Paula Deen – Saint or Sinner?

Since the media latched onto Paula Deen’s racial slur, her empire has not crumbled as they predicted it would. 
Although she has lost some major endorsements and obviously taken a huge hit to her income, some prominent people – Leila Ali (daughter of Mohammed Ali) and  Country singer Randy Travis have stood up for her. Her fans showed their support by buying her book and catapulting it to number one of all books in its category. And some of the larger companies have opted to continue to endorse her.
Paula Deen is a self-made millionaire who worked hard all her life to build her cooking business. Her recipes, traditional southern food, are all about sugar and plenty of calories and are definitely not designed for anyone on diet.
I’m not totally sure what started her problems. Earlier this year, she divulged the fact that she was suffering from diabetes and signed an agreement to promote a new diabetes drug at the same time. It appeared to some she had deliberately kept her disease a secret from the public, and continued to promote her decadent and fat forming recipes.
Some people believed it was wrong of her to continue in this vein, since it is a known fact that obesity and eating the wrong type of foods are a contributing factor to type-two diabetes.  
Until then, Paula Deen had been a Southern icon. She was smart, innovative, attractive, and appeared to be ethical and kind. The kind of mother or grandmother anyone would be proud of.
When a former disgruntled employee filed a lawsuit alleging racial and sexual discrimination, Deen had to answer the question – “Have you ever used a racial slur?”
Here’s where I think she displayed a trait to be proud of. She admitted that she had used the dreaded ‘n-word’ in the past. She told the truth.  She made it clear she had used it in private conversations where it was not hurtful or degrading to anyone.
Personally, I think she showed that she is not a liar.
The media jumped all over it, and the hatemongers and pot-stirrers went out of their way to make it a national crisis.
I am certain of one thing – many prominent people faced with this question in a court of law would not have admitted they might have used ‘cracker’ or ‘chicano’ or the ‘n’ word, which, for some reason, is not allowed to be spelled out in full, even though the others can be just as hurtful and degrading.
She showed another good trait – remorse, when she apologized profusely and tearfully in public.
There seems to me to be a type of mentality in the US whereby a certain element of people don’t like anyone who is successful. They go out of their way to pounce on the smallest mistake and do everything in their power to discredit and crush their target. Is it caused by jealousy? It certainly seems that way. 
It is NOT caused by racism, according to US District Judge William T. Moore, who threw out the discrimination lawsuit due to the fact that the accuser was white.
Take the most loved college football coach in the history of the country, Joe Paterno. Affectionately known as JoePa to his fans, he epitomized the traits everyone wishes they had.
And then someone decided he was complicit in covering up a sex scandal committed by one of the other coaches at the college. Not content with stripping him of his title, they tore down his statue and tried to erase all the good he had stood for in the past.
It probably broke his heart, because he succumbed to cancer and died soon afterwards. Ask yourself, was Joe Paterno a bad man? Is Paula Deen really a bad woman?

Or are they both just humans, exhibiting human weaknesses that may have been blown out of all proportion?

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