I grew up in an environment where discriminatory and derogatory terms were freely bantered about. I did not know why at the time, but my skinned crawled at times when I heard these terms used toward others. I daresay that there are few of us who grew up in the South and before the Sixties who are unaware of the racial slurs I am talking about.
We all know by now that Paula Deen’s world has imploded due to her admission of using a racial epithet twenty five years ago. While it was of her free will that she made this admission (instead of lying) during a deposition, she is being roasted alive and brought to ruin for telling the truth. She has been fired from a network and multiple sponsors have dropped her like a hot potato.
I do not condone the expression she used and though I doubt it was the one and only time she used this word, who without sin cast the first stone at her? And then how easily others followed suit, knowing in their hearts they have at some time in their lives also used the same word toward others.
I wonder when enough is enough. Her image and career have been destroyed. She has apologized, though some think insincerely.
How complex the human heart is and how quick we are to judge others when there is sin in our hearts and minds as well. Does this ill treatment of others somehow ease our own minds for the prejudices we have held onto or had once in our own lives? How can we not identify with others for the same things we have thought or said? Are those hurling the stones somehow soothing their own consciences? If so, I really do not see how that balances out.
There have been others that have publicly used ugly words and have landed back on their feet. So who gets to decide who becomes a pariah and who does not?
I think it is time to draw the line in the sand and exhibit the mercy that was and is extended to us.