This Paula Deen thing bothers me.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have never said the 'N' word unless we were having a conversation about the 'N' word, as in “honey I don't care if your little friend says it you will not say that word here”, or “do you think they ought to use the 'N' word on TV.” I was not raised by people who used the word nor did I know anyone (who was not African American) who used the word. I do not think we ought to use any words that are hurtful as a general principle.
Now back to Paula Deen. She used the word in the past, not like last week. She was honest, unlike some. She apologized (the poor woman must have the worst media advisers or none at all) in a horribly done video. I understand advertisers are uneasy about having their product tied to her name at this point, that is business and if you behave badly or say something stupid there are consequences. Nothing that is happening to her is out of line or unexpected, except this – the media reaction, Paula Deen leads on some news programs! With all that is going on in the world and our country is she really the top story?
Dog-pile on so and so was not very fun in grade school and I'm fairly sure it is not fun in a media sense. If you say something we don't like you are roasted over the coals and spit out, you do your 'time out' - and then you come back, much quieter I'll bet. I worry about free speech in a world where one word no matter how ugly can ruin someone, or cause such a feeding frenzy in the media. Is this just another example of the 'shiny thing' principle? Or were we suffering from a lack of really good 'look at the racist' material? Is she an example of how black people are treated in America, or is she an excuse to talk about how racist we all are still? I don't know the answers......I do know this, America has bigger issues than a 65 year old woman who said the 'N' word sometime in the past and may not be culturally sensitive!
So she is off the air for awhile and she donates money to some funds that promote diversity and then she is back and all is forgiven........and what have we accomplished – except to make sure that we all look over our shoulders a little more often and the first amendment gets smaller. Remember that the first amendment is not necessary for things we all agree with, it is there for the 'uncomfortable speech', the stuff we don't want to hear.
Hurtful language is not acceptable, nor is it a capital offense.