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

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. King

    So if "southern cooking" was brought by the slaves from Africa,then why shouldn't she give the credit to Africans who originated it but rather current African-Americans who did not contribute to its origination? Slavery happened,yes,it was a very sad part of history,its been so long ago so these African-Americans should get over it and live their lives. What about Africans whose ancestors(people's fathers,uncles etc) were taken from them brutally and changed their life. Should they also go about complaining about what slavery has done to them and be looking for compensation? Yes I am black,and an African. I have lived, studied and traveled to different parts of the world(europe,south america and asia).Yes racism definitely is there,whites being racist against blacks and blacks being racist against whites.I have never being to a country where race issues are so polarized like america. I believe is due to the fact that everybody wants to be politically correct. Like Morgan Freeman said,if you want to stop racism,then stop talking about it. Brazil has one of the highest number of blacks and mixed populations,but how many times do ppl hear race issues coming from there? I believe these some African-Americans should just live their lives and work hard to achieve real goals and not always be looking for avenues to use race to their advantage instead of merit.
    There are so many black Africans who are professors in top universities, top doctors, top engineers, scientist, philosophers etc all in America. So if they came from Africa to make it happen here, why can't some of our African American brothers do the same. USA is a great country with great opportunities and is always so sad when you come here and go the "hoods", "projects" and see how some African americans are wasting their life away.
    It is also very annoying when you come to america or travel and people stereotype you and expect you to behave "black" because of all they have seen on TV due to hip hop culture and all. African Americans should do better to cleanse that image.
    Whenever I talk to these same african americans who are complaining about being brought to America as slaves,and ask them if they will like to go to Africa,I mostly get no as an answer,that Africa is poor with disease and all that.So what then do you want?

    These African americans are americans more than they can ever be africans so they should live as if america is also theirs and take advantages of all the opportunities this country offers everybody and stop marginalizing themselves and corrupting their minds.

    June 27, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • DOT


      June 27, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • Rob

      Great comment. Amazing how the culture of entitlement always rears its ugly head.

      June 27, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • SMH...Read a Book

      How often do you hear people tell Jews to get over the Holocaust? NEVER! Jews should always remember their struggle and those who supported them through that struggle as well and African Americans should do the same. I can assure you, if white Americans were not historically considered the aggressors during the periods of slavery or Jim Crow you would not have A WORD to say about them speaking about their history. The only reason you hear so many white people using the "GET OVER IT" attitude, is because like always whites do not want to talk about the history of this nation as it pertains to Slavery and Jim Crow and the GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM that existed in this nation. So often you see white American's get defensive and begin to strike the guilt chord of "Reverse Racism", "Your a racist for calling me a racist". Not understanding that racism is not simply name calling; it is when your GOVERNMENT implements laws that restricts your right to equal education, economic well being and your pursuit to happiness as promised in our constitution. Although, Jim Crow does not exist today the ramifications of Jim Crow still linger in the black community today. Why is that white Americans feel that they have the right to tell black Americans when they should get over their struggle?

      June 27, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
      • James

        How often do Jews bring up the Holocaust? How often do the Jews blame the Holocaust for every wrong in their life? This is because most Jews have gotten over (but not forgotten) the Holocaust and moved on with their lives and are some of the most successful people in the world. There is not a Black person alive today that has even seen a real life American slave but it gets brought up every time someone looks at a person with sagging pants funny. See the difference???

        June 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • vinny foreman

      very well put.amen

      June 27, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • Brian

      Well said. I myself do not agree with the term 'Racism' as we are all part of the human race. Ethnic prejudice would be a better term. Our roots can all be traced back to when humans migrated out of South Africa. Slavery is and will always be one of the foulest institutions that man made. Let us also not forget that long before Europeans delved into the slave trade that Africans had been enslaving each other. However, it was the European Slave Trade that brought it to a disgusting mass market.

      June 27, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • RC

      Absolute best post yet!

      June 29, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
  2. Freedomsdmocracy1st

    Mmm, well, it is true true that black people's creations on time of slaves, as of now, are been use without given the credit to them... this is proof that recial abuses still persist.

    June 27, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • vicjsm

      When you order at your favorate italian place do you see credit given to the italians? No, that would be just plain stu pid.

      June 27, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  3. thinkergal

    I will be so glad to see her fade into oblivion. For too long she has perpetuated one of the worst stereotypes of the Southern woman, and done so for fame and personal gain. I don't know or care if she is racist; she has long been an annoyance on an otherwise pretty cool network (the Food Channel). That said, I am exactly her age and grew up in the South, so dollars to donuts (get it?) says she has used the n word more than a few times in her life. We all did, until we became educated and enlightened about equality of the races and sensitive to the feelings of others.

    June 27, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • nobody forces you to watch

      paulas cooking shows. she is obviously a genius working her way to the top. and it is ridiculous that some opportunists are trying to get for "racial suffering" what she have earned. by thw way, what you got to show for?

      June 27, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
  4. M.E.

    There's such a thing as "fried chicken to knock your wig off?" I've always found it to be unappetizing and way too greasy every time I've had it.

    I'm kind of against the whole ethnocentric food deal anyway. If it's good, anyone will eat most anything. I'm Scottish, Swedish, and Danish and I don't get all protective over haggis and meatballs. If anything, I primarily cook Mediterranean fare. I grew up eating every cultures food under the sun, I'm just as comfy in an asian market or a carneceria as I am in the local King Soopers. Food is one of the best ways for cultures to come together, it should never, ever be a case of "you don't look like me so you can't eat my food." Just say, "oh yeah, it's so-and-so's aunts recipe" and give credit where it's due when asked. Is Paula Deen racist, of coooourse she is! But that doesn't mean she has to bow down and be worshipful every time she makes a dish, a quick and accurate one minute history lesson on the dish can do the trick no problem.

    June 27, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  5. J Robinson

    After moving to the South some 16 years ago, I've been surprised to discover that Southern white women either cannot cook at all, or prefer to eat out in restaurants every night, despite having beautiful kitchens that they never use. And, in the restaurants, all the tasty food is prepared by young Black, Hispanic, Asian or Caucasian men with lots of tattoos.

    June 27, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • 4 truth and justice

      That is so true. And Cracker Barrel is their favorite place. Older southerners anyway. Younger ones prefer Olive Garden.

      June 27, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
  6. Me Not You

    Sorry, but Southern food is GARBAGE. That's why Jamie Oliver had to go down to West Virginia to introduce actual food into the school system to save everybody from diabetes. There's a reason the Southern states are the unhealthiest and the Western states are the most fit.

    June 27, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  7. St Strawman

    Pale skinned people act as if brown skinned people didn't never eat food until they were brought into slavery, as if brown skinned people lived in a void of nothingness. see Paula Deen is getting visits from ever soul food cook tied to soul food...just as american's is getting visits from ever victim of there lie's. no one can escape KARMA.

    June 27, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  8. C. Delaney

    So what - now we have black food and white food? This entire Paula Deen thing has become a fiasco that is being used to divide the races even more. I don't think Paula Deen ever claimed that all of her food had some kind of Aryan source. I'm no fan of Paula's - but I do know Southern cooking, having grown up in the deep South. It is drawn from a wide variety of cultures that settled here - from African American to the Irish. I don't approve of what she said, nor do I ever use that kind of language myself - but my family came over from Ireland - and as far as I know, we haven't tried to topple anyone's career for calling us Micks. First, it was the diabetes thing - now it's that she admitted to using the N word under duress when she was robbed at a bank and someone took the trouble to dig that up and clobber the woman with it at this late date. It truly sounds like someone has been gunning for Paula Deen for quite awhile. I don't think anyone should be persecuted and that's what this is beginning to look like. All the conflagration has me defending someone I don't even like just because she's being treated so badly..

    June 27, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Emca

      Could not agree more.

      June 27, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
  9. techie

    I can understand some of the argument in the article, but the long list including everything from red rice to barbecue is simply absurd. These supposed 'scholars' know good and well that African Americans did not come up with these recipes in a vacuum, and it's ridiculous to think otherwise. They likely had some ideas, based on what was "in" at various times, from those slave owners to their own relatives and friends. Later generations probably took in even more influences.

    As for Paula Deen: Just who, exactly, was she supposed to credit? Can you place a single name by each recipe? Or, does it just have to be some race of people?

    June 27, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • St Strawman

      Who do we credit for Pizza, the same could be said for Fried chicken. why are you being a foolish person. why are you promoting stealing other people property...why don't you take credit for monsanto, your race of people created it...take the credit for destroying the soil so nothing natural will grow.

      June 27, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
      • luvandasmile

        Call it a day, Strawman – really. You are doing NOTHING for blacks here.

        June 27, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
      • Sarcasm

        Didnt blacks invent pizza too?

        June 27, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
  10. St Strawman

    It's the typical thief who believe's it's ok to steal something from someone else. they stole this land, they stole soul food...American's are a gang of thief's...just read the comment's....only a thief will say it's ok to steal someone else creation. that is why PALE SKINNED PEOPLE is never to be trusted. they have no honor nor respect for anyone on this planet. they steal everything they can......i pray the dollar collapse....i pray america fall into an endless abyss....I pray everyone with pale skin perish.

    June 27, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Ally

      I suggest that the next time you troll you post something that isn't completely over the top ridiculous. You'll get more comments that way.

      June 27, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • luvandasmile

      Wow...I am embarrassed FOR YOU "St Strawman"! Posts like this are the very thing that perpetuate racism.

      June 27, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • susie

      Ok my daddy is from the back hills of west Virginia, no slaves, we were raised on red beans and rice, fried chicken, beans with ham hocks as well as greens. My mama from California but her family from mass. and ohio. The recipes from both sides of my family are a mix of all the cultures we have in us as well as the regions they are from. I am an AMERICAN with many different cultures which is what makes me able to sound off on this. I think that it is crazy for people to say that some one should give credit to only one race, unless it is a proven fact that that race is the only race to create it Whether it be fried chicken whom my mother in law makes to perfection and she is not White, not African-American, she is from an Island in the middle of the Pacific. So to say that she learned down home southern cooking from a certain race is Absurd she learned to cook island style and that is neither a black or white thing. It just upsets me to no end to think that so many people claim to be the only race to have started something and that WHITE folks stole everything. I am white of color but have so much more in me as do so many other AMERICANS! I am Scottish, Irish, AM. Indian, French Canadian, English, German, Jewish
      I know and much more. (Still tracking family history) So with that being said I think so many people just need to stop being so holier than thou and trust that everyone makes mistakes, forgive, move on, there are far more important things in the world to always taking steps backwards. Lets agree her words were hurtful and get past it. No need to tear her down even more by claiming all her recipes are one races and they need that credit.

      June 27, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • strawman and horlex

      people like you do more harm for nice black people and to their reputation than any of the pale skinned ones could ever do:) and horlex demand not damand:) have few years in elementary school gone missing? I hope Paula comes out of this crappy situation. And I couldn't agree more with commentators who say that if blacks themselves can use "n" word and white can not, that this is hypocritical.

      June 27, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • DOT


      June 27, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
  11. malsings07

    I like Paula Deen I'm not saying that what she said was cool, but in all honesty most of us have made racial comments about other people usually with friends or family it's just that she is a celebrity chef and what she says is scutinized.Then on the other hand that was more accepted in the South every body is not from the South...so Paula girl just grill up a rack of ribs smothered with bbq sauce tater salad and baked beans and call it a day.

    June 27, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
  12. St Strawman

    Imagine brown skinned people laying claim to pasta's. now Imagine Paula Deen Laying claim to soul food.

    June 27, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Sarcasm

      Umm..nobody laid claim. She has a cooking show, and Southern cooking is an amalgam of many different culture and influences. Settle down.

      June 27, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
      • 4 truth and justice

        You are exactly right. Whose claiming to have come up with bacon or fried fish or fried chicken.

        June 27, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
        • 4 truth and justice

          Whites ate hoecakes too. Still do. Gumbo did not come from Africa. It was Cajun. Seriously, are we suggesting laws that no one can create a recipe book anymore unless all the ingredients are original and you can prove they came historically from your ethnic group. White Southerners ate 'possum, too. And sweet potatoes. Southerners ate what grew best in the south. Turnip greens. Peas and cornbread. Salted pork. Are we saying if you publish an African American cookbook you have to prove the recipes came from Africa.

          June 27, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • thomas

      Your logic is completely flawed; in what world does a single race lay claim to a genre of food and everyone has to give credit to them. If you are using that logic, every african american that drinks grape soda needs to say thank you the the pale face people.

      June 27, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
  13. Andrea Widdison

    Oh, for Pete's sake, whine, whine, WHINE!!! If people think there should be more attention paid to black southern cooking, let them get out there and publish their own cookbooks and get their own TV cooking shows! Plenty of other cuisines have their own TV following, and they didn't get it by throwing a tantrum that somebody ELSE didn't promote it for them! We have Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Scandinavian, barbecue, the list goes on and on. Instead of complaining that Paula Deen doesn't give enough credit to the influence of African-American cuisine, DO something to promote it yourselves!

    June 27, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Marianne Hudson


      June 27, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
  14. Mari H

    I don't know why y'all keep referring to Paula's troubles to the use of "a racial slur." According to court documents, it's "repeated" use. If you're going to report on a story, stop soft-pedaling, or stop reporting on it. Looks like you're playing nicey with Paula to get that "exclusive" interview.

    June 27, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Betty Pringle

      When I was growing up in the 40's I being of Italian descent i was called a wop. a dago, and a guini. Then there were the dumb Polish jokes that those people had to live with that stigma even to this day. No complaints from them were ever made mention of. What society is doing to Paula is disgraceful. What organization would be all over this story if society and social media and TV hosts never mentioned what she said?.

      June 27, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  15. Whystopthere

    I guess this will be the next place "certain people" think they deserve back repairations/Pay.

    June 27, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
  16. William

    May I have a job writing garbage for CNN to promote via social media as well? Maybe I will pay for a cable television subscription with the pay check so that I can find out who the other celebrity chefs are victimizing.

    June 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Bamafan


      June 27, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
  17. lovelyreata

    "Critics say credit is past due." Big clue on how this article will turn out. The word critic (one of the meanings) is one given to harsh or captious judgment. I would like to know if any of these "Critics" have ever used the "N" word. If so, then they should not be allowed to speak on the subject. Besides who cares what critics think anyway? Critics criticize everything and everybody.

    We could easily replace Paula Deen's name with anyone who enjoys success in their field or who may currently be in the spotlight. IF Paula committed such a terrible crime, then the foodnetwork, target and others should immediately STOP selling products associated with Paula Deen. I've checked out the websites and they still have products and recipes associated with Paula. Guess it's easier to SAY we will no longer do business with you instead of DOING something about it. IF you are going to do something, then do something corporations!

    Maybe the sweatshops in Africa, Bangladesh, China, and Sudan should use an offensive word to stop companies from doing business with them. Yes, I can see where saying an offensive word is more evil than working people as slaves, NOT. Wow, who knew that an offensive word could stop large corporations from working with individuals. Activist groups may need to take a new approach in doing battle against injustice. What can stop corporations in their tracks? Say an offensive word and call a critic.

    June 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  18. Nanabella

    Oh, and you are wrong about the Africans bringing chili peppers here. It was the Spanish when they came to colonize.

    June 27, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  19. Ally

    I do understand the concern people have about the recent lawsuit information that's come out about Paula, but I really think this article is skewing the whole thing way out of proportion.

    Paula grew up in the South. Before she started her business she was dirt poor for a while. While I understand that some of "southern cooking" was based off of recipes brought here by slaves, it had become homogenized into "southern cooking" by the time Paula was learning how to cook from her grandmother. It's not a white vs black cuisine. It's Southern...I'd venture a greater case may be made that it's a poor vs rich cuisine.

    To say she's in the wrong for not crediting the black contributions in today's version of southern cuisine seems ridiculous.

    June 27, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Shell T

      Perfectly said, completely agree with you!

      June 27, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
  20. Lori H

    "Why does she get all the money and fame around the food that our ancestors created and sweated over?” ... are you kidding me?!? ... because she worked her ass off to EARN all that money and fame, that's why!! Jealous much?? It's no surprise people like this would jump on the witch-hunt bandwagon. DISGUSTING article!!

    June 27, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • St Strawman

      your a complete & utter racist

      June 27, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
      • Lori H

        Couldn't be further from the truth. You must be a complete and utter idiot.

        June 27, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
      • Anaria1532

        Your the utter racist and troll. "My people my people my people....stolen from we were stolen from.....whine whine whine!" GET OVER IT ALREADY! If you are going to claim that she stole from your "people" I claim you stole from mine when you made cornbread and claimed it was your great great great great grandmothers recipe! You can even claim Emeril Lagasse as a thief of Cajun people for making jambalaya or court bouillon. Enough already! Jerks!

        June 27, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
      • vicjsm

        Looking for more free handouts that you didn't earn? Of course.

        June 27, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
        • GEdwards

          First of all, I'm an about-to-be 65-year old African-American. I'm, trying to understand all of this. When I was younger (right out of college), I made a trip to Canada (where they had already embraced the differences of the people). I have been watching CNN news. What is your problem? You seem to be wanting to create news. Everybody (African-American people) know she Paula Deen only knows southern cooking because of the African-American people with whom she has been in contact. Leave Paula Deen alone. She is just a product of her generation. She learned well and was able to capitalize on it (like Colonel Sanders {it's in the seasonings provocative to the southern state}. How many people know that they raised rice in South Carolina just like in China? How many people know that they made the dye "indigo" in South Caroline? They talk about the war between the states–the South had the cloth, dye, etc. The North had the manufactories. What a bunch of white people don't understand (since they weren't in slavery) is that Lincoln wasn't out to free the slaves but to perserve the union.

          June 27, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
  21. Black D

    I don't care that used the N word, I've always assumed that all Southern whites call us the N word. Actually I just assume that all non blacks call us the N word. I could care less about credit being given or not given to a bunch of my slave ancestors for whatever they have done. These days we haven't done much to be proud of . This is America and people just have to accept everyone hates everyone and only cares about themselves, it's the American way and people just need to get over all this feeling hurt crap. Live you life move on, I actually respect her for being honest about saying it. I hear more non blacks call each other the N word than I actually hear blacks calling themselves that lately. This article is stupid. Paula will recover and be, why because we as a county are more interested in getting fat than anything else.

    June 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Sarcasm

      White guy here. I respect her for telling the truth and admitting that she used the word niqqer. Maybe the lesson here is to lie and keep your racism or ignorance supressed. She is a 60-something year-old product of the deep south. She has used the word niqqer. Sorry if I'm not shocked.

      June 27, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • thomas

      It funny that you would say that you say you always assumed all non-blacks use the N word.... I only hear the non-whites say it. You gotta love that irony...

      June 27, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
  22. Nanabella

    No one seems to know their history in America. Read about the wealthy Jews who first went to Africa and brought back Africans to the Netherlands and Portugal. Giving reparations for recipes which are already a mixture of Dutch, Indian, white and who knows what else kind of cooking is just plain nuts. This Angela Davis is nuts.

    June 27, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
  23. Leigh

    This is the dumbest "news" I've seen in a while. SMH.....we ARE talking about recipes here, right? Write a cookbook if you want credit for recipes. LOL! Some people need a new hobby.

    June 27, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  24. len baker

    So they want credit for everything related to black history. Go get your own cooking show and your own cookbooks and your own music record deal and your own tv show. Gimme a break already. I've heard it all now. Geez.

    June 27, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  25. Klondike

    I'm African American and this is ridiculous. I grew up in the South and it's a reason it's called Southern cuisine. It comes from the South.I don't know who wrote this but this is ridiculous. I know white people that grew up poor on farms eating chitlins and hog maws. Should they than African Americans as well?

    June 27, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • Purplerain1582

      I ABSOLUTELY agree!! Southern cuisine is based on a region, not a race!!

      June 27, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • lee

      I agree. Southern cooks used what was available and usually cheap. My grandmother in WV raised chickens so about all we ate was fried chicken. They loved watermelon, potatoes and easy to harvest vegetables. Those are not the foods of a certain race but region as you state.

      June 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Ally

      I agree, Klondike. Although its true that African Americans brought their own recipes here, by the time little Paula Deen was sitting in the kitchen watching her grandmother cook it had melded into Southern cooking. I imagine a better case might be made to say it is poor vs rich cuisine instead of race based.

      June 27, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
  26. Kat

    No offense, African-Americans,

    But the majority of you are stuck in the past. Not everything is about what you or your ancestors did. Just because she used RICE in a recipe, does not mean yours ancestors are being shamed; it's called the modern world. Get over it. My god, I'm tired of a race card being pulled at the time. I bet if an African American chef said the N-word, it'd be fine. It'd also be fine for them to refer to white people as crackers. And you know why? Because they're still milking the "White people back in the 50's-60's who tried to stop us from getting our rights" or even better, the "We fought in the Civil war to be free from slavery, you white people owe us for the next 300 years because blah blah blah". We're in the 21st Century people, stop separating yourselves by skin color as an excuse to get your way. ._. End of rant.

    June 27, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Klondike

      So a handful of people from a specific group say something silly so that means we all live in the past? That's like me pointing out Tsarnaev, Snowden and Timothy McVeigh are white and saying the majority of white people are terrorists and turncoats. It's ridiculous. You are picking out specific examples to justify a view you have probably held for a long time with little evidence to back it up. Not everyone agrees with the foolishness in this article.

      June 27, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Darren

      I couldnt agree more, my self i see poeple as people, your character is who you are not the color of your skin. If everyone could wake up and realize that there are idiots of ever race, color, shape and size, and NOOO one can fix stupid we would all be better off. Its the fact like you said people use the past and it truely screws up our future. The chef who commented on Paula making money off the food their ancestors created, GUESS WHAT dude, none of us grew up with our ancestors, we only grew up with what was in front of us and if thats what she grew up with based on where she lived then its also "her" ancestors and family before her that were cooking that type of food.

      June 27, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Kraig

      Thank you!!

      June 27, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • Stacy B

      I don't think anyone has any claim on Southern food. What I am distressed about is that people keep talking about using the N word. That is the least of the problem. She is promoting racial discrimination and sexual harrassment in her restaurants and this is not okay. Having black people dress up at a wedding like slaves on the plantation. That's a bit much!

      June 27, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Aarti


      June 27, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • JLOkie

      Don't break your arms patting yourselves on the back about being such non racists. I'm under 60 years old and during my lifetime I remember Black people being told they could not eat, sit, drink, or even be in certain areas. They had black schools that they had to go to. IF they were allowed to work in a department store it was only to run the elevator or as a porter, (wearing white linen jackets), doing jobs like cleaning up and helping white people out with their packages. It wasn't until the very late 60's that the federal government stepped in and forced the southern states to accept interracial marriages ,including my own Oklahoma. So please don't try to tell me this is ancient history. Try to actually read history instead of just making it up. I'm white and I know these things. Imagine how you would feel if you had grandparents and parents who lived through these things and told you first hand stories about them!

      June 27, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
  27. Kelly M

    What an absolutely ridiculous 'story'!! Paula Deen is southern...she cooks southern food! This has been blown way out of proportion, as usual. SMH

    June 27, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Brenda

      Yes it's ridiculous!! Paula's aunt taught her to cook , not a slave. Slaves created southern cooking is what this says. I thought country cooking was taught to the slaves. They are calling Country Cooking slave introduced. So they bought country cooking here from Africa?!!!

      June 27, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
  28. nate

    So let me get this straight, blacks are upset because they were not credited in her books and on her shows? You have got to be kidding me. When is the last time a black journalist credited Walter Cronkite for paving the way, when is the last time a black airline pilot credited the Wright Brothers for their contributions, how many black NBA players can name the inventor of basketball, a white guy! This is ridiculous, we are racially divided in this country because blacks try to set themselves apart rather that being part of a community. Why do we need a black miss america? why can;t it just be miss america, why is their a black pastors association. why can't it just be a pastors association. Go try to start a white college fund and see how far you get.

    June 27, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Emmanuel

      @ Nate, you were making sense until you alluded to blacks trying to separate themselves. Have you asked yourself why, if your allegations and assumptions are true? You as I do, know quite well blacks have never been fully integrated into this society ever since it's evolution. Don't take pretense too far to a point where you end up looking like a fool!

      June 27, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
  29. snw730

    Oh come on already! I'm half black and even I think this is ridiculous...Why are we suddenly holding Paula Deen accountable for something other people have done for probably generations on end? We cook every day and unless the recipe was passed down to us, oftentimes don't credit the group that was responsible for it. The only thing I have even heard of Paula Deen being the face of is butter. Fried chicken, fried okra, collard greens...we all know who is responsible for that. I don't hear anybody throwing a fit that Papa John's or Dominos doesn't go "We'd like to take a moment to thank the Italian folks for this delicious recipe." At this point, it's well known who established what. And seriously, we're back to slavery again? Good grief.

    June 27, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Moe

      Fried Chicken – The Scots, and later Scottish immigrants to many southern states had a tradition of deep frying chicken in fat, unlike their English counterparts who baked or boiled chicken. [1] Later, as African slaves were introduced to households as cooks, seasonings and spices were added that are absent in traditional Scottish cuisine – look it up

      June 27, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  30. Frank

    There are always going to be people who hate you no matter what in this world... That said, Its very sad and distressing to watch the media use racism as a weapon to destroy peoples lives. The media has become outright mean, much like our society at large, especially, for anyone who doesn't fit their ideas or conception of a particular repressed demographic group. It often rewards and/or idolizes people who are spiteful, mean and/or morally repugnant in the name of diversity and openness. These people are shallow and blind, because they simply look at the surface of an individual. (sound's familiar huh?) Basically, if you have an appearance of being weak and/or the victim of society, that's all that matters, as the underdog your held up, even sometimes, if your full of hate and bigotry. If however, you simply belong to a majority (ie. being white or a man) or historically suppressive demographic your almost automatically guilty, or at least suspected of being a racists, biased or morally repressive individual, simply by association of your gender/race. This, of itself, is the very definition of racism and suppression. The tables have truly turned in this country.

    June 27, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • iris

      Geez. This article is stupid. Everyone knows that southern cooking has been influenced by black people. But not any of the black people who whined for this article. I didn't think it would be reasonable if modern white and Italian folk all bragged about how they contributed to mac and cheese and fought over it, either.

      June 27, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  31. Sarcasm

    Dear Black People,

    Thank you for inventing food.

    Why is Paula Deen getting rich from a cuisine that evolved PARTLY from you contributions? because she wrote ccokbooks and busted her ass to get on TV. I watched her and never once made one of her recipes. As a man of moderate intelligence it was obvious that something made with sugar, butter, white bread, and crushed potato chips was not healthy for me but she was entertaining nonetheless. I also watched the Neely's. I am offended that the Neely's didnt credit cavemen for cooking over a fire.

    Rasie your hand if you are sick of blacks complaining about EVERYTHING.

    June 27, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • I like it

      I like what you said, It is a shame that black people can drop the 'n' word everywhere, but god forbid a white person says it, then it is offensive

      June 27, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • snw730

      Ok, I was with you until you said the last bit about blacks complaining about everything. I think that's stereotyping a little too much. BUT, seriously, people need to calm down.

      And you know, had Paula Deen credited African Americans, people probably would have complained that SHE was stereotyping too much. Can't win for losing.

      June 27, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • KC

      I wish the blacks would get over their history on slavery and stop punishing the white people. It's over! There are no more slavery. Please move on! Stop punishing us! Slavery is in the past. We cannot undo what has happened. Time to move on! Paula Deen did not choose her words carefully, and like Imus, she will pay the price. It is what it is..

      June 27, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
      • Debi Miller

        Why don't people understand that black people turned the word around and made it a term that was not racist. And that was our way of dealing with the severity of the word...kinda like making lemonade out of lemons. So, therefore when we use the term is not reflective of all the hate when white peolple say it. It truly is a "black thing" amongst our people to say the word...and you (white people) will never understand. When a black person calls another person a N--R....by no shape or form is their usage meant to the degree of a white person...sorry..this may be too much for ya. Just words to enlighten you. PEACE.

        June 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • dtchemist

      thank you, sir, for taking the words out of my mouth so that i could have room in it to sip and, subsequently, spit out my water while reading your comment.

      June 27, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Sarcasm

      Black people are offended that she doesnt credit them with "inventing" fried chicken etc., but if youre whit, and mention the words "black" and "fried chicken" in the same paragraph...well then thats racist as well. smh

      June 27, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Stacy B

      I think we can make the same statement about any other race. Jeez people.

      June 27, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • Brian

      Really everything I think you have it backward buddy, cause from what I'm reading by these comments it's 90% white people complaining about black people. Y'all always trying to absolve your ancestors for over 400 years of mistreatment of every other race that's not black. Right or wrong we can say ninja all we want, ignorant as it may be.

      June 27, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
      • Sarcasm

        Well when do blacks stop being upset about slavery? Im pretty sure you were never enslaved, or your parents, or their parents. Is there an expiration date on the hurt? Or should we just revisit the same issues over and over again. Is the formula 400 years of slavery = 400 years of white guilt? The President is black. We have had a black Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense. Black CEO's, politicians of every office, etc. At what point do we move forward? Or is playing the race card just a convenient way of absolving yourself of any responsibility. You are still 12% of the population with 75% of the chatter. Yawn

        June 27, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
        • shirley4617shirley

          Let's not forget with all this that it was a white man that freed the slaves. Just a little history lesson.
          This whole thing with Paula is nothing but a witch hunt and she is a scapegoat. For what I have no idea but just MHO..

          June 27, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • Emmanuel

      Only those who think along your lines wld raise their hands, Sarcasm. For covert racists like you who never experienced the horrors that blacks people have gone through since the evolution of this country, you'll always find ways of trying to shut them down. Did you say complain? I bet you won't agree to switch places with black people for just half a year, with you being in a position of powerlessness and they in a position of power. How about that, fool?

      June 27, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
      • Sarcasm

        Yes I pity the "powerless" blacks lol. Is this 1953? Didnt think so. Put on your big boy pants.

        June 27, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
  32. JC

    You have GOT to be kidding me. What a ridiculously ignorant article. HOW is this on CNN?!

    June 27, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • heywood

      Ummm, because its not a news channel anymore, its an opinion based magazine channel. Its a lot like e/tmz/extra/entertainment news channel now.

      June 27, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  33. Narfster53

    Paula Deens show is like just about every other show on Food Network. It is entertainment. Our cuisine and our diets are entertainment because we are bombarded from every angle to eat crap that is basically not good for our bodies. Our shelves are filled with weight packing chemicals and ingredients that would make an artery shrivel up and die on anyone. I am not a fan of Paula and I do not entertain myself with food. So I do not watch the channel. A simple choice. Our medical industry loves that we are killing ourselves with all of this nonsense cuisine because they make billions for treating the side effects of our crappy diets. I do feel sorry for her for being singled out and crucified for something that blacks say themselves about themselves. I am sick of blacks acting like everyone and every event in the world is designed to suppress them and hold them down. I would love for the N word to disappear and never be heard again but the blacks themselves will never allow that because they would lose a weapon that allows them to continue to be taken care of by the rest of the world. Get over yourself and move on and live life.

    June 27, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  34. consumerjoe

    EATOCRISY SHAME ON YOU! – for keeping this bigoted attack on Paula Deen going. I noticed no one put their name on this garbage article.

    June 27, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Nope - my name is right there at the bottom. And bigoted...how, exactly?

      June 27, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
  35. consumerjoe

    It's plain to see that Paula Deen doesn't owe anybody anything but an apology and she's already done that. Here's what it looks like to me – she's pretty, she's rich, she's famous, she's talented and she's recently lost weight. Any one of those is enough to make some people jealous. Make no mistake about it, the way she is being crucified in the media is nothing but jealousy. It has nothing to do with race or bigotry. The media should be ashamed for keeping it going and perpetuating this nonsense!!!!

    June 27, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Truth

      Intelligent? Are you kidding me? Did you see the interviews? Paula's success is due to white privilege!

      June 27, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
      • Sassy

        I am amazed at the comments – especially the one that says Paula Deen's success is due to white privilege. That is a global stereotype and clearly racist and divisive. That's the us vs them mentality that is hurting us all. Blacks vs white; gay vs straigth; republican vs democrat; really – our issues can be boiled down to one reason? how naive. BTW who is killing the young African American youth in our inner cities? Paula Deen is the cause, right? All of our family systems are on the decline and it is up to each and all of us to make a positive impact on every youth we come into contact with to
        begin the healing and to make a difference going forward. I am honestly sick of the oversimplification of every problem and the scapegoating of single entities like the Paula Deen brand, (we only know the BRAND not the woman unless we have a truly up close and personal relationship with her) . It is much easier to judge and polarize than to thoughtfully come together and begin the hard work of rolling up our sleeves and taking action to bring about real, meaningful change rather than just talking. Ps: our media loves this crap and only about a 1/3 of what the media send out is truth. The rest is drama, spin, & smoke & mirrors. When we stop buying into this BS that will also be a positive turn for us as a society.

        June 28, 2013 at 7:29 am |
  36. Sandra

    This is stupid...Paula wasn't in my kitchen growing up, my mom was. She taught me the proper way to throw down in the kitchen. She taught me the recipes that have been handed down for generations, it is she that I look to for help when I just can't get my black eye peas to do right. I have nothing against Paula, I thinks she's kinda kick ass, but all this hoopla over her not giving credit where credit is due is equal to a hot steaming pot of chitterlings- It stinks before, during and after. She's fun to watch but if you are so stupid as to eat everything she prepared in the way that she prepared it then you might need to be placed under some supervision, because you are too stupid to function in the real world.

    June 27, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  37. TptLead

    Interesting article that leaves out the contributions of European immigrants – Spanish, Scottish, Irish, French and German and others – to southern cuisine. That pound cake – Anglo-Saxon.

    Paula Deen nor any other chef needs to give credit for southern cuisine. It is a varied and constantly evolving cuisine that has no predominate heritage. There are way too many people trying to get their 15 seconds of fame by climbing on Paula Deen's back as she goes down in flames.

    June 27, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  38. Grill Man

    Paula's recipes suck, she even uses canned soup and processed foods in some of them.

    June 27, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Yvon

      I'll bet you have never even eaten at The Lady and Sons Rest. or even baked a pound cake....Hater

      June 27, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  39. smh!

    I am a black woman and find this article ridiculous. Everyone in the south cooks that way so get over it. So every time I cook mexican or Italian I have to make sure I say where the food originated. This article is unnecessary find something else to talk about.

    June 27, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • lee

      Thank you. I agree.

      June 27, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  40. Just Saying

    Perhaps all you idiots that love to hate Paul Deen should look into the history of Ms. Lisa Jackson who managed Uncle Bubba's Oyser House. She is white and worked there for five years before deciding that she was working in a racist and sexist environment. She then proceeded to demand $1.2 million to not bring a lawsuit. This scenario reeks of questionable motives. Google for the facts if you don't believe this.

    June 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm |


    June 27, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • kenyoncallahan

      Sorry reverse racism doesn't exist it is made up by people like you to deflect from the real issues.

      June 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
      • Robert

        "reverse racism doesn't exist"

        How do you define reverse racism? I'm not saying I agree with numbnuts above, quite the opposite, but if you follow the definition of racism as per websters, ditionary.com or my personal summary "Displaying preference or deference to someone based on the color of their skin or their cultural heritage (aka their race)" then reverse racism is entirely possible. I'm not being a sarcastic jerk, it's just that I have heard your statement before and I disagree.

        June 27, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Sally

      Dear Butter Lover: You are right-on with your comments. If it isn't the Jews bellyaching about how their treated, it's the blacks. Do something useful with your lives instead of living in the past.

      June 27, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
      • Sally

        sorry, it's they're instead of their...

        June 27, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Connie Lydon

      Many people, of all races, would rather ride on the coattails of a successful person than have to get up and do the work themselves.What, you don't want to have to create something and be successful at it? Afraid someone might come along and try to extort money from you? Afraid they'll spread false allegations and ruin you? Yup, probably.

      June 27, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
  42. Sally H

    Interesting to note that Rick Bayliss and John Besch, white chefs who specialize in ethnic cuisines like Mexican and Cajun/Creole aren't taken to task for the same perceived historical omissions the author holds Deen accountable for excluding. And as far as healthy vs unhealthy, my grandparents on both sides lived well into their 90's as have all my aunts and uncles living in the Deep South eating the same food that Deen is famous for cooking. No matter WHAT kind of food you eat, if you eat too much of it, there will be health consequences. Duh.

    It disturbs me that everyone has jumped on this bandwagon of beating up on this woman for calling someone the N word who held a gun to her head in a robbery 30 years ago. Absolutely hold her accountable for being a racist in the businesses she runs and personal dealings with others if true. HOWEVER, this lawsuit hasn't even gone to trial yet and she is innocent of this charge until proven guilty. If she's guilty, then that is intolerable and there should be consequences-but before we all rush to judgment, give the woman a break.

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

      Ah but you are wrong. Rick Bayless has made a big deal of where he learned his cooking and the origins of the food. He even talks about the trips he makes to learn new techniques and find interesting flavors.
      I have never been able to tolerate watching Paula Dean, that sugary sweet southern drawl of hers would turn me off and her doting mama's-boys sins are just a bit much to take.

      June 27, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Wait...what? John Besh has written several books where he goes very, very deeply into Creole and Cajun history, and he talks about the culture constantly on TV. Rick Bayless goes to Mexico on his shows and in his books and is on a mission to highlight the people and places from which the food came. They are all about cultural credit!

      June 27, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
  43. Richie

    She is a business-person, she deserves to make the money she makes. If you don't like it, don't buy it.

    Since when did Deen become a venue for civil rights?

    Why do we even know what she said in a deposition? That's not public.

    Why are we even having this conversation?

    Should every BBQ cook or southern cook say slaves contributed to the food, or lose their businesses?

    What a bunch of nails looking for a hammer.

    June 27, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
  44. Journey

    To all of Paula Deen's supporters talking about how horrible this thing is for her...stuff it.

    The Paula Deen, Inc. swagger pushed in our faces for so many years wasn't greased with butter, it was greased with the blood and tears of southern racial prejudice. If you can't stand the heat of equality get out of the kitchen.

    June 27, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Connie Lydon

      Are you really that ignorant that you don't know how to use the remote? Or maybe poor you, your schools didn't teach you how to use your motor skills fully? Yes, you are the victim, aren't you? Nobody is forcing you to watch her shows or eat her food. I suppose now you want me to "credit" you for being the first ignorant person? No way, there are plenty more where you came from!

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

      So Bobby Flay needs to constantly credit Mexico, who's food evolved from Mayan's and Spaniards,who's food evolved from freaking cave men...

      This article is ridiculous. I have corn once or twice a weak and I don't credit American Indians!

      June 27, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Sally

      Give me a break...

      June 27, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • lee

      Your generalizations of the southern people are racist and offensive to me. Things happened generations ago that were ended. That some people can not move forward is the problem and will forever hold the true equality hostage.

      June 27, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  45. greeneyedirishlass

    Oh come on! So now, anytime someone famous cooks a Southern dish are they also supposed to go into an explanation of where it came from....when it's been a part of the culture for everyone in the area for over 150 years?!! I'm sorry but that's just ridiculous. People of all colors and heritages that have, at the very least been born and raised in the U.S. are very aware that good "down home Southern cooking" is based in the black roots that came along with slavery and a very different time and way of life in our U.S. history. We KNOW this....but as time has passed Southern cooking has become a staple way of eating in the South. Collard greens, pecan pie, sweet tea, okra, fried green tomatoes....are not just a part of black history anymore and I think for people to get upset that they aren't "credited" for her recipes in a cook book is absolutely inane. If they feel that strongly about it...then write a cookbook yourself and go into the explanation of where the foods originated, write a historical cookbook and educate those you feel need to know...but don't go after a woman who was raised in the South, whose family has been there for years...because it's just as much a part of her history as it is yours.

    June 27, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  46. Diana Martin

    Why must it always be about the Whites and the blacks, give it a rest. Black people today were not slaves and neither were the white people today. Oh yes we fail to forget White people were also slaves. I am so sick of hearing how Black people are so miss treated. The Media is the blame for allot of this crap, I know more black people calling each other the N word then I do white people....But that's OK isn't it? People are just so Jealous that Paula is making it in the world and she did it on her own and she also struggled to get where she is, so why must you try and ruin it for her. Shameful for sure

    June 27, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
  47. Bill

    I'm sure Paula is a nice person
    That doesn't enhance the basic fact that the cooking she promotes although yummy yummy
    Puts you in a premature Grave. Possibly with a multitude of diseases to boot
    Although Paula gets rich ,your Family won't thank you much if one Gobbles down her fantastic yummies

    June 27, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Linda Bessey

      OK...LET'S SEE, HMMM...Does anyone out there see what is happening? The tables have very cleverly been turned tlo make the victim look like the criminal! Poor Paula was responding to a traumatic experience and the black race carries the criminal on their shoulfders crying out "unfair". Paula I love your tremendous courage, gentleness and love for all. To the food network:phooey and shame on you. Plus Paula I willshop and viw only at those places that see the great stuff you are made of!

      June 28, 2013 at 4:30 am |
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