An Open Letter to Mrs. Paula Deen
Note: I really doubt she’ll actually read this herself, but I have to get it out there. By the way, this is my blog, and I have comments moderated, if you’re gonna spread haterade about me or Mrs. Dean, your comments will not be published. *momstare*
Dear Mrs. Deen.
I have seen the controversy surrounding what you have said over 30 years ago. I am pretty angry that they are crucifying you for something that should very well be dead and buried in the past. I find it funny that people who live in glass houses are throwing stones the way that they are.
I’ll tell you something. I believe full on that you never were racist. Me on the other hand…This is going to be difficult. Even if you WERE racist, and were raised that way in the deep pre-civil rights era South, it is possible for people to change. I know it, because *I* changed.
I used to run with the Neo-nazis. That’s when the Gods that I followed, turned their backs on me, except one. I don’t follow the Christian God that you do, Mrs. Deen, but, you’re a gracious enough lady to understand that it’s not what church we go to, that makes us. You said that yourself on the interview you did on The Today Show. ( http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/paula-deen-breaks-down-on-today-show-i-is-what-i-is-2013266)
Of course this isn’t a faith contest. I’m a cook. I LOVE to cook. You were one of my inspirations when I was little! Little Canadian Me, sitting and watching all these wonderful Southern dishes coming out of your kitchen..it was lovely! Along with Julia Child, and James Barber, YOU were one of my inspirations, the one who ignited the love of cooking, in that young girl. You taught me all about Comfort Food, how to make fried chicken, hoe cakes, grits, and collards. I wouldn’t have known what Okra was, let alone how to cook it properly! (Don’t forget to deslime it, people!!!)
Anyway, when I was a young woman in my early 20’s I had some really bad things happen to me. I was so full of hate and anger, and rage, that I had to direct it at SOMETHING, SOMEONE…so, I started dating this skinhead boy. I started falling into that lifestyle of rage and hate…full on. It wasn’t a good time in my life. I really don’t want to get into details, they aren’t important.
Well, what changed me, and trust me, it is possible for people to change out of the racist mindset! I know you were never racist, but ‘mam, but if you used to be, I would be a total hypocrite to not extend you grace, because *I* was. *I* changed, because I fell pregnant with my daughter. I realized that there was more to life than hatred, bigotry and race. I did not want to raise my child in that lifestyle or environment, so *I* changed. I know if I didn’t fall pregnant I probably would be dead by now, or in prison, either or.
So whoever is reading this right now, be it some person from the blogosphere, or, even Mrs Deen herself, IT IS POSSIBLE TO CHANGE. Racist people are able to change if they want to, I’m proof. Leave the past in the past. That’s where it belongs. Mrs. Deen needs to be allowed to re-bury her skeletons. We ALL have skeletons in our closets.
Remember, NO One is innocent. Not you, not I, everyone has dirt. Everyone has that dustbunny in the corner of their soul needing to be swept up and exposed.
The only way to clear these is to shed light on them. Darkness and secrecy are self perpetuating. Honesty and light, kill these things. Mrs. Deen has BEEN honest, she opened her closet and said “Yes I have skeletons, who doesn’t?”, and just because she’s FAMOUS, does not give you the right to judge her over her skeletons. She is human, like you and I.
You know, when Rev Jackson and Mr Sharpton step up to tell people to back off of Mrs. Deen, you KNOW what she did wasn’t that offensive. Get over it.