In a tearful interview with Today's Matt Lauer, Paula Deen said that she is not a racist and does not think the Food Network made the right decision in firing her. Paula has lost her contract with the Food Network, Smithfield Foods has terminated its partnership with her, and other outlets such as QVC, Sears, and Target are re-evaluating their relationship.  In 2012, she was the 4th highest paid chef, and through all of her ventures pulled in $17 million.
    Paula admits to using the N-word, but said that she was not sure if the N-word is offensive to black people.  I can see where she would be confused, especially if she witnesses black people using the term among themselves.
     Is it "appropriate" for her to use the word, even though it's the every day vernacular among black people.  Do you believe she didn't know the N-word is offensive?     Do you think people are making much ado about nothing? Should she have been fired and lose her contracts?
     Many people are divided over Paula's comments and the consequences that she faces.  Please share your thoughts...