Post by Maria Godoy, The Salt at NPR Food (6/20/13)
Paula Deen may be famous for her deep-fried Southern cooking, but the Internet isn't buying her defense that she used a racial slur because of her deep Dixie roots.
News that Food Network star Deen admitted to using the N-word has set the Internet on fire, inspiring the Twitter hashtag #PaulasBestDishes. (Eater has rounded up some of the best and worst of the breed.) Among the sample fare:
- "cobblers filled with "Strange" Fruit" (a reference to a racially loaded Billie Holiday song)
- "Brie at last. Brie at last!"
- "Paula Deen can teach you how to properly segregate the eggs whites from the colored yolk."
- "We Shall Over-Crumb Cake"
Deen's admission that she used the epithet came during a deposition in a sexual and racial harassment lawsuit filed against her and her brother by a former employee. Trying to contain the controversy, Paula Deen Enterprises issued a statement Thursday that suggested Deen's use of the N-word occurred long ago — after all, she was born in Georgia in 1947, at a time when segregation was still the law of the land in the South. The company statement read in part:
"During a deposition where she swore to tell the truth, Ms. Deen recounted having used a racial epithet in the past, speaking largely about a time in American history which was quite different than today," the statement reads. "[Paula] was born 60 years ago when America's South had schools that were segregated, different bathrooms, different restaurants and Americans rode in different parts of the bus. This is not today."
For those of you just catching up with this story, when Deen was asked by an attorney whether she had used the N-word, she responded, according to the transcript, "Yes, of course. ... But that's just not a word that we use as time has gone on. Things have changed since the '60s in the South."