Maya Angelou has a quote that says, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” And guess what y’all…Paula Deen has shown us who she is. And I’m not talking about the “N” word. I’m talking about the diabetes. We ALL should have stopped listening to her last year.
Early in 2012, the story broke that Paula Deen had diabetes. The butter-lovin’, fried-food tasting, southern food guru was hiding a secret with hopes of protecting her brand. The problem here was hypocrisy. How can you knowingly promote the consumption of foods that 1. are bad for your health, and 2. you shouldn’t be eating ? I love buttered, smothered, fried foods like the next person, but I don’t eat them every day. And furthermore, I don’t promote the use of them daily on national television.
So now the world is abuzz with the news of our friend Paula saying the “N” word, but it doesn’t surprise me. At all. I’m kind of thinking that’s the way hypocrisy works. If you are hypocritical about one thing…you are probably hypocritical about other things as well.
And I’m a southern gal…well…a transplanted southern gal. But I’ve been in the south for 23 years. And I know…that a lot of older, more mature, southern ladies of Anglo descent come from families who are blatantly racist. It’s kind of the code. My momma (a true southerner) and my grandmomma (a real southerner) taught me that. Didn’t you see “The Help” or “The Color Purple?” So I stopped believing what Paula Deen said after the diabetes incident. Because then I knew she was a hypocrite. And usually when someone is proven to be a hypocrite, you don’t keep listening to them.
It’s interesting though, on the big business side of this issue. The Food Network did not renew her contract and she’s already started loosing some of her endorsement deals. So I can’t help but wonder what these entities thought when she was busted about diabetes? Did they think it’s okay to mislead many people when it comes to health issues, but not when it come to racial issues? Both are important. Both are issues I’m teaching my children about each day. And both can be life and death. Just ask Trayvon Martin’s family.
But what about forgiveness you may ask? You can forgive, I can forgive and I will forgive. But I will never forget. And it starts with the diabetes, not the “N” word.