6.28.2013

Throwing Stones

I've been thinking about Paula Deen a lot this week.  Her face has been plastered on the news every hour or so.
                                           
I watched her tearful interview on the Today show, and my heart went out to her.  She's clearly upset by and ashamed of the behavior that got her in this current mess.  She's terribly hurt by the condemnation she's received from so many of her sponsors.  She has apologized over and over for her language twenty-seven years ago. 

Apparently, an employee filed a law suit, claiming the working atmosphere in Deen's empire is discriminatory.  Over the course of the trial, Deen admitted she has used racial slurs in the past - almost thirty years ago.  Immediately, the Food Network dropped her.  Not two days later, Sears and Home Depot dropped her - they won't be selling her cookware anymore.  She's losing her Las Vegas restaurants.  And there's probably more to come. 

I don't know every detail of the suit filed against her, but this punishment upon punishment seems extreme.   Yes, she needs to correct her work environment, clean up whatever unjust shenanigans are going on.  I don't deny people have been hurt.  Deen is a senior citizen who was raised in the south, and, over the years, some attitudes might have needed adjusting. 

But, the woman is facing it.  She acknowledges that years ago she used some hateful words.  Not anymore.  Not for decades.  One can't build her brand to the level Deen has by systematically treating people badly.  The demonization of the woman seems unnecessarily brutal.

I imagine we all have said things we later regretted.  I certainly have.  The human heart is often ignorant and insensitive.  It can be fearful and defensive and prideful.  This is the condition we all share with Paula Deen.  Every one of us.

I pray we remember this as we watch the Deen saga play out.   Because she is a high profile figure, her sins are glaring and repeatedly highlighted.  She is paying for her mistakes in a very public, painful way.  I would never want that focus on my imperfect heart. 

I pray forgiveness for Deen emerges soon.  Nobody benefits from being incessantly dragged through the mud; certainly not the drag-ee, but not the dragg-er either.  God alone is qualified to judge the deeds of man.  And all of us will stand before Him someday.



14 comments:

Paula said...

Thank you for posting this. I feel horrid about this whole situation too. The media is a terrible thing when it comes to participating in this kind of behavior. There are so many other things that our world needs to focus on than what Paula Deen said 30 years ago. I wish her the best!

in the coop said...

I was just discussing this with my mom yesterday. It is ridiculous that so many companies are dropping her. Are we all really supposed to be held to this scrutiny about something stupid we said? Apology given, changes made to keep the same from happening again, let it go. Things have gone too far, and I'm sad for her.

Dana said...

Well-said. This whole situation makes me sad.

Mari said...

I agree. She's beeing punished over and over again.

Joyce said...

Thanks for posting this...I feel for her. It's a harsh harsh world out there, isn't it? I don't know if you saw this article, but I thought it was interesting. So hard to be in the pubic eye in any way shape or form in the 21st century.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2013/june/why-ill-accept-your-imperfect-apology.html

Cranberry Morning said...

Very good post. I can hardly believe how harshly this woman has been judged - and the peer pressure that's causing one after the other to drop her. You can't tell me that none of the others, even her interviewers and those who held contracts with her, haven't done the same thing from time to time. This is so over the top.

Retired Knitter said...

I agree with you on all your points. This whole situation makes me so uncomfortable. There is not one soul on this planet who has a perfect track record. We all make mistakes. This culture just needs to get over itself.

And I am soooo ready for human beings to evolve into more forgiving creatures. Myself included.

Michael Ann said...

I agree 100%. It makes me sick what is happening to her. What person has not sinned or made a bad mistake in the past? Who can throw stones indeed? Many take great pleasure in bringing a successful person down. We see it all the time in media and in our own communities. I am disgusted.

Cindy Dwyer said...

Good for you for posting what so many people are thinking. When I first heard about this, I assumed this was the environment in her restaurant TODAY. When I realized that this happened almost 30 years ago I couldn't believe the backlash.

I do believe when you are in the public light you need to set a good example, but people do make mistakes. She could have killed someone back then and been done with her prison sentence by now!

As a society we have more important things to focus on than languages used by a woman 30 years ago .

Rita said...

I also assumed this was happening today and not 30 years ago! I am a bit baffled by the extreme, over the top reaction. I worry about our country being so polarized and filled with anger all the time. Glad you spoke out! :)

Juli said...

Here's the thing, right or wrong racism is alive and thriving in the south, STILL today. More often than not though it is in reverse of what we normally think. Not more than ten years ago I had 3 large men chase my car out of a neighborhood in So. Florida because I was "too white to be there". And my cousin was told 6 months ago that "they did not serve his kind" at a convenience store in Memphis TN. Whatever. It happens.

Thing is, should she be essentially going through the kind of career devastation that um, I don't know, Hernandez is going through right now? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

It's just words. Words can only hurt people when they become actions.

Chatty Crone said...

I could not agree with you more!

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

I have never heard of Paula Deen but that isn't important I think this post was great and I do agree with you

SweetMarie said...

I agree with you! Enough is enough already!