Paula Deen, Race and Redemption.

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Today was my first time watching Paula Deen's  interview with Matt Lauer from last week (I have embedded it below if you have want to watch it). I have thought about this all week (not the video but this particular situation). The first video I saw was the one where she apologized to everyone.

I must say, as a person of faith who believes in the power of redemption: things may have gone too far. The reality is that we are each entitled to redemption. We are perfectly imperfect folks who get it wrong. Many of us have done and said things that are not the least flattering nor appropriate. I have honestly been convicted by this on so many levels.

As a Christian, I hear the words of Jesus ringing in my mind, "He who is without sin, cast the first stone." As a Progressive, I hear my words regarding Anthony Weiner ringing in my head, "The man deserves a second chance." As a lover of Dr. King, I hear him reminding me that we are each brothers and sisters; we are inextricably connected.

There is no excuse for what Paula Deen said; none. It doesn't matter how long ago it was. What most annoyed me last week were my FB friends who were tacitly approving of what she said. One even said since she said it in the privacy of her home then it was okay; it was not.

What I need for my friends of different races to understand is the word, n*gger is never okay. It is a word loaded with hate, oppression and vitriol. It is not enough to say, "Well, the black folks say it all of the time." You are right; many do. However, you must not. It is worth my friends who are black to re-evaluate whether we should continue to use such a loaded and vitriolic word. I know that we have essentially re-branded "n*gger" to "n*gga" but should have we?

Here is my bottom line: Every person deserves redemption. Every person deserves to know that there is hope that their tomorrow can look differently. Each person should know that their past will not haunt him/her in perpetuity.

May we each learn to love. May we learn to forgive. May we learn to choose wisely our words and ask God to search our hearts; from it flow all things.


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