Everyone has an opinion on Paula Deen’s admission that she uses the “N-word,” planned a slavery-themed wedding and makes racist jokes. Several people are outraged, some are sympathetic and then, there’s Al Sharpton. When confronted by TMZ on the street, the Reverend and civil rights activist had this to say about Paula’s predicament:

“I think that it was just not about her using racial language. A lot of us have said things in the past that we regretted saying years ago. I think she has a lawsuit now, about activities now, whether they were discriminatory and whether or not she’s engaged in things now. It’s not about her past and whether she’s regained [her dignity and brand], I don’t know, I think it’s still in litigation.”

When the TMZ cameraman asked if the Reverend was saying Paula Deen deserves a break, he said:

“I mean she deserves what’s fair…I think you cannot deal with what is fair and not fair till we seek out in the present the circumstances she’s accused of, not something from 20 years ago.”

Some viewed Al Sharpton’s statements as a show of support, including Paula Deen herself, who tweeted:

Do you agree with Al Sharpton that Paula deserves a pass if her “racial language” was in the past and doesn’t reflect her present beliefs?

Watch Al Sharpton’s interview here:

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  • CNicole

    Should you judge Dean for her past offenses? Reasonable minds may disagree on that. However, but there are those who learned from prior bad acts and judging them today based solely upon their past transgressions is not always fair. Given Al’s past, he probably would like to try to put it behind him, so whether I agree with him about Dean and her past, I appreciate that he isn’t a hypocrite on that front.

    Second, has Dean learned from her past offenses? Based upon her conduct in the last year (her 2012 New York Times interview, her recent half-baked apologies, her Today interview, etc.), it’s pretty clear that she hasn’t learned much of anything.

    Three, is the issue about more than just the n-word? Why yes. The transcript of Dean’s deposition as well as other public record documents from the lawsuit against her and her brother paint a disturbing picture of a workplace (the Dean empire restaurant run by her brother) where management subjects its employees to racism, sexism (including dirty jokes and porn), and perhaps even the threat of violence (there is testimony about an alleged brawl involving senior management at the restaurant). The restaurant sounds more like a Love & Hip Hop episode rather than something owned by the mogul that she is. And, just like “she is who she is,” she makes it clear that there’s not much of anything her brother could do to merit her firing him.

    That refusal to learn, grow and adapt – which seems more like a life philosophy rather than just a way of dealing with race – is what has gotten Dean into trouble.

    • CNicole

      Sorry folks, I mean Deen.

  • P

    Rev. Al caught me way off guard with his statement.

    This is my first time disagreeing with him. Anytime your livelihood is in jeopardy, I cannot trust the validity of your remorse. All I have to judge you by is your past actions. Your record speaks for itself.

    Paula’s hidden DEEDS have just been uncovered. I’m sure she’ll receive another opportunity. However, it’s a wrap for me. And her tears won’t help either.

    • PLZ, PLZ . . . Paula has MORE than enough to LIVE very comfy for the REST OF HER LIFE, and likely her childrens too! Ole Al was simply “NEEDING” some “attention!” He’s had to be far to quiet since “his BO y” got “re-elected!” Sad part is, NOT ONE OF THE WHINERS actually have the guts to call our prez what HE really is . . . BI/RACIAL, is that NO LONGER in “vogue?” hummmmmmm!:”!”!”???? Does anyONE in America remember ANYone who ever even “owned” a slave? ANYBODY???? SERIOUSLY!!!

  • Pepper

    Everyone interprets things differently. We all heard what Sharpton said, and (Some) people will take his words as defending her. When I first heard Sharpton on TMZ a couple of days ago I assumed what he was eluding to is (wait until she has her day in court..don’t rush to judgment). Bottom line is that the Real Deal will come out when/if the case is litigated. Who knows…..she may settle out of court. Of course Deen’s sons are saying (in short) that the allegations (short of using the N word) aren’t true, and that the accuser is falsely accusing their mother, and looking for a payday. Time will tell…the truth will eventually come out

    • doesn’t it really make ya wonder if this had been a reversal of the roles, what “really” would have happened??? I’m sick of “reverse dicrimination,” and on and on . . . Al Sharptounge was LOVING those “Black Panthers,” @ the voting polls, acting like the thugs and gangsters they really are, FURTHERMORE. . . why is it EXACTLY that those SAME “black panthers,” aren’t referred to as “African-American PANTHERS?” hummm???? Reverse discrimination, racism, etc. . . WILL DESTORY THIS COUNTRY, perhaps that will be “BHO’s” legacy!! HOW VERY APPROPRIATE!!!