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. Rita B

    So Al Gore invented the internet and black people invented southern cooking. Amazing.

    June 28, 2013 at 11:48 am |
  2. drowlord

    The chili pepper is indigenous to the Americas and has been used in food for 7500 years. While it looks like blacks are truly champions of the watermelon, the chili is a native American contribution, although it has been used all over the world with India being the greatest of advocates. Okra appears to have been a middle eastern (Arab) food before it made its way to the west.

    June 28, 2013 at 11:08 am |
  3. Katena

    I am a biracial I looked it up I found that she made these comments during a court proceeding in 2007. Over 5 years ago people get over yours selves. I am from the South I understand where people are coming from. But I will and am a Paula Dean fan and do not think her life should be ruin over it. Do you know how many names I was called as a child get over it people.

    June 28, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Katzarr

      I am on Mothers side, Scotch, Irish, American Indian; Dads side French & German. I cook southern, New Orleans, Italian and mexican.; and have let the "n" slip now and then,; I don't feel this should be held against her for the rest of her life,; we all make mistakes. Misery loves company. People just need to be a little more forgiving. God help us, if we can not forgive. How can people expect to be forgiven if they themselves will not forgive. God Bless ya!!!

      June 28, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
  4. Mikon

    When you get fame, luck and money, only greedy and ungrateful people forget to thank where they got the inspiration from.

    June 28, 2013 at 10:57 am |
  5. sixin

    What an unbelievably non-sense ridiculous article. “Why does she get all the money and fame around the food that our ancestors created and sweated over?” This woman who made this comment sounds racist.

    June 28, 2013 at 10:51 am |
  6. Dean

    “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?” ----------------------------–Maybe because no one else was smart enough to think of doing it.

    June 28, 2013 at 10:44 am |
  7. jlthomas42

    You know, all this about her is ridiculous. She didn't start this issue about racism, she didn't start bad words, she did not make people fat from her cooking, she didn't lie about what she said like most would not admit too, she is human just like you, she makes mistakes just like you, she is not a hypocrite like most, she can tell the truth like most cannot, she has diabetes, so what like a lot of Americans, she did not start obesity in America, America did, FDA has something to do with that too by allowing 100 different flavors of Doritos on the market. You all leave her alone. If I had a dollar for every time I was called a cracker or a Ginger and let that get to me then I would be rich. I had a young black man say to me once "what kinda of cracker are you", you know what my response was after I realize he just did not have any manners, I said, " A Ritz cracker, I am good at parties and dips"...I think he was permanently speechless after that. If you allow words to hurt you or offend you then go live in the woods or just live with the fact that people say crap they don't mean or mean to hurt people. People you have to look at all this with a blind eye and move on. Destroying someones life because of something they said and did not mean too for your own reward is evil. The world has its problems and you or I won't be able to fix it. You're gonna hear it from some one else. If you wanna spend your life trying to justify people then your gonna die without closer.

    June 28, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  8. Jill

    i demand my old grandmother be given credit for all the times she worked like a dog in the fields beside my grandfather picking home grown Southern foods to cook for her family....the comments about Southern food being complicated are stupid and absurd of course. Its just food, no one has the corner market on it........and no one owns it. Its just taters, cornbread and such....LOL......what a STUPID article

    June 28, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • haf2sayit

      yes, I agree. Incredibly ridiculous ignorant article.

      June 28, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  9. DTL

    Poor people own southern cooking, not blacks. My ancestors were white sharecroppers who lived in shacks with dirt floors and had no shoes. They were the white "blacks". Grandma used to cook hoecakes (we called then drop biscuits) which she learned from her white sharecropper mother, not blacks. Her children grew up on sweet potatoes and drop biscuits and picked cotton for a few pennies. They wore clothes made out of flour sacks and stitched together by hand. So if anyone should expect credit for southern cooking, it's poor people. Race has no place and I'm tired of hearing "entitled" folks bellyache about it.

    June 28, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Ted

      thank you...I was just about to ask someone what a hoecake was

      June 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  10. aallen333

    You may find Ms. Deen's comments abhorrent. But regardless of how you feel, it's time to forgive not only for her sake but for your own.

    June 28, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • henry747

      I agree. No one should want to see someone's business go down. Even if Paula has racial biases the goal is always resolution and transition to become a better person. It seems to me she did not get good legal vice or she was stubborn to do things her way and could not see a crisis looming ahead.

      June 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  11. Doc

    This article is utter nonsense. What would the media and civil rights groups say if she did give more credit to African-American culture? If she actually credited watermelon or a fried chicken recipe to the African-American people there would be an outcry of stereotyping and racism.

    June 28, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  12. EVN

    After all this time you mean to say that there are no blacks capable of promoting that "southern cooking" this article ascribes to having its roots in the slavery system? There is no one among them able to write a book about it? Promote the contributions to food that blacks have made? No one able to step up and be the star of a cooking show that showcases all of those much ballyhooed contributions? There apparently hasn't been such a person, and of course that too is collectively the fault of all whites, including those whose families first set foot in America more than a century after slavery ended. Having had nothing to do with it doesn't seem to matter because blame for everything can easily be passed retroactively based on current color of skin.

    It seems like blacks in this country are never going to tire of the "everything is the fault of the whites, blacks have no personal responsibility for anything" mindset, and the rest of America is never going to wake up to the silliness of political correctness and acknowledge just how stupid it has become.

    June 28, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • edgybutsoft

      I'm 2nd generation American. I'm Scottish/Polish by heritage. I lost all my father's relatives in Poland to Auschwitz during WWII. I understand how easy it would be to hate people for what they did to my family. But I don't. It happened, it was an utter tragedy but there was nothing I could do to stop it. Life is too short to spend being angry at things I cannot control. All I can do is the best I can in this lifetime.

      I had nothing to do with owning slaves or even perpetuating the segregation that went on in dividing this country during the last century. What happened long ago was an abomination and it saddens me that it happened but I'm not going to feel guilty just for being white or accept responsibility for what happened before I was born. jeez!

      I don't discriminate against anyone. I've never used the "n" word or any of the other vile names for people who are different from me. I am sorry there is so much hatred in America and that people are stupid enough to use hurtful words and actions against others not like them. But I am not going to accept the guilt that seems to be expected of me just because I am white.

      We need to grow up, move on and stop denigrating others. We are better than this. But that old saying: "The only thing you can change is yourself" is true. When you change then so does the world.

      June 28, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
  13. k

    We are caucasian..I find pale skin offence.To wish perish of any person is a sin!!

    June 28, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  14. Emmi

    The media has been out to get Paula from the start. Paula needs to to wise up, and start keeping her mouth shut.
    We all have said some words, we should not have. But to admit to doing so to the media, was crazy on her part. Now lets all go after the rappers, sport figures, movie directors, and other human beings, who use the word loosely.

    June 28, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • Lauren

      I agree that it's idiotic for rappers , musicians , etc to use the word but no matter who the word is used by , it's offensive. I think Paula Deen knew what she was doing by saying it. To be honest , I can care less about the situation cause it's really not important. But if Paula Deen is fired from Food Network , gets sued or whatever , I won't feel bad for her. There's a reason why you're parents told you to think before you speak and in this case , Paula didn't. Only thing I can say for her is to learn from her mistakes, there's a certain extent where you can apologize and everything okay again. But not for this. Paula went WAY too far.

      June 28, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
      • Donnell Underwood

        Lauren, I found your response to Ms. Dean's comment to be insightful, compassionate, and important. We all make comments we should not but Ms. Dean is in the spotlight (media) and its looked up to be cooks/non-cooks alike.

        June 28, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
      • Ancient Texan

        She said what she said 30 years ago in a culture that had used the 'N' word for decades. Anyone over 60 years of age has used that term and meant no disrespect or was just ignorant about the fact it could be hurtful. The 2007 date was after the WHITE employee saw a chance to make money off of Paula's fame.

        June 28, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • D

          Old person from Texas...This is possibly the most ignorant and bigotist statement in the whole comments section... You first assume that everyone over the age of 60 has used the term – I'm not even Christian, but I bet if you go ask your pastor he'll tell you he hasn't said it once. Second, you assume all people over the age of 60 that use the term are using it with no disrespect or ill intentions – false!!!! there are racists over the age of 60 out there!!! Third, and this one might shock you because you OBVIOUSLY DIDN"T READ THE COURT DOCUMENTS, the lawsuit was filed by a MIXED RACE EMPLOYEE (former employee actually) for poor and discriminant working conditions, not her saying the N-word. The reason her sponsors dropped her, and the media is so critical and abusive to her now, is because not once during her 12 and a half minute interview on the Today Show with Matt Lauer did she appologize for any of her actions. Lauer tried numerous times to ask her is she was sorry but the whining cry-baby could only say "don't hate me," and most distastefully she ends the interview saying "I is what I is..."

          I hope that's perspective for your errant position of oppoisition to this article. If you want more I'm here for comment.

          June 28, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
      • Connie Lydon

        God forbid someone cusses out a robber with a gun to your head! I guess you should shower them with kindness, right?

        June 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
      • Jesse

        She was not in the spotlight when she made the comment (allegedly). So what you are really saying is that you expect people to see into the future to know whether they are going to be a public star, and to know then not to say things they will regret in 20 years.......that makes reasonable sense right?

        We all know she should not have said the "n" word. No one here knows whether she is a racist or not by her comments alone.

        To claim food as "your ancestors" (southern American slaves) when there history is 300 years when the world is thousands of years old is completely ludicrous.

        June 29, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • haf2sayit

      Honestly, I think it shows guts on Paula Deen's part. Yes, I know she could have lied but I think it's great she didn't. Lots of people have used this word at one time or another – even tho this is an unacceptable word to use in any situation. I do think she lied about only having only said it once in her lifetime. Please correct me if I have my facts wrong about her saying she only used this word once. What's difficult for me to understand is why Paula is being called out on this word when so many rappers use it. My opinion is that rappers are keeping this word in the public consciousness. Why is there no outrage – like with PD – when rappers use this word? This seems like a double standard to me. II believe Bill Cosby – and there may be some others – has spoken out loudly and clearly about the negative impact that some rappers are having on our youth – due to the use of this word and other issues. I respect Bill Cosby for having the guts to say this. I think if we are going to crucify Paula Deen, then we need to look at rappers who use this word freely and repeatedly. I think it also might be poetic justice if more people stepped up and admitted they have used this word – not for folks to be proud of using this word, but for an honest discussion that we all say or do things that we are not proud of and wish we hadn't – yet we are humans. Yes, words hurt and words have power. And yes, all of us need to watch what we say – in frustration and anger – whether we are a celebrity or not. While I never condone using this word, what makes a difference to me is if it's a habitual pattern when someone uses this word or if it slips out in frustration or anger – just like other words slip out in anger and frustration. I do understand that several companies – and I work for one – can fire you on the spot for using this word. So yes, PD was fired by several of her sponsors, and I understand this. But what would happen if more people were honest and admitted to using this word? I'm not proud to say this but I have certainly thought this word, even if I haven't said it. I think it is a terribly offensive and hurtful word and I'm not pleased to admit this. But I think if more people were honest, they would have to admit to using this word in one form or another. And I'm sure there are several blacks – or anyone else – who have used derogatory words or hurtful words toward white people. It doesn't make it right – but it does happen. While I'm not a fan or Mr. Sharpton, I was really surprised when he came out and said what he did to put what PD said in perspective. His response seemed reasonable and honest to me.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
      • haf2sayit

        I meant to say PD had guts to admit to saying this word – not that she had guts for using the word.

        June 28, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
      • Connie Lydon

        That's true- how many people have laughed at jokes made about other races or nationalities? Or just as bad, heard the joke and said nothing about it being offensive? We all have at some point, so don't lie about it.

        June 28, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • amperr

      I am having a problem with all of these, mostly white people, that seem to think that what Paula Deen did was ok. She is being sued for discrimination in the workplace including telling racial jokes. Does that sound like a good honest person? Of course it does! The same kind of good honest people that tortured blacks during slavery and Jim Crow. They always try to say it was the times. What a crock. I think every slave owner deserved a bullet in the head. and anyone that thinks it is a good idea to have a plantation-slave themed wedding party deserves the same. After all that treatmnent is no more horrible than lynching. And for those of you that try to rationalize that one away, I have a rope and know where there is a sturdy tree.

      June 28, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
      • Connie Lydon

        so what would you prefer- a lynching or a bullet? because EVERYONE has said the same or another discriminatory/derogatory word against some group of people at some time in their life. no one is perfect so don't claim to be!

        June 28, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
      • Regina Ellis

        Wow .. You need to get a grip. this didn't happen yesterday. First off the use of the word was over 27 years ago. Second off – who are you to tell me that having a wedding themed on MY FAMILY's HERITAGE is wrong? As a Daughter of the Confederacy and a Daughter of the American Revolution, I take extreme offence to your blanket discrimitory remarks regarding MY heritage. And before you go off on your uneducated rant – not all people who owned AntiBellum homes were slave owners.

        Strangely enough I remember when I was taugt it was rude, offensive and demeaning to refer to "a person of color" as 'Colored" or "Black" ....

        Racism is not the way you talk, it's not the words you use .... It's your ACTIONS.
        Try Acting like a responsible member of society

        June 28, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
  15. Jammee

    What a waste of life was this article. So bad I had to comment. And I need to give credit to the person who penned the alphabet, for allowing me to punch this out on my keyboard. And the person who created computers, and the person who created the internet.
    sheesh. CNN, can you do no better than this crap?

    June 28, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • Heime

      It's because CNN is fixated on all things racial. Any far reaching crap they can generate to pull in their racial motivations is fair game. CNN has completely given up on focusing on real news. Also, they failed to give credit to Johannes Gutenberg for inventing the printing press.

      June 28, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • Jill

      I agree. This has to be the biggest piece of bullcrap CNN ever wrote. I thought it was a joke at first.....I didnt bother to finish reading it.

      June 28, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • Jill

      I have read a lot of stupid articles on the net. This pretty much tops them. Cnn...yall got to be kidding us....

      June 28, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • Alex

      My question is, does she credit the white Scots-Irish settlers who brought a lot of their traditions to Appalachia? How about the Spaniards who brought a lot of the spices and techniques to places like Louisiana or Florida? How about the French? We can go on and on. I'm a historically-minded person so I would enjoy tidbits about the history of the food but I would guess that most of her viewers and fans are interested in making the food not so much its origin. Also, at some point these foods passed from being black or white people foods and just became Southern Food, a patrimony of all Dixie.

      June 28, 2013 at 9:42 am |
  16. LynnAnn

    Paula is a God fearing Christian woman that is an example to be followed in the Lords eyes.

    June 28, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • mya

      How can you be god fearing and be a racist.. How can you say I'm a good christian and use the most disrespectful, degrading words. A good christian tries to live there life as close to how Jesus live his as possible. Half you fool ain't Saved. And think because you say it quietly it makes it okay. That mean you fear man not god.. Point is she's Wrong.. And give credit where credit is due..If you didn't enslave blacks and have them cooking in your homes for your families you wouldn't Know half the things or even taste half the food you have taste. All people have issues but don't say she is a good christian. A good christian at her age is a saint and we see she is not that!!! A Southern Belle u ask me...

      June 28, 2013 at 9:12 am |
      • SlimShady218

        mya, you might need to check the facts, the "incident" that she referred to happened many years ago while describing her experience at having a gun held to her head during a bank robbery. The robber was black. Her describing this incident to another person does not make her a racist anymore than black people calling white people crackers. If she was a raciist, there wouldn't be black people working in her restaurants or appearing on her TV shows, but nobody wants to talk about that. As far as the Christian part, who are you to say that she isn't a Christian woman? People change and get saved, we all sin and we are forgiven. Only Paula and the Lord know her status, you don't have a clue, so keep your nose out of her faith.

        June 28, 2013 at 10:57 am |
        • Ancient Texan

          You are 100% correct. The critics are so glad to see those that worked hard and succeeded brought down by "Political Correctness", they can't resist gloating.

          June 28, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
      • haf2sayit

        I agree PD did wrong – no doubt about it. But have you never said anything that you were ashamed of saying? I know I have. I think a lot of Christians or Muslims or Jewish folks have said things they regret. I don't think it makes them less of a Christian, Muslim, Jew, etc. although it clearly does hurt people by what they-we say or do. And I can understand how these words or actions do make other people question this person's sincerity about their faith. But I still think folks make mistakes which they regret. And I think it's unreasonable to think that every Christian, Muslim, Jew, etc. is going to be perfect and never use derogatory language or do things they regret. I can't speak to PD's spiritual leanings since I don't know anything about this.

        June 28, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
      • James

        Would we have italian food if the Italians didnt immigrate from Europe? Would we have tea without the English? Would we have Thanksgiving without the Native Americans? Until we invent a time machine, what has happened has happened. To say without slaves we would not have Southern food.....well, we did have slaves and we do have Southern food. Its not called "white Southern food". So whats that matter?

        People should live in the present and think to the future. I think most Americans remember the past and try not to repeat mistakes, BUT there is one American group that lives in the past. Its been nearly 150 years since the end of slavery and 4 decades since all americans were given there civil rights. Lets be honest, in todays American society, we have very little racism. I mean how often on average on a monthly basis do most Black Americans have some kind of DIRECT racial incident (ie back of the bus daily, called "n word to your face, picked on just because your black, etc.) that really effects their lives? Most likely <1? Compare that to past generations who either lived with it on a daily if not hourly basis. If you told a Black person from 80 years ago that you were outraged that Black people were not given credit for making food as slaves but have very little to say about black-on-black crimes or the rise of single parent families in the black community they would have smacked you in the face. Thats an absolute fact. They fought too hard and dealt with so so so much to have this generation take it for granted and ruin it. Never a mind for the future, never a look into the mirror, never a thought of how hard your ancestors fought to give you an opportunity they never had to be a doctor/lawyer/president, never an idea of how to they themselves (not the government) are going to fix things. Its always someone or something else like Paula Deen that is a scary white women taking away my rights or my money to blame how my situation got to where it is. Every (and I mean every) black person today has the opportunity today to become whatever they want. May not be easy, but YOU have to look in the mirror and do it. Nobody else. You, much like Paula Deen, should show respect and thank your ancestors for that opportunity.

        June 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  17. Michael

    This country is lost! Period! I am tired of the media, their BS attacks to sell their garbage, and their love affair of the negative. CNN.....GTH!

    June 28, 2013 at 8:49 am |
  18. Luddy

    We need clarification. If Paula Dean made these comments recently, then perhaps this is warranted. If, however, the comments were made many years ago when there was more tolerance for this type of comment, then get over it. Also, the Southern culture was and continues to be different.

    I dmit that, as a child, some 50+ years ago, I used the N-word when doing the eeny,meeny, miney mo selection.

    June 28, 2013 at 8:33 am |
    • miriamdh

      I am really perplexed. Are the Deen defenders really so ignorant as to believe that the furor is simply about an isolated racial slur uttered 30 years ago? Or, do they identify with this southern woman so much that they ignore the allegations the white plaintiff made: Deen knew and condoned or should have known that her employees had separate bathrooms for blacks and whites, used racial slurs often, allowed male employees to insult and grab female employees, etc.? Yup, this is all about the liberal media allowing blacks to get away with saying the N-word in rap songs.


      June 30, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
  19. Caroline

    Here are two more cookbooks to add to the list: "Mandy's Favorite Louisiana Recipes" by Natalie V. Scott and also "Cooking the Gullah Way: Morning, Noon, and Night" by Sallie Ann Robinson.

    June 28, 2013 at 8:27 am |
  20. centgaboy

    Wow this story is just such a huge waste of my time. Gee ms davis maybe you should start your won empire and then you can give all the credit you want to whomever you want. Jealous much?

    June 28, 2013 at 8:25 am |
  21. Paula

    I think it sounds like sour grapes. A black person with the right attitude and circumstances could have done what Paula Deen did but of course they were prevented by "white privilege". Not that I dont give creedence to WP, it is real and it is exists. But like any adversary, it can be overcome by the willing.

    June 28, 2013 at 8:22 am |
  22. boyamidumb

    Bravo Paula. You are causing a discussion. Most people are ranting, but a few out here are actually talking about what this all means. BUT, once again the media is helping to keep us distracted from the real issues, while our government goes about continuing the dismantling of the America we were taught was our country.

    Lady Liberty is weeping.

    June 28, 2013 at 8:15 am |
  23. MCFx

    PU-LEASE!!!!!! Geeze! what a crock of you know what! Let's stick to the topic at hand. next you'll be asking for Mexican Restaurants to disclose that 75% of their dishes are really Native American give the history of those.

    June 28, 2013 at 6:01 am |
    • haf2sayit

      :) well said.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  24. Xenopictetus

    I have never watched Paula Deen's show, been to her restaurant, or bought any of her stuff, but I think the castigation that she is receiving for something way back in her history is despicable. Moreover, since when is Jesse Jackson an icon of virtue and decorum? Some stores may quit selling Paula Deen's stuff, but I am unimpressed with their hypocritical claim to moral high ground while they hawk some rapper "music" that contains real offensive messages that are, not merely disrespectful, but downright degrading to any human dignity and orderly conduct.

    June 28, 2013 at 3:18 am |
    • Sheila

      Well, it is probable that Paula Deen is a Conservative, or at least leaning to that direction. AND, she is successful – Need I say more?

      June 28, 2013 at 8:31 am |
      • OK

        Actually, she's not. And the CEO's of these corporations that are dropping her probably are. Need I say more?

        June 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
  25. atroy

    Southern Fried Chicken has much more to to with Scottish immigrants than African slaves.

    June 28, 2013 at 3:08 am |
    • Tia

      How so? What sources do you present? Where did you get your information? I am not saying you are wrong but I would like to know how YOU know that? Thank you

      June 28, 2013 at 8:37 am |
      • Ally

        Tia, if you google the origins of fried chicken most of the pages will talk about how it was traditional in Scotland to fry chicken in fat. Scottish immigrants brought that tradition to America. There's also a tradition of frying chicken in Africa but for "special occasions" only. Once the slaves were brought to the south they adapted the Scottish recipes and apparently changed the spices to reflect the African tradition.

        I'm not an expert...it's just what I read on a couple of sites.

        June 28, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
      • SaraKate

        "Southern fried chicken
        Chicken parts that are floured or battered and then fried in hot fat. The term southern fried' first appeared in print in 1925...Southerners were not the first people in the world to fry chickens, of course. Almost every country has its own version, from Vietnam's Ga Xao to Italy's pollo fritto and Austria's Weiner Backhendl, and numerous fricassees fill the cookbooks of Europe. And fried chicken did not become particularly popular in the northern United States until well into the nineteenth century...The Scottish, who enjoyed frying their chickens rather than boiling or baking them as the English did, may have brought the method with them when they settled the South. The efficient and simple cooking process was very well adapted to the plantation life of the southern African-American slaves, who were often allowed to raise their own chickens. The idea of making a sauce to go with fried chicken must have occurred early on, at least in Maryland, where such a match came to be known as "Maryland fried chicken." By 1878 a dish by this name was listed on the menu of the Grand Union hotel in Saratoga, New York..."
        -The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 305-6)

        June 28, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  26. Joemmm

    This article in trying to bring in the richness of southern food coming from Africans and now African-Americans is ridiculous. Having Paula Dean or any chief give credit where the food comes from from over a hundred years ago should not be expected as the food has change and evolved and the ability of tracking those are really not possible. Should chefs have to have little disclaimer on the program that says corned beef from Ireland, corn from American Indians, chocolates from Mexico, maple syrup from American Indians, and rice-a-roni from San Fransisco and Pecan pies who knows where.

    Lets keep the sins or actions of Paula real. Not saying where food comes from isn't one of them.

    June 28, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • cararta

      My Thoughts Exactly....Wonder why everything that happens has to be turned into a "Cause?" Now it is where recipes come from....Ha!

      As for this Nothing about Nothing fury ....Alice has come out of the hole!

      I can distinctly remember my friend Lucy Bell's mother saying, "ok N....ers lets go home."
      She was speaking to her three daughters..
      Lucy Bell always brought her younger sisters with her when she came to play at out house....We are white...they are colored.

      My Grandmother was a healer and helped anyone..black or white so we became friends with a lot of people...and no they didn't all look alike! We didn't live such a separate life as Paula seems to have done.

      Grandma would be an oddity today, a Real Christain who believed that Do unto Others was a rule for living.

      Wonder what Bill Cosby's reflections on this "Scandal" would be?
      Wish someone would ask him!

      June 28, 2013 at 2:42 am |
  27. jules

    Re to Jack: Give me a break. Of course we have all sinned. Not all sins are equal. This isn't just about "the word", this is about a long term history of mistreating, and disrespecting people, and I'm sure not all of them were people of color. Paula Deen treated people like servants, regardless of color. Now she can be given the same treatment. What goes around comes around.
    Her character has taken a hit, but don't think for one minute that Mrs. Deen will not continue to live the privileged life she now leads. She may not make many more millions but she'll live quiet comfortably off the millions she's already accrued. I don't feel one iota of sympathy for her.

    June 28, 2013 at 1:12 am |
  28. Christopher

    Really? This is what's it come down to.... we're the fried chicken makers? People are sensitive and scared to even say there actual thoughts nowadays.... kinda sad.

    June 28, 2013 at 12:55 am |
  29. ANNIER

    I'm more offended that Smithfield's, famous for their hams, and now Smithfield's Foods, was sold to China for $5BILLION!! I'm not even a Paula Deen fan, but to intimate that she should be giving a history lesson regarding the ORIGIN of the food she cooks, is downright ridiculous. Have lived in this wonderful country for 25+ years, and it saddens me greatly to see how we have declined. We are the laughingstock of the world in just about every arena.

    June 28, 2013 at 12:52 am |
  30. jaimie

    Blah blah blah

    June 28, 2013 at 12:47 am |
  31. Marc

    What else can we find fault with Paula Dean for. I'm sure someone else will come up with something.

    June 28, 2013 at 12:45 am |
  32. Joe

    Personally I find the attitude of a LOT of black people extremely racist and offensive. Not all, many are nice people but there are a LOT of them that are terribly racist.

    June 27, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • Eric Sotelo

      I completely agree with you. It's a shame, but it's true..

      June 28, 2013 at 12:47 am |
  33. wouldyoubelieve

    So a group of people are upset that Paula Deen is seen "as the face of fried chicken." So you're telling me that if Deen had created a special section in her cookbook – one with a black face on it – and the heading said, "hmmmm fried chicken," there wouldn't be an uproar there for stereotyping black people as fried chicken eaters? I'm not so sure – and I'm black.

    June 27, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
  34. 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 10:52 pm |
    • Joe

      You think that really? Wow. So, whites never knew how to cook anything huh. Learned it ALL from the black folks. Pretty funny.

      June 27, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • Eric Sotelo

      I run into alot of older african americans like you who have no clue. It's obvious that you only know one thing because YOU are a product of your generation as well.

      The problem here is that there is this "unsaid" blame that always seems to be fingered back at Americans, as if we "enslaved" the black people in our country.

      I wish people would do a more thorough study and research on who and when black slavery actually started. All I can say is that America did not enslave Black people. it was Africans and Saudi Arabians who started the African Slave Trades several hundreds of years before the U.S. was a nation. With that said, I fault America for purchasing slaves from these inhuman people.

      The only thing I can summize is that God has a much bigger plan in mind. Because I can't imagine our country without such a beautiful people bringing such culture into our nation. On the other hand, I can imagine the U.S. without all of the racism that is now coming from the African American community. It's not necessary, because there is such an appreciation for the African American Culture in our nation.

      If you look at the nat, you will lose sight of the whole pie, all warm, with vanilla icecream on it. ..

      June 28, 2013 at 12:56 am |
    • jules

      Well said!
      While I do know that Lincoln's primary intent was to preserve the United States, I do believe he had a sincere need to insure that all people were treated equally. He believed no man had the right to own another.
      Regarding Paula Deen, I simply do not believe her. In her interview with Matt Laurer (sp?) it was just so obvious that she was being overly dramatic and phoney. For far too long she has been hailed as the face of the genteel Southern lady. A facade. She pours on the the accent a little too heavy, and acts as if she alone invented Southern cooking.
      Here's a fact, the vast majority of Southern cooking came from kitchens with hard working, talented, knowledgeable black women. My Grandmother learned to cook from the woman her father hired to come in and cook for the family because his wife died in childbirth. He paid her with food. When she made a meal, she made enough for both families. She took fruits and vegetables home with her. She wasn't a maid, the children did the chores, she cooked. My Mother learned to cook from her Mother, who passed on what she had learned from Miz Cammy.
      The Southern Black woman is the heart and soul of Southern cooking. Paula Deen saw a market, and capitalized from it. Never once giving credit to the thousands of Southern women who shared their knowledge with others. Now she can take credit for the error of her ways. She made millions on the backs of others, now let her bear the burden.

      June 28, 2013 at 1:05 am |
      • Tom

        I agree that Southern cooking owes a lot to African Americans but give me a break. You make it sound like there would be no Southern cooking. without their influence. BS. 95% of Southerners owned no slaves so what did they eat? Not every white family in the South in the 1920s through the 60s had black cooks, what did they eat? Southern food is the result of a myraid of influences – African, British, Scottish, French and on and on. To claim that it all comes from African influence is to wear blinders.

        June 28, 2013 at 8:52 am |
      • Gin Hearn

        That is about the most redundant load of crap. Talk about much ado about nothing.. Yes, it is true in the broadest of senses, but it could be said for every famous chef, especially those that specialize in an ethnic food. Antonio Carluccio is considered the godfather of Italian food and has made a mint of of his cookbooks and tv shows, but he didn't invent it. The italian nonnas should get all the credit. The field workers, the cheese makers. Where are you going to stop if you start this line of BS? Or is it only because her food has SOME of its history in african american culture and that is just a big old rats nest?

        June 28, 2013 at 11:46 am |
  35. Jack Anderson

    He who has never made a mistake or has never said anything derogatory or offensive, let him or she throw the first stone.Amen.

    June 27, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
  36. Neahkahnie

    I love some southern cooking, especially Cajun and Creole. I can no longer eat much of it because I am a diabetic. What irks me and show's Deen's hypocrisy is that she offered fatty and surgary foods, took a great amount of money from a Danish diabetes compnay, and was a diabetic for three years before it was disclosed. A diabetic pushing food to heigthen diabetes for money. that's hypocrisy and that's what is shameful. I knew what she was promoting was not good for diabetics. But that she was one. that's the evil.

    June 27, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
    • tiki deluth

      She never promoted diabetes! She continued running her business by doing what she had always done, which happened to be showcasing recipes using lots of sugar and butter. Nobody has ever been forced to watch her show or cook her recipes. Every individual is responsible for his or her own choices regarding diet and health.

      June 28, 2013 at 11:08 am |
  37. Irony

    Once again, people are fighting for what is "white," and not what is "right." Months ago, Paula Deen was noted as a trash bag cook, who made unhealthy, artery clogging, pretty much garbage, and today, she is the second coming of Mother Teresa. Should she be stoned for her comments and remarks, absolutely not, but she shouldn't be viewed as a hero either. She like many people here, apparently, like to ride on their own self righteousness, and anyone who doesn't succumb to the "White right winged" way of thinking, is either angry, the "N" word, or anti this or that. Anything that is black against white, or white against black (whichever is the politically correct order of the words), right or wrong is simply abolished, and it becomes a racial issue. Clearly the woman who started this all, was a white woman, not a black person, so why isn't she being charged at, why has this turned into this "thing," where the blame is pointed everywhere, but where it should be pointed. Paula Deen, is a cook, and her opinion about race or color, should have been kept to herself. Regardless, of what her personal views were, she should have put her foot in her mouth, or stuck her usual stick of butter in it. She isn't a musical artist like say... Eminem (don't want to offend anyone and say Jay-Z), nor is she a movie writer/producer like Quentin Tarantino, so comparing her to one of them, who uses the "N" word ,is like comparing apples to oranges... the only similarity, is that they're both fruit. White people hate everyone,especially those who won't subscribe to their one sided, one minded, way of thinking, or who don't live up to their self righteousness. Now everyone is saying "don't judge, don't judge;" when has not judging been a part of the "American" culture...of course now, yeah right, Go back to Africa, how can black people go back to Africa, when most of them have never been. Italian food, German food, Soul food, clearly no one owns it, yet people have staked their claim and culture in it, and that has yet to be a problem until now. I wonder how it would be viewed if a Native American had a cooking show, displaying the reinvention of Brit or Italian food (rhetorical question of course, but we all know that would be a problem). Letters would start flowing into the FN, about plagiarizing recipes, and that cook would be fired like Anne Thornton... remember her, the "dessert first" star, who was accused of recipe plagiarism, stealing recipes from the likes of Martha Stewart, and others, yet, no one owns the rights to a recipe, or dish, most of them are clearly reinventions... the recipe of a recipe of a recipe. All Anne had to do was change one ingredient to make the recipe "her own," I guess poor Anne failed in that category...who fought for her... oops, that wasn't a white/black, black/white issue, that was a FN issue and Anne hasn't been seen or heard from since that day, in fact, most people have forgotten all about her. I am surprised I remembered her, but I did. The end... Will I be told to go back to Africa, I don't think so, I was already here. An "N" lover... not a lover of any particular race, but I am a lover of honoring right and nixing wrong no matter the face behind it.

    June 27, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
  38. Dan in Tigard

    Yes, everything that's wrong with the world is Paula Deens fault. Haters just love to hate.

    June 27, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
  39. gbrogan

    so many double digit IQs trolling, it's depressing.

    i don't care about the crap she spews. what bothers me, and i think why anyone, is that she's ETHICALLY CHALLENGED.

    she has zero shame promoting a seriously unhealthy diet WHILE hiding her diabetes AND, shockingly enough, hussling diabetes 'medication'.

    that she's an unabashed racist is just jerk frosting on a great big con artist cake.

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

      EDIT: ...and why i think every one SHOULD CARE....

      June 27, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • RT

      Why do people like you bash people like Paula who serves unhealthy food? The facts are very simple, if you don't want to eat unhealthy don't eat it! People who like that kind of food eat's that kind of food. T laugh everytime I see an artical bashing a fast food resturant for serving what they want to serve and people whine about it being unhealthy. Bottom line DON'T EAT IT!

      June 28, 2013 at 10:11 am |
      • Misty

        I'm sorry to say, but unless she states on EVERY show that these recipies are unhealthy if eaten every day, she is not scott free on the issue of causing her viewers' weight or health issues. Food Network is also to blame for allowing her to promote these types of meals. Yes, people put what they want in their mouth. If, however, the consumer doesn't know any better, and she's saying how wonderful and tasty her recipies are, what else is an uneducated viewer supposed to think? It's not like nutrition is taught in school. What I know about proper nutrition could fill a measuring cup. It's like that crap – ignorance of the law is no excuse. Really?! So if I'm driving through the corner of a state on a roadtrip, I'm supposed to read every law on the books beforehand? People watch cooking shows to learn – yes, to learn how to make the recipies but also to learn about cooking. So essentially you're saying that people need to educate themselves on healthy eating before watching her show – umm, I don't think many people would be left watching. She has a responsibility to her viewers. I do know she continued the show for quite some time after she found out she had diabetes. But I don't watch her show so I don't know if she immediately started making comments about healthy proportions or substitutions, etc. If not, I'm sure she had guilt and maybe she deserves a little. But to entirely blame her viewers for eating her food is narrow minded. Is a person who is injured in a car accident at fault for being in the wrong car at the wrong time? When friends are egging on someone to eat a jalapeno pepper straight, is that person solely responsible for burning their mouth. Of course not. Paula and Food Network are responsible for hawking fatty, unhealthy meals – that was her sctick, people loved it but there should have been some disclosure.

        June 28, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
        • Ally

          Misty, I'm going to have to respectfly disagree with you on most of your points. Each person watching one of Paula's shows has a different level of knowledge about nutrition. But you have to draw a line somewhere with respect to what a reasonable expectation of knowledge is. The vast majority of people in this country are well aware that her recipes are full fat, high sodium and high calorie. She says it herself much of the time and the nutrition information for her recipes is all available online. It's similar to the recent lawsuit that was thrown out against McDonalds. A father wanted to sue because he let his daughter eat there several times a week. She was overweight and got diabetes. Thankfully the judge said there was a reasonable expectation that we all know that wasn't a healthy diet.

          As for your other points. Yes, you are responsible for following the driving laws of any state you go through....do you think they should just let you off when they find out your from out of state?! Being in a car accident isn't really relatable to this issue... And yes! It's solely the kids fault if he eats that pepper! I reference the old saying "if your friend jumped off the cliff...would you?"

          June 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
        • Connie Lydon

          you shure don't think much of your fellow man, do you? People are so ignorant that they have to be told what and when and where to eat nowadays? Please, give me a break! I don't believe it for a second and if they were that dumb they probably wouldn't know how to turn the TV on in the first place. Talk about excuses, and a pretty lame one at that!

          June 28, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
  40. GKAR

    Well so much for freedom of speech. It is amazing to me that this is such an issue. Louis Farrakhan has pointed out that the black people should stop calling themselves and dog and ho if they think they should expect someone else to do it. Paula Deen has been through enough. Let it go.

    June 27, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
  41. Sayward

    I am white. I have eaten Southern food and cooked Southern food most of my 60-something years! My mother cooked Southern! My grandmothers cooked Southern! My great-great-great-etc, etc, etc...mothers and fathers, cooked Southern food. Paula Deen or any other popular chef from books or television, NEVER ONCE FORCED ME TO COOK SOUTHERN! Yes, we use a lot of butter, lard, fat back, bacon, and just good ol' meat grease, BUT!!!!!! We also cook with LOTS of FRESH VEGETABLES, EGGS, MILK, AND FRESH GROUND FLOUR AND CORNMEAL. As for those that hate, but once adored, Paula Deen, I have this to say to you. BEFORE YOU CAST THAT FIRST STONE, YOU BEST LOOK AT YOUR OWN PAST AND MAKE SURE IT'S CLEAN AND PURE. YOU, TOO, WILL SOMEDAY BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR SINS, BOTH BIG AND SMALL. As for those that use the N-Word. I will worry about not saying it, when ALL the blacks stop saying it to each other. I don't like to be called white trash, cracker, honkey, and so on, but you don't see me trying to make a buck because of something someone said. Paula Deen is human and said something many years ago that this now PC World can't deal with. It's time for people to GET OVER IT! For goodness sakes, people! GROW UP!

    June 27, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
  42. Dan lowry

    So i guess we should cut a check to each african american when any person on earth uses any cultural reference the least bit connected to anything originating in africa. Beat it.

    June 27, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
  43. Penelope

    Frankly, I've had enough of watching Paula Deen being crucified. I love her shows, enjoy her books, and buy her products. I do not care what her religious beliefs, political views, or ethnic beliefs are. I have NEVER EVER seen her be out of line on any of her shows. What she says or does off camera is her business. Remember Chic-Fil-Le and the gay issues? A business is allowed to have it's own views. I would very much like to continue seeing and watching Paula. In my opinion, this whole thing is stupid and needs to die.

    June 27, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • Judy

      I totally agree,She said in a deposition that at one time she had used a racial slur,I thought she was honest,now the whole world is against her,give me a break,I am sick of disgusting language in songs by African Americans,but that is ok.

      June 28, 2013 at 5:51 am |
  44. Jim Bob

    Paula Deen is like Jesus. She is being crucified for the sins of the south.

    June 27, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Stephanie

      She is nothing like Jesus! Everybody makes jokes about others very few don't, but when your under a microscope with endorsements you watch your mouth. The problem is she thought she was Jesus... Not!! Blessings can be taken away. We so caught up in what we did for ourselves not looking at the big picture.. Nothing can be done without god. And if is, it should surely come crashing down..When you been blessed know it and take responsibility...Because he see no color he is the reason for color,,Love it and embrace it!!

      June 27, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • David Kramer

      A bloated, selfish, m0ronik huka who admits racism knowing the implications when we have 3.8 million employment discrimination lawsuits filed with the EEOC against white owned businesses??!!

      June 27, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
      • David Kramer

        Burn this kkurnt!!

        June 27, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
  45. vicjsm

    Why should people of color get credit for the food Paula is cooking. Does the outback give credit to the people of australia for the food they serve? Does the olive garden give credit to the people of italy? More whining blacks asking for something they themselves put no effort into creating. Let them get their own show and promote southern food. No – too much to ask i guess.

    June 27, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • J Robinson

      The Olive Garden's food is not even remotely Italian. Therefore, no acknowledgement is necessary.

      June 27, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • Misty

      Apparently you haven't seen any Outback or Olive Garden commercials. That being said – if you went to Italy or Australia, you wouldn't see these dishes being made by locals because the recipies they use are Americanized. Just like the recipies that Paula uses have morphed over the generations.
      Although, after the hub-a-loo of her delayed diabetes announcement while continuing to promote her unhealthy southern cooking, why would African Americans WANT to lay claim to her recipies, thereby taking some of the responsibility off Paula for making her viewers fat and disbetic? Just making a statement – not passing judgement either way.

      June 28, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
  46. idiots in this country

    black ppl whine about everything..what happened evr so long ago has nothing to do with your circumstances now. u make your opportunities, u do the things to advance U in this world. there are so many black ppl who have taken advantage of their intellect and opportunities and they have made a respectable place in this world..then...we have the other 95% who fill the prisons, drop out of school, lead the gang bangers and sale their drugs. those are the ones who feel that whitey, cracker, etc have held them back, whitey has caused their circumstances that they blame on a race..sorry but that is b.s. get over urselves and do like the rest of us, get a job, don't do the drugs, go to work everyday, make important decisions that are good for u and your family, they should come first...u make your bed, u lie in it, it is up to u to make a good life!!!!!

    June 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
  47. JB

    Amen to "Me Not You" – Southern food IS garbage. The food historian sites "gumbo, okra soup, red rice, fried chicken, black eyed peas, various greens, sweet potatoes, boiled peanuts, cala, jambalaya, hot sauce, barbecue" as milestones of this cuisine? YAWN!

    June 27, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • Samantha

      You are both right, Southern food is "Garbage".
      A good portion of "soul-food" was derived from what the slaves and poor could create and season from the scraps and less nutritious throw aways from the kitchens/scavengings.
      It was what they used to survive, keeping from starvation and to provide the energy to work the fields. However, to the point of the article, does Paula Deen need to give "credit" to anyone? No. That's just getting petty and stupid. Every time I make Colard Greens, should I post to FB how thankful I am that African-Americans developed this dish? You should probably start demanding that every time you stop off by KFC, Churches, Popeyes, or pick up your sweet and sour chicken from the local Chinese joint.

      June 27, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
  48. Stacy Foureman

    I think it would be GREAT for the cooking channel to do a show on Southern food and it's black, African, Cajun roots. But, brand or no brand, that isn't Paula Deen's story. She isn't black. That story will have to be told by someone else. It's sad to see her business empire fold. But, it isn't on the grounds of defamation of character. She herself admitted racial slurs, under oath. Otherwise, the companies who dropped her would be liable for wrongful termination.

    June 27, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Yvon

      Paula Deen is passive...but she needs to go ahead LAWYER UP AND FIGHT. She is just too soft hearted. She has to realize that she has done nothing wrong.

      June 27, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  49. Southern Northerner

    She is who she is....

    June 27, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
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