Paula Deen is doing her best to uphold the bad stereotypes some people believe about Southerners. Deen was under deposition because she was sued by a former manager of Deen’s restaurant. The manager, Lisa Jackson, claims that Paula Deen used “the n-word” and also that Deen’s brother, Bubba Hiers (yeah), sexually harassed and assaulted her. The manager, not Paula Deen. You can put your own incest redneck joke here if you want to. Jackson is also suing for racial discrimination.
Deen didn’t deny these allegations at all. She was very open about her use of “the n word” and about the novelty of dressing waiters as slaves in restaurants. Her deposition reads like a censored Tarantino film. Here are some excerpts, from The Huffington Post:
Lawyer: Have you ever used the N-word yourself?
Deen: Yes, of course.
Lawyer: Okay. In what context?
Deen: Well, it was probably when a black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head.
Lawyer: Okay. Well, did you use the N-word to him as he pointed a gun in your head at your face?
Deen: Absolutely not.
Lawyer: Well, then, when did you use it?
Deen: Probably in telling my husband.
Lawyer: Okay. Have you used it since then?
Deen: I’m sure I have, but it’s been a very long time.
Lawyer: Well, then tell me the other context in which you’ve used the N-word?
Deen: I don’t know, maybe in repeating something that was said to me.
Lawyer: Like a joke?
Deen: No, probably a conversation between blacks. I don’t — I don’t know. But that’s just not a word that we use as time has gone on. Things have changed since the ’60s in the south. And my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior. As well as I do.
Lawyer: Are you aware of Mr. Hiers admitting that he engaged in racially and sexually inappropriate behavior in the workplace?
Deen: I guess [You guess? You guess your brother sexually harassed someone? Woman this is not The Price Is Right, there’s nothing to guess here.]
Lawyer: Okay. Well, have you done anything about what you heard him admit to doing?
Deen: My brother and I have had conversations. My brother is not a bad person. Do humans behave inappropriately? At times, yes. I don’t know one person that has not. My brother is a good man. Have we told jokes? Have we said things that we should not have said, that — yes, we all have. We all have done that, every one of us.
Lawyer: What about jokes, if somebody is telling a joke that’s got —
Deen: It’s just what they are, they’re jokes.
Lawyer: Okay. Would you consider those to be using the N word in a mean way?
Deen: That’s — that’s kind of hard. Most — most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks. Most jokes target — I don’t know. I didn’t make up the jokes, I don’t know. I can’t — I don’t know. […what? “Most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, and black folks”? Woman, listen to some Mitch Hedberg or something, it’s time to throw out your 1950’s joke book.]
Lawyer: Do you recall using the words “really southern plantation wedding”?
Deen: Yes, I did say I would love for Bubba to experience a very southern style wedding, and we did that. We did that.
Lawyer: Okay. You would love for him to experience a southern style plantation wedding?
Lawyer: That’s what you said?
Deen: Well, something like that, yes. And -–
Laywer: Okay. And is that when you went on to describe the experience you had at the restaurant in question?
Deen: Well, I don’t know. We were probably talking about the food or –- we would have been talking about something to do with service at the wedding, and –-
Lawyer: Is there any possibility, in your mind, that you slipped and used the word “n—-r”?
Deen: No, because that’s not what these men were. They were professional black men doing a fabulous job.
Lawyer: Why did that make it a -– if you would have had servers like that, why would that have made it a really southern plantation wedding?
Deen: Well, it –- to me, of course I’m old but I ain’t that old, I didn’t live back in those days but I’ve seen the pictures, and the pictures that I’ve seen, that restaurant represented a certain era in America.
Deen: And I was in the south when I went to this restaurant. It was located in the south.
Lawyer: Okay. What era in America are you referring to?
Deen: Well, I don’t know. After the Civil War, during the Civil War, before the Civil War.
Lawyer: Right. Back in an era where there were middle-aged black men waiting on white people.
Deen: Well, it was not only black men, it was black women.
Lawyer: Sure. And before the Civil War –- before the Civil War, those black men and women who were waiting on white people were slaves, right?
Deen: Yes, I would say that they were slaves.
Deen: But I did not mean anything derogatory by saying that I loved their look and their professionalism.
Lawyer: And when you described it [the restaurant] to Miss Jackson […] Do you know what word you used to identify their race? […] Black or African-American?
Deen: Black. I would use the word black. I don’t usually use African-Americans. I try to go along with whatever the black race is wanting to call themselves at each given time.
So there you go! Can’t wait for her publicist to release an official statement.