Food Network drops Paula Deen | June 22
Double standards on racial slurs
So a Southern woman in her 60s admits honestly that she has used the n-word in her life and loses her job with a TV network. This same woman has had Oprah Winfrey over for a sleepover.
Meanwhile, the 2013 Grammy Award winner for rap song was entitled N---as in Paris. My family, with children ages 9 and 11, attended a high school graduation party two weeks ago and the music blaring through the speakers the entire time, with the high schoolers knowing every word, was continuously filled with the n-word, not to mention sexual profanities of all kinds.
Will these kids possibly lose their jobs in the future for repeating those words? The same words that are costing people their jobs are winning others awards.
My wife and I have counseled our children that any use of the n-word is not acceptable. But they asked at the graduation party, "What is everyone singing that for, isn't that really bad?" Our answer was, and will always be, a resounding yes. Is anyone else as confused by this as we are?
Nile D. Brooks, Tampa
Food Network drops Paula Deen | June 22
Product of an era
I am a 63-year-old Southern woman who grew up in south Texas and Florida. I am Hispanic. Let me explain to your younger readers what it was like to grow up in the era of the 1950s and 1960s.
My parents did not allow me to speak Spanish because they did not want me to suffer the bigotry that they experienced. I could not take tacos in my lunch box because the kids would make fun of me.
When I was in third grade, my teacher got down on her knees and put her arms around me. She then asked me to tell her if I was French or Mexican. When I began to cry, she told me that if I were Mexican, I would have to sit in the back of the classroom. This is my reality of living in the South in the 1950s and '60s. I realize that other people of other cultures suffered even more than what I experienced.
Please let it be known to your younger readers that in this era it was not uncommon for white people in the South to refer to black people by the n-word. Moving forward into the 21st century, thank goodness most Americans today are sensitive and respectful of all cultures.
Paula Deen, being a Southern white woman, was brought up in an era of discrimination. She now has the courage to accept this truth and has apologized to the American public. She has stated that she wants to move forward into what she has learned from today's acceptable cultural standards. Let her move forward.
To ruin her career for what she said in the past is dumb and cruel. Shame on the Food Network.
Sandra Vazquez, Tampa
Punished for honesty
I guess Paula Deen has learned that in the new "politically correct" America, honesty is not the best policy.
Larry Whightsil, New Port Richey
Find other ways to cut
The upcoming furlough of civilian employees at MacDill Air Force Base is another example of just how out of touch and insensitive our president and his administration have become. The reduction in income on these families will have a ripple effect on our community.
A good leader leads by example. Federal government spending is out of control. Sequestration was to force the government to spend less. Actually, it really just meant we would borrow 2 cents on the dollar less.
In hard economic times, where the government spends its tax dollars is extremely crucial to the welfare of its people.
The president should reduce his traveling abroad. IRS employees are set to receive a $70 million bonus. And now we seem to have money to send arms to Syria.
Why not use this money to reduce the pain on those federal employees who are going to be furloughed? The loss of income to these families is real and painful.
Randy Eisenberg, Valrico
Congress kicks the can | June 21, commentary
Don't blame Social Security
I take issue with Doyle McManus' column with regard to Social Security. He states that a "grand bargain" concerning the federal deficit would require Democrats to agree to cuts in future spending on Medicare and Social Security.
However, Social Security is now and has always been self-supporting, as required by law. While Social Security may require tweaking — such as raising the retirement age as was done previously or, more preferably, raising the maximum income level on which Social Security taxes are assessed — it does not add to the deficit.
Furthermore, I am disappointed in McManus' failure to mention such significant documented deficit contributors as unfunded wars and prescription drug benefits, along with unprecedented tax cuts implemented during wartime.
Joan Zawlocki, Seffner
$270M headache for Bucs | June 22
An insult to veterans
This article is out of line to compare "the gibbering of an old soldier recounting past campaigns to an empty room" to a fax machine. This is an insult to veterans everywhere.
Perhaps the writer should visit Bay Pines VA Medical Center to better understand the sacrifices veterans have made to our country before he compares them to a fax machine.
Jay McGathey, Holiday
Lies thrown into battle against women's rights | June 21, commentary
The words in this piece were insulting, mean-spirited, judgmental and cruel. For someone with Connie Schultz's years of experience as a writer, one would hope she would approach a sensitive subject such as abortion with gentler hands and a kinder heart.
Each of her readers had mothers who allowed them to live. Connie Schultz, your mother allowed you to live. All fetuses deserve the chance to grow, thrive and live their own unique, special life. Period.
Meg S. Allen, Palm Harbor