Roughly a month after she was deposed as part of a $1.2 million lawsuit, transcripts of Paula Deen’s time with lawyers leaked today, and the food all-star’s words have caused quite a star. From admitting she’s used the N-word to admitting she wanted African-American waiters to behave like Civil War era slaves during a wedding, many of the exchanges between Deen and the lawyer for former Paula’s Oyster House manager Lisa Jackson were brimming with scandalous statements and accusations.

After telling the lawyer she used the N-word all the way back in 1986 following a bank hold-up in which an African-American male held a gun to her temple, she was asked whether she has used the word any times since. Deen admitted she has but couldn’t remember any specific instances, which led to this exchange, transcribed here courtesy of TMZ. …
Lawyer: Well, then tell me the other context in which you've used the N-word?
Paula: I don't know, maybe in repeating something that was said to me.
Lawyer: Like a joke?
Paula: No, probably a conversation between blacks. I don't -- I don't know. But that's just not a word that we use as time has gone on. Things have changed since the '60s in the south. And my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior. As well as I do.

On the surface, that exchange along with the aforementioned Civil War era Southern wedding definitely start to paint the picture of a woman who may have continually used foul language in the workplace and displayed racist and sexist attitudes, as Jackson’s lawsuit alleges, but the truth is probably a whole lot more complicated. If put on the stand and asked under oath about their history with the N-word, I highly doubt very many older Southerners would be able to trot out a one hundred percent clean record. In fact, I bet an overwhelming majority of Northern Americans, even younger people, could probably point to a handful of times in which they repeated a story or line of dialogue that contained the N-word.

How many times someone has used the N-word really isn’t the best judge of how racist they are. The real measure of a person’s attitude is measured in behavior and actions. I went to college with some guys who told some of the foulest jokes about race you’ve ever heard in your life, but they did so about ever single race and they treated everyone equally. Then again, I went to college with some other guys who were very politically correct about everything, and yet, deep down, they had some very clear prejudices against certain groups of people.

Here’s to hoping, after all the legal maneuvering, we find out Deen’s biggest issue is still making people fat, not looking down on minority groups.



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