A black pastor who knows disgraced Food Network star Paula Deen has come to her defense. Pastor Gregory A. Tyson Senior of the First Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia says he doesn't consider Deen a racist. “I know her,” Tyson tells a Georgia CNN affiliate. “My children have been to her house. I’ve been to her house, I’ve sat on her furniture. I’ve been all through her house. What racist would let a black man walk all through her house?”
For further evidence, Tyson points to Deen's relationship with Hollis Johnson -– the black man who manages Deen’s affairs and travels with her. “She is a mother to him,” Tyson says. “People are going to jump on it and believe what they want to believe and add what they want to add. But one thing I can sit here today and look you in the face and tell you is that woman can’t be a racist.”
As for Deen’s admission that she has used the N-word, Tyson says, “Who hasn’t? That doesn’t make her a racist. Would a racist gives thousands of dollars to an organization that helps black boys?"