What can Paula Deen's mistakes teach us? The Huffington Post reported, "The 66-year-old Savannah kitchen celebrity has been swamped in controversy since court documents filed this week revealed Deen told an attorney questioning her under oath last month that she has used the N-word." Her employer, the Food Network, has decided not to renew her contract, which expires at the end of June. Operating only on information that can be obtained publically, and without any knowledge of details not released, there is still much in the story that applies to our work.
First, let's acknowledge with applause the changes that have taken place in Deen's lifetime. Deen was born in the South in the late nineteen forties, to a family which lived in the back of their store and gas station. Raised during segregation and coming of age during the civil rights movement, the high school cheerleader married at nineteen. Decades later, after multiple relocations, two children, a battle with mental illness, and a divorce, eventually, the celebrity emerges. This is chronicled in her autobiography which was lapped up by her fans. Much of the culture of her childhood has changed but the residue of it remains.
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