June 26th, 2013
04:45 PM ET
Share this on:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



soundoff (956 Responses)
  1. Lexi

    What a wad of horse manure. You want to write a cookbook about Southern Cooking or Soul Food Maya, be our guest. When will this perpetual, you owe me for something mentality EVER STOP. Black people just never stop playing the race card do they, and it does more damage to race relations than you can ever imagine. Talk about just flat out ridiculous.

    July 1, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • Paul

      It is pretty amazing, they can call us Cracker and other words and 'WE' are not suppose to get upset about these comments.
      But let somoen use thr "N" word which THEY use everyday to talk to to each other and BANG the WHITE race is RACIEST.
      Come on this is B.S. I remember when I was Viet Nam out in the FIELD WE ALL lived together and fought together. NOW it seems the Black race has nothign better to do thn continue to BLAME the White race for every little thing that is said or does aboutt he Black Race.

      Well I think it is time that they take care of they're own business and become just an American NO COLOR just a American and stop this B.S.
      In my Opinion. The only ones this really effects are the Lawyers.

      July 1, 2013 at 8:53 am |
  2. Fuzzee G

    Damned if you do. Damned if you don't. Before reading this article, I thought any mention of AA and fried chicken/watermelon was scene as racial stereotyping.

    July 1, 2013 at 8:24 am |
  3. ChangeGeorgia

    ?

    July 1, 2013 at 7:44 am |
  4. ME

    Bullsh*t
    So now you are saying that southern cooking is soul food.
    Someone has flipped their lid.
    You must be kidding.
    My great great grandmother had slaves. of which I am not in the lest proud..but the word was they taught the slaves early on how to cook southern recipes..the rest is history...the recipes would be tweaked..made better and the main ingredient for almost all recipes...was fatback and butter.....
    The media so leans to one-side and takes everything that any white does in this day and time to be racist.
    I am so sick of it.

    July 1, 2013 at 7:07 am |
  5. mjbrin

    this article is just like the rest, it went back to focusing on recipes, cooking, and the n word.........paula dean is a brand and the lawsuit has to do with her and her brother's business practices. she is well aware of it and it trying to fix that. she knows they got caught being wrong in the workplace now let's wait and see if they settle out of court or not

    July 1, 2013 at 6:54 am |
  6. Tired already

    I will be glad when I can watch tv or read a newspaper and this ordeal be done. Too many groups of people have been discriminated against and treated wrong over time to make such a big deal out of this. Worse things have happened.

    July 1, 2013 at 5:51 am |
    • Enuff

      I wish every group that cry's discrimination were put under oath and asked if they ever said something racial about another race of people.

      July 1, 2013 at 6:26 am |
  7. Scott

    I was wondering when the next bastion of "racial" discrimination claims would rear its head. C'mon, really? Are we really that petty as say some things were strictly introduced by White and black people? By this frame of mind, let's go ahead and credit the American Indians with corn, squash and many other items.

    She is famous for showcasing "southern cuisine", not "white southern cuisine"....of course she is going to have things from every southern walk of life. She wasn't a creole either, but she also had a gumbo recipe. Should we throw a fit about that too? This is really getting out of control.

    Stop the white, black, hispanic, etc bickering of blame, credit and general ridiculousness. Yes, slavery is an unfortunate part of America's history. So is oppression of women (which is rearing its head again), so it the displacement of an entire indigenous population which is still going on today (America Indians) and a number of things that we are not proud of. But slavery is over, has been for quite some time here. It only harms us all to keep making everything about slavery, race or hate. Every white person who tells a joke about a stereotype is not a bigot. If that were true then nearly every black comedian today would be guilty of being racist against white people. I mean let's look at the things that help to perpetuate racism here: An all black awards ceremony, an all black television network, etc. these are the things that keeps racism alive. If it's wrong for white people to have all white awards, or all white channels, then it's wrong for all. You can't have justice or equality as long as you want rules to be one-sided.

    We are either all Americans in the same fight, the same plight for success, work and living status, or we aren't. In my vision, we are all tolerant of each other, we are all equal and we work together to find a better life in the future. We don't bicker over petty arguments and find every nit-picking reason to condemn each other or to call someone a racist or to perpetuate the hate and the fear we all loathe. I'm sorry, but articles like this only serve to further the divide and do nothing to help bring us closer. We all have people on all sides that are extreme on their views of hate, but I think most of us are tolerant and caring people who just want to live together in peace. And until we stop this garbage of political correctness and being overly sensitive to everything someone says, we will never get over the hate. I hope that the majority of Americans can someday overcome things like what this article stands for and agree that we now share a common American History (not african, not british, not scot, not irish, not german, or italian, or french, etc...but AMERICAN) and to be proud, not of what has happened in the past, but at what we've been able to accomplish together. The obstacles we've overcome together. Things like the space program, computer technology, cell phones, television, flight, automotive advances, the telegraph, radio, etc. Everything that we have today was a culmination of inventions and discoveries made the contributions of every nation, every racial example from those nations. The sooner we all realize these things and be thankful for our differences and our diversity that gave us all these wonderful things, the better off we will all be. There isn't a group of people on this planet we would be better without. Get over yourselves and your selfish wants and needs and get with the program of being a part of something much greater.

    July 1, 2013 at 4:52 am |
    • Sandy

      While reading the article, I was deciding that I would, for the first time ever, come up with words to respond to what I deem as a ridiculous direction to go with the entire situation. You said everything I want to say and I truly appreciate your response! Thanks for saying it for me better than I could have myself. Amen!

      July 1, 2013 at 6:56 am |
    • crazyvermont

      very well said

      July 1, 2013 at 7:41 am |
    • Lexi

      AMEN!!! Good grief, the Jews have moved on from one of the worst atrocities in our time, why can't the black move on from something that happened centuries ago. So ridiculous, this endless "victim" mentality..makes you look extremely weak and stupid.

      July 1, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • D Martinez

      Amen.
      Scott, you would do a way better job as a writer in CNN. But I know, that kind of view/opinion does not sell well. Sadly, the media needs the drama and hatred articles to "sell".

      July 1, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • Southern-American

      Interestingly, people from Appalachia are more likely to call themselves "American" when asked their ethnicity.

      http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2008/jun/14/everyones-favorite-minority-joke-us/?print=1

      July 1, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • RC

      The most balanced, compassionate post I've read yet. Thank you Scott.

      July 1, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
  8. Ron

    To bash Paula Deen for using the N-Word some 30 years ago is just hypocritical to the extreme. You go back 30 years and you find TV shows such as the Jeffersons using Racial slurs they they were integral to the english language. Heck, you want racial slurs, just listen to rap music. Why is it a black rapper can use the N-Word, but someone who said it some 30 years ago is lambasted in the media? Just goes to show you the really racist people in the world are no longer caucasian.

    July 1, 2013 at 2:02 am |
    • The Asian

      Well stated and I agree with you 100%...

      July 1, 2013 at 6:48 am |
    • Read about it!

      The story is NOT just about her using the N word, you need to read more if you are going to make an argument that doesn't make you seem like a simpleton. She called her black employee's "my little monkeys" and not 30 years ago, and there is so much to this story. But all you got was a tidbit and decided only on that the media was making a mountain out of a mole hill.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  9. heebeejeebee

    Well uh... write your own cookbooks maybe? Huh? Really I could not care less about Paula Deen but the complaints seem like sour grapes for someone who made it big.

    July 1, 2013 at 1:54 am |
  10. Michael Benjamin

    Don't worry about Miss P i g g y she'll be fine.

    July 1, 2013 at 1:49 am |
  11. whiz1

    I don't think anyone can say for certain here that they know who Paula Deen REALLY is...people go by what they see on TV and considers her "America's Southern Sweetheart." No, I don't think she's racist but I feel that, because she was raised in the rural south (pre-civil rights era) she was probably raised a certain way and to think a certain way in terms of other races. Once more, she did state in a recent interview that someone in her family has ties to slavery. She is a product of those times. Also, when you're on top, you pretty much have a target on your back. Everything you say will be scrutinized, doesn't matter how long ago it was, and don't have a bunch of skeletons in the closet cause the media will unearth them! Anyway, I also feel that time will heal wounds, and at some point, she will bounce back.

    June 30, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • Guy

      You make me want to vomit. How moral, oh how ethnic you are. Deen did nothing more than you or I do every day of our lives. Cook well and enjoy life. She happened to be a food net work host, no more or less. She contributed as a hole to our culture and or humanity. To say she was or is a bigot because she happened to use the n-word at some time in her life and then to persecute her now for it is far fetched and beneath her dignity. Shame on you.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:50 am |
      • jandasma

        Who are you talking to?

        July 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  12. Fox Roberts

    Culinary historian Michael Twitty . It would have helped if they would have made this more prominent in the article. Without it, the article is just inflammatory.

    June 30, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
  13. Patc

    Spare me, I guess you would like credit given to African Americans for the birth of her children too! When will all this racism bullshit stop. Leave the women alone, worry about your own actions.

    June 30, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
  14. Bill

    I never even heard of Paula Deen before this. It's just the media's flavor of the month! Nothing easier to report than this stuff which falls in the media's lap. I really do miss the good ole days when the news media actually reported news and not this crap!

    June 30, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • Patc

      Agree, the media is a disgrace!

      June 30, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • Ralph J. Monasterio

      I feel the same way...I never heard of Paula Deen....before all this FIRESTORM. My question.......IT'S NOT HOW YOU SAY A WORD, like the "N' word........it's the MANNER on HOW you use it......and the GENERAL PURPOSE behind it.

      I'm white....and if they called me "CRACKER" or "HONKY"...I wouldn't even know what they're talking about, or could CARE less.According to my Attorney...."Sticks and stones may break my bones.....but WORDS....will NEVER hurt me."

      I lived in Buffalo, N.Y. for about two years........and I would FREQUENTLY hear Black people.......call themselves using the "N" word. And...they'd think NOTHING of it. Just don't let a white man use it. It might mean something else.

      To Paula Deen......"What Attorney did you CONSULT with.......before they put you on the carpet?"

      June 30, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Jo Ann

      Agree, Bill. And would add, regarding the above article, why is Paula Deen putting a brand and spin on southern cooking–particularly her family recipes–any different that Giada and Mario promoting their Italian cooking, and Julia Child having branding her French cookbooks, during her lifetime. They are/were great cooks, some trained chefs, but ALL first and foremost TV personalities that have made their cooking interests fun and educational for us. We need to lay off Paula Deen - she's done a lot for promoting southern cooking - she has never said she was the originator.

      June 30, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
      • Rocky Mountains

        I was thinking the exact same thing about Julia Child and the other TV chefs!

        July 1, 2013 at 12:05 am |
  15. bintoo

    Excuse me, but a cookbook is not a history book! If an author of a cookbook gives a story of what is behind a recipe or the whole book, for that matter, it is a PERSONAL story. When have you EVER seen authors of Italian cookbooks fall over themselves to make sure the Chinese get credit for pasta? It is an interesting tidbit that Marco Polo probably got the recipe for noodles during his voyages to the far east, but demanding that those authors must acknowledge it is absurd! Why are these people standing around and whining? Clearly there are already books that tell these stories. There are also a lot of cookbooks written by blacks and african-amsricans that DON'T and I think that is an important point.

    June 30, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • Rocky Mountains

      Exactly!

      July 1, 2013 at 12:07 am |
  16. svann

    I can forgive her use of the N word, but that fatty food is disgusting.

    June 30, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • Semper Mirabilis

      But it sure tastes good.

      June 30, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
  17. Bill Davis

    Sounds like someone else is wanting to ride on Deen's coattails,

    Paula worked her fanny off, and did not go on welfare having a bunch of kids.

    June 30, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
  18. Pablo

    I say, burn this evil woman at stake. How can our society allow evil doers such as Paula Dean to roam around free. Oh, the shame of it all. Or, it is simply much ado over nothing by a hyper-sensitive society becoming politically correct to the point of absurdity. I ate at Paula Dean's restaurant at Harrah's in Tunica, MS on June 29 and noticed many of my black brothers eating at the Paula Dean restaurant there. There plates were filled high and they didn't seem to be too concerned about the Paula Dean flap.

    June 30, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
  19. Dee

    While its true that Soul Food is of purely African-American, to say that the whole is southern food goes back to african-american roots is wrong. the fact is many of our basics have their roots in native american history. if it weren't for the original native americans, the european people who moved here would have starved. from the native americans we have corn and corn based foods, as well as being where the original open pit bbq that we have today started. the rest of southern food is a mix of cultures from the peoples who immigrated to america. don't just listen to whats been said and passed down generation to generation, research it. thats the very reason Paula Dean is in trouble now, is she is reiterating what she was brought up with, instead of looking around her to the amazing different food cultures we have today.

    Read a book people, research original documents from the time of the civil war and you'll be surprised what you learn.

    June 30, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
  20. Nick

    what the hell did i just read? what a bunch of bullshyt

    June 30, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
  21. Andee

    One of the most ridiculous articles I've read. Most of the television chefs do not discuss the origin of their recipes. Utter nonsense. From what I'm reading, if Ms. Deen is "brave enough" to break bread with Twitty, all will be right in the world again. I'll tell you what, Ms. Deen can come to my home anytime and break bread. And she won't have to apologize for a single thing because she already has – numerous times. And she won't have to cook, either. Pure character assassination. If you are seriously demanding she "give credit" for her recipes, I imagine you demand the same for all TV chefs? Get over it and move on.

    June 30, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Andrea Parker

      Amen, Andee

      July 1, 2013 at 6:42 am |
  22. MaBear

    I was born in Louisiana and raised mostly in Mississippi. I am a white female in my 60's. I lived through some very turbulent years in Mississippi. I have never been a racist, my parents tried hard NOT to be, which was very difficult in Mississippi in the 60's. I am a Southern Lady. I have never been an actual fan of Paul Deen, though I have absolutely nothing against the lady. I just happen to cook Louisiana and Mississippi Southern style, not Georgian. Now I don't know how many of you have managed to never, ever, ever in your lifetime say something racist, but I do know that the vast majority of people regardless of color have not managed to go their entire life without uttering, or at the bare minimum thinking, at least one racist remark. Does that make us racists? I don't believe so. Racism is in the heart. It's in the core of our being. And it's not just white vs black or black vs white. It's any race thinking, or acting negatively towards another race. We are all guilty of some level of racism. What we need to think about is our day to day reactions and thoughts toward one another. Is Paula Deen guilty of racism? If what they say is true that it was a remark made almost 30 years ago, I'd be surprised if the true answer was yes. Based on that thought, she is no more a racist than you or me. I believe in equality and being given a fair chance in life. As for the many comments about giving culinary credit where it's due...well, I grew up cooking southern style foods. My Mother and both my Grandmothers cooked southern style foods. I have never in all my years heard anything about our cooking being directly descended from any particular race or group of people. I learned from my ancestors. They learned from theirs. Where it originated from was not on any of our priority lists of things to know. It was great cooking. It tasted wonderful. It was fun to cook. Did any of us care about who invited what recipe or where it truly originated from? I have to admit NO. We loved it. Our Mothers and Grandmothers taught us how to make it. It can be argued where gumbo originated, the French, the Africans, the Native Americans. All of them had a hand in what we today call gumbo. So should we automatically credit one race for the "invention" of it? No. It belongs to all of them, as well every cook today who changes it to suit her or his tastes and cooking methods. The culinary arts is an every changing thing and in my personal opinion one dish seldom can be claimed by a particular race or culture.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • TSinclair

      I totally agree MaBear. You covered all my thoughts on this one.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • 10inbar

      You can be a racist without ever saying the N word. As you read the comments on this platform, you can see many, many racists and the N word is not there. Racism means much more than uttering a word.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • ranlo

      Right On from the South!

      June 30, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • TNPatriot

      Had the issue really been about the 30 yr old use of the N word, as Deen wants everyone to believe, I would agree. However, if the media were honest enough to actually show the public what Deen actually said in her deposition, the world would see that she has no class and even less character.

      June 30, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
  23. twalk

    Anyone that is offended by the terms Cracker, Honkie, N1ger, etc are WEAK minded and RACIST. You need to get over yourself. She is not racist. If she said the N word last month that would not make her racist. Some people are to busy using the long distance past as a tool for make money without working, and special rights. All need to end. Enough is enough N 1gers are what is referred to as blacks that cause trouble and Racist. Rapper use it all the time, so unless they want to stop promoting the word for making money then shut up. Blacks use the word themself and them being black in NO EXCUSE, because they are promoting the word.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • edwardst35

      I love Paula.....I love southern cooking.....I am a northerner......I love the N word!

      June 30, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
  24. budhm

    Perhaps the focus of criticism should be on the journalist, who hides behind quotes while making no conclusions. The inference is that someone who publishes a recipe for okra soup should credit a particular race, or be branded what?

    June 30, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • twalk

      Racist.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
  25. Cinderella

    Why don't blacks just write their own cookbooks. They are always trying to take what someone else has earned.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • twalk

      Whitie owes them and probably to lazy. It is easier to ride on someone elses back as a large part of the population has for yearssss.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
  26. twalk

    Deen does not owe any credit to the Africa America's. That is laughable. The day African Americans give white people credit for giving a better life than they would have had in Africa and supporting them on Welfare for having numerous children is the day someone should give them credit for Southern Food. That is just disguising of the African Americans and anyone that supports that notion. If you are treated so bad go to some other country or Africa.

    June 30, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • martin

      frankly twalk, you're nuts. any person who 'd say being free in africa is better than being a slave anywhere else is just plain nuts.

      June 30, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • Chris

      And that, folks, is the attitude of American racists who don't think they're racist.

      July 1, 2013 at 6:11 am |
  27. Not Likely to KowTow

    For god's sake, the woman made an off color comment in 1980 and 2007 and she's getting crucified for it TODAY? Besides, what she says in the privacy of her PRIVATE life is none of your business, liberal media and liberals in general. In fact, I think I"LL run around my house shouting the N-Word at the very tippety top of my lungs and guess what? You won't do a blessed thing against me, nor do you have the power to do so! Free Speech: It applies. Especially if Obama and Company say it doesn't. Want to know right from wrong? Whatever is the opposite of Obama is right. Always. I win. Bye Bye! Slam me all you want! I won't be back to check up on this. Don't need to, since only my take on this issue is the right one. Glad to sort of clear that up for you liberals!!!!! *Victory dances into the sunset whilst singing the "Obama is Wrong" song in a sort of shrill shrieky voice*

    June 30, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
  28. Eric

    Glad to see we still have witch hunts...

    June 30, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
  29. Tom

    "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. " While watermelon and okra may be from Africa originally, chile peppers are certainly not from there...they are from the Americas...Thanks for taking credit for anything that helps your cause! Not southern food is from Africa!

    June 30, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • Tom

      Not "all" southern food is from Africa

      June 30, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
      • twalk

        yep, just like all Welfare recipient are from Africa in some form.

        June 30, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • Joe

      And fried chicken was a staple of european cuisine before any came over here.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • twalk

      don't forget collard, turnips, rutabaga, fish. They deserve credit for those as well. Southern people would have starved without the African Americans. Yes Sir they would have.

      June 30, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
  30. David Roy Scott

    Oh Paula...It may be too late for You to keep whinning ....and get on with the Millions You still have!
    Racism will lose.... the whole republican party are racists...they will lose in 2014!

    June 30, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • thefulishbastid

      You see what you did there right? "All republicans are racist". As in stereotyping or generalizing a group of people. You know like racism? What about black republicans, they racist too?

      June 30, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • edwardst35

      NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN word!

      June 30, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
  31. shawn l

    What a moronic article.

    June 30, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • 1robertsmith

      I couldn't agree more!

      June 30, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
  32. Dieudonne

    Je suis Creole de Louisianne. You forgot about REAL Creole and Cajun cooking....not that crap Emeril makes in New Orleans (which is for tourists and NOT what we eat) or that Zatarains crap in the box or what Tony Mandola's wanna be a@@ in Houston, Tx tries to make...hell not even Pappadeauxs. The BLACK FRENCH population aka Creoles are not in N.O. they are in the swamps and bayous of Louisiana, in the suburbs of Houston and in Chicago and LA. The people from N.O. prior to Katrina didn't even cook like us and they also didn't speak french. Creole is another part of Blackness in America that no one understands or is ready for even non-creole african americans.

    June 30, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
  33. Fitz

    So according to this form of logic every time LeBron or Kobe win a championship and collect a paycheck they should credit and give thanks to James Naismith (a white man) who invented the game of basketball?

    Hell No.

    It's based upon individual merit. Paula Deen took the initiative, worked hard and prospered. If you want to blame anyone, blame yourself for not taking the risk of starting a business.

    And if you're going to use funky logic, how about this? Black people are responsible for every heart attack, stroke and case of diabetes in the country. After all, they're the ones that came up with the recipes that cause all of these problems so they should be entirely responsible, right?

    It's as ridiculous as it sounds, just like saying someone should credit anyone else for their hard work.

    June 30, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • cliffintex

      Why am I not surprised. Southern cooking was a black innovation? Really??? It may surprise these race mongers that most of the people in the South never owned slaves...shock and awe. We really should feel sorry for these types of people because their so insecure that they latch on to anything and call it their own. There were many good things that did come from the black community in the South, but for them to claim ownership if Southern cooking is hilarious.

      June 30, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
  34. jogene

    So now the woman is stealing cooking styles. She just had enough business sense to make build an empire and some out there are trying to destroy her. Cut her a break and go after someone who is really out of control like Alec Baldwin.

    June 30, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
  35. jane M

    Southern food is great, if you don't mind later in life having to take diabetes medications (that is you do not get a limb amputated) or having vein cut from your leg and sewn in your heart after they cut and spread your chest. Trust your doctor, you must as 10% get brain damage during surgery an will be coming back.

    June 30, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Elizabeth

      My Grandmother was from the south and ate this type of food her whole life and never had diabetes or high blood pressure. Nor was she obese. She kept a tin of bacon grease on her stove for frying and baking. Every morning her and my Grandfather ate a full breakfast of eggs, bacon or sausage, biscuits or toast. Both lived long lives. My father's mother did have diabetes and suffered from obesity until later in life. She was from Austria and loved to eat cakes and pies, spaetzle, pork and liver dumplings in beef stew. She also lived a long life (88 years). Who really knows, maybe it was their hard work and acceptance of life for what it is attitude that made the difference.

      June 30, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
  36. Blanton

    Enough already...does that mean that my grandparents and great grandparents, that didn't own slaves and barely owned a pot to pi$$ in, weren't southern cooks...they weren't much better off themselves. Tradition is what is passed down from generation to generation and this witch hunt is out of control! I don't particularly care for her recipes but to each his own. I hope she comes back stronger than ever and I am dropping every retailer that has dropped her. Seriously sears can afford to drop brands.

    June 30, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • Brandy

      I agree, this is total BS. The fact that most non-Southerners love to forget is that the majority of southerners did not own slaves, my people included. More than 80% of the Confederate army were non-slave owners. There were six black documented slave owners in Charleston alone during the Civil War. Entire Indian nations owned slaves. Now THAT'S giving credit where credit is due! Southern food is something that all of our southern ancestors participated in creating, not just slaves or white people who owned slaves.

      June 30, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
  37. cbp

    This idea that Ms. Deen is the person who brought us Southern Cooking is carrying the truth a bit too far. It is a shame that she failed to give credit to those who came before her and cooked on plantations throughout the South. Even more credit should be given to those who found ways to feed their families very cheaply while making sure that the good was delicious.

    I really do not believe we know the whole story and we will not necessarily know the truth until after the trial. The point is that at some times during her life she used poor judgement. It will be over when the African-America community wishes to move on. They are the ones most effected by this story.

    June 30, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Andrea

      Who hasn't used poor judgment at any point in his/her life. This is a tempest in a teapot. I think, like Martha Stewart, Paula will come back even better. Who cares who brought what cuisine to this country and who is not giving credit for it. Just cook and enjoy. And when rappers stops using derogatory terms to describe women and themselves, we'll talk.

      July 1, 2013 at 6:53 am |
  38. sheila

    Paula Deen is not the only one who uses butter. Ina Garten will use 3 sticks of butter making ONE cake. Please, let up on Paula and the butter. She did not make anyone eat anything! Both of them offer wonderful recipes.

    June 30, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
  39. stephanie

    Well I guess the food I grew up with cooked by my mother and grandmothers doesnt belong to my Southern culture but to the AA culture so where does that leave Southern culture. Oh thats right..people wont be happy until it is wiped off the face of the planet and Southeners are no more. We will just exist where ever you pc liberals tell us to go and blend into the new South after you change everything that made the South what it was. I find it very interesting that people preach acceptance of different cultures but Southern culture has been portrayed as evilness so all I can do is stand there and be judged as ignorant and uneducated without saying a word. I will say that I lived in NYC for a year and it wasnt the SOUTH where I experienced hate, inconsideration, coldness, malicious behavior.

    June 30, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Wut?

      Why wrongly generalize? What does liberalism have to do with what you're talking about? You've taken a valid point of concern, and denigrated it with a wrongful generalization that will polarize your readers and deflect away from the root. As a "liberal", I agree with your concern, and find the "EVERYONE HAS TO GIVE US CREDIT FOR ANYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH THE FOLLOWING FOODS" notion comical, yet insulting. Make your own cookbook (angry people), focus all you want on the racial significance of the cuisine. Doesn't mean every cookbook has to follow the same script, as if there's a labeling requirement for all things South.

      So Stephanie, make your point, but without the ignorant blanket assumption. Thanks! Otherwise a good point.

      June 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
      • Ruby

        Hey, great gimick! Someone could make a buck off a Cracker Cookery for the hungry Red Neck. I bet it would sell.
        It could offer all sorts of recipies for cooking pig meat, sweet potatoes, corn (maize), make a great joke of it and I bet it would sell. Maybe someone with the right look someone could even get a TV show.

        June 30, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  40. Elaine V

    Maybe the writer of this article didn't see the episode of Paula's cooking show where she fried chicken with Viola Davis, beautiful African American actress from the Help movie. Or all the shows where other famous Black community members guest starred and shared stories from their families past/culture.

    This article is just ridiculous.
    Besides, I think if a white Southern women, such as Paula, and mentioned hoecake or okra being a staple in the black slaves diet back in the 1800s, that people would have chastised her for that too.

    June 30, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Atlanta

      You are so right! I'm a black woman – yes you may call me black. You don't have to say African AMerican, person of color, or anything else. This is completely ridiculous and makes me cringe. My people need to get over this and work hard to provide for their families. I am so proud to be an AMERICAN and I dont need anything in front of that word. Yes, shame on Ms Deen for ever saying that word but shame on the group that thinks making a mountain of a molehill MANY years later will somehow help us today.

      June 30, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
      • Renee

        Thank you!!!! So true and so wise.

        June 30, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
  41. CJ

    Does this mean Rachael Ray and Giada DeLaurentis are indebted to all Italians and Emerill owes zillions to those Cajuns? Oh no! Somebody tell them please so they can hire lawyers.

    June 30, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Dieudonne

      Being Louisiana Creole yes, Emeril and a buch of wannabe Creole/Cajun chef OWE my culture alot. The vietnamese, Tony Mandola, Emeril. Not for trying to cook Creole/Cajun food but by messing it up and CALLING it Creole/Cajun. Since when do French substitute Mole (which is Mexican and made from chocolate) for Roux (pork drippings a flour cooked until it turns the color of chocolate) for Gumbo? And what makes it worse is that people buy tha Zatarains crap and swear you can make jambalaya ourt of a box. They dont even know there is two kids of Jambalaya at that. And lets take dirty rice. ITS NOT DIRTY! The Neelys made some rice with ground beef and onions and grease in in it and called it dirty rice....i wanted to slap the crap out of them.

      June 30, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  42. mickinmd

    "[Black] 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."

    "Chili" or "Chile" peppers spread from south/central America to Europe and then other places in the world and was NOT part of the "African Palate."

    The claims about Rice stem from a "study" that claims slave traders learned about rice from Africans in the 1600-1700s. The fact that the ruins of a 2000 year-old Roman Army Camp in Germany include rice shoots that claim to hell!

    Rice was being cultivated in N.Carolina in the 1600's by Whites and precipitated the slave trade, not the other way around. No doubt Africans introduced some of their own methods of production, but they certainly didn't introduce rice to America.

    Watermelon is of African origin, but it was introduced to Europe by Moorish invaders in the Middle Ages and by the 1500's Europeans had taught Native Americans how to grow it.

    Okra was most likely brought to the USA during the slave trade, though it was well known around the Mediterranean hundreds of years earlier.

    June 30, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  43. WWJD in This Life

    I find the whole situation disturbing. Paula Deen said something 27 years ago and being punished for it now. She's being sued by a revengeful, money hungry, past employee and the lawsuit has not even been determined. What's more disgusting is that the media has run this story into the ground until it made the entire world mad and divided. How is that responsible journalism?

    It's disgusting because it's a word that the black culture use on an everyday basis. You can't get rid of racism if the black culture continues to use the "N" word themselves. You can't get rid of racism if you can't logically process the facts that Paula Deen, out of fear and anger, said a word after having had a gun held to her head during a bank robbery. I probably would have said more than she did as would a lot of you.

    It's unfair that companies who's political stance and who have their own racial bias cut ties with Paula Dean. Maybe each business should clean up their own backyard before they start judging someone elses. Each business now showed the whole world that it's not ok to make mistakes (27 years ago) and the world should not use forgiveness and that you should never tell the truth (as Paula Dean did in a deposition).
    What a great example of Business Core Values!

    What really disgusts me...Is Paula Dean said a WORD...but people like Michael Vick hurt, abused, and had dogs raped by other dogs and objects. Yet Michael Vick was admitted back into the NFL and is praised and worshiped daily.

    What really disgusts me...Is Paula Dean said a WORD....but there are more serious issues in the world like violent criminals that still walk the streets raping women and children. There are terrorists trying to destroy America. There's an economic crisis in the forefront and you all worry about a WORD. It's only a WORD.
    Priorities are out of alignment.
    What would Jesus do? I'll tell you..Jesus will make sure Paula Dean is just fine and ok!

    By the way...Have you all ever listened to any rap songs where the "N" word is used every other word. Where the songs promote violence, drugs, and guns? Hmmm...

    One of these days, my sister and I want to eat Paula's Thanksgiving FEAST! Sit down and drink lemonade with Paula and have a good ol down home conversation while sitting on the back porch in a rocking chair...WE LOVE YOU PAULA!

    June 30, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
  44. Rob K.

    Quite possibly the dumbest concept I think I have ever heard. Do you seriously expect every person who creates a cook book to credit the who ever created flower, butter and every other ingredient involved with a recipe?? Pretty sure responsible reporting is dead in this country.

    June 30, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • gdouglaso

      Could not agree more with your comment. Thanks. Some of the criticisms of Deen are fair...this one is ridiculous. I am reminded of a person who was upset that money was being donated to one charity because "it could have gone to the hungry instead." There will always be an avenue to spew hate and cut people down...this article is proof of this.

      June 30, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • GloSeattle

      Agreed! Why does everyone have to apologize for everything? It's like walking on egg shells. Paula's southern recipe's don't have to include a history lesson. We all get that in school. Not everyone in the south was wealthy enough to own slaves, and many considered slavery an abomination. It's like we're never going to be free if we continue to enslave ourselves having to look all around you to make sure you aren't offending someone by not acknowledging you are aware of their past, history, or heritage. Can't we just all live and quit judging by the color of our skin, our location where we grew up, and a dang recipe we cook?

      June 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Jay W

      *flour

      June 30, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  45. Ordinary Average American

    Sounds like sour grapes to me . . . Paula Deen is a great cook and she's successful for that reason. This is America . . . anybody and everybody can be successful, if they work hard, and Paula put in the work and deserves credit for THAT, not the origin of her recipes.

    June 30, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  46. ChilesRFun

    The criticisms in this article represent yet another attempt to interject race into subjects where it's simply not relevant. Whether Deen is the "queen" of "southern" cooking is for serious debate. Obviously there are many regions within the South, and each was influenced by cuisines of cultures that were there throughout history. Memphis barbecue is as southern as shrimp piquant, yet as divergent as cn be. African influence can be found from New Orleans to Charleston, as can native, Spanish, French, scotch-Irish, and so forth. To sum, while African influence on various Southern dishes and foods is quite obvious, so is the influence from many other cultures. And to critics of what they perceive to be "southern" food, check out the various regional chefs who are promoting local, sustainable ingredients in lighter dishes. Southern cuisine indeed, without all the attendant historical downfalls.

    June 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Kasey

      "They claim that she has profited off the culinary legacy of African Americans" This is what I find a bit tiresome. What she cooked was what ALL southern families ate way back when because it was all they could afford. I grew up on plenty of greens, fried potatoes, beans and cornbread, and it wasn't because my grandmother learned to cook from an African American, and neither did her mother. It was because that food was cheap, could be used to make pretty much anything, and they did not waste on part of a hog or a cow or a chicken they slaughtered for the table. Give credit to ALL of the people who lived during a time when you couldn't go to the market and grab a precooked chicken. Soul food wasn't invented by anyone but the people, of all races, who had no money and made do with what they could get their hands on to feed their families.

      June 30, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
      • Ruby

        Playing on black/white race issues seems to be popular right now, including the silly empowerment of certain words, but really, it is all a bit short on meaning, and more so on the truth.
        In fact, Yanks, Crackers and Beaners may all claim to be the root culture for certain dietary traditions but before any of these tribes developed the diets they are now teaching, the Americanas taught them what the land offered as food. It's just a brand, a way of defining a certain type of cooking and it doesn't belong to any one group.

        Having said that I have to say this pathetic woman should hardly be taken seriously anyway. She reminds me of Tammy Baker; an aging overweight white woman with bleached hair and a face from a jar. The pictures leave me wondering if there is a real person in there, or is she just a marionette created for a TV show?

        June 30, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  47. James PDX

    Everyone's gotta be mad about something. We need a lot more shutting up in this country, and a lot less whiny PC.

    June 30, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Kasey

      Thank you. PC is killing this country.

      June 30, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • I forgive you

      You have no idea of reality (other than yours) now do you?

      June 30, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  48. Rs1201

    If I were African American, this article would be a horrible embarrassment. Southern cooking is nothing to be proud of and claiming it as purely as an African American " invention" is absurd. Southern cuisine is tasteless, heavy to digest, unhealthy, and it's what a lot of people refer to as hog food. Nothing about it is delicate tasting or even attractive to look at. Give me a hot flaky croissant along with a fluffy cheese omelette and I'll be in heaven. You can keep your grits nd sweet potato pies....not interested.

    June 30, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • LJ-PhD

      Why should AA's be embarrassed at another individual's opinion? Which is exactly what this article consisted of, opinions and his/her own thoughts. Your description and thought regarding southern food is also your opinion. This world would be much better when mature individuals would take one second to recognize an opinion and 3 more seconds before speaking (or typing).

      June 30, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
      • Ruby

        Thanks Doc, well said, very well said.

        June 30, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • HZ

      You're assuming that every AA person is responsible for what every other AA person says or does which is simply not the case. I happen to be black and black people (in general) are very friendly and accepting people. The mostly black church I grew up in had a few white members who were 100% accepted and race was never an issue. When I went to some white churches later I didn't find the reverse to be true. If anything I'd say a lot of white people should be embarrassed at the kind of people they willingly allow to be their leaders.

      June 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Truth Today

      African Americans should be no more embarrassed by this article than Whites should be embarrassed by every single racial slur using White or White terrorist such as Timothy mcVeigh. For you to suggest that Blacks should be embarrassed reflect that you do not see Blacks as individuals with their own unique opinions as you would see a White. You my dear are part of America's racial problem.

      June 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  49. M

    There is a double standard. From Wiki on Jesse Jackson:

    Jackson was criticized in the early 1980s for refusing to repudiate Louis Farrakhan, for his support of a Palestinian state, and for remarks made to a reporter where he referred to New York City as "Hymietown".[2][34] (Hymie is a pejorative term for Jews.) Jackson ultimately acknowledged he had used the term, and said he had been wrong; however, he also said that he had considered the conversation with the reporter to be off-the-record at the time he made the remarks.[34] Jackson apologized during a speech before national Jewish leaders in a Manchester, New Hampshire synagogue, but an enduring split between Jackson and many in the Jewish community continued at least through the 1990s.[34]
    Jackson also made other remarks evidencing a negative attitude toward Jews including saying that Richard Nixon was less attentive to poverty in the U.S. because "four out of five [of Nixon's top advisers] are German Jews and their priorities are on Europe and Asia"; that he was "sick and tired of hearing about the Holocaust"; and that there are "very few Jewish reporters that have the capacity to be objective about Arab affairs".

    June 30, 2013 at 11:43 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
 
| Part of