Here’s a link to the PDF transcript of Paula Deen’s deposition. If you don’t want to read the whole thing, the N-word part is on pages 22-24, and the stuff about the plantation wedding and black waitstaff is on pages 124-132.
Here’s what I learned from reading the transcript:
1. Paula Deen was once robbed at gunpoint by a black man who held a gun to her temple. She says that she probably used the N-word in telling her husband about that experience.
2. Paula Deen, consistent with her culture and age, does not have an up-to-date sense of the taboo around the N-word.
3. Paula Deen’s brother is a redneck clod. He has been in treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, he watches pornography on the Internet, and runs off at the mouth. But she loves him and has stood by him for years, including setting up a money-losing restaurant for him to run — the same restaurant that he allegedly mismanaged by allowing an atmosphere of racial and sexual harassment.
4. Paula Deen let her affection for and loyalty to her brother cloud her business judgment. And she let her belief that people she likes are good people through and through harm her sense of professionalism.
5. Paula Deen didn’t pay much attention to that restaurant her brother ran.
6. Paula Deen is something of a dirty old lady. She has a potty mouth and loves bawdy jokes. The good ol’ gal is probably a hoot at a party, but doesn’t fully appreciate that that kind of thing is wrong in the workplace.
7. On the wedding thing, Paula Deen has a moonlight-and-magnolias romantic view of Southern culture and history, and doesn’t intuitively grasp why black people would find her plantation fantasy wedding offensive. In this, she is like 90 percent of the Southern white people of her generation that I know.
For all I know, Paula Deen should be held responsible for tolerating her dumbass brother’s juvenile behavior in the restaurant. But the idea that the woman is now professionally ruined because of this N-word thing and her antiquated Southern romanticism strikes me as unjust. Read those relevant portions of the transcript and tell me what you think.