I'm Black, and I Forgive Paula Deen

Robin R. Ford writes at Salon that maybe Paula Deen's honesty can spark an open dialogue about race in America.

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Paula Deen visits the Today Show in June 2013 (NBC)

Citing Paula Deen's admission of racism as evidence that the former Food Network star is simply from a certain era, Medgar Evers College educator Robin R. Ford writes at Salon that she won't hold Deen's words against her. 

Still, I can't bring myself to dislike her. Of course I'm disappointed that the N-word passed her lips. However, I understand why and how it happened, and I forgive her. Deen is a product of the place and time in which she was raised. There are many Southerners who are proud of their Confederate roots, whose ancestors owned slaves, as Deen's did. But without honest dialogue between all races, some, perhaps like Deen, won't ever understand why such reminders of our racist past are still so painful, even in 2013. Particularly in 2013.

We are not living in a post-racial society, despite the Supreme Court's decision this week to overturn the key provision in the Voting Rights Act because “the nation is no longer divided along those lines.” Just because a biracial man who appears more black than white was elected president doesn't make discrimination based on color a problem of the past. If race were no longer an issue in this country then young black men wouldn't make up the vast majority of those incarcerated. And minorities wouldn't have lower test scores because of unfairly funded schools, and poverty would not affect minorities disproportionately. And no one would contest the president's heritage.

Read Robin R. Ford's entire piece at Salon.

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