I definitely don't feel like we know with certainty what really happened and what the entire story is. I can honestly see it going either way– either that Paula used racial slurs in the past and has since changed her ways, or that she is a racist and has a problem with discrimination against African Americans and people of other minorities. I can see it going either way, or it being some variation that falls somewhere between the two extremes.
Paula said that when/where she was raised (in the South in the 60's) that's how people talked. While I agree with that to a certain extent, I don't think that circumstance gives anyone a free pass, or an excuse to use unkind language. Even if you are raised in a time/place where that sort of language was considered acceptable, there comes a point where you have to make a change because as Maya Angelou has said, "when you know better, you do better."
There's been major fallout over this whole Paula Deen thing. She was fired from Food Network channel, and many stores/brands have pulled out of carrying her products, including JCPenney, QVC, Sears, Kmart, Walmart, Home Depot, Target, Smithfield, Caesar's Palace and more. I also heard that Ballantine Books announced that it has canceled publication of her new book, Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up. The book was scheduled to be released in October, and in recent days pre-orders have raised the book to number one on online bookseller's sales charts. So, Paula is definitely paying the price financially for her remarks, not to mentions being raked through the coals and publicly censured in interviews on different TV programs. Here's a tearful picture of Paul during her emotional interview with Matt Lauer on the Today show.
I saw this picture on Facebook the other day and I think it's really true... there are issues far more important that people should be worried about, rather than focusing on what Paula Deen said 30 years ago. Enough is enough, as far as I'm concerned. Let it rest!