Paula Deen as she appeared in an apology video posted online on June 21, 2013
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- A civil and human rights organization founded by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., has found evidence of systemic racial discrimination and harassment by Paula Deen.
The Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and it's attorney, Robert Patillo, traveled to Savannah to investigate and interview employees of Deen's food conglomerate.
According to Robert Patillo, who interviewed several current and former employees, a family member consistently referred to a black cook as "my little monkey"; a black male employee who threatened to go to EEOC with complaints of discrimination was told "you don't have any civil rights here" by Deen's brother; that whites are routinely paid more and promoted sooner than blacks; that until recently a black women who for years helped Deen create her recipes and taught her to cook was paid less than $10.00 per hour; that Deen preferred white and light skinned blacks to work with customers and relegating darker blacks to back-of-the-house operations; that blacks are reluctant to speak openly about working conditions due to fears of retaliation from Deen.
Attorney Janice L. Mathis, VP of Rainbow PUSH indicates that "these reports seem to indicate systemic discrimination and exclusion and are inconsistent with Deen's statements. The allegations are credible in the sense that they corroborate each other. Unfortunately, there are still pockets of culture in the South that persist in unenlightened attitudes and practices."
Just days after Deen confessed to and apologized for making racially offensive comments about African-Americans, the Food Network announced they would not be renewing her contract, which is set to expire at the end of June.
For more stories on Deen, click the following link: http://on.11alive.com/13YCS6y