Paula Deen only uses racial slur when retelling her near death story.. and sometimes when she repeats things from others
Paula is being sued by a former employee named Lisa Jackson for being a racist! Lisa is accusing Paula and her brother Bubba of racism, sexual harassment and assault. Lisa, who used to work at Paula’s restaurant in Savannah, Georgia, says that she was in charge of Bubba’s wedding back in ’07 and Paula told her that she wanted the servers to be, quote, “a bunch of little [slurs] wearing long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties.”
While under deposition, Paula just explained that as far as her brother’s wedding, they were going for a more old-school, Civil War-era theme and that’s why she wanted all middle-aged black men to play the role of slaves and dress in white jackets and black bow ties.
Then a lawyer asked her if she’s ever used that racial slur before and she answered “of course”… but she had an excuse for using it.
She said that she said it back in 1986 when she was working in a bank, a black bank robber came in and put a gun to her head so when she retold the story to her husband, she used the slur because she “didn’t feel real favorable towards him.”
When asked if she’s used the slur since then, she said yes but she was just, quote, “repeating something that was said to me . . . probably a conversation between blacks.”
She went on to say that the word was used more casually in the south back in the day but she doesn’t use it as an insult or a joke.
Paula’s rep has released a statement, saying, “[Paula] does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable. She’s looking forward to her day in court.”
Here is some of the transcript that was taken during the deposition.
On using the N-word:
Lawyer: Have you ever used the N-word yourself?
Deen: Yes, of course.
Lawyer: Okay. In what context?
Deen: Well, it was probably when a black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head.
Lawyer: Okay. And what did you say?
Deen: Well, I don’t remember, but the gun was dancing all around my temple … I didn’t — I didn’t feel real favorable towards him.
Lawyer: Okay. Well, did you use the N-word to him as he pointed a gun in your head at your face?
Deen: Absolutely not.
Lawyer: Well, then, when did you use it?
Deen: Probably in telling my husband.
Lawyer: Okay. Have you used it since then?
Deen: I’m sure I have, but it’s been a very long time.
Lawyer: Can you remember the context in which you have used the N-word?
Lawyer: Has it occurred with sufficient frequency that you cannot recall all of the various context in which you’ve used it?
Deen: No, no.
Lawyer: Well, then tell me the other context in which you’ve used the N-word?
Deen: I don’t know, maybe in repeating something that was said to me.
Lawyer: Like a joke?
Deen: No, probably a conversation between blacks. I don’t — I don’t know. But that’s just not a word that we use as time has gone on. Things have changed since the ’60s in the south. And my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior. As well as I do.
On Bubba’s behavior:
Lawyer: Are you aware of Mr. Hiers admitting that he engaged in racially and sexually inappropriate behavior in the workplace?
Deen: I guess
Lawyer: Okay. Well, have you done anything about what you heard him admit to doing?
Deen: My brother and I have had conversations. My brother is not a bad person. Do humans behave inappropriately? At times, yes. I don’t know one person that has not. My brother is a good man. Have we told jokes? Have we said things that we should not have said, that — yes, we all have. We all have done that, every one of us.
On telling jokes that target African Americans, Jews, gays and other groups:
Lawyer: What about jokes, if somebody is telling a joke that’s got –
Deen: It’s just what they are, they’re jokes.
Lawyer: Okay. Would you consider those to be using the N word in a mean way?
Deen: That’s — that’s kind of hard. Most — most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks. Most jokes target — I don’t know. I didn’t make up the jokes, I don’t know. I can’t — I don’t know.
Deen: They usually target, though a group. Gays or straights, black, redneck, you know, I just don’t know. I can’t, myself, determine what offends another person.
On planning Bubba’s plantation-style wedding:
Lawyer: Do you recall using the words “really southern plantation wedding”?Deen: Yes, I did say I would love for Bubba to experience a very southern style wedding, and we did that. We did that.
Lawyer: Okay. You would love for him to experience a southern style plantation wedding?
Lawyer: That’s what you said?
Deen: Well, something like that, yes. And -–
Laywer: Okay. And is that when you went on to describe the experience you had at the restaurant in question?
Deen: Well, I don’t know. We were probably talking about the food or –- we would have been talking about something to do with service at the wedding, and –-
Lawyer: Is there any possibility, in your mind, that you slipped and used the word “n–”?
Deen: No, because that’s not what these men were. They were professional black men doing a fabulous job.
Lawyer: Why did that make it a -– if you would have had servers like that, why would that have made it a really southern plantation wedding?
Deen: Well, it –- to me, of course I’m old but I ain’t that old, I didn’t live back in those days but I’ve seen the pictures, and the pictures that I’ve seen, that restaurant represented a certain era in America.
Deen: And I was in the south when I went to this restaurant. It was located in the south.
Lawyer: Okay. What era in America are you referring to?
Deen: Well, I don’t know. After the Civil War, during the Civil War, before the Civil War.
Lawyer: Right. Back in an era where there were middle-aged black men waiting on white people.
Deen: Well, it was not only black men, it was black women.
Lawyer: Sure. And before the Civil War –- before the Civil War, those black men and women who were waiting on white people were slaves, right?
Deen: Yes, I would say that they were slaves.
Deen: But I did not mean anything derogatory by saying that I loved their look and their professionalism.
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