Is Paula Deen’s n-word use a Southern thing?

Some fans and fellow chefs have defended her, accepting the first explanation that as a child of the South, such language and attitudes were common and not a sign that she treated anyone poorly. Putting aside the difference between what anyone does or says behind closed doors at home and the atmosphere entrepreneurs must create in the workplace, does accepting that “everyone did it that way so can we just stop being politically correct and move on” characterize a region with a broad and racially poisonous stereotype?