But her butter-drenched recipes are not the reason for her present problems. It's her use of the "N word"--a word so offensive we now have this shorthand substitute. When she was asked, under oath, if she had ever used that word, she replied, "Of course," and people gasped. What else did anyone expect? If any 60-something person raised in the South had answered, "No," that would have been laughable. Of course, she used it THEN.
True confessions here--I have used the word. When I was growing up in the bluest of states, I learned eeny meeny using that word. I had no idea what it meant. Ironically it was my friend Kay who told me her Alabama-raised mother had taught her to use tiger instead. I didn't know why THEN, but I learned. I learned as I watched the frightening images on my black and white television of angry white people yelling at innocent children walking to school. I learned as I saw peaceful marchers being beaten. I learned the hate contained in that word.
And I learned that hatred was not confined to the South. At a Methodist Youth Fellowship meeting back then, I was expounding on my horror at what was going on in Little Rock, when one of the mothers there, in her sweetest tones, warned me that if I kept talking like that, people would call me a n----lover. Wow, I remember thinking, bigotry exists even here.
I do not know if, as Deen insists, this is not a word she uses now. I hope so. But I do know that most of us have learned a lot in the last 50 years, and I do know that racism then and now is not confined to one 6-letter word.