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. tom LI

    Deen lacks cultural context – just like the rest of her Clan. Or is that Klan..? White Southerners typically lack cultural context these days. They dismiss their endemic cultural racist past (I didnt own slaves, so dont take it out on me!) while they still fight the "war", (thru politics which lean towards Jim Crowisms) and tend to see the world, which is usually a very narrow look at their cultural world all thru their white eyes, where only white people have done anything important. Be it music, or food, or their ever shifting economies from rural to manufacturing.

    The Southern US faces several on the horizon crisis's – their still well hidden pockets of extreme poverty and undereducated peoples, their lingering racism towards those poor (many of them now white!) huge movements of Northerners to their regions of Suburban and Urban, and industrial development, as well as retirees, and new families fleeing the too expensive Northeastern and Midwestern cities/'burbs. All of which will collide in the near future and reshape the whole cultural landscape where the Newcomers want more of what they miss, and the "natives" try to cling to their rural, red-necked tainted, sense of self-worth and over blown sense of historical righteousness...

    Thats where the culture wars will be most profound...not in Wash DC, but in the Southern US.

    June 30, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • Rob K.

      Whats sad is you actually believe your ramblings. If I didn't know better, I would think you prefer racism, sounds like it gives you an excuse to say "whoa is me the poor minority". As a "white person" I resent your implication that we are part of a "clan" or "klan" as you stated. As a "white person" growing up in the South, I endured just a many racially motivated slurs as any minority. Yes, me the "white person" was called "white cracker, honky, white trash, wigger etc etc..." on a daily basis, do I run around crying about it?? NO, I chalk it up to youth and a lack of maturity. I DO believe racism still exist, but preventing racism is a two way street. Your comments are offensive and lack cultural awareness. I think its YOU that is stuck in the past.

      June 30, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
  2. Sherrie J

    I think this situation is being watered down too much. I am bothered by the news coverage being specifically about a racial slur. She is southern and white and someone must have thought that would be a recipe for attraction to their coverage. I have read the deposition (so far, they have not finished) and the original lawsuit. The issues are more of a workplace issue than of a racial slur. I am black, and honestly I don't care if she said racial slurs at breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday. What does bother me are the complaints listed in the legal complaint, under oath, and that they had 55 pieces of evidence that were presented to Ms. Deen to help her answer questions, and her brother Bubba Heirs has admitted to most of the complaint. This was a hostile work environment. The kitchen staff were allegedly physically assaulted, verbally threatened and assaulted (by being called monkeys), and everyone was sexually harassed (by being forced to view pornography at meetings). In any other company, Bubba would have been dismissed upon the initial complaint. Lisa Jackson has documented times and dates that she went up the chain of command to complain. She was either ignored, told to basically suck it up, or simply brushed aside. This woman went to Paula Deen herself not only for complaints but for a request of equal pay as her male counterparts, with the same title and less responsibility. The parts that the public is missing are much more profound than a racial slur. There are witnesses to the events and security cameras. In one story I read regarding Ballantine books not printing her latest book, they have had to pull books in the past for plagiarism and other issues. So, let's be real here. A racial slur from 30 years ago is not grounds for a crumbling empire. Turning a blind eye or a deaf ear from employee complaints, in a business you are financially tied to, is just bad business practice. She could have resolved this a long time ago and did not, so she is suffering as a result, not a racial slur.

    June 30, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Tom H

      I hadn't realized any of that was the case. Strange how the media is focusing on her use of a slur 40 years ago when all this stuff had been going on. I guess it's just about getting people to click on that story. Really pretty silly.

      June 30, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Maryhelen Cyr

      Bravo Sherrie! Finally Ilight is shed on the real issue, that which lays under the tip of the iceberg! The news media is focusing this whole debacle on Deen's admittance if using the "n" word 30 years ago, and not the real basis of the lawsuit. The irony is a white woman at the helm of this suit. It's neither here nor there, but I too, am a white woman. I say shame on you, Paula Deen, for allowing such abuse to go in in your workplace!

      June 30, 2013 at 11:45 am |
      • John

        So you already know which allegations are true and which are just BS in an attempt to get money? I have been a trial lawyer in my life, and now I am in the food business and deal with many restaurants. Trials are not the place to find the truth, and professional kitchens are notorious for being really rough for everyone, black, white or green. Just ask Antony Bourdain or reads his first book. He is probably laughing his butt off right now if he reads any of these posts. I don't ahve a clue what really happened, or if she is truly the devil incarnate, and I never will. Nor will you.

        June 30, 2013 at 11:57 am |
        • JayneQP

          As an attorney, I would think that you would pay more attention to detail. I don't think the point of the comment is to make people believe that what is in the complaint is true. I believe the intent is to ensure that, if you are concerned with the truth and wish to make informed decisions about your choices of retailers and entertainment, you should - at the very least - know that the allegations against Ms. Deen are not based solely on an utterance from 30 years ago made in a moment of anxiety and anger. They are based on some pretty significant offenses that, IF true, will make a lot of her sponsors very uncomfortable. The Food Ntwk, Home Dep0t and Target are not going to drop a popular name simply because of a minor "oops". They didn't get to be as big as they are by making uninformed decisions.

          June 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • John

          I believe you said that she should be ashamed about doing the things alleged in the complaint. Things that have not been proved, at least not yet. And maybe never will be..

          June 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • JayneQP

      I am so glad that people are starting to do their own research on this. One person on a forum suggested that you google and read the documentation before making any judgments. Having done that, I was blown away by how the media has used a kind of "reverse play" with the truth, reducing the infraction to a minor slip of the tongue 30 years ago and completely excluding the actual complaints that had nothing to do with her simple epithet in her distant past. Absolutely astounding. Makes me really question (well, I always did, but now...whew) just how little gets through - from the facts to publicist to media - to the public. Crazy.

      June 30, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • calianne

      Thanks for your summary of this. People have totally forgotten that the issue arose from the lawsuit, and the lawsuit hasn't been decided yet. If the facts are as you describe them (I haven't researched this myself), then she has a lot to answer for. The issues of the cultural origins of the food or her use of a pejorative at some undefined point in the past are trivial compared to her apparently egregious refusal to properly address workplace issues and, in fact, her inability or unwillingness to create a fair and appropriate workplace environment.

      June 30, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Renee

      So really, all part of Lisa Jacksons plan all along I think. I say she still just wants MONEY. Why is she just now coming forward if not, and she didn't get her way about something so she is suddenly so traumatized now...don't believe it for a minute. Why would you document things if you didn't have a motive to use later on,if that's even really how things were.

      June 30, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • sus1264

      Ok if her brother was such an harasser where is everybody else from the company in the lawsuit? We had one and he almost tried to get me fired because I would not have an affair with a married man whose wife had cancer. He didn't give me memos, kept me out of meetings.../
      I didn't sue but asked to get moved. I wasn't the only one there were plenty of others beside me so this manager was eventually demoted. So I want to know where everybody else is. I think it is he said/she said looking for money. Interesting timing with all these new things to make money Paula has coming out. WHERE are the other people suing? This doesn't seem to be a class action suit. When it gets to five or six FEMALE employees regardless of race then I will buy it.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:17 am |
  3. Racism is ....

    I have a confession to make. I said the dreaded "n" word when I was five. My best friend was a little black girl. Some man that my mother was dating at the time told me he did not want to see me playing with "that little (n) girl again". I asked him what that word meant and he just gave me a mean look and told me not to do it. What did I do? I went over to her house and asked her mother what "n" meant. After her head and eyes stopped rolling, she asked me where I heard that word so, in five year old innocence, I told her.

    She informed me that a "n" is someone who cannot accept someone due to their differences. Well, that was easy.

    Woah... wait.... oh. My friend and I are different colors? WOW! Her black skin had that nice rosey red undertones. HEY! My Scotch-Irish skin has those(not so) nice rosey red undertones!! She has the most beautiful brown eyes; the same brown as my brother. She loved my blue eyes. After that, we called each other cigar and cigarette.

    She and I discovered that, only after adults pointed it out to us, people come in all colors. In our five year old wisdom, we decided that racism is stupid and we should accept people for who they are and not on the color of their skin.

    Hey, Cigar! If you are out there somewhere, I hope you are doing well.

    June 30, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Kristen

      This is lovely. What a refreshing reprieve from typical hostile posts.

      June 30, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
      • linda barnes

        this reply is for all. i have many comments concerning the interview of Paula D. however, I will only mention a few. the fact that she lied about the number of times she used the N word, and it was only when she was a Victim by a black man, and the most sicking statement "they use the N word; therefore, it confuses me about using the word." Please!!! Mrs. Paula, you are a white women over 60 years old, in America, living in GA. you are totally aware of the meaning of the word and O' you cried, without tears and only when it referenced your family/grandson. i agree with the business decisions to disassociate themselves with Paula D. When she stated she was confused about the use of the word because of African Americans use it was the decision to stop believing her. As an AA i have heard the word and sure will hear it again; however, I don't use it!

        June 30, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
  4. clarlune

    ROFL the premise of this article is bullcrap....i guess every southern cook who is not a person of color must now genuflect? ROFL when pigs fly...

    June 30, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • tom LI

      Not the point at all. But this much told story of White "cooks" like Deen that her recipes are all her grannys, or whatever her line of BS is – is where she makes her mistakes. Face the facts, in the Southern plantation days Whites didnt do the manual labor of cooking, that was left to the slave -cooks, who werre the ones developing recipes using their old recipes and what was available to them. The whites ate the better parts of the meats, and veggies, while the slaves ate the leftovers, or what whites deemed beneath them to eat.

      Once the slaves were no longer forced to – or those that remained as free-men/women, (a free-black woman in the south was a joke after the CW) they still did those jobs for a long time, until the Whites had to pitch in and had to cook and as such they relied on the foundations of the Slaves. Southern cooking owes its foundation to the Slaves, free-slaves, etc who had little place to go but back to their old jobs, or to try and start their own and many of them were involved prepared foods, out in the fields, on the roads, in the Urban areas, etc...

      You like Deen lack context, and a historical perspective...

      June 30, 2013 at 10:44 am |
      • Tom H

        Although it is true that the foundation of "Southern Cooking" may be based on recipes and styles adopted from the days when black slaves cooked for their white owners, I don't understand why Deen can't take credit for her own cooking. I would have to say the premise of this article is silly. What was she supposed to do? "Viewer Advisory: I take credit for none of the cooking you see on this show. I am not a racist." When you get food from a Chinese restaurant, does it anger you that American entrepreneurs are profiting off of (admittedly poor) imitations of Asian cuisine? All Paula Deen is doing is making money doing what she knows how to do best – cooking and (now) showmanship. She doesn't owe anyone an apology for having grown up in the South and therefore having grown up eating and cooking Southern food. This whole thing is ridiculously overblown. There is no doubt that racism has been and stilll is endemic in our society, but Paula Deen is not the problem, folks. And I don't think it's for you to decide who does and doesn't lack cultural context or understanding.

        June 30, 2013 at 11:20 am |
      • sixin

        I believe where you are confused in your comments is that soul food is just one aspect of southern foods and cooking. There's much more to do with southern cooking with historical contributions from many different cultures.

        June 30, 2013 at 11:43 am |
      • GGinBham

        @Tom Li
        Most southerners didn't own slaves, so the manual labor of cooking was done by their own hands, as was the rest of their manual labor. You exhibit a lot of hatred and disgust for southern whites. You need to grow up and drag yourself into the 21st century, as most southerners have already done. There are racists and bigots all over the country, and you seem to be one.

        June 30, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
      • Kathleen

        Excuse me,Tom,,but Southern Cooking was not invented by only slaves. If we are talking credit,credit is due to Native Americans and the Europeans who came to America early on. We have ancestors who came to Virginia in 1640....As starvation was the rule then, people ate what they gathered,such as greens in the forest. When pigs began to be raised,pork and lard were used heavily (Cooking greens in lard). Native Americans added their techniques and foods . This was all before African Americans came to our shores. AA brought Okra and other great foods and ideas but the MIX of all of this this is Southern Cooking. No one group owns it, so it is disengenious to blame Paula Deen for not giving credit. I love and have many cookbooks,such as Patti LaBelle's and the Neelys who address Southern Foods from the AA experience,so their influence is out there and is not missing. While Paula Deen may be faulted,this has risen to the level of nothing but a witch hunt.

        June 30, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
  5. Kathy

    Wait – so every time Giada DiLaurentis makes a pasta dish she needs to acknowledge that pasta originated in Asia and was brought to Italy by traders, and if Bobby Flay makes a Mexican dish he needs to remind us each time about which components were from the Aztecs. Paula cooks the food she grew up with; she is not required to do additional research on its history any more than I have to find out before I fix a meal for my children how far back and from what culture the food originated. Interesting to know, perhaps, but not required.

    June 30, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • tom LI

      Actually those two cooks do often credit such things where they need to...neither of them operates in the vacuum of sources materials that Deen pretends to...besides putting on that horrible accent of hers. Go find some old shows of hers, and hear how less nasally, and affected her speaking manner is...but when she caught fire as THE Southern Momma Cook, she ratcheted up the accent to where she sounds like her nose and mouth are now one...

      But its amazing how most of you lack the ability to see the nuances and points made in this or any other article about paying due credit and homage to historical reality.

      And her affected style of "some of my best friends are blacks" is also where she misses the point...

      June 30, 2013 at 10:53 am |
      • Jack

        Tom, you talk way too much. Your ignorance is showing.

        June 30, 2013 at 11:53 am |
        • :| Not amused.

          Jack your penis is showing!
          Oh that's your reflection...

          June 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
      • Kathy

        As I said, those facts ARE interesting. I read Southern Foodways' Alliance blog because I find the history of Southern cuisine fascinating, and Giada and Bobby and other cooks may present historical context to be informative; it just shouldn't be a requirement of all TV cooks and cookbok authors. I agree with you about how much more affected Paula's accent became as time went on, but I still say she presents her food as she experienced it growing up, and is probably not informed enough to give accurate information on the cultural background of that food.

        June 30, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
  6. racigee

    This cannot be a legitimate article. Seriously? Why did Deen succeed and profit from her past (and let me tell you, I've never been a fan, watched a show, or cooked from one of her books)....Deen succeeded because she worked like a dog, collecting, organizing, sharing, trying, working, promoting, and working. She didn't sit on her butt complaining of past events with which she had NOTHING TO DO and whining about things. She took the resources available and she built an empire and anyone else could have done it, too, but they didn't. So give credit where credit is due, people - to the person who took what she grew up with and moved forward.

    June 30, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • tom LI

      Thats right that good old Conservative GOP drenched logic...which is not really logic at all.

      Thats right, anyone who points out historical realities is a lazy whiner, who does nothing all day long...never works and just whines about how hard they have it...!

      You are what keeps this country from actually moving on...these tired old cliches where critique means the critic is lazy. I suppose no one can criticize the Govt,, or the Country unless they do it your way...otherwise they're a commie and should live someplace else...right?

      Okay, you go back and keep pulling on those righteous bootstraps of yours...cause youre the best American around.

      June 30, 2013 at 10:58 am |
  7. UnafricanAmerican

    How exactly does one "credit" the "African American" community with a recipe, without sounding racist? Seriously. If she would have come out and said "I would like to thank my black brothers and sisters for this fried chicken recipe," or "These grits, a special African American recipe, go great with..."

    People would have STILL been calling for her head.

    June 30, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  8. briguy85

    My closing comment on this mornonic blog post is this: I have reservations at Lady and Sons this week. I'm in Svannah on vacation and I'm going to go in there eat my fill (and then some!) on her fabulous cooking (using recipes she created herself owing no due to anyone). I'm going to vote for her the best way I know how: with my appetite and my money. That's money I won't be spending at Ballantine Press, Caesar's, Walmart, and all the other corporate sponsors that dropped her. And for all of you who seek to raise yourself up by dragging her down: haters gotta hate. How sad for you.

    June 30, 2013 at 9:42 am |
  9. Robert

    This is so petty. Everyone wants credit...Even if credit is not due....
    Remember the rumor...Harland Sanders stole his KFC recipe from a black woman?? There are those today that still believe this....
    When is America moving forward? It seems we continue backwards.

    June 30, 2013 at 9:36 am |
  10. LouAZ

    One major mistake – OKRA is a naturally occuring plant seed pod that is cooked down, rendered, and used as wall paper paste. OKRA has no nutritional value and should remain on OSHA's list of Industrial Hazards.

    June 30, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • Racism is ....

      I take it you do not care for okra?

      June 30, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • Kat Kinsman

      HA! Try it grilled and you'll change your tune: http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2011/08/09/okra-in-season-and-snot-just-for-frying/

      June 30, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • bitnar

      Ha Ha Ha! It never occurs to me to cook okra, but I always like it when it's served. Strange stuff.

      June 30, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
  11. michael

    This article is very, very stupid. I can hardly stand to watch MS Dean on TV. But to say she must confess to where all her recipes come from is beyond moronic. What an inferiority complex some people have.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:42 am |
  12. briguy85

    I can't wait! I'm heading to Lady and Sons this week for dinner. I'm going to enjoy Paula's cooking and I'm going to put more money into this and let her know I support and everything she's done. She admitted her mistake (from 30 years ago) and has lived her life well. Congrats, Lady! I'm on your side.

    June 30, 2013 at 7:48 am |
  13. gstlab3

    the new rebel alliance has been formed and is going to war against the corrupt U.S. government and its agents.

    June 30, 2013 at 3:04 am |
  14. Laura

    Since when is fried chicken only a Southern dish? I sat and watched as my Polish mother in Detroit, Michigan taught me to make fried chicken, as well as kapusta and stuffed cabbage while telling me all about my ancestors. Seems like all cultures do that kind of thing. Should Paula Deen give credit to my Polish ancestors?

    June 30, 2013 at 2:17 am |
  15. JhonDaAnalyst

    I think the writer of this opinion is simply stating that Paula Deen will never be the Queen of Southern cooking regardless of whoever (white corporate America) places that title on her........She would probably get a lot more support from the so called African American community if she had given credit to those who were cooking in the kitchen on those plantations, but we all know that would never happen. The white world supremacist majority wants to claim ownership of every creation and invention ever created on this lovely planet. However, in the end it's all about who can sell the most cookbooks in this case

    June 30, 2013 at 1:57 am |
  16. Kevin

    Mass media is amazing. It if weren't for the ridiculous number of pundits out there on every platform imaginable, no way would the Paula Dean empire come melting down, but these businesses feel they have no choice because they are intertwined in this media frenzy. For this gal to talk as if Deen somehow has the responsibility to be recognizing black food culture and civil war significance is a great example of how ridiculous this is. Did Deen maybe make the wrong PR moves? Sure, but she's a business woman, not somebody running for political office. This is the kind of crap that is snowballing thanks to everyone's obsession with the news. What business would want anything to do with that? No wonder there is an exodus from associating with Deen. Please though... people have short memories, and greater personalities have done far worse. She'll be back on tv within a couple years guaranteed.

    June 30, 2013 at 1:27 am |
  17. antoinette

    Let's see paula deen uses racial slur almost 30 years ago but chris brown can beat up rhianna just a few years ago and keep his record deal. I guess a guy beating up a woman is now politically correct. Only in america....

    June 30, 2013 at 12:48 am |
    • JhonDaAnalyst

      When you have that much at stake to lose u must realize that these companies have a lot more to lose......besides Chris and Rihanna was just black on black crime. Who really cares? I'm American Black btw

      June 30, 2013 at 1:46 am |
  18. JawgaBoy

    I'm a Southern man and a Christian ... not that either really matters. I've said and done many things in the past that I regret and I'm sure I will regret some things that I do or say in the future. With that said, to the people that are complaining about not getting the proper credit for creating or discovering certain foods, plants, etc. ... I believe that Adam and Eve were the first two people on this earth and we all are descendants of the two of them. So, I suppose that God should be credited with all of these wonderful recipes that we get to enjoy!

    June 29, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
  19. IndianaGreg

    So in other words, Davis wants a cut of the profits from Deen's book. Soooooo, um, what's stopping Davis from writing her own Cookbook and shopping a publisher? Can she prove that the recipe's in the book came directly from her own Ancestors? Every cookbook on the market today has recipe's in it that came from somewhere...so does that mean every cookbook is a work of fraud? Or, maybe, just maybe, is Ms. Davis jumping on the "Let's Lynch Paula Deen" bandwagon?

    June 29, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Randall

      amen, that's where all the trouble started, some lazy dumbass trying to cash in on Paulas success & now we have another one.

      June 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  20. grandma 2

    Smithfield ham is delicious. I first bought it at Save A Lot, a discount grocery store. After Paula started to talk about the ham,the price went up,way up and was no longer available there. Now Smithfield will I now be able to buy it at the discount grocery? Smithfield I think you shot yourself in the foot and reacted too quickly.

    June 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  21. Foodie

    All I can say is unless and until you have walked in a person shoes you have no idea how comfortable or uncomfortable it is. It is easy to criticize when you or yours are not the target of the criticism. I am black and own a restaurant in Charleston, SC. I learned how to cook from my mother who started teaching me when I was 14. I am now in my early 50's. I absolutely refuse to share my recipes with anyone that is not a part of my family – be they distant or close. There is a restaurant in Charleston whose owner admits everytime to using recipes she jotted down while the family cook was in the kitchen. She, like Paula Deen, is using this woman's recipes to make money. I don't have a problem with that. I just think it's unfair and disrespectful to her family that wealth and recognition is gained from her recipes and none is shared with the family. I do believe in preserving my heritage. I have been asked to hold a cooking class to teach the young people how to cook. I REFUSE TO!!! I have nieces and nephews whose children are heading off to college and I will teach them. If you say that I am selfish I am okay with that. Because a lot of what I know was gained through trial and error I will share my knowledge with my family ONLY!!!

    June 29, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Faith

      That makes no sence. But you want people to spend money at your restaurant? You say you ARE selfish and if YOU are selfish then why shouldn't Paula Deen be selfish too?...hmmm

      Also Paula does have practice and helpers that get paid to make her recepies and make them more crayive or even better. She's a white lady who cooks dam good and your just jealous about that.

      June 29, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
  22. doodah7

    I think about my ancestors. Half were indentured servants and half starving people from Ireland who had their land stolen from them and the food they should have eaten sold to the highest bidder instead of them eating it and not starving. When they arrived in New York and Boston they were not allowed to go in the front doors and were hired only as house maids, cooks and menial labor. But I don't fantasize about them and whip out the victim card every time I go to Boston or New York. This was back in the beginning of our country, not today.

    Where are all the sanctimonious critics who applauded when OJ Simpson was acquitted of murdering two people? Why is Jesse Jackson, an adulterer who has a daughter who will never have his name or legitimacy by his mistress deserving of even talking to Paula Deen much less helping her redeem herself. What about his own redemption.

    This treatment of Paula Deen is so outrageous, her being treated worse than a murderer and an adulterer, that the real problems of racism like continuing to play the victim for centuries and not getting on with achievements for the most part, are dwarfed in comparison. What a waste of energy. How large the chasm looms.

    Rodney King was so right. Can't we get along?

    June 29, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Faith

      You are right! I'm so tiered of the victim card! How about BET? Black Entertainment Television, I actually like this show but don't want to whach it because I'm not black and I feel like its wrong for me to watch. If whute poeple had a chanel ab ok ut with only whute people then theu would get sued! Then there would be media all over it saying "why is there no balck people" "they are rasict!" Oooh so tiered of being a white and having to baby the black race and tolarate all there attitude.

      June 29, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
  23. Oldmansbrthr

    If someone of African descent wishes to tell the story of slave Cuisine, then write a book and quit blaming Paul Deen for everything under the sun. I grew up on Southern Cooking and as far as i am concerned tha's all i need to know about it.

    June 29, 2013 at 11:21 am |
  24. palintwit

    This poor woman is being crucified and yet trailer trash like Sarah Palin and her friends at Chick-fil-A are allowed to run amok. I don't get it.

    June 29, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • TomV

      The people you mention are all cut from the same cloth. Just because Deen is a bigot in private does that make her any better than Palin or Chick-fil-A.

      June 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
  25. Ann Burchfield

    Paula Deen is a cook and I have no doubt she's a great cook. Why put the weight of the world on her shoulders? She's a cook whose in show biz!

    Have you heard the story of a southern family cutting off the end of the ham before baking? When someone asked why do that the answer was thought out and the answer was – Great great great grandmother went to cook a ham and it was to big for the pan – hence she cut the end off.

    If you want a book about African contribution to our cuisine why not write if yourself. I'll bet there are plenty already out there so you might have to compete instead of complain.

    June 29, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • dlaffey

      Agreed. While all of Davis' points are valid, frankly, I would love to buy a cookbook for Southern Black recipes. I don't believe I've heard of critism for Southern Living Cookbooks and Magazines for failure to credit black culture. It's my belief that if Paula Deen was a man, her error would have been ignored. In addition Walmart should hardly be casting any stones! Paula Deen is an American Institution. She's only human. Anthony Bourdain issues a scathing diatribe against her and nothing happened to him!

      June 29, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
  26. Sassy

    This article is ridiculous! America is a melting pot. No single race, religion or creed gets credit for ALL our food, nor should anyone have to footnote every word in print. I have a collection of cookbooks – am I insensitive, oppressive and racist if I don't care if they don't credit Native Americans for corn muffins when they share their take on the ingredients the author uses to make a good corn muffin. The US, like any country is full of good and evil but this "quick to judge" mentality is sickening! President Clinton has oral sex with an intern, Tiger Woods had innumerable adulterous affairs – and both lied like dogs when first asked about it. we are all good with that. Paula Deen tells the truth under oath (since when is a deposition public). because no one coached her that in America our leaders lie under oath to protect themselves, even our current attorney general! Her biggest sin is that she wasn't politically correct – she told the truth. Should she use the racial slur – NO! but do 90% of all use a bigoted or negative slur at one time or another in our life? I work for a foster care agency and I personally saw a birth certificate of a African American female who was born in Mississippi in the late 1930's and under RACE it said – N****r. Not Negro, not Colored, but N****r. I was stunned and very saddened. But this woman overcame the label placed on her and did not stay trapped in the victimhood too many want to stay in, regardless of their race. Attempting to place all of the historical guilt on one white lady is just plain ignorant. How nice for Wal-Mart & the other sponors to flaunt their superiority by pulling Paula's endorsements to "prove" they are sensitive, fair and equitable! Really the are simply doing this for the almighty buck. is it a good business move, maybe. is it due to the issue at hand – the question of racism? please – we really are not that naive are we?? Cut the political BS! Stop judging everyone especially when we don't like or agree with them! Stop playing victim to the past! Cry grieve and heal – then move on! We all have our own cross to bear and the "my pain is worse than your pain" is false prideful thinking which keeps one stuck. In sum, I think this article fans the flame of victimhood and does nothing to promote the strength, fortitude or resilience of the African American people!

    June 29, 2013 at 8:25 am |
  27. a silly cracker

    I believe the argument presented in this article does more harm than good. It conveys a sense of entitlement that has dramatically damaged this nation. Ms. Dean succeeded due to hard work and due diligence.

    Sure, the companies have all the right to choose what they do and don't sell. But as I recall, her book was on the NY times best seller list before it was even finished being published. Why would any company with business sense refuse to publish or sell it? Did the book contain offensive material? Is there something racist about her cookware? nope. they are all just TERRIFIED of the media.
    I demand the media correspondents apologize to Paula for dragging her reputation through the mud.

    June 29, 2013 at 6:28 am |
  28. David Nelson

    Regarding the reference to chile peppers in the article: Chile peppers are indigenous to the Western Hemisphere. They were unknown to the rest of the world until Spanish explorers brought them back from the "New World". Thus, their introduction to Europeans was by Native Americans, not African Americans.

    June 28, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
  29. writemejenb

    Reblogged this on Inside Jen's Head.

    June 28, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • RC


      June 29, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  30. James

    Actually, the sooner EVERYONE – black or white – abandons all these "stories" of the past, the sooner we all can move forward. There's a difference between story and fact, and stories are always slanted one way or another. Stop dredging all this crap up over and over again, because it starts the argument over and over again. The fried chicken & watermelon jokes, barbs, stereotypes, etc, etc, are not going to go away by talking about them more, but by talking about them less. Eat the damn stuff all you want – hell, MOST of us love that stuff – but quit talking about it and constantly throwing the past around.

    You know what the real problem is? Pride. People think it's a good thing, but (and I"m not religious) there's a reason it's listed as one of the famous 7 Deadly Sins. Let it go. Focus on other people, instead of yourself, and your past. It's really not that damn hard people.

    June 28, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Janet

      Well said.

      June 28, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • Bubbaliscious

      Whoaaa Angela, Way off Babe!!! Everything worth a damn is copied! Corps spend tons spying and imitating the competition.
      Progress is made by carrying on and improving.
      Why don't you quit complaining and get off your high horse and write your own book?
      Or could it be you don't have any original ideas or anything more to contribute to an old one?

      June 30, 2013 at 9:24 am |
  31. Dan

    Interesting to read through the comments. Whether you love or hate Deen, almost everyone who comments on the actual article thinks it was written by a semi literate ass. Keep raising that bar high,CNN.

    June 28, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
  32. bear arch

    Most of the posters are missing the point entirely. Deen is a national personality with fiduciary responsibility to the companies representing her. She admits she made derogatory comments many years ago, but likely feels the same way about black people today. She was and is a racist. All responsible companies should disassociate themselves from this racist. As for the comment that "we" have all used slurs; so what, who cares about you? This racist was in a position to influence purchasing decisions and obviously does not respect all people as equals. Good Riddance to her!

    June 28, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • anenigma

      who died and left you king to say that paula seen is LIKELY still racist? you read minds?

      June 28, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • Connie Lydon

      "likely feels the same way"? How do you know? are you personal friends with her or her family? then don't presume to know how she really feels! She has proven time and again that she's not racist- having blacks on her various shows many times, employing blacks, having close friends who are black and inviting them into her home and eat with her family? How about all the charities she gives to and not just money but gets in there with her hands and helps? Many are for people of color. So no, she is not racist. Let me know when you've done done the same and then get back to us. Until then, I guess we';; have to "presume" you're racist too.

      June 28, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • Laura

      I do not believe that pronouncing a word that is associated with a race, makes a person racist. Paula both likes and loves, many black people. Calling her a racist appears unjustifiable to me. I'm from the South and it's been my impression that racist of black people really don't like black people, let alone love them.

      June 29, 2013 at 10:39 am |
  33. Jim

    Oh, boo hoo! I'm a victim, I'm a victim! Our "ancestors" made that food, where my money, where's the glory for me, even though I didn't bother trying to be a TV chef, myself! Good God, these people and their ancestors are certainly not the first ones to cultivate rice, to use chiles, hot sauce, bbq and sweet potatoes were also NOT developed by just you! Grow up!

    June 28, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Meh


      June 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • swingstater

      For those keeping track, it's not just food that was stolen from that culture–art, music, etc. was too. If you weren't in power, then your ideas would be taken from you. E.g: How many black musicians from the 50s died in poverty while white people sang their songs and collected millions?

      June 28, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
      • Musashi

        They were going to die in poverty either way.

        June 28, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
  34. Jonathan Jenks

    Funniest article I've read on here in a long time. Food culturists taking offense at Paula Deen not giving props to the black community for cooking Southern food, what a scandal! Just to make sure I'm covered, i'd like to thank all of the flakes in California for this cheeseburger I'm about to enjoy.

    June 28, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
  35. Nicole

    So does the writer of this silly article also think nobody should make spaghetti unless your Italian?
    This article is racist is far as I'm concerned

    June 28, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Tirilei

      The article is not about who should make it, but who should be acknowledged as the original "source" of certain recipes or dishes. I've never paid attention to who Paula Deen is until now that her face is plastered allover the news. I agree with this article insofar as credit should always be given correctly, and that's why i would like to point out that chili peppers did not come from Africa, they originated in the Americas thousands of years ago and should be credited to Native Americans, as should about 60% of the world's food crops.
      As for fried chicken, with all due respect to Southern cooking, that could be claimed by many cultures. I grew up eating "Brathendl" or "Goeckele" if anyone understands that, and about everyone else claims their version of it.

      June 28, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
  36. Nicole

    Whoever wrote this article seems to be on some kind ridiculous trip! So now we have racial foods and we should be outraged over white people cooking southern food?? Lol good lord if I were black I would be offended by this article because its stupid and it's another attempt of media manipulating African Americans.

    June 28, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Connie Lydon

      yep, don't drink the kool-aide!

      June 28, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
  37. Chas Ellsworth

    Big difference in plantation style wedding and shirley temple days? The reporter should do his homework.


    Deposition-of-plaintiff-Lisa-T-Jackson -

    Q. her comment was that she wanted a wedding back in the Shirley Temple days
    with blacks wearing what?

    white shirts.

    white shirts?

    A. And black pants or black shorts.

    Q. And that's the sum total of the
    conversation about that; is that correct?


    h-huh, correct.

    June 28, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • broktoon

      See the bottom of page 14 for the exact quote, in which Ms. Deen says she want a "true Southern plantation-style wedding..." with "... a bunch of little n**gers to wear long-sleeved white shirts."

      Here is the actual complaint so you can read it yourself.


      June 29, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
      • John

        If I understand correctly, the truly offensive "quote" is actually an allegation in the Plaintiff's complaint. The actual quotation, hardly offensive or racist, is what the Plaintiff said when she was put under oath and asked questions.

        June 29, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
  38. fidel g

    R.I.P. Paula Deen.
    Cause of death: Racist
    You will not be missed

    June 28, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • belva gibson

      I don't watch paula. I don't like her show. nor do I like her crocodile smile. but I will say this; if you've been talking for 30 yrs + and you've never said something you regret then ill kiss your a##.

      June 28, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Nicole's

      She's not a racist idiot. Why don't you do your research on this entire thing instead of being fooled by media headlines.

      June 28, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Connie Lydon

      and you are disgusting. such a waste of air.

      June 28, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
      • Connie Lydon

        meant for fidel

        June 28, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • Musashi

      You, like everyone else, misuses that pitiful, stupid word "racist". The corrcet word for your comment is "bigot".

      June 28, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • Renee

      So sad!!! So hateful!!!! There's all kind of HATE speech going around in this world, only SOME get by with it I guess.

      June 30, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
  39. relmfoxdale

    I've never seen her show. At first, I was going to say that the background of the food isn't the point, that chefs cook things that are yummy and we eat them, and the storied heritage of every vegetable is tangential. Then I realized that I can name three books off the top of my head that are currently at home in my kitchen that provide a discussion of the culture of the food–a Spanish cookbook with explanations of Spanish culinary traditions, a Japanese cookbook that discusses Japan's food history through the ages, and one of Emeril's books, which has accounts of people he met who shared recipes with them (and their practices in catching the fish or getting a recipe from a grandparent or whatever). So I guess it could be seen as odd if she never got into any of the culture or history over the course of books and shows.

    June 28, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Dana

      Relm, this is a great example of what I think the article was trying to convey. The story of slaves and the South is a difficult one, but it should be told; Paula has not helped herself over the years by ignoring the story or the people.

      June 28, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
  40. RBN

    Paula Deen is better off without sponsors dumb enough to kill off a business with thoughtless, knee-jerk reactions.

    First, it’s old news that was ignored when it actually happened. So, obviously it wasn’t a big deal to start with. Second, the black community, in general, enjoys profiting from the word in practically all black movies, music and comedy. So, clearly blacks don’t have a problem either.

    For whatever reason, blacks are doing their best to keep this word in our collective lexicon and anyone surprised hearing it nowadays has either been living under a rock or is just plain stupid.

    Paula Deens sponsors completely overreacted to phony outrage from attention seeking whores, much like the one that wrote this ridiculous article. If Paula Deen should lose her life’s work for speaking a single word, then the person that wrote this inflaming article should too. And so should every black person that uses that same word. Only a true racist would think otherwise.

    June 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Chuck

      you must be from Ohio

      June 28, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
      • RBN

        Uh, no. You must be from Uranus!

        June 29, 2013 at 1:05 am |
    • sunflower2

      Well said!!

      June 28, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
      • Connie Lydon

        exactly, thank you!

        June 28, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • Gregg

      Agreed! Saying southern chefs should stand up and applaud blacks for their contribution to the food is like saying black Jazz musicians should all stand up and applaud Debussy and all the Europeans that contributed the harmony that was so essential to the creation of Jazz. Give me a friggin break! Be proud of your culture, respect the culture of others and move the hell on! I am tired of all this butt kissing and fake offended overly sensitive garbage. I am white, my wife is black, and I don't give a crap. Move on and stop writing dumb articles like this one.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
      • Nicole's

        Who cares who's a white and who's a black chef or what kind of food ppl cook! What's next racial bowel movements from the racial food

        June 28, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
        • Musashi

          Perhaps racial vomit from racial food-poisoning.

          June 28, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
  41. Don

    I'm a black man 100% and I'm so tired of black people talking about someone profiting off black culture . Get off your F*#@&% ass and get it done start your own production company, movie studio , chain restaurant, cooking show, no excuses .

    June 28, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Gram

      You go Don!!!! I'm so tired of people blaming others for their failures. If you're tired of Paula "white lady" Deen being the respresentative for southern cooking, get off your lazy behind and write your own cookbook. She's worked hard to get where she is and no one should deny her that. So she said a racial slur, I bet most people have in their lifetime called someone a *itch, @#ucker etc and that's just as bad as the "N" word.

      June 28, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Robert

      Don your right. As a 100% white man I too get taken back by people who are upset that some one else is doing good. If you want to have that cookbook detailing your heritage and family traditions, then write it. Ask your self everyday what have I done to today to accomplish my goals. Get off the couch and make a difference.

      June 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
      • Connie Lydon

        It amazes me how some people (any race) can begrudge others of their good fortune. If you are willing to put in the time and effort you can have that same good fortune. Be happy for others that have done well, stop trying to turn good fortune from hard work into something negative.

        June 28, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Ancient Texan

      Thank you, SIR! That needed to be said...loudly.

      June 28, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Hannah01

      Bravo, Don! You took the words right outta my head when I was reading the article. It's as if she's not allowed to cook in the way SHEwas taught by her mother and grandmother without mentioning the origin of certain ingredients. Absurd! All nationalities are free to write cookbooks with their own versions of their family recipes. PEOPLE, GET OVER THIS ALREADY!

      June 28, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • haf2sayit

      you are absolutely correct Don. People often whine and belly-ache when they could have easily come up with an idea themselves, pursue this idea, and put some blood, sweat, and tears behind it – but for whatever reason they didn't. I appreciate your comments.

      June 28, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Elece

      Amen and Alleluia!

      June 28, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Elece

      Well said!

      June 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
      • Connie Lydon

        Elece- correct! You get what you put into something. If you're willing to work hard and make sacrifices to achieve your goals, then you will be rewarded with having met your goal. If you are sitting there waiting for someone else to hand it to you or motivate you- well, you get nothing!

        June 28, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
  42. cjames

    It's freakin' food, people. Get over it!

    June 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • heywood

      No its not, its fried greasy crap with cheese on it.

      June 28, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
      • Connie Lydon

        and how do you know? oh, you're a closet viewer, shhh...I won't tell!

        June 28, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
  43. Wilbur

    I do not believe Paula is is a racist, she is a great Southern Belle in my opinion, a great southern chef & hope she survuves all this adverse publicity. She deserves better

    June 28, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Nicole

      I agree. And who ever wrote this article should be fired its so stupid

      June 28, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
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