Phaedra Parks Apologizes for ‘Hebrew Slave’ Comment

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  • As you no doubt know, the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” is built on and maintained by controversy.

    But Sunday night’s season six premiere contained a couple of words that are proving a tad too controversial and too hot to handle for Phaedra Parks.

    On the show, Parks mentioned how she had been working like a “Hebrew slave” to take care of her newborn son, Dylan. Like we said, “oops.” With a quickness on Monday morning she hit up her blog to straighten things out.

    “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,” she wrote. “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.”

    Here are Phaedra’s full comments as well as an update on “Mr. President.”

    As we start our sixth season, I want to thank all of our loyal fans for your continued support. Without you, there would truly be no us.

        On last night’s episode, we caught up with everyone and were able to catch a glimpse of their life. The reigning theme this season seems to be newness and celebration. NeNe and Gregg are newlyweds; Porsha is a newly liberated single woman; Cynthia and Peter have moved to a new business location; Kandi and Todd are newly engaged; and, Apollo and I have bought a new house and added a new addition to our family, our son whom we fondly call “Mr. President.”

        And, of course, 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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