Don’t worry John Mitchell, (Letter, “Freedom of speech no longer exists here,” July 9). Paula Deen is free to say anything she wants and she isn’t going to speech prison. Our Constitution guarantees us the right to be not only stupid but ignorant as well. Just because you have millions of dollars does not necessarily mean you are smart. In Paula’s own words “Ah is what I is.” Sadly what she “is” now is a financial liability to those who pay her millions to use her name and image. Those corporations and businesses are now exercising a free market principal by cancelling Paula’s contracts.
As someone who grew up in Georgia in the 1950s and ’60s Mr. Mitchell’s definition of the “n-word” as someone who refused to work or was a detriment to the community generally applied as I recall to anyone who wasn’t white or sufficiently humble. I remember the n-word in common speech as rather all-encompassing with the term “colored” used in print or to designate segregated facilities.
On the upside, the South has come a long way since those days. As Lee Atwater put it we are more “abstract.” Instead of the n-word we now use the terms “states’ rights,” “budget cuts,” “affirmative action,” “quotas” and “welfare,” it sounds much more sophisticated but means the same thing.