Paula Deen’s racist comments have earned her some loyal fans in the south, so many fans in fact that her Georgia restaurant The Lady and Sons, which is located in the heart of Savannah, is experiencing lines out the door.
The Food Network fired its long-time host on Friday after she awkwardly apologized for using racial slurs against black people. In her comments, Paula Deen admitted to having a fantasy about a plantation-themed wedding for her brother, a wedding that would include well-dressed black male servants.
On Saturday morning, long lines of white diners waited outside Deen’s restaurant to support the former Food Network star. Those mostly white, supporters matched the demographic that stood beside Paula Deen on her Facebook page after she was removed from the Food Network roster.
Comments in support of Paula Deen include Dick Jackson, a white man from Missouri who wrote:
“Everybody in the South over 60 used the N-word at some time or the other in the past.”
But it wasn’t just white diners. A few African-Americans also showed up at Paula Deen’s restaurant on Saturday. The common theme among Paula Deen’s African-American supporters is that racial slurs can’t be marginalized against whites until African-Americans also stop using the word in speaking about their own race.
Many of the diners admit that they don’t agree with Paula Deen’s use of racial slurs in the past, but they do admit that her inability to articulate her “racial evolution” has hurt her attempts at repairing a badly damaged public image. Indeed, Paula Deen attempted to issue an apology, but her YouTube video was so awkward that it was quickly pulled from the social video platform.
In a public statement, Paula Deen said:
“I was wrong, yes, I’ve worked hard, and I have made mistakes, but that is no excuse and I offer my sincere apology to those that I have hurt, and I hope that you forgive me because this comes from the deepest part of my heart.”
In the meantime, Paula Deen’s racist past has managed to further open a dialogue about racism and where it currently stands in America.
Paul Deen’s great-grandfather owned upwards of 30 slaves, and she was born into an era of Jim Crow laws. Many people born in her era, especially in the south, were raised in racism-filled households. Paula Deen is now claiming that she has grown to learn the error of the ways in which she was raised. The real question over time will be whether or not people choose to believe that Ms. Deen has really reformed.
Do you stand with or against Paula Deen?