant in Savannah, Georgia, Deen apologized in online videos and in a teary appearance on the Today Show.

But some African-American food and culture scholars find it’s what Deen didn’t say that’s the bitterest pill to swallow. They claim that she has profited off the culinary legacy of African Americans, a group she’s repeatedly failed to credit in her cookbooks or on her television shows. Their contributions to American cuisine are often marginalized in the food world, despite having introduced rice cultivation techniques to the South, along with watermelon, okra, chile peppers and other foods that were already part of the African palate. Representatives for Deen weren’t immediately available to comment on the issue.

In the wake of the controversy, pre-orders for Deen’s cookbook are red-hot, but some feel frozen out.

“We’re burned by this,” says writer and image activist Michaela Angela Davis. “Why does she get all the money and fame around the food that our ancestors created and sweated over?”

Davis argues that minimizing the role of the African-American culture’s contributions to Southern cooking isn’t unique to Deen, but fallout from a cultural system that needed to dehumanize slaves to keep the status quo. “Completely divorcing us from our history, our cuisine, our languages - that's just all par for the course. You can't let people have pride and then have them be your slaves.”

Culinary historian Michael Twitty agrees. “Our ancestors were not tertiary to the story of Southern food,” he says. “Whenever our role is minimized to just being passive participants or just the ‘help,’ it becomes a strike against culinary justice.”

“Paula Deen once did hoecake on her show and never once mentioned that this was the hardtack and daily bread of enslaved people,” he adds. So were, “gumbo, okra soup, red rice, fried chicken, black eyed peas, various greens, sweet potatoes, boiled peanuts, cala, jambalaya, hot sauce, barbecue, the list goes on.”

In Deen’s autobiography, “It Ain’t All About the Cookin’,” Deen touches on her dealings with the African-American community in her hometown, saying, “None of us were strangers to the black community, although they seemed to live their lives and we lived ours. I would say we lived a pretty unexamined life in terms of politics or civil rights."

Perhaps if Deen were just “a cook” and not “the Charles Barkley of food,” as Syracuse University scholar Boyce Watkins argued in a discussion with Davis on CNN’s AC360, that lack of context around her food would be understandable and even acceptable. But as Davis pointed out, “She’s a brand.”

That brand reportedly pulled in more than $17 million dollars in 2012 alone, and Davis ascribes Deen’s lack of connection in some part to that level of success.

“We all related to her when she was at the bottom and worked her way up, “ Davis says. “When you put money in it and you're in a different class, you get all the benefits of being white and privileged. Your sensitivity and need to know about us goes away. There's nothing in your life that brings about the urgency of knowing about the culture you're benefiting from.”

Twitty and Davis are both eager to have some potentially difficult and painful conversations - over a meal.

Twitty is on a mission of reclamation and healing in a project he calls The Cooking Gene. He spent much of 2012 on the “Southern Discomfort Tour,” visiting the former plantations where his ancestors were enslaved, meeting the descendents of the people who claimed ownership over his family, and sharing meals together. Through breaking bread in these haunted locales and having difficult conversations with people of all races, Twitty seeks to dispel any romantic notions of slavery, and begin to heal.

“I think the enduring myth is that slavery was a time when blacks knew their place, didn't make trouble and served as the perfect status symbol of Western superiority and white supremacy. Nothing could be more un-American or untrue,” Twitty says.

“People who worked in the ‘big house’ didn't have it easy. Women and men who cooked and served usually had one of three fates. They were often treated abusively and savagely punished; they could be family figures of great respect and trust or they were autocrats who used their unique role to carve out a special power niche with lines and boundaries not to be crossed.”

Cooking meant power in many cases, Twitty says, and per plantation records, good cooks were often “worth” more than a “plain” or “tolerable” cook.

There’s power in owning your culture’s narrative, Davis says, and it’s painful when a thing that should be a great source of pride and joy is instead used as a vehicle for shame. “Fried chicken is creative. Collards with smoked neckbones is creative,” Davis says.

“This generation gets to say, ‘No! Fried chicken is amazing!’ Everybody gets to participate in it, but let's be clear about whose brilliance made this thing be popular.” It worries her that Paula Deen and Colonel Sanders are seen as “the face of fried chicken,” and sees it as a failure of an educational system that diminishes African-American contributions to history.

“We are the fried chicken makers - everybody's grandma, Sadie, whomever, can make some fried chicken that would make your wig fall off,” she says. “African-Americans being ashamed to eat fried chicken or watermelons is heartbreaking and in complete alignment of the philosophical alignment of oppression and slavery. You're made to turn against yourself and abandon your culture.”

Davis combats that in the kitchen, she says. While she doesn’t fry chicken every Sunday like her grandmother did, she corrals her daughter a couple times a year to show her how it’s done. Her daughter is from the lean-chicken-breast-on-the-grill generation, Davis jokes, but there’s a serious point: “We lose our food, we lose our stories.”

“I would sit in the kitchen while my grandmother told the story about her grandmother made this pound cake - as she's making it and I'm watching,” she recalls. “I remember that she would use the notches in her fingers as measurements.

“It wasn't precise, but there were all these stories and our history was completely folded up in telling these stories as you're sitting in the kitchen and watching your grandmother and your mother cook. This happens with everybody. That's why they call it ‘soul food.’”

And that’s what Davis wishes Deen would acknowledge - that she’s peddling and profiting off the food part, but leaving the soul behind.

Deen writes frequently about learning in the kitchen at her Grandma Paul’s side, and shares that story with a wider audience. African-American food traditions were often shared orally, and only within the community, Davis says. She now believes they need to take control over their own story, document it and spread the gospel. Cookbooks by African-American celebrities like Pearl Bailey and Patti LaBelle are a great start, but there needs to be more, and in cooks’ own words.

“If our stories aren't told correctly and through a proper lens, we get cut out of the narrative,” Davis says.

“In those kitchen moments, my grandmother and grandfather's life became real to me. We have to write it down. We're not living in a time where people are eating fried chicken for four or five hours on Sunday, with anybody. This is the perfect time to take our oral history, film it, write it down so it's not lost.”

Food justice activist and podcast host Nicole A. Taylor, a native Southerner, said in a recent video blog that she’s “done with Paula Deen,” but that the incident sheds a light on the food world needing more African-American representation on Food Network and in mainstream media outlets.

“We need to show that the South is just not Paula Deen,” she said. “The South is me. The South is immigrants who are moving here. We need to lift these people up so that Paula Deen does not become the poster child for what is Southern in terms of food.”

And Twitty would like to sit down and talk about it over a meal. In a much-read open letter to Deen on his website yesterday, he invited the embattled chef to a gathering at a historic plantation in September when he’s hosting a fundraiser for Historic Stagville, a North Carolina, plantation that once held 900 slaves and is now a historic tourist destination.

“I want you to walk the grounds with me, go into the cabins, and most of all I want you to help me cook,” Twitty wrote. “If you’re brave enough, let’s break bread...This isn’t publicity this is opportunity. Leave the cameras at home.”

Davis, too, believes in the power of food to soothe and stitch painful rifts. “Food and music are the foundations of African-American - and American culture. They're a perfect way to talk about race and move forward. And they're a thing that people love about us, and we love about us - but it's been abused,” she says.

Davis continued, “The first thing you have to do is admit that it's happened, talk about it, move on and forgive. Have a conversation over a meal with some music. These conversations: This is the work. This is how we heal.”

Want to know more about African American contributions to Southern cooking? Dig in and let us know what's missing in the comments below:

Books (note: some are out of print, but available through used book stores):
– The African American Heritage Cookbook: Traditional Recipes & Fond Remembrances - Carolyn Quick Tillery
– Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine One Plate at a Time - Adrian Miller (Coming August 15)
– Mama Dip’s Kitchen - Mildred Council
– The Taste of Southern Cooking - Edna Lewis
– High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America - Jessica B. Harris
– Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America - Frederick Douglass Opie
– A Taste of Heritage: The New African American Cuisine - Toni Tipton-Martin and Joe Randall
– The Dooky Chase Cookbook - Leah Chase

Blogs and Websites:
Afroculinaria
Farming While Black
Food Culturist
The Blacker the Berry Food
Black Culinary History
Southern Foodways Alliance Oral Histories

Previously:
Paula Deen – From the frying pan to the firestorm
Hugh Acheson: Southern food beyond the butter
The cook who picks cotton: reclaiming my roots
How far has Southern food traveled since segregation?
Old world ingredients you should know and use from the South
Why it's different in the South
Why diversity matters in a restaurant kitchen
Why eating grits doesn't automatically make you a Southerner
5@5 – Overlooked Southern ingredients
Mehepyewpleez? A love letter to K&W Cafeteria
Boiled peanuts
She-crab soup, shrimp and grits, benne seed wafers and the lowdown on Lowcountry cuisine
5@5 – Virginia Willis – Southern is a state of mind
Talk with your mouth full – what is Southern food?
Reclaiming the soul of Southern food
Southern food: more voices from the field



soundoff (956 Responses)
  1. Ragin Cajun

    Yet another "oh poor us" opinion piece. Funny how many OTHER ethnic groups don't sit around crying but pull themselves up and go out to DO something instead.

    Besides that, the author misses the point about Deen. She isn't wealthy and successful because she cooks. She's wealthy and successful because she found a way to ENTERTAIN people with her cooking. Because her empire is built on that foundation is why now her mouth has so badly damaged her brand.

    June 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • kenyoncallahan

      I think you missed the point maybe reread it and comprehend what you are reading. What the article is about is that Paula Deen is not the face of the South. The South is more than that one individual. Yes you are right Deen did entertain but she also allowed sexism, sexual harassment physical abuse along with racism to reign supreme in her organization and she did nothing which makes her a coward.

      June 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
      • greeneyedirishlass

        Really? I always thought people were innocent until proven guilty in a court of law....that hasn't happened yet. Yet you...have already found her guilty.

        June 27, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
      • Connie Lydon

        No, none of that happened in her restaurants. They alleged;y happened in her brother's restaurant, which she is a part owner. Granted, if any fines, restitution, whatever is handed out, she will have to pay for part of it out of her funds. She did try to rein in her brother (and maybe she didn't try hard enough) but he ran the restaurant, she was rarely there. I do think she should have severed ties with him early on,I think he's a loose canon just begging for a lawsuit, but who doesn't have some relative that you try to set on the right track to no avail? If the allegations against him are true- hang him out to dry. But this lynching and destruction of her because she was part owner are ridiculous. Yes, she is a responsible party, but on a much lesser degree. If you don't want to be judged by someone else's action, then don't do that to her.

        June 27, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
  2. If your car is nicer than your house...

    I'm white and I use the n-word all the time. If you're acting like one, I'm gonna call you one.

    June 27, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Andres

      Like you acting out now. I could paint the picture of a redneck by your comment. There is no moral justification for racism.

      June 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
  3. memblueshoes

    I have this feeling that she has been a target for a while, with her being an older white Southern lady, and there were those just waiting on an opportunity to peg her as a racist and also to discredit her for all she earned. It seems, if you are from the South and from a certain time period of the past then you are really not wanted around because your paradigm might be a little more complex/different from others' that are viewed as more 'hip' or 'with-the-times.' Not saying all her decisions were great; just saying that this was bound to happen in one way or another.

    June 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • tony

      MAN WE B TRIPPIN. DIS FOO CAN COOK

      June 27, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Jom

      I agree memblueshoes. It is like we build people up in order to tear them down. DO not get me wrong, Paula was wrong; however, it was nothing for this Lisa woman to try to destroy. I wonder what kind of comments Lisa, the white woman who brought this suit, has said in her past? Lisa saw $$$ and thought what can I do to make money off Paula Deen? BINGO, let me make a claim regardless if it is true or not and the DEENS will settle me not to make them look bad because the public will believe me over some rich and famous woman. Again, some people get a joy out of seeing the MIGHTY fall. Sad.

      June 27, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  4. tony

    MAN WE B TRIPPIN. DIS FOO CAN COOK.

    June 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
  5. celisti

    Deen becomes a symbol of bad and unhealthy southern cooking for long time and has made enough money from it, and a symbol of obesity and diabetes. she deserves well to be dropped by those sponsors, food network especially, for her promoting of unhealthy cooking and eating alone.

    i have no sympathy for her, but many who continue to cook or eat her type of foods and get fat or sick along the way. it's the time for people to realize what Deen is really about now, and to start focusing on their own health.

    June 27, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Allan

      What a moron you are!!

      June 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
      • Connie Lydon

        There is no doubt in my mind that the FN knew of her diabetes all along (it's a little hard to conceal) and told her to keep quiet about itt, so they could continue their ride on her coattails and raking in the big $$$.. After all, their pocketbooks would suffer if anything came out and they continued to have her cook the same type foods as always. when it did come out, they tried to distance themselves from the very person who brought them all that money. Talk about two-faced.

        June 27, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • greeneyedirishlass

      Apparently you are unaware that her son does a show based on her dishes where he takes her original menus and makes them healthier. You are also unware that in her own shows very often she would tell the viewer how to lighten up a meal while making the original recipe. You also must be unaware that people have the choice to make the decision not to make each and every one of her recipes each day...but to eat them in this new way...it's called "moderation." Just a tad judgmental aren't ya?

      June 27, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  6. Patti

    Thank you Ms. Davis, Ms. Taylor and Mr. Twitty for this eye-opener! Your words hit the mark in so many ways. I wish other cultures could see and feel that you all are tuned into the real FEEL, TOUCH and TASTE of authentic Southern cooking. I applaud all of you!! I also learned the SOUL of cooking from my mother and grandmother.

    June 27, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • memblueshoes

      My grandmother, who is Caucasian, taught me to cook Southern food also. She was raised on a farm where she had to work hard every day – she hunted, picked cotton, cured ham, canned, you name it, even as a child. She had to get up early and work before getting ready to go to school. Her mother – my great grandmother – was a wonderful Southern cook who had a job at an early age of working as a cook for men who were building roads near the country where they lived. There is no way you can take that away from them – and say that they do not deserve the credit for the hard work they put into their food. I will never believe that. Sure, say there is a fusion of sorts involved, sort of like the food in New Orleans is, but please do not say that their cooking was not theirs. I don't know of anyone else who could own food like they did.

      June 27, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
      • Rob

        Or kill as many people as Southern cooks either (I'm originally from the South..... I get it). Hypertension, Hypercholesterolemia, Obesity, Diabetes- rates, incidence-all higher in the south\medical fact, period, we know all about it....). She hid her Diabetes for years while shoving her high-sugar, high-fat deserts at others and making millions from it. Then when she was exposed as a Diabetic she does a 180 and starts selling a pharmaceutical product for Diabetes. Time for the money-grubber to take her cash and try to keep others safer by sending her home. "Back to Savannah to throw in some more butter, Y'all!" Aloha... bye bye......

        June 27, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Connie Lydon

      Ouch! maybe you shouldn't have said that. The recipe police may arrive at your doorstep and demand to know if your mother and grandmother gave credit to the slaves for those recipes. just sayin...

      June 27, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  7. White Liberal

    I think it is hilarious that every where you look in media you see the phrase "N word" or "F bomb". Does that seem juvenile to anyone else?

    June 27, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  8. ethellovestalking

    OMFG. Southern food is a boiling pot of lots of nationalities' cooking. The people quoted in this article make it sound that Africans are the ones who invented Southern food. Apparently, they haven't been to the Appalachian Mountains, almost void of blacks, yet cuisine-rich.

    Ridiculous, over-extended "gimme credit" check, please.

    June 27, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Yvon

      Hey Ethel....can you cook hoecakes???Well I just had some for lunch earlier....thin hoecakes...with freshfield peas and okra pods on top.(Best healthy eating/fiber+) However I made a Pico de Gallo with tomato, onion, limejuice, cilantro, and chopped jalapeno pepper to eat beside the crowder peas...YUM ....Now that was a Paula Deen Kinda Meal mix of many cultures. PEOPLE LOVE PAULA DEEN...SHE'S GONNA BOUNCE BACK SMELLING LIKE THE SOUTHERN ROSE THAT SHE IS. SHE NEEDS TO INCLUDE NORTHERNERS MORE...MAYBE SOME OF THEM WOULD NOT BE SO HATEFUL TOWARD HER.

      June 27, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
  9. JohninTruth

    SO, WHY DIDN'T THIS MAKE HEADLINES, HYPOCRITES?!?!?!?!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddRNy4MISkg

    June 27, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Patti

      It didn't make the news simply because this jerk is not a public figure; not a celebrity making money off the backs of others. This guy is just your run-of-the-mill idiot with a microphone. No news in that!

      June 27, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  10. JohninTruth

    THE VERY NEXT TIME I HEAR A COMEDIAN SAY CRACKER, I'M GOING TO SUE. RIGHT??? I MEAN, WHY IS IT OK TO SUE PAULA DEEN, BUT NOT A BLACK ENTERTAINER FOR TALKING ABOUT WHITE PEOPLE? HOW ABOUT CARLOS MENCIA?? HE CALLED THE LATINO POPULATION PLENTY OF HORRIBLE NAMES. THIS COUNTRY IS FULL OF IDIOTS. WE SHOULDN'T BE FUSSING ABOUT RACE, WE SHOULD COME TOGETHER AND HELP ALL THE STUPID PEOPLE.

    June 27, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Mari Bordeaux

      Racism is beyond name-calling. Racism is having the economic and social power to oppress another race or ethnic group, which Black or Afro-Americans do not have an equitable amount of access to (Please do not start with the "Obama is black so black people blah blah blah..." bit because he is biracial and his tenure in office has not evened the playing field very much. In fact, it has brought back more overt cases of racially hostile sentiments). I'm not a bitter person because of my race. When I see that there is not enough representation or recognition of my culture and I say something it is not to be seen as whining or "reverse racism". Hearing those things can be frustrating because it comes from people who can never fully understand why I detest my people's lack of representation because they never have or never will be black. You can have black friends, family members, lived in the ghetto, watched BET or other urban TV programming and news stories, etc. etc. but those things do not substitute for really knowing the Afro-American experience. Some black people can certainly have ignorance toward other cultures, or even worse, pass on white supremacy unto others. But it is only in reaction to the lack of resources we have in order for our community to prosper as a whole. The previous statement may lead a separate conversation but that is for the rest of you to dish out. I have said my piece.

      June 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
      • thazwazzup

        And we've heard it a million times. What you need to realize is, everybody has their struggles, and we are done viewing the entire world through the prism of yours. DONE

        June 27, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
      • Sassy

        FYI – throwing "resources" at issues does little to impact them. That is short term & short sighted. Having been in social work and in the trenches for 25 years I have seen resources squandered and rarely making even a tiny difference. Your narrow myopic view is hurting the cause not helping it.

        June 28, 2013 at 7:41 am |
  11. CTConservative

    "Why should someone who worked her tail off reap all the rewards for that hard work ?!? Where's our share for doing absolutely nothing ?" How typical (and pathetic). The American entitlement mentality rooted in envy and greed on display.

    June 27, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Ragin Cajun

      Really? You forgot already? Okay, one more time then "You didn't build that! Someone else built that!"

      June 27, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  12. teekaybee

    Last month, black folks (amongst others) were up in arms when Sergio Garcia made his fried chicken comments about Tiger Woods, now we want credit for developing the dish after we see someone who doesn't look like us become popular (in part) for her preparation of the cuisine? Can't have it both ways, peeps!

    June 27, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  13. Jackie Rawlings

    Paula did not invent Southern cooking it has been around longer then she has been alive. She will keep some fans but corporations deal with all races of people and are in the business of using racist comments that are common in Paula's USA. Paula will just have to settle for her own business profit and people will continue to support her. She made the mistake others can learn from. The racism by some is common and accepted but minority investors/shareholders don't have to accept it. Companies now have diversity policies that that Paula did not bother to read. She will continue to do well in the Southern States that hold on to degrading minorities but that's about all she will have and crying wont change that.

    June 27, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
  14. Gabbi

    So in other words, those in the Black community who couldn't or didn't make a name for themselves as a chef or cookbook writer, because of talent or whatever, can now have their revenge on a woman who started out supporting two little boys and made an empire cooking and writing recipes about southern food. We all know it started with the black community but this wasn't about the black slaves this was about the food and her amazing personality. She has been slaughtered and hung out to dry for no reason and most of America knows it. Its a shame and I for one am ashamed. I'm a middle classed women in her 70s and I will miss her wonderful smiling face, her great recipes, her family and I won't watch Food Network... its been overkill and she's been railroaded. By the way, I live in Colorado and have all my live.

    June 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  15. Hello Folks

    It's sad that our society has become nothing short of a lynch mob mentality. Everyone immediately jumps on the bandwagon shouting racism and anything else they can think of if it suits their viewpoint. But God forbid that others takes a different viewpoint, because they are called racists and bigots. People, get over it and stop this insanity. I am not a Paula Deen supporter, but I can tell you that I certainly support her in this melee. She had the backbone to honestly answer a question, under oath, that she said the "N" word years ago. As I understand it, she was working as a bank teller in the 1980's and the bank was robbed by a black man. (Oh, I apologize, I'm not supposed to say the B word either. Perhaps I should say a man of non-white origin..........)

    PS: Shame on all those stores and networks for dropping her like a hot potato. I suppose they are all so perfect and saintly. That's like the pot calling the kettle black (oops I did it again)

    June 27, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Kate

      And yet Michael Vick, who did something FAR worse than Paula, torturing and murdering innocent, helpless animals, is to be forgiven and be allowed to make millions in the NFL. What's that about? A big helping of double standard, anyone?

      June 27, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
      • Ally

        Well, I wouldn't say he was ever forgiven. What he did was horrible. But he served the sentence he was given and it's over. He's a football player. If a banker had done the same thing should he not be allowed to find a banking job after time served?

        That being said....this is quite a tangent from the article.

        June 27, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
  16. Southern Born

    Being born and raised in the South, I am an excellent southern cook and it has nothing to do with black history. My Cherokee and English ancestry was poor for generations. There were no plantations. So to give all southern cooking a nod from black history is absolutely ridiculous. Just like the above article, ridiculous.

    June 27, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Cheryl

      I totally agree with you. I'm so sick of this black people did it first mentality. They tried to say they were Egyptians also (if so you owe the Jewish people for making them slaves). they are the only racial group that tried to get money out of everything. How about what the Indians gave us? Corn, squash...etc. Should we pay them for their contributions? should be pay Jewish people for their contributions? Get over it, it was past and it was history. There is nothing that was done to the black race that hasn't been done to another race, so quit trying to get someone elses money.

      June 27, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • joedog

      Amen to that. Maybe we need to find the person who cooked the first chicken somewhere in the world.

      June 27, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
      • Robin Hood

        Steal from the rich, give to the poor...

        June 27, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
  17. Linda

    I'd like to think that Eatocracy will have a pro article for Paula Deen. I've only seen negative ones from Eatocracy so far.

    June 27, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  18. thazwazzup

    Paula Deen is annoying, her food looks disgusting, and I don't watch her show.

    That said, get the heck over it. Pretty much everything wrong with America (on any and all sides) is encapsulated in this single absurd "article". CNN continues is inexorable march toward complete trash journalism and irrelevance.

    June 27, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  19. guilla

    Why did she say it the way she did? "I is what I is" Just wondering.

    June 27, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • 99.94% Sane

      Because she's trying to sound "country"/"Southern". It's more cornpone than anything because I don't know anyone who sounds like that in Savannah and she's been there long enough to ditch the back-mountain hillbilly twang from Albany.

      June 27, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  20. SRV

    Good Grief!!! Leave her Alone. Let her be. You cannot convince me that she deserves all this stupid hype. I am sure the people mouthing the most have never said th N word or WORSE!! Come on people. Get a real life and leave her alone. Most of you pay big money to go to the movies and hear worse language than that. Good Grief!!!

    June 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  21. mary

    Amazon is still carrying all of her products and I certainly hope they have the good sense to continue to do so . I will shop Amazon. Easier, better customer service , better price and no Walmart bs.

    June 27, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  22. William Gunter

    This just might be a news story if it had read 27 plus years ago some caucasion in the south had not made a racist comment. The medial and race baiters need to find a life.

    June 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  23. Ms. J

    So... I'm Afro-American... and all this is just sad. First, Paula Deen and everyone born with a vocabulary has used the N-word... Whether it's today, yesterday, last week or 20 years ago. One thing folks forget that one, she was honest enough to admit that the word was used. I forgiver her... most likely I wasn't even born when it was said. Two...lets talk about the giant Walmart – are you not being sued for discrimination to women & minorities? Who's boycotting them? I would have at least thought that Food Network & the other industries stand out and support her for the work that she has done. Ms. Deen has not been at every restaurant shouting obsenities to every monirity. Third...Ms. Deen is not the first non black person to introduce southern cuisine. How many times have recipies been altered? Who owns what in a country that has been watered down by so many culture blending, law breaking citizens? Boo on the folks who are trying to make a name for themselves on behalf of Paula Deen...

    June 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Donna

      I completely agree with you on every point and thank you for posting this.

      June 27, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Garry

      Ms J,
      EXCELLENT comment and you are so right in all you have said. They are crucifying her and for what? Cause she made a mistake and then she apologized for it? Wal-Mart is nuts to have dropped her especially with all the lawsuits they have had!
      Let it go already!

      June 27, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Claire

      Very beautifully written!

      June 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • nineliveslisa

      Thank you for your posting. I think Paula Deen is being crucified by the public and it is disgusting. And shame on the companies that are dropping her like a hot potato. Shame on all of you.

      June 27, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Aud

      Um, I've never used the N-word. Thanks.

      June 27, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
      • idiots in this country

        I for one do not believe u.

        June 27, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • Hello

      thank you Ms J... Seems people are wanting to follow the muzzys in making claims just to hurt and control people.
      This witch hunt on Paula is proof people just love to hurt others.
      While her old sponsors run like fleas off a dead dog.. they forget what SHE has done for them.
      I wonder if any of those who are condemning her could honestly say they never said the N word in their life!
      The deposition never should have been made public in the first place. She should have just kept her mouth shut and lied.
      One person who is making claims against her has won her case many times over her original intent. And we have not even given Paula her day in court...to defend herself.
      Looks like her biggest fault was to hire that black person in the first place.... Seems this will be a warning to other employers to be very careful who you hire... if you pizz them off they can toss the N-word card at you and you can lose everything. even without giving your side of the situation.
      So much for free speech....
      If revenge is what her accuser was after... she sure got it... millions of times over... I hope she can enjoy her life and any possible money she might win in her lawsuit .. if she wins. Point forward... the lesson learned is to be very careful who you hire... as they have the power of the N-word to ruin your life...

      June 28, 2013 at 2:51 am |
  24. Nomad

    With Southern cooking you get a free side dish of diabetes. Just ask Paula.

    June 27, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  25. Lynda Mack

    I am just a wee bit curious about the so called racial slur that happened over thirty years ago.
    Why is it alright for black people to use the N word,But if a white person uses it,it is a racial slur and every one wants to sue u for discrimination and slander.But it is alright for some not all black people to call the white people honky or cracker.
    And by the way it was just mentioned on the treyvon /Zimmer murder case,
    That Treyvon was talking to some one on the phone and said that there was a creepy white cracker following him.
    The witness claims that is normal talking among them

    June 27, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
  26. Yvon

    The cartoon character Popeye also had a line "I is what I is"....Leave Paula Deen Alone....I am as black as they come....I have spoken with her in her restaurant several times before she was famous, She is a Southern Darling!!!...PAULA can be an Honorary Nigah AND SAY THE WORD IF SHE WANTS....she has done so much financially and socially for Blacks...Just ask Ms. Jelly Roll who taught me how to make hoecakes one day when I was in the Restaurant...Paula is an Ole Southern Gal who can cook up some mean Hoe Cakes HERSELF Too. Most people are more Racist that Paula Deen would ever be, but they keep fueling this fire....they are hypocrites..may they pay for their mean deeds to this lady. PAULA NEEDS TO OPEN UP A CAN OF WHOOP A___ ON SOME ONE FOR LIBEL IF YOU ASK ME.

    June 27, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • whatever

      what???????

      June 27, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Jason

      Yvon!
      Thank you for a HONEST and TRUE opinion! The RACIST are the LIBERAL ABC,CBS & NBC! Had they this much press on BENGHAZI when America was ATTACKED, I would be proud! They chose to cover up for "HILDA_BITCH" Clinton and Muslim OVOMIT who BOTH should be in jail or impeached! "What difference does it make?" You IDIOT witch, FOUR Americans were KILLED! THAT is the difference! OVOMIT can go back to VEGAS and take MOOCHELLE with him! AMERICA, where are your VALUES? Leave the COOK ALONE and demand answers on issues that matter! the USA was ATTACKED, pure and simple! GO FIGURE! Paula has more support than she knows and the p*ssy BRAINLESS sponsors will be the ones who suffer, NOT HER! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

      June 27, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
  27. Same old stuff

    “We’re burned by this,” says writer and image activist Michaela Angela Davis. “Why does she get all the money and fame around the food that our ancestors created and sweated over?”

    Seriously? She gets all the money and fame becaue she worked hard and did something with her talents. I don't believe she is taking credit for inventing the food. She just cooks it very well, people like her food, they like her personality and she obviously put the time and effort into building an empire. Should the ancestors of the people who came up with the 1st pizza complain about Pizza Hut because they sell something that they did not actually invent? Why should they get all that money from something someone else created?

    What a ridiculous statement by this person!

    June 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Ann

      My thoughts exactly. She learned this style of cooking from HER grandmother. That counts too!

      June 27, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
      • Connie

        I'll give you one guess where people on a "plantation" (that Deen is so fond of) learned this style of cooking...

        HINT: Not her grandmother.

        June 27, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • Same old stuff

          So because Paula Deen and no one in her family originated this style of cooking, she should not make money, gain fame and credit for her talents as a chef? Maybe the ancestors of the inventors of this style of cooking need to be writing cookbooks and trying to get famous so that they can also be sucessful.

          June 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
      • Joe

        And where did her grandmother get it from? And where did her moth get it from? And who planted, tended to, harvested and cooked all that food that Paula's family enjoyed? And who was whipped when they spoke up and said they were tired?

        The author is asking for blacks to be recognized for their contributions to Southern culture, which is a whole lot less white than most of you think it is.

        June 27, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • Same old stuff

          Well if everything must be categorized by race, then feel free to continue to complain about the fact that no one bothered to tell me that African Americans invented Southern Cooking! The funny thing is, I never associated souther cooking with any once race. The times I have been down there, I have enjoyed amazing food cooked by both white people and African Americans. I always just credited people of the south for coming up with the food they cook down there.

          If peope want African American's to get credited for it, maybe they should write their own cookbooks and promote it as such. We are a society of complainers...it is really sad

          June 27, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • ethellovestalking

          Who did all that? My frickin' WHITE grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great grandparents... in the mountain areas of the South, slaves virtually unheard of. Each family did their own work. There were no slaves, no indentured servants, to do it.

          I bake mouthwatering biscuits and cook the hell out of some chicken. Know why? My mom taught me, and her mom taught her, and her mother taught her. Wanna know how I know to cook green beans the Southern way? Because my husband's WHITE grandmother taught me.

          EVERYONE IN THE SOUTH DID NOT OWN SLAVES, PEOPLE! ACCEPT THAT FACT AND DEAL WITH IT! MOVE ON!

          June 27, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • Gabbi

          then the author needs to write a compelling paper on the history of southern cooking and the gifts slavery handed down to America. I'm sure it would be a wonderful book, but that's not Paula's job. Her job is doing what she has always done, and she's done it well. Don't punish Paula just because she hasn't written the kind of paper/book you want to read about slavery and its contribution and I being of Italian decent won't be angry that there's not a book dedicated solely about the contribution Italy made to our cooking in America.

          June 28, 2013 at 1:39 am |
    • Brain

      I agree, a ridiculous statement. Typical of the something for nothing persuasion.

      June 27, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • mary

      Wow is all this fuss a classic case of jealousy after all. All the condemnation of Paula Deen a lot of very jealous people ? It sounds like it in this article.

      June 27, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Eyeboy

      My thoughts, exactly. Anyone can write a cookbook if they like. Many of their recipes will draw on inspiration from foods around them...original and unoriginal. Ms. Deen makes money off of her celebrity status. If you, too become a cooking celebrity, you can also make money selling cookbooks.

      Do I like Ms. Deen? No, and I don't like her style of cooking, either. That shouldn't keep her from making money in her own field, though...

      June 27, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • Meg

        Glad to see others who feel the same. Paula didn't invent fried chicken, gumbo or any of the original recipes and never claimed to be the "maker", she just makes the recipes she knows and that have been handed down to her.. I love to bake cook and try foods from all over the world even my "ancestor" recipes are remade by chefs..never hear them mention the background of where and how the recipe came about originally, sure doesn't bother me. I'm just glad to see new recipes and try them out and Paula worked very hard to be where she is. People are just being extremely jealous and kicking a poor kind older women while she's down. Guess our media will never be satisfied till they completely ruin peoples lives.

        June 27, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • bubba redneck

      next do we go after bobby flay for making money off the mexicans for his tex-mex style??

      June 27, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Justice in Suwanee

      I remember when my sister and brother-in-law moved to Cambridge from Macon so he could go to law school there. She kept trying to find "Southern" food in the stores to cook (grits, etc.), and finally realized that the Soul Food stores in the Boston area carried what my sister had always known as "Southern" food. Logically, I'm sure "Southern" food evolved from a combination of recipes and cooking passed down through both races and is not exclusive to one race or the other. Frankly, I don't care whether you think Southern food originated with slaves or whites - I just know it is good and CAN BE modified and be enjoyed along healthier lines. But it's like every other cuisine - best done in moderation.

      June 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  28. Dwight

    C'mon people she is a person from the South that specializes in Southern foods. Does she have to state that this dish was inspired by black culture? Not any more than she has to credit the French, or any other group or ethinicity.
    I am white and grew up on brisket, collard greens, crowder peas and Jalepano corn bread. I am not going to apologize for what I grew up with and what I eat, simply because I live in the South Texas.
    She cooks food.
    Did she say some things? Yes. Who doesn't at one time in their life. Poeple are out to make here an example of what not to do and have forgotten all that she has done for bringing Southern food to the forefront. The people that want to nail her hide to the wall are probably more racist than she is, but won't admit it.

    June 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • KY Girl

      Amen! Well said and so true.

      June 27, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
  29. Ryan

    First, let me start by saying that I give Paula Deen my full support. I think it is beyond disgraceful what is being done to her. Everywhere I look, I see that the public opinion polls show people are divided on how they feel about Deen. The half that does not support her, with no regards to race, or color really need to ask themselves why? I am not a perfect person, I come from a place where racial tensions have run high in the past. Although I have many African American friends which I would give my very life for, I have found myself with the "N" word at the tip of my tongue in the past. The fact of the matter is, whether it is the 'N" word or not, I will guarantee those out there who want to chastise, and destroy Mrs. Deen, whether they have used the "N" word or not, that they have felt anger towards another culture or race, and whether they have said it out loud, or thought about saying it does not make a difference, we are all guilty of prejudice of one form or another against our fellow man. I am a white man, and I cannot tell you how many times that I have been called a "Cracker" among other names by others. What is the difference? There is NO difference, it was said out of ignorance, anger, and insensitivity. As long as we have people out there such as the "PHONY REVERENDS" like Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson to name just a couple, and the groups they are associated with, such as the NAACP, who are nothing more than bigots "wolves who come clothed as sheep" whose whole purpose is to inflame tensions between the races, because lets be honest, if there was no tension they would have no purpose and therefore be unemployed. I can't tell you how many times I have heard many of these leaders use racially charged, and racially insensitive comments on live tv, heck go to youtube and watch a few videos. They throw the word "Cracker" around all the time, and we all know that Cracker is the African American's equivalent of the famous "N" word. But I don't see the media chastising them for their ignorance, hatred, and lets call it what it is: RACISM! No they are given a free pass, and they continuously play the race card whenever they are scrutinized. Let me tell you all something, this might sting a bit, but since I am a straight shooter, and do not like to mince words, I will put it this out there: Years ago, down south a group of stupid, hateful, ignorant, racist white men thought it would be a good idea to form a brutal, violent, nauseating group known as the KKK, whose sole purpose was to preach racism, inequality, and physical violence against their fellow brothers and sisters based on the color of one's skin. The modern day NAACP is very similar to this group with the exception of how they go about their business, they don't lynch you in the physical sense, they do it through character assassination, with the help of the modern day media, and all of this is considered totally legal. Wake up America, and I am saying this to all the races who call America their home. We have become a nation of tight ended politically correct crybabies, who have the mentality it is ok as long as you don't get caught. Just admit that you all have felt prejudice or hatred towards your fellow man at one point in your life, repent, and ask for forgiveness, learn from it and move on. Oh, and just remember that what goes around always comes around, tomorrow it may be your turn on the hot seat, so be careful in how you judge others, because your judgment will come soon enough........

    June 27, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  30. Lizabeth

    A few decades down the road if this nation survives – people are going to think we were crazy. The fact that a 6 letter word could only be used by one race and if the other race uses it – they can lose their jobs and livelyhood. So sad. Isn't that a little like descrimination?

    June 27, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Jason

      I AGREE! THE RACISTS ARE ABC,CBS AND NBC! IF THEY HAD PUT HALF THIS MUCH PRESS ON BENGHAZI, WE WOULD NOT BE DEALING WITH THE PRESENT COVER-UP AND "HILDA-BITCH" CLINTON AND OVOMIT WOULD BE IN JAIL OR IMPEACHED! AMERICA WAS ATTACKED BY TERRORIST AND THEY CHOSE TO VACATION IN VEGAS OR CRY OUT, " WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?" YOU IDIOT, 4 AMERICANS WERE KILLED! THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE! COME ON PEOPLE! WHERE ARE OUR PRIORITIES? LEAVE THE COOK ALONE AND GET ON WITH REAL ISSUES!

      June 27, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  31. BJ in Indiana

    Isn"t there anything else for people to do than find fault with something said along time ago.The ones that complaining t are no saints themselves. . Go pick on someone else that REALLY did something to complain about.

    June 27, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  32. Rob

    Neither Paula Deen nor the southern African American community owns southern cooking, which is – as this article indicates – an amalgam of a wide variety of influences. I grew up in the south, and my mother made very tasty and – for the most part – healthy meals for our family. Yes, we occasionally had biscuits and gravy, but that breakfast combo is hardly limited to the south. Fried foods were special occasion items, as were cobblers and other sweets. The assumption that everything labeled "southern" cooking is fat- and calorie-laden does a disservice to home cooks, regardless of color, who worked hard to make good food for their families. And please, there are a host of regional fares from other parts of the country that are as calorie-laden and full of fat. How about the upper midwestern habit of creaming every vegetable until you can't tell what you're eating? Or piling pastrami on sandwiches so thickly that one can't fit your mouth around it? Or fettucinis full of cheese and cream? Nail Deen for her bigotry, but let's quit talking about southern food as if only one ethnic group owns it or only one region of the country overindulges.

    June 27, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  33. k

    Not a Paula fan, but what they are doing to her is an outrage, and her sponsors are a bunch of spineless p*ssys.

    June 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Yvon

      K you are right....I have already deleted Food Network from my record list.

      June 27, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  34. Bill

    I would just like to point out that the Michael Twitty the culinary historian may want to go back to school. While African-Americans may have cooked barbecue. It did not originate with African-Americans as he suggests in the article. I guess he is no better than Paula Deen when it comes to taking credit for others contributions to culinary history.

    From Wikipedia:
    Barbacoa is a form of cooking meat that originated in the Caribbean with the Taíno people, from which the term “barbecue” derives.

    June 27, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      Pretty sure that cavemen came up with it.

      June 27, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  35. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    Let me get this straight. African-Americans want to be credited for fried chicken and watermelon now? So is it still "racist" if I make fried chicken and watermelon jokes?

    June 27, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Lizabeth

      As long as one race sits quietly by while another race is allowed to sing, speak, write a 6 letter word and yet if they even speak it against someone who has held a gun to their head – that is not acceptable. Wake up other race stand up and be counted. Enough of this politically correct garbage.

      June 27, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
      • Yvon

        I'll bet you are a bigger REDNECK than most. YOU HYPOCRITE

        June 27, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  36. Shirley Chisholm

    To insinuate that Paula Deen is the Poster Woman for Southern Food is to insinuate that John Coltrane is the Poster Man for Jazz or Toni Morrison the Poster Woman for American Literature. We should be careful of making sweeping accusations about people in this country because the fact remains we are a porous society built on the mass amalgamation of cultures. Blacks have just as much claim to southern food as whites, Native Americans, Latinos, etc., but it is an outrageous demand to expect anyone who participates in an American tradition such as southern food to acknowledge all the cultures that contributed to it. I realize this article stems around the melee from Deen's recent admitted insensitive words, and as a fellow southerner, I would hope she can and will learn from this experience. However, to ridicule her for not living up to the standards this article presents is culturally unsound and imprudent. It creates divisiveness rather than unity, which is what food, especially southern food, is meant to do.

    June 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
  37. Yvon

    The cartoon character Popeye also had a line "I is what I is"....Leave Paula Deen Alone....I am as black as they come....I have spoken with her in her restaurant several times before she was famous, She is a Southern Darling!!!...PAULA can be an Honorary Nigah AND SAY THE WORD IF SHE WANTS....she has done so much financially and socially for Blacks...Just ask Ms. Jelly Roll who taught me how to make hoecakes one day I was in the Restaurant...Paula is an Ole Southern Gal who can cook up some mean Hoe Cakes HERSELF Too. Most people more Racist that Paula Deen but they keep fueling this fire....they are hypocrites. PAULA NEEDS TO OPEN UP A CAN OF WHOOP A___ ON SOME ONE FOR LIBEL /CHARACTER DEFAMATION IF YOU ASK ME.

    June 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • linda

      I am just sick of what has happen to Paula. Everyone of her sponsors have had a knee jerk reaction to this and it is only to save there behinds. For african americans/blacks to start ranting about their ancestors made this southern cooking and were not getting credit for it in paulas show or cook books is way out of bounds. You would think they(aa/blacks) are the only ones that lived in the south and did cooking..really!!! get a grip and stop bring up things that are so unrelated to the points of this whole matter is disgraceful and childish. There are always people who will jump in and try an make it all about themself or their race just to prove how mistreated they were....get over it of course equality is still not there but to bring it into this discussion is absurd. Some of these sponsors will be sorry they had the knee jerk reaction. No one has the real story but are defaming and ridiculing Paul.

      June 27, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • RFD

      Just as an aside, Popeye's line was "I yam what I yam." And I don't care if Paula Deen is racist or not. Plenty of people are, and, while I am very much against bigotry (having been subjected to it myself), that's their business.

      What upsets me about Deen goes back to the fact that she was endorsing and encouraging her recipes that were full of ingredients diabetics shouldn't eat while she herself had diabetes and was keeping keeping it secret. Sure, everyone is entitled to the right of privacy about their illnesses, but Deen is a public figure and makes a great deal of money off her celebrity status; therefore, her use of the unhealthful ingredients in her published and promoted recipes while she was, no doubt, NOT eating the same thing because of her diabetes (she'd have been a very sick lady if she had been eating that stuff), smacks of nothing less than deceit.

      She didn't care about what happened to her fans as they cooked the stuff she endorsed because, if she did, she wouldn't have kept the secret or she would have made an effort to use ingredients that were more healthful.

      On top of that, once she did come out about her diabetes, she then struck a huge money-making deal with a pharmaceutical company to endorse their diabetes drug.

      In all of it, profit was her objective and deceit was used to make those profits.

      June 27, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • 99.94% Sane

      Popeye said "I yam what I yam!", not the phrase Paula rehearsed so carefully.

      I knew the Deens when they were peddling food out of the house and they aren't the wonderful people you think. Seeing Paula in a restaurant is NOT the same as seeing her in a non-"for show" setting. Yes, she's going to be nice in the restaurant because she wants your money, Yvon.

      Just because Ms. Jelly Roll showed you how to make hoecakes one day doesn't mean Paula did squat for her (or anyone else) "financially and socially". It means that she once had good cooks. Most of the ones who made the food in the back are no longer with her. And the ones that are talking are NOT singer her praises!

      Here's a hint–most Savannahians only venture into her restaurants because they get dragged in by family/friends from out of town who want to try it. She lost me when she went boxed/canned and got cheap with the portions. I also am not a big fan of salt.

      June 27, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  38. Kiki

    Oh get a grip America! Surely there are more pressing matters that deserve much needed and immediate attention! This story is over! To err is human, forgive divine so put your money where your mouth is!

    June 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Jason

      Kiki:
      You got it right! Had the liberal press: NBC

      June 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  39. ebel

    she doesn’t hawk the food and say “Hey y’all, I invented fried chicken!!” She makes friend chicken her way with her ingredients. Cooking is so subjective. You can’t hate a random artist because you were the first person to paint a tree and their painting of a different tree is famous.

    June 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  40. Carol

    If everyone told the truth they would have to admit they have said things they are sorry for. I am close to her age and when I was a kid everyone said the n word. I didn't know it was wrong till my mom told me it was. Now if she was treating her staff bad that is a different thing. I saw one of her workers or friends on her show and she was an african american and they were great together. If these recipes and how to cook them are all stolen from African Americans, then let them have a show. It's her not the recipes. Paula, just relax and soon everyone will get over this. I don't know the story but it sounds like someone is trying to make money off of her. Get over it, just think if you would have only frauded the irs everything would just blow over eventually. These companies are hipocrits, just let someone else sell your products and get on with your life.

    June 27, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Swinger

      I have one word to describe Paula – PHONY

      June 27, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
  41. Rich

    The Food Network and all the other companies that are leaving her should be ashamed. As if none of them have ever made a mistake. I don't think I'll be watching The Food Network anymore... and I already stopped shopping at Wal-Mart a couple years ago for various reasons.

    June 27, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  42. jo may

    There aren't enough jails, prisons to house all the people using the "N" word. Give me a break. If blacks don't like to hear it, don't say it. Hypocrites.

    June 27, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • sga

      Its not hypocrytic. Blacks dont like it when whites say it. Whites that say it are considered racist.
      You can say it if you want.... but you'l be considered a racist.. Rightly so.
      Comments like that show your true colors.
      OMg the in justices you've endured.... its just not fair... why can they say the N word but I cant. Boo Hoo.
      Only your kind feel sorry for you man. good luck!

      June 27, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
      • Krisjay

        I'm a bit younger southerner so I have never used the "N" word, but I was taught from a very young age why not to use that word. I don't thing blacks should use it either. This is a country of many wonderful cultures and people. I adore all the cultural contributions that make this country so interesting. However some people are new to this country and do not understand the background of that word. Some of these people are learning our language and more particularly our slang from coworkers, customers in stores, mass media and/or just overhearing it. Where I now live on the west coast and I have had to talk to several newly immigrated friends who happened to drop that word and explain why they can't use the "N" word, which is difficult to do since I don't actually say the "N" word while trying to explain it to them. What if one of those immigrant friends had tried out their new phrase "What up "N"?" (yes I told them to use "dawg" instead) on someone black?

        June 27, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
  43. Dave

    I have to laugh when I hear Walmart taking a moral stance on human rights issues. I can hear their management now...."how dare you treat our n.....s like that..", when Walmart has a corporate policy of keeping minorities down with part time work and no benefits.

    June 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  44. jo may

    Blacks will whine about everything, because they think they are entitled. People cook and eat to taste...shut up.

    June 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • sga

      Why don t you just say it so you can be true to yourself.
      I cant emphasize enough its s free country you can say the n word as much as you want to. but when you do youre exposed as a racist.
      Thanks for the opportunity . Its funny communicationg with your type.

      Its a free country . youre allowed to be racist . I wish your type would stop being cowards and admit it. Go ahead say it loud and proud NIG..R

      June 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
      • :| Not amused.

        Your only exposed to be something that your truly are.

        June 30, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • Beth

      This comment by Jo May is so offensive (I am White). It is this sort of mentality that keeps racism going. Please open your mind and accept that God created all of us in a beautiful array of colors.

      June 27, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  45. Pam

    I think this is awful what the Food Network has done to Paula Deen. Paula is the reason why I became interested in watching Food Network. I have always enjoyed her show and all of her receipts, just today printing some out before you take them off at the end of the month. I think you are making a huge mistake. Just like other people have said,everybody says things they wish they could take back, at least she told the truth. SHE HAS DONE NOTHING TO DESERVE ALL OF THIS.

    June 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  46. Books Will Save The Planet

    You mean to tell me they haven't lynched her yet.
    OOPS! my bad I completely forgot about the whole sensitivity to the noose emotion. That was close I'm glad to apologize, after all with my wet tissue backbone someone might call me a insensitive white honky or cracker, and that might hurt me real bad, real bad.

    June 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  47. lizzybah

    So what .... listen to black culture and they seem to promote their own stereotypes.

    June 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • :| Not amused.

      So because I'm multiracial and a bit more posh and wealthy than my colleges who are all white does that mean I can call them all of them white trash?

      June 30, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Tay

      And I guess being a "red neck" is white culture correct? You ignorant fool. You know nothing of Afro American culture. Don't associate a stereotype as my culture you ass.

      August 10, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
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