QUESTION: Paula Deen, home cooking food mogul, has been under fire for using racial slurs in the past. The Food Network will not renew her contract and endorsements and leaving. Do you think it's fair for Deen to be held accountable for hurtful words she used in the past?

QUESTION: Paula Deen, home cooking food mogul, has been under fire for using racial slurs in the past. The Food Network will not renew her contract and endorsements and leaving. Do you think it's fair for Deen to be held accountable for hurtful words she used in the past?

Deen didn’t continue with those words

I did not allow my children to listen to rap in my house because of the vulgarity and racial slurs. I didn't think it was appropriate, and didn't think that my children needed to be exposed. My point is this: I don't use racial slurs, in any context whether I am talking about a political party or whether I have a beef with an individual. But, I cannot say the same as to how I have been treated by those of a different political party or even by African American citizens. I have been called a cracker, 30 years ago I was called a honkie, an extremist, a leftist.
I, by the color of my skin, have been labeled as racist when I take a view that is not in alignment with Al Sharpton or Jessie Jackson. I have heard over and over how we have held down the African American race and that they don't have the rights, that white citizens enjoy. At the age of 47, I don't see that at all. Maybe it is because I have lived most of my life in rural areas.  What Paula Deen said over 30 years ago at gunpoint is being taken to the extreme. No she probably would not have said it if not for the circumstances. Is she in the habit of thinking that way now? Well the past gives us an indication that she did not continue on blurting out racial slurs. I guess the mistake she made was she didn't charge money when she said it. That would have made it ok.
Nancy Steward
Linn Creek

Food Network looking for an excuse to can her

No, her statement was made under oath.  How many could say under oath that we had never used that word — even if it wasn't being used in a derogatory way?
I personally believe that the Food Network has used Deen's testimony as an excuse to refuse to renew her contract which has expired.  Was this a sleazy corporate tactic?  The Food Network smells foul to me.
Joe Murray

Some people still get away with vile speech

Leave her alone.  If we all were punished for all our failings in the PC world none of us would have a job.  But some can say anything they want to disparage others and they can still be in the legislature, government office, media, "show biz"  and (so called ) community  organizations and still keep their jobs.
They are revered for their radical, leftist  utterances. Julian Bond the former and long time head of the NAACP, a southern black man, not a southern white woman, said on MSNBC on May 14, 2013 the Tea Party was (The Taliban wing of American politics).  
The leftist bunch think he's great.  Yet this hideous, vile speech is tolerated and goes  unchallenged. We patriotic Americans have been called every bad name in the book on the floor of the Senate and in political speeches given by the left, and they certainly haven't lost their jobs.
Brenda Goodman

Suspension should have been enough

I think the punishment was over the top. A suspension and or a financial penalty should have been enough. Her apology should have been worded better.
The fact is when the show’s sponsors began pulling out the die was cast. I never watched that show so I can't comment on if its loss is really of any significance other than to the cast band crew.
Francis Carr
Sunrise Beach

Political correctness gone too far

Has anyone at the Food Network ever used the “N-word”? The U.S. Senate had Ku Klux Klansmen representing their states and current statesmen have used the word in past.
For this woman to have her career shattered because she uttered a word some time ago is too extreme. She did not use it on the air or in public. There must be a statute of limitations on the spoken word.
This is just taking political correctness too far. Remember what we said as kids, “ sticks and stones ...”.
Greg Stageberg

Food Network smart to air issue

I think the Food Network was smart to get it out into the open so that it didn't create a bigger scandal.   I think the Food Network has done a good job separating itself from this mess.   I also think Paula should try to renegotiate with the Food Network and the Food Network should be open to negotiations.   While what she has done might have an impact on her image, I would hate to see it wreck her life.  If not, I think she is due a settlement from the Food Network. While damaging, her comments were not made on-air and, as stated, were made in the past.
David Gregg

Accountability lacks in American culture

While I think it’s fair to be held accountable for what you say, I also believe in the Freedom of Speech.  We don’t hold our politicians, at any level,  ‘accountable’ for what they say or promise.  How about all the promises they made to get elected?  How about Obama’s statement of ‘government transparency’.  
Snowden gives us a bit of ‘transparency’ and the Federal Government is amassing the single largest witch hunt ever, threatening to cut off foreign aid to Ecuador should they provide asylum to Snowden.  We, as a country, hold no one accountable for their words.  And yet there are people who would crucify Paula Deen over her use of a single word.  A word that, while walking down a city street anywhere in America, you will hear repeatedly from both blacks and whites.  Ever watch a black or latino comedian?  The ‘N’ word is used more than one could count.  Ever watch Blazing Saddles (a multi-million dollar movie)?
She said it, she claimed it (which is far more than any of our countries leaders will do) and she apologized.  Done and dusted, move on.  People who persecute based on the choice of words need to put on their ‘big-girl panties’ and get a life.  
Scott Hagan
Lake Ozark

Apology seemed insincere

I've gotten different "facts" from different sources on this subject.  If Paula Deen was casually using the N-word, then yes, it's offensive and I think she should forfeit her endorsement deals and TV show.  
Her defenders say she is a 66-year old southern woman, so...  Nobody is exempt!   Her apologies were forced and insincere and just added fuel to this fire.  But here's something more appalling than her slang: she allegedly hosted a Civil War-era party at her restaurant and hired African-Americans to act as slaves.  She should exit quietly through the door she came in.
Lisa MacConnell
Linn Creek

Apology should be accepted

Ms. Deen  displayed her generations southern bigotry without thinking through what her words would convey. Her apology should be accepted since she has obviously realized her error and, hopefully, will be careful in the future.
Hal Anway
Lake Ozark