Rev. Jesse Jackson: Paula Deen can be 'redeemed'
In this publicity image released by NBC, celebrity chef Paula Deen appears on NBC News' "Today" show, wednesday, June 26, 2013 in New York. Deen dissolved into tears during a "Today" show interview Wednesday about her admission that she used a racial slur in the past. The celebrity chef, who had backed out of a "Today" interview last Friday, said she was not a racist and was heartbroken by the controversy that began with her own deposition in a lawsuit. Deen has been dropped by the Food Network and as a celebrity endorser by Smithfield Foods. (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer)
CHICAGO (AP) — Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson says he's agreed to help celebrity chef Paula Deen try to make amends for her past use of a racial slur, saying she shouldn't become a "sacrificial lamb" over the issue of racial intolerance.
Jackson told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Deen called him this week, and they discussed how she might recover.
Jackson says if Deen is willing to acknowledge mistakes and make changes, "she should be reclaimed rather than destroyed."
Jackson says he's more troubled by racial disparities in jobs, lending, health care, business opportunities and the criminal justice system.
Her admission of using the slur first came in a lawsuit deposition. It later cost her an endorsement deal with Smithfield Foods and her job with the Food Network.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.