Phaedra Parks is taking to her Bravo Blog to explain her “Hebrew Slave” comment on the premiere of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. People were offended when Phaedra used the term and she writes that she understands why. Phaedra says she did not mean the comment in a derogatory or disrespectful way. She apologizes for what she said.
Phaedra writes, “What would our show be without a series of new dramas, controversies, and scandals?! I would be remiss if I did not address the comment I made during last night’s episode about “working like a Hebrew slave,” to which I understand that some people took issue. Let me first say that the statement was not in any way meant to be derogatory or disrespectful to any culture. It is a description that is commonly used in reference to the requirement of working long, merciless hours without any end in sight.
I get that we live in a culture where political correctness is expected, especially in polite company, but we also cannot divorce ourselves from our history and the references thereto that have found their way into our speech. By that I do not mean racial and cultural slurs, demeaning or degrading descriptions or other sorts of calculated and hurtful (mis)applications of language. As an African American woman and the descendant of slaves, I do not condone any form of racism or oppression. I most certainly do not take lightly our history of slavery and the battles that were fought, and won, to gain the freedoms that we now enjoy. In fact, much of that history fuels my passion for law and social justice. Nevertheless, I regret any discomfort my use of that description might have caused.”
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