Should Paula Deen be pardoned for what she did 27 years ago?

Asked by: Precariot19
  • Freedom of Speech

    She is protected under the US Constitution to say as what she pleases, just as everyone else can. In her case, she said this 27 years ago, who gives a rats ass? But if it were the other way around (i.E. Black Woman saying "Cracker") it would have blown over like nothing.

  • FREEDOM OF SPEECH. That should be more than enough.

    Free speech is supposed to protect those who have the minority voice. It protects those with outlandish ideas, unconventional religious views and practices, those who may be slightly ahead of the curve, as well as those who may not have come to terms with our evolution as a society. (*see comment below) Free speech also entitles everyone to decide on where to focus their intention, invest their time, money, and resources. The individuals, the market, and the public in general have the right to decide to boycott or support her personal brand after anything she says, no matter what is said, and no matter who is offended. Many corporate market forces made a wise BUSINESS and SYMBOLIC decision releasing her from her contracts with them, whether if was for sincere disdain, political correctness, or simply to save face. Despite being let go, her book sales have skyrocketed. This means that even with the public and media backlash from words, deeds, and views from the past, she was still supported and admired by a significant portion of market. She will not be going bankrupt, nor will she be starving anytime soon, nor is she going to have a difficult life.

  • Paula was born and raised in the south

    Paula Deen was raised in the South, using those terms and hearing them throughout her entire life. That's completely fine. The term "******" literally means black, and that's what they called Nigerians. That's where it came from. However, I myself do not believe it is right to call ANYBODY that, it's the most used word in most famous rap artists songs! Why can they get off with having it in their songs in almost every line, but Paula Deen said it ONCE 30 YEARS AGO? What does it matter!?

  • It was an entire 27 years.

    What ever happened to statute of limitations? She's been dropped by many companies for adverts because of this incident that occurred '27 years ago'. Mind you, it hasnt occurred since. I dont think she should be held accountable for something like that; times have changed -- she's understood the volatility of that word and its strength. She's learned, im sure... Which is why she hasnt said it since.

  • It happened 27 years ago, who cares?

    Paula Deen grew up in the south where the word n***** was a very commonly used word. In addition, she said that word after she was attacked by an African American. Most people will make an attempt to insult someone if they feel antagonized by that person. And, as I said in the title, it happened 27 years ago. How does it really affect anyone now?

  • Omg. 27 years ago?

    Some people do learn from their mistakes give the lady a break. Though it seems to me the only reason she is apologizing for is that she is missing big paychecks. She needs to be earning money to keep up with her lifestyle. It was 27 years ago? Omg I thought it was a few weeks ago or so.

  • Absolutely! The Condemnation Didn't Fit Her Actions

    Was it wrong? Yes. Crude & hurtful? Yes. But, for heaven sake, the woman apologized. We are all guilty of words and/or actions that we wish we could take back. Perhaps, it isn't the same as Deen's but it was equally hurtful to whoever it was said to.

    We have had Presidents who owned slaves. Ironically, the President who desegregated our military (Truman) was known for using the N-word too. None of them apologized for it. There are politicians still in office who have dropped racial slurs (there is more than one word). They have not been ridiculed like this woman has been.


    Whatever happened in her restaurant, the court can decide. I was not there. But if you do a little research online, you'll find that numerous celebrity chefs have been sued for a variety of things: racial & homophobic slurs, sexual harassment, not paying employees, etc. None of them have been subjected to the ridicule Deen has taken. From what I've found so far, they were all men. Hmmm.

    If a word is offensive, then it's offensive. I don't care who says it, or what Race the individual is. The gender shouldn't matter either. There are a lot of derogatory & racial slurs being passed around, today. They all hurt!

  • Yes pardon Paula Deen, but...

    Paula Deen should be pardoned for what she said 27 years ago. It was a different time, and maybe she was raised that way, who knows? But she certainly is no racist now, even if she had been a long time ago. I don't even think she was racist back then, I think that's just how life was. HOWEVER some of the people who have supported her (not most just the crazy ones) have made completely racist defenses for her, which I believe hurts her more than it helps. One person had a long-winded speech about how black people pull the race card all the time, and they need to get over it. But who pulled the race card? It's us white folk that are getting all worked up.

  • Lets Stop Being Hypocrites!

    Black people are not as stereotyped by white racists and white people are not as stereotyped by black racists. How can racism ever be eradicated when overreactions like this continue? Don't ruin this woman's life for a mistake in her past. How about truly all trying to respect each other.

  • Especially considering that

    It happened 27 years ago. Which is ridiculous, she should be pardoned for sure. It is quite strange and a bit confusing that she answered to asking if she had ever used that word by "yes of course, that she had an idea of a wedding where black people serve as waiters and waitresses, and also that, on MSNBC, she said it was the only time she used that word in her life, while when a lawyer asked her, her answer indicated she had used it since that time. But she clearly does not intend to be racist at all, believes humans should be treated equal, and should be pardoned for what she did 27 years ago. This is absolutely ridiculous.

  • Ms. Paula Deen.

    A fire is not forgotten when it causes damage, instead people think up how to prevent the situation from happening again. In this case, Ms. Deen made a statement that she would rather have others forget she made. The reason why she wants this forgotten is because of the era that the she lives in. If she had made that statement in the 19th century nobody would care. That is from stupidity and intolerance on the part of the lawmakers. It is in modern society, civil, to take responsibility for your actions and to be tolerant of others. The question to answer here is, if she lived in any other age would she still be sorry about what she did?

  • A racist remark is a racist remark.

    A lot of companies are ZERO tolerance. So when something like this pops up, someone's going to get in trouble. It doesn't matter who you are or when it allegedly took place. No company wants to make themselves look bad by hiring a racist, so if what Paula Deen said makes them look bad, they're going to drop her. Morals be damned, from a strictly business standpoint it was the correct move to make. I do think the media should cut her some slack. She's not a horrible person. It's really unfortunate that something said so long ago came back to bite her in the behind, but it happens, and it's not totally undeserved. She's rich enough to live out the rest of her lifetime quite comfortably and then some, so if that's where the pity is coming from, you can drop it. No, she should not be given a free pass for her racist remarks she was dumb enough to make in public and on camera. She is going to be in time out for a little while, and then she can have her deep-fried empire back when she's learned her lesson.

  • The Past is over

    She is obviously sorry for what she had said and besides we have all made mistakes and what is the past is over. To address the argument on she is in it for the money give me a break! She was one of the biggest celebrity chefs on TV and she still owns* a restaurant that is making plenty of money that could support her. I am from Texas and if she had made that comment recently I would not be supporting her but 27 years ago it was common in the south to say the n word for some one her age.

  • She is what she is

    Although it sounds less rednecky when you get the personal pronouns right.

    This question misstates the actual issue. She is not asking to be pardoned for what she did 27 years ago. If it had happened then and stopped as the rest of the south slowly moved away from the Dark Ages, it would be one thing. Bear in mind she gave that deposition in a pending case about racial discrimination in her restaurants in the present. Her desire to have a bunch of all black waiters in little uniforms ala the days of slavery at a wedding reception is nauseating. So it the conduct had happened and then stopped, sure. But that's not the case at all.

  • She is what she is

    I hate questions that misstate issues in a way that skews discourse. She is not being taken to task solely because of "what she did 27 years ago." If she were, my view would be entirely different. She is in hot water about a course of conduct (wanting to dress all black waiters up for a wedding reception ala the slavery era, racial discrimination in her restaurants' current employment policies, etc.). Her defense "I is what I is" was about the lamest thing imaginable. "I grew up misinformed by a horrible social structure that I realized was wrong and therefore stopped acting in accordance with it" would have been a fine defense. If it had been true. "I is what I is," while true, does nothing to address that.

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AnonyFeline says2013-07-08T05:15:35.143
She is a product of her environment, upbringing, and the lag that exists between the institution of a federal policy and social acceptance and adjustment to the policy. Many older people of the current generation view the past with a sense of nostalgia. Granted, pre-civil rights America and the Antebellum South are not the most ideal time periods about which to feel nostalgic, but some people are merely a product of the time in which they lived. The fact that she is unaware of her skewed perspective is not her fault. The fault lies in not coming across as remorseful in any of her numerous televised apologies, especially the initial recording where she was unable to complete a sincere apology in a single take.
AnonyFeline says2013-07-10T09:34:46.690
On second thought, perhaps it was not her fault for not coming across as remorseful.
AnonyFeline says2013-07-13T04:59:00.287
Just to be clear: she was wrong. Very wrong. Completely wrong.

No other word in the English language carries as much negative weight as the N word. Even the most racist words used to label others is nowhere close. Cracker, Spic, Gook, Wetback, etc. Come nowhere near the negative historical charge connected to the N word. The only words that come close are those that were used to label the Native Americans and those that labeled the Jews around the time of the holocaust.

The question does not ask whether or not she was wrong, it asks if she should be pardoned. Slavery was wrong, that why it no longer exists (legally). Segregation was wrong, it still exists socioeconomically and institutionally, but it is now considered illegal in any public space as well as suicide in any private organization. Genocide was/is wrong (Jews, any Native Population that was invaded, etc.). Racism is wrong. Paula Deen was wrong. Yes. Absolutely. Should she be pardoned? Yes.

Just as we pardon many our forefathers for owning slaves, previous presidents for condoning segregation, and the current aging generation for still being racist, we should pardon a lot of things many people say and what they did before becoming educated and enlightened. The protections given by the First Amendment are precious.

She is a great example for the next generation to not be racist.

Pardoned as in forgiven? Yes. Pardoned economically? Let the market decide. Was she wrong? Obviously.
SweetTea says2013-07-13T16:29:49.617
Some are equating the racial slur "Cracker" to slave owners. While that may be true somewhere, I've lived three-fourths of my life in the South & it was never defined that way to me. The definition that I always heard was that "Crackers" were poor, uneducated Whites who were scattered across the southeast. They were in no Socioeconomic position to own slaves, or much else. Most were so poor that they existed on water & crackers.

But ... If you choose to believe the slave-owner definition, it's still a derogatory racial slur. Nobody, today, has slaves. Another point to consider, Whites were enslaved in America too. So, not all Whites today are the descendants of slave owners. Some are the descendants of "Indentured Servants" (who were White slaves). The Fifteen Amendment freed both. It has been said that Nancy Hanks Lincoln, mother of Abe, was an indentured servant to the Enloe family in NC. Interestingly enough, free Blacks [during that era] also owned slaves. Therefore, a "Cracker" (by definition of slave ownership) could be a White man or a Black man.



GWL-CPA says2013-07-13T18:07:22.337
The term "cracker" as used by young black people today is just a derogatory racist insult to white people. It is a reference to the white soda crackers you put in your soup, or put peanut butter or jam on or whatever you put on them to eat. Those soda crackers are white in color. -------- - - ------

The black people that use this term have no clue that this term has any historical reference to slave owners in the deep South; most of today's youth are too uneducated, especially the Black races, to know much about history.