The NAACP & The White House: ‘Snoockered’ By Breitbart & Fox News

If you’ve been following the latest political news, you would know that Shirley Sherrod, a black USDA official from Georgia, was forced to resign a few days ago after ‘edited’ video surfaced on the web which purported to show that she had unfairly discriminated against a white farmer seeking assistance. When the full video was released we learned that not only did she help the farmer, she soul searched prior to doing so and learned a valuable life lesson in the process.

The farmer’s wife has since corroborated her statements and confirmed that she did the best she could for the couple, and her best resulted in their farm escaping foreclosure. 

Before I address the meat of the story, a few things first. Can you imagine getting fired from a current job because of something you said 24 years ago while employed by another company? Assuming you said something  halfway inappropriate, could you even fathom the long-term effects?

What the evidence in the video points to is the fact that Andrew Brietbart, the conservative blogger who broke the story, produced a heavily edited version of the video that did not show or tell the full story. Not even a little bit.

The white farmer’s wife, Eloise Spooner, defendsSherrod, saying she helped them save their farm.

Spooner, who considers Sherrod a “friend for life,” said the federal official worked tirelessly to help the Iron City couple hold onto their land as they faced bankruptcy back in 1986.

“Her husband told her, ‘You’re spending more time with the Spooners than you are with me,’ ” Spooner told the AJC. “She took probably two or three trips with us to Albany just to help us out.” 

Andrew Brietbart’s blog did not include the full context of the video and context is everything, right? The speech at the banquet took place in March, recounting a story that occurred 24 years ago. It happened before she obtained employment with the USDA. She worked with the Georgia field office for the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund in 1986. She explained that the clips posted on Breitbart’s blog did not show the full breadth of the story, and she was right.

 Ms. Sherrod  worked with the man and his wife over a two-year period to help ward off foreclosure. She became life-long friends with the farmer and his wife. In an interview with CNN, 82-year-old Eloise Spooner called Sherrod a “friend for life.”

She told CNN that Sherrod “always treated us really good and got us all we could. She’s the one I give credit to with helping us save our farm.”

In the video, Ms. Sherrod expressed deep concern about the effects of classism as opposed to racism in America. The black and white farmers she helped were brought together not by their racial differences, but their economic similarities, which exposed a divisive, ever widening gap between the haves and the have nots. She opened her mind to the idea that the issues affecting Americans then and now are more class based than race based, yet we, the (collective), allow race divisions to cloud our field of vision on the real issues much too easily, far too often. She overcame feelings of prejudice on her own terms. I refuse to call what she felt at the time racism, because it was not, nor should it be misconstrued as such. 
The definition of racism: “the prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races.” source

Although her initial thought process was discriminatory, Fox news and friends and Pres. Obama’s gutless administration failed to realize that she did not follow through, but instead recognized the destructive nature, before making a conscious effort to do the right thing.

 A story promoting growth and awareness was taken completely out of context and as a result, Fox News, the NAACP and state and government officials (i.e. The White House) made repeated calls for her resignation until they were heard. They (NAACP, Obama administration, Fox News, BreitBart & Co.) should all be ashamed of themselves, but I know they’re not. The rush to political judgement reaches new lows on a daily basis, but when hard-working people lose jobs based on dishonest and inaccurate reporting, there lies a serious problem.
The reality of racial hypocrisy bites. I think it’s bullshit that she was forced to resign.

Just imagine Senator Byrd being forced to resign from the US Senate as a direct result of his earlier Klan membership and Klan recruitment that he engaged in during his mid-twenties. He went on to become the third longest serving member of the US Senate. What about  Strom Thurmond, the longest serving former US Senator, who despite later support of some civil rights initiatives, he never officially or unofficially renounced his previous racist-segregationist views, some of which were taken to the grave.

The list goes on in politics… Trent Lott’s, Harry Reid’s and Joe Biden’s racially insensitive remarks ring a racist bell for anyone else besides me? 

Ms. Sherrod was able to overcome her prejudice, but what about them? The same goes for the rest of us.

The White House and NAACP were quick to denounce the speech given by Ms. Sherrod without examining all of the facts. They were quick to condemn her actions without understanding that she had already condemned them herself. Without knowing that her reaction to the farmer and his wife most accurately reflected the change she felt.
The most telling was Ms. Sherrod’s admission to CNN about her father’s muder by a white man in her small southern town. No one was ever charged in his death although there were witnesses to the crime. Despite the incident having a great impact in her young life, she overcame some deep emotional wounds and odds to defeat her own prejudice. I applaud Ms. Sherrod for having the courage to speak out.
Click the following  to watch the Shirley Sherrod video in full. The clip in question starts at 16:06.  The issue here is class, not race. She spoke the DAMN truth, and that’s my word.
You want to know what real racism sounds like?




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