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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 2, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Paula Deen’s downward publicity spiral continues

Reconciliation, not judgment, is needed

Celebrity chef Paula Deen poses for a portrait in New York. [AP Photo/Carlo Allegri.]

Celebrity chef Paula Deen poses for a portrait in New York. [AP Photo/Carlo Allegri.]

Racial reconciliation remains an unmet need of our culture. [“Paula Deen’s publisher the latest to cut ties with celebrity chef,” News, June 29.]

With this in mind, I have become disturbed by the invective against Paula Deen. It’s not only all the companies firing her. It’s also the merciless self-righteousness being unleashed at her from all sectors of the culture.

Have we become so self-assured that we now judge people for things they did 30 years ago? How would any of us stand up under this kind of cold scrutiny?

How many qualified people will refrain from doing great things for the world, taking worthy risks, running for public office, asking hard questions of themselves and others, only because of the fear of a merciless public?

With regard to cross-cultural bridges that still need to be built, how can we expect anyone to be honest, when honesty and flaws result in such universal reproach?

In South Africa, after apartheid, the government did the exact opposite. It held “Truth and Reconciliation Commissions,” where former oppressors sat down with victims and spoke honestly to each other. They listened, it was civil, and it accomplished healing on a national scale that the vipers now condemning one Southern woman will never know or even believe is possible.

Our nation will tear itself apart if we keep going down this path.

Dan Magill, Seattle

 

Comments | Topics: paula deen, racism, reconciliation

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