Tearful Paula Deen on the Today Show: 'I Am Not a Racist'...'I Would Not Have Fired Me' [Video]

Paula Deen: People who I've never heard of are all of a sudden experts on who I am

In an emotional interview, her first since she admitted having used racial epithets, Paula Deen tearfully told TODAY's Matt Lauer Wednesday that she is not a racist; that as a businesswoman, she does not think Food Network's decision to terminate her contract was right, and that she was unsure whether the N-word was offensive to black people.

When asked by Lauer whether she was a racist, Deen replied simply, "No." Then she added, "I believe that … every one of God’s creatures was created equal. I believe that everyone should be treated equal, that’s the way I was raised and that’s the way I live my life"
When Lauer asked if Deen, who was let go from the Food Network Friday, believed her offense was a fireable one, Deen said it was not.

"Would I have fired me? Knowing me? No," she said. "I am so very thankful for the partners I have who believe in me."
At the 3:30 mark Lauer asks, 'Are you a racist?'

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