By Jan Boston Sellers
I am writing this column after watching embattled cable television chef Paula Deen live on the Today Show. As you know, Deen of Savannah, GA, admitted during the deposition phase of a civil suit filed against her of using a racial term. News of her racial slur and her subsequent admission has left Deen in the middle of a firestorm. She has lost two of her big sponsors, namely the Food Network, and is struggling to stay afloat amidst the controversy.
I am neither a cook nor a “foodie,” as those with kitchen talents often call themselves. Quite frankly, I probably didn’t have much of an opinion about Deen one way or another until this morning. After watching her interview with Matt Lauer and her emotional apology, I have to say, my opinion of her skyrocketed: certainly not because she used racially charged language, but because it was so refreshing to see someone admit what they had done and apologize for it.
If there are any two words in the American language, past or present, I detest they are the “n” word and “GD.” Although I may find some others offensive, none will get my blood boiling as quickly as those two. However, how many of us have said things we wish we hadn’t said? I can promise you I have and often on a daily basis. I admire Deen for admitting she used the slur. I also think her public apologies were heartfelt and heroic. I have read about her over the years and know she has used her brand and her business to further efforts to improve lives of those less fortunate and is a kind, compassionate and caring person who “under stress, digressed” and used highly inappropriate language.
Over the years, we Americans have seen some politicians and other celebrities commit indiscretions and lie. And lie. And lie some more until either their “handlers” decide it is best to come clean or the news media has so much proof he or she finally agrees to tell the truth. Deen tells the truth from day one, apologizes and still has faced a tsunami of bad press.
I, for one, believe Deen is sorry for her 30-year-ago racial slur and hope the dust settles for her pretty quickly.
The first day of summer has officially come and gone, and we are marching rather quickly into July 4. The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays: it marks our country’s independence; it is a birthday we can celebrate without shopping for the perfect present; and it features food, family, friends and fireworks. This year the apex of summer holidays falls on a Thursday. This means a lot of folks will be extending their weekends and hopping into cars to celebrate the red, white and blue.
Traditionally, this is a dangerous holiday on Tennessee’s roadways and waterways. If you are traveling by vehicle, remember to observe speed limits, watch out for other motorists, don’t get behind the wheel if you have been drinking, watch for motorcyclists and pedestrians, wear your safety belt and please don’t text while operating a vehicle. Tennessee Highway Patrol will be out in full force over the holiday watching for distracted and impaired motorists.
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will man the waterways over the holiday as well. Boaters, fisherman, jet skiers, etc. should always be aware of their surroundings, watch out for other watercraft, don’t use alcohol if you are driving and obey the rules of the water.
If you plan on swimming, please make sure you aren’t alone. Even the best of swimmers can become tired or get into trouble in the water.
"The Dukes of Hazzard" are coming to Crossville this weekend! The General Lee, Dixie Jeep, Roscoe’s Car and Cooter’s Tow Truck will be on display at the Cumberland County Community Complex along with an appearance by Enos (Sonny Shroyer) from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Saturday. All proceeds benefit the seventh-grade Crossville Comets basketball team's fund to attend the AAU National Championships in Ohio next month.
Don’t forget to attend the City of Crossville’s Fireworks Show July 4 at Centennial Park. The light show will begin at 9 p.m. All pre-show activities including games and activities will start at 5 p.m.