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June 26, 2013

ANDERSON: What’s up y’all?

Paula Deen has caused quite a controversy. Americans are outraged that a little, round 66-year-old woman from the South would utter a racist word. Really? 

You should have been in the shoes of those who campaigned for both the president and Hillary Clinton. The amount of racism, genderism and every other kind of “ism” was beyond belief.

I don’t watch Paula Deen on TV. I never have, nor will I. I just don’t get into anything more mundane than “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.” Now, if that show’s host, Guy Fieri, had uttered the word, I would have truly been outraged. Why? Because it would have been a surprise. 

Deen almost promised to be a gentrified version of the old South with all its baggage in everything she said, she produced and she wrote. 

I found the media appropriately outraged. But where was their outrage during campaign season when often the words were: “I’ll vote for that b*** before I’ll vote for that n***** (I used the stars because both words are equally profane to me). 

The refrain from many was hard to hear because this is my home and I did not expect to hear it. To say I was shocked was an understatement; to say I was hurt would be describing it lightly. Many nights after numerous calls, I just went home feeling depleted.

Race is a sensitive subject — one too often not discussed because we fear being misunderstood. After all, look what is happening to a multimillionaire who was speaking privately.

I don’t like what she said, I don’t like the fact that she felt free enough to say it, but in this country speech is free. Therein lies the dilemma. If Deen is not forgiven, we have not done our Christian duty. If she is, we have one more time ignored institutional bigotry and given it free reign. What is a country to do?

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