Paula Deen’s situation reminds me of an incident that happened to me, when calling on a customer in Houston, Texas.
After driving most of the day through storming weather and flooded streets I finally arrived at my customer Joan’s home, and she offered to take me to one of the finest restaurants in Houston.
She was greeted at the door by the manager, and because she was a regular customer we were offered a choice table. As he presented her with the menu and filled our glasses with water, Joan ordered baked salmon and a WHOP salad for both of us. With that, I nearly choked on my glass of water and nearly fell off my chair. Joan asked me what was wrong, and I explained the term “whop” stood for With Out Papers. That was a derogatory word used for Italian immigrants.
I added that 50 years ago many people left Europe and came to America because of religious intolerance and prejudice. She apologized and opened the menu to show me that the special for the day was a WHOP salad for their special customers. Nobody was startled or upset by that word.
I feel that the same thing happened to Miss Deen, who was raised down south, where the n-word was in common use. While I do not condone it, I believe she is paying a terrible price. Her life’s work has been destroyed, and she is truly devastated and remorseful.
I believe she can use a bit of Christian charity.