The Breitbart Sherrod Tape – UPDATE

Glenn Reynolds linked to this piece at Hot Air where Ed Morrissey writes:

Andrew Breitbart announced that he would publish at least one video of the NAACP itself cheering racism. Breitbart delivers on that promise today at Big Government, showing USDA official Shirley Sherrod explain to an appreciative NAACP audience in July 2009 how she deliberately withheld information from a white farmer in Georgia trying to save his land and his business:

The Breitbart piece is here, and yes, the videos are rather stunning; it is unimaginable to me that any government representative could stand before an audience and say some of this stuff. As I asked here last week, “have people meant what they’ve been saying for the past 50 years, or has hit all been just words?”

Nevertheless I am uncomfortable with this “get” by Breitbart. He writes:

In the first video, Sherrod describes how she racially discriminates against a white farmer. She describes how she is torn over how much she will choose to help him. And, she admits that she doesn’t do everything she can for him, because he is white. Eventually, her basic humanity informs that this white man is poor and needs help. But she decides that he should get help from “one of his own kind”. She refers him to a white lawyer.

Sherrod’s racist tale is received by the NAACP audience with nodding approval and murmurs of recognition and agreement. Hardly the behavior of the group now holding itself up as the supreme judge of another groups’ racial tolerance.

All true. The “glass houses” axiom is certainly getting a workout here. But the video ends so abruptly!

Sherrod, who is not an impressive public speaker, says she did not do all she could for the “poor white farmer” who she perceived to be somehow both asking for her help and simultaneously “trying to show me he was superior to me; I knew what he was doing…” She admits that she did just “enough” for the farmer so as to cover her own sense of accountability and then: “I took him to a white lawyer . . . I figured if I took him to one of them, then his own kind would take care of him.”

Yes, there is a bit of paranoid projection, there, and some shocking language–language that has been rightly rejected by society–that seems to play well to the audience. But then Sherrod apparently has a revelation. She begins to understand that “it’s about poor versus those who have, and not so much about white–it is about white and black–but you know it opened my eyes, because I took him to one of his own.”

Yes? AND?

Ed Morrissey writes:

Actually, if Sherrod had a different ending for this story, it could have been a good tale of redemption. She almost grasps this by initially noting that poverty is the real issue, which should be the moral of the anecdote. Instead of having acted on this realization — and perhaps mindful of the audience — Sherrod then backtracks and says that it’s really an issue of race after all.

And that’s what is troubling me.

Doesn’t it seem like, after all of that sort of winking, “you and I know how they really are” racist crap wherein Sherrod–intentionally or not–indicts her own narrow focus, she was heading to a more edifying message? What did it open her eyes about? Was she about to say “I took him to one of his own, but it shouldn’t have mattered about that; my job was to serve all the farmers who needed help.”

Was she about to say, “I learned about myself and about how far we still have to go?”

Was she about to say “it’s not poor vs those who have, because we are not at war, we are just in the same human reality that ever was?”

Was she about to say, “poor is poor, hungry is hungry and the past is the past when a family can’t eat?”

I want to know. Because it seemed like Sherrod was heading somewhere with that story, and the edit does not let us get there. I want the rest of the story before I start passing judgment on it.

This damned, cancerous issue of race is never going to get behind us if game-playing such as Sherrod describes continues. But it also won’t get behind us if resentment is going to be sowed for any sort of expediency, by anyone – not by the NAACP, not by congressional theatrics and not by center-right conservatives, no matter how fed up they’re becoming with what seems, increasingly, to be a government that selects its constituency, rather than the other way around.

I want to see the rest of the tape. I cannot believe Sherrod ended on “I took him to one of his own.” Either she said something much worse after that (which we would have seen) or she said something much better.

If it was something “better” then we should have seen that, too.

There is a second video at Breitbart, btw, which shows Sherrod basically telling people that they should get government jobs, because they’re almost impervious to layoffs and firings. That offends me, by the way. No one should have a lock on a job, simply because it is the job they have. All that does is breed mediocrity and thick delusions.

UPDATE I: Ed Morrissey emails that he’ll be interviewing Andrew Breitbart on the Hugh Hewitt Show, at 6:20 ET, and should have him for 6-7 minutes.

UPDATE II: Sherrod resigns! That was fast. The story hadn’t even hit the mainstream media, yet. Why do I think we are not going to hear any more of that tape? Or will we? According to Allahpundit:

I assume Breitbart’s edit is fair to the spirit of her remarks; if it isn’t, rest assured that Media Matters or whoever will produce the full tape of the event and demand to know why essential context was bowdlerized. And speaking of Breitbart, didn’t he claim to have “tapes” — plural — of racism at NAACP events? Perhaps that explains his latest Tweet, written half an hour before I’m posting this: “Hey @ericboehlert & the mostly male Caucasian @mmfa ’senior fellows’: Get some rest. Tomorrow’s gonna be long day & first of many in a row.” Hmmmm.

I am super tied-up with the Future of Catholicism week, and so have been writing fast all day, but I should have also mentioned, as Allah said, and many here have commented, that I did not think Breitbart too clumsy to know what he was editing. It seems he is playing what the Edwardians used to call “a deep hand.” I’m not sure.

UPDATE III: Gay Patriot wonders about sour grapes:

Still, for many years, the NAACP was at the vanguard of a movement for positive social change in this country, pushing many reforms which were good for this country and fighting many laws (and attitudes) which represented some of the worst parts of this nation’s history. And now the Tea Party has become a vehicle for real change in this country.

Perhaps NAACP President Ben Jealous resents the more prominent role his predecessors played in the debates of their day than he does today.

Do NAACP leaders resent the Tea Parties for representing the most dynamic grassroots political movement of the day, a role it once enjoyed?

Also, Instalanche! The sweetest word in blogdom, bar none! Thanks, Glenn!

Filing this under “Remaking America” and “Remaking Ourselves.” And “Socialism Doesn’t Work.”

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  • tim maguire

    Don’t forget, the issue for Breitbart is not the speaker, but the audience. The audience was just fine as the story moved along, not showing any need for a redemptive ending (however halfhearted that redemption might have been).

    [I totally understand that. But fair is fair. If Sherrod is going to be featured like this, then she is entitled to clarifying context. admin]

  • frank black

    “I want to know. Because it seemed like Sherrod was heading somewhere with that story, and the edit does not let us get there. I want the rest of the story before I start passing judgment on it.”

    Absolutely agreed. Thanks for the cooler head in this madness.

  • Leopold Stotch

    Remember your rant against the Vatican’s PR skills? Breitbart is a pro at this type of roll out. He has his foes off balance, possibly waiting for them to maybe make this exact point about a cropped video. Once someone on the left acknowledges this tape – claiming it is a hatchet job, then he will gleefully release it in full. My $0.02.

  • RWallis

    yes, that is what I was thinking, it looks like the tape was ended too soon I would like to have heard the “rest of the story”

  • dymphna

    Anchoress, when I was a girl all the adults used to tell me that I should get a government job when I grew up. Why? Because unless you do drugs, kill somebody or get caught stealing a massive amount of money you have a job for life.

  • KarenT

    Either she said something much worse after that (which we would have seen) or she said something much better.

    If it was something “better” then we should have seen that, too.

    My initial reaction was something like yours. And ordinarily I would agree that if she said something worse, we would have seen it.

    There is still a very good chance that you are right, but Breitbart has a history of firing part of his ammunition, waiting for a reaction, then firing again. So I am not 100% sure that she said something better just after the video ended. Still, it would be helpful to know what she said next, whether better or worse.

  • Patriot

    I have a few emails from Sherrod, from today, where she states that she was relating a “transformation” and she wishes I could see the whole tape. You have my email if you wish to see what she wrote.

  • Brian O’Connell

    Only days before her USDA appointment, a group Shirley Sherrod founded was the recipient of a $13 million settlement from the USDA. As near as I can make out, it was a racial bias class action suit against the USDA that was in the courts for a while, but which the Obama admin decided to stop fighting and settle.

    See link and link. (I don’t vouch for either site.)

    The most recent name of the case was Pigford vs Vilsack- Google it for a lot more background. So there’s a complicated history behind Sherrod’s appointment. (Also says something about the -imagine me being called on to help a white farmer- tone of her remarks.)

    See also link which looks quasi official.

    I haven’t found a simple explainer for the case, so I have no idea if it has merit or not.

    [How to make a link keeps you out of the spam filter -admin]

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  • Brian O’Connell

    Here’s another relevant link. Quoting:

    Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund – Ralph Paige, Executive Director: “We are pleased with the $1.25 billion settlement. It opens a new chapter in the relationship between USDA and black farmers, and shows Secretary Vilsack’s and the Obama Administration’s commitment to moving into a new era. Now we look forward to actually getting this money into farmers’ hands. This will take some time, however, as Congress needs to appropriate the money, the court needs to approve the settlement, and class members actually need to submit their claims and have them adjudicated. The Federation of Southern Cooperatives and other farm groups look forward to working with the Obama administration, the Justice Department and Congress to assure an expeditious process in finally assisting these thousands of black farmers who have been treated unjustly.”

    So Sherrod’s $13M is a small part of the full class settlement of $1.25B settlement. And other ethnic groups had separate settlements I believe.

    Justice served, or Obama (and Holder) spreading the wealth around? I still don’t know- but looking.

    I’d add that as a libertarian I’m against this absurd level of subsidy. But if you’re going to give billions of taxpayer dollars to farmers- for nothing!, it would behoove the govt to only discriminate in popular ways.

  • F


    She may not respond to you, but, perhaps there is a good blogger of African descent who is also conservative, who might be able to interview her.


    It would be good to at least ask her and see what she was driving at.

    I experienced that type of reverse racism at the local state college here. Its not nice either direction but, one would hope that MLK’s example would have been used to keep this tone from being set. I don’t do it to “them” and I’d hope “they” would think more “us”. Afterall, we really are all together in this pickle called Life.

    [See, this is what's so depressing...even the notion that it would have to be an African American blogger...this self-segregating is depressing. And I know that your remarks were meant in the best possible way. But look what it's come to? Weren't we supposed to be way past this? admin]

  • Karen S

    “I cannot believe Sherrod ended on “I took him to one of his own.”

    I cannot believe anyone would think that’s acceptable in *any* context.

    [Ummmm...I don't think I ever said it was "acceptable." In fact, I think what I said was, "this is language that society has rightly rejected." But I'm not going to participate in a take-down when, for all I know, the next words out of that lady's mouth were, "and I was wrong to see race in everything." Maybe I want to hear the rest of the tape because I personally have such an aversion to people putting words in my mouth.- admin]

  • nohype1

    Isn’t it discouraging that the so many people are so busy tossing racist labels around? An important reasons that many people voted for Obama was to get to post-racialism, where race is not important. There never a chance of that because Obama and his minions see almost everything through the lens of race. And since an election is approaching and the Democrats can not or will not run on what they have accomplished, they have to run on something else, and hence the race card is played and played and played. Yes, Breitbart is playing that card. but with the goal of destroying it.

  • Spendulus

    Patriot, respectfully….She DID relate a “transformation”, just not the kind we are looking for. She related a transformation into a bigoted, racist method of thinking and living for those in the NAACP to emulate and cheer on.

    But of course the lady is welcome to come to the table and defend herself….or apologize.

    Wait….how many blacks have apologized for racist and bigoted public remarks in the last five years?


  • swift boater

    I hate to write this, perhaps you can read it yourself Anchoress and hold it for a few days cuz it might tip their hands.

    Did you notice how Breitbart laid out the ACORN tapes and then when ACORN said its all out of context, where is more, WHAMMO! he let them have it with both barrels.

    Perhaps the USDA bigot will say what you did. You edited the end where I fessed up and said I did help him to the best of my ability. When she does, BLAMMO!!!!! the rest of the tape appears.

    It still DOES NOT change the salient fact and the whole point of this video– the NAACP was agreeing that racism against ‘crackers’ is acceptable. You lost sight of that, the speaker was just the instrument to show the racism.

    [Nope. I haven't lost sight of anything. You cannot say "the speaker was just the instrument to show the racism" and ignore what she herself has said...unless she finishes up in a way that doesn't fit the narrative. I just want to know that the woman is being represented fairly. If she is, then it is what it is, and it's completely reprehensible. If there is more to this, however, and she went to a better place in the portion of the tape we're not seeing...well...we need to know that. Thanks to the press and the Democrats I am completely allergic to anything being served up only to fit narratives -admin]

  • Brian O’Connell

    OK, last post from me on the subject. I was looking for trusted reports on Pigford vs Vilsack, but instead I found 2 reports sympathetic to Sherrod’s side.

    First from the National Black Farmers Association who say “Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the same pledge, and has since amped up USDA’s civil rights office, so USDA will at last stop being known as “the last plantation.” … Today, the proposed financial compensation for the black farmers is sitting as a line item of $1.25 billion dollars in the 2010 budget….”

    And from an Obama food policy blog, “Last year [2008], mid-campaign, then-Senator Obama was among a group of lawmakers who got $100 million added to the 2008 Farm Bill, which was to be distributed to those farmers who had been locked out of the original Pigford settlement.”

    The original case was settled in 1999. This later case was to take care of black farmers “locked out” of the previous class action for various class-member reasons.

    So basically, to take these sites at their word, the govt handouts were given away on a racial basis, and the solution is to give away more hundreds of millions. As long as no one thinks of ending the subsidies altogether- it’s all good. :)

  • Lowell Brown

    I had the same reaction, and so I want to see the rest of the tape too – or at least the next minute or two.

  • Insufficiently Sensitive

    The Anchoress is right to want more.

    But no one else has said it, so I will: had the MSM obtained just half of this tape with the races reversed, there would be no end of “for shame” articles, no end to echoes of “racist”, and no end to opinionaters suddenly reviving some small detail of it or other, every month for years into the future.

    Fair’s fair. Even by the corrupt rule that racism is only racism when the active party has the power, in this example, the active party has that power, and there’s no excusing the speech.

  • Dustin

    It’s great that the Anchoress is honest and hoping for all the context.

    However, this is one of those times where there doesn’t seem to be a way for context to remedy the problem.

    This woman’s racist abuse of power was appreciated by the NAACP membership. It just was. No ifs about it. Maybe she had some message that she learned otherwise, although the fact that she went in that direction and then pulled right back to race makes it hard to believe this is what followed.

    Let’s the see the context, though. Can’t hurt anything. Breitbart is really good about actually having the case he claims to have.

    Even if she said “NOT! I’m totally race neutral all the time!”, I think the audience reaction shows a deep racism in NAACP that doesn’t exist in a Tea Party.

    If a Tea Party speaker said they only help white people and turn blacks over to black lawyers so ‘they can help their own kind’, they would be booed off the stage and condemned. Instantly.

  • Bartram

    I agree with both the notion that Breitbart is probably more than happy to play the entire tape, and that it’s not necessary for him to play the entire tape. His point is proven when the NAACP crowd sits approvingly as Sherrod tells her story.

  • IronDioPriest

    Screw context. The lady said what she said, and it is inexcusable. We are in a war for the heart and soul of this country against people who are willing to lie, cheat, steal, and apparently do anything to achieve and retain power and dominion.

    Now is not the time, for allowing the enemies of freedom the benefit of the doubt by making sure they are understood in full context. Breitbart is doing exactly what needs doing, and it does not serve this country to have people who love it second guessing his efforts. As long as what he publishes is factual, let him do his thing, and stop anklebiting.

    ["Screw context" really? Those are the rules you want to play by? It's not ankle-biting to wonder about the abruptness of that cut. -admin]

  • BrianN

    I definately smell one of Breitbart’s traps here. We should hold back and let the MSM call for the whole tape, and thereby hang themselves. In the mean time, we should make sure this tape does not get buried, and force comment by the left. They won’t resist for long.

  • MaxedOutMama

    I thought exactly what The Anchoress did. I am not surprised to read her take, either. I think the rest of the speech probably changes the story.

    In any case, I do not like this type of editing. I want the whole video. I don’t think this is fair.

    I’m not defending what she said, but many times speakers tell honestly about their thoughts AT ONE TIME in order to make a larger point – and I thought she was getting to one.

    And please don’t forget the number of white speakers in GA who have told their stories of transformation on bigotry. I can assure you that clipping those might present a similar story.

  • Neo

    This would have been enough to hang any Bush Administration official.

    [Undoubtedly -admin]

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  • EJHill

    Always get off the stage early and let keep them hungry for more.

    Sounds like it works…

  • yclipse

    Not yet mentioned is the definite impression that she gave that she wanted to pull back on her efforts on his behalf, not because he was was white, but because he treated her as an inferior. She said it twice.

    The “help from his own kind” comment was inexcusable, but I suspect that her motivation was a little more complex than many think.

  • Catherine Wilkinson

    Breitbart is not a fool. That’s all there is or it’s worse. He wouldn’t come out with this if there was dithering.

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  • Lisa

    Perhaps Ms. Sherrod should have prefaced her story as one of conversion. However, I can’t help feel that her speaking, laced with bigotry and laughter from the audience, implicates her and is key to how the story ends. I too would like to see the end of the video, but Breitbart is no fool. Fox News has reported that Sherrod has resigned. Why resign if the story is one about a racists and her transformation?

    Some might not like his style, but Breitbart is a true patriot in helping to end the race card fiasco we’ve been living with since…. I don’t know how long.

  • mikemcdaniel

    There is, of course, a third possibility for what followed the end of the video clip: Sherrod rambled on a bit, added a bit of verbal filler, in effect, said nothing that would make what she said in the clip worse or redemptive. It is indeed possible to make a racist statement and from the period at the end of that statement, say only inoffensive things that do not in any way touch on the racist statement. Would not this option be the most likely possibility for ending the video clip where it was ended?

    [Anything is possible. -admin]

  • Western Chauvinist

    Heard Ed Morrisey’s interview with Breitbart this evening. Apparently Breitbart is trying to procure the entire video. He claims not to have seen the entire thing himself. He told Ed that he made sure to include the exculpatory bits (about it not being about black versus white, but about the poor), but that’s all he’s had to work with up to this point. He plans to put up the entire thing when he gets it.

    He also claimed that another outlet (not his) has some very damning evidence of the media being in collusion with the Democrats – to be revealed this week.

    Should all be very interesting.

  • dissident

    I agree with the sentiment of the post, there was nothing wrong with what the NAACP used to represent. They have become too politicized and are only embarrassing themselves these days though.

    I doubt the tapes are significantly “out of context” as she has resigned.

  • Dustin

    She just resigned. Her boss:“There is zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA, and I strongly condemn any act of discrimination against any person,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a written statement. “We have been working hard through the past 18 months to reverse the checkered civil rights history at the department and take the issue of fairness and equality very seriously.”

    What find sick is that they are asserting that the Bush era Ag Dept was racist. There are some disturbing problems with this department, but I think that’s an unfair attack when you’ve just been caught with high level bigotry in yet another Obama admin department.

    I am so tired of ‘The GOP probably did it too’ crap. Are these people 6 years old?

  • Dustin

    Anyone ever look at the NAACP logo? An open book. Exposed truth, knowledge. A balanced scale. You and I are the same.

    It’s disgusting to think how far the NAACP has fallen.

  • Buster

    Anchoress : I am appalled at your reasoning, or should I say the lack thereof?

    People that pull puppies out of burning buildings are held in high regard. That is, until we find out they were the arsonists who set the building ablaze in the first place. Do you really mean to say there are words she could say which would more than make up for her blatant racism? Really?

    Then you take it a step more, and I bet without realizing it. This video was from March – and this woman has not turned herself in, or faced any sort of criminal investigation for the very real crimes she committed. It is not unreasonable to assume the next words on the tape were not a personal revelation. Indeed, it is patently obvious from the reporting this evening that Ms. Sherrod resigned only after Tom Vilsack gave her no other option.

    It is not reasonable, nor is it real life, that bank robbers pull guns and then admit to seeing the error of their wrong-doing and go back home scot-free. That does not happen, nor should it happen. One does not simply get to admit the error of one’s ways and have one’s crimes instantly expunged and forgiven. We are all accountable to and bound by the law.

    This was a despicable act of racism. Period. End of Story. Full stop. It should simply be condemned as such, and it is unreasonable, not to mention illogical, to attempt to divine intent or remorse coming out of it. Especially when nearly half a year has gone by and Ms. Sherrod did nothing – nothing! – to actually atone for her misdeeds.

    [I do not regret giving anyone the benefit of a doubt until they prove to me that I have misplaced my faith in them. I've tried living the other way. I didn't like it -admin]

  • Dustin

    “This was a despicable act of racism. Period. End of Story. Full stop. It should simply be condemned as such, and it is unreasonable, not to mention illogical, to attempt to divine intent or remorse coming out of it.”

    I agree completely. There’s no way around it.

    But it wouldn’t kill us to see the whole tapes, which do end before she was done speaking. It even seems the end before she was done speaking *about this*.

    I’m pretty sure, as in 99%, that Breitbart did not clip out an exculpatory segment. I also don’t think such a segment would help much, since the crowd supports a horrible racist abuse. But it’s not killing anybody to ask for the rest of the material.

  • Trump

    Was she about to say, “I learned about myself and about how far we still have to go?”

    Was she about to say “it’s not poor vs those who have, because we are not at war, we are just in the same human reality that ever was?”

    Was she about to say, “poor is poor, hungry is hungry and the past is the past when a family can’t eat?”

    I want to know. Because it seemed like Sherrod was heading somewhere with that story, and the edit does not let us get there. I want the rest of the story before I start passing judgment on it.

    >>>> Nope. Don’t care a drop what else she was going to say. Had a white Republican said this, nobody would care a drop about any “but” or context.

    Time for her to suffer as a sacrifice to the rules the Dems/media make us all play by. Maybe if it gets used against them enough, they’ll change.

    Score one for the good guys.

  • Lurknot

    While you’re waiting for “the rest of the story,” be sure and ask for what she said leading up to this, too. It seems like she probably explained that this was LONG AGO. Seeing that she mentions “Chapter 12 Bankruptcy had just been enacted.” That would be 1986 – 24 years ago, by my count.

    I expect this was a “that was then, this is now” speech.

  • Ernest

    Wow. I must say, that “Future of Catholicism” conference looks God-awful. It is almost entirely made up of Americanists who think that they can construct Catholic doctrine and practice according to their own obviously bourgeois whims and desires. They apparently see everything in the Church as constructed by their imperial selves, and nothing as given to them as gift from above and beyond their own petty aspirations. How depressing their lives must be. No truly eschatological horizon. No openness to transcendence. Awful. I really wish that these self-important busybodies would get on with different careers.

    Oh sure, Robert Barron makes an appearance. And James Hitchcock. Barbara Nicolosi. Thomas Peters. But most of the rest appear to be entirely self-absorbed and theologically ignorant.

  • happyfeet

    I agree with you Anchoress person I am not comfortable with this either.

  • happyfeet

    I also agree about the puppies.

  • Mary

    Not yet mentioned is the definite impression that she gave that she wanted to pull back on her efforts on his behalf, not because he was was white, but because he treated her as an inferior. She said it twice.

    How charmingly vacuous. What did he do? What did he say? Did she read his mind? For all we know this could be a case of her not understanding a different culture — or hyperactively interpreting anything she didn’t like as unfavorably as possible.

  • Murgatroyd

    I don’t see a problem here. Breitbart didn’t shoot this video, the NAACP did — if there’s exculpatory material that Breitbart didn’t include, then the NAACP can release it themselves. The facts that the NAACP hasn’t released the full video, and that Shirley Sherrod resigned rather than explain her remarks, tell me that your well-meaning skepticism was misplaced.

  • Dustin

    I read on another blog someone point out that a person who works the fields to feed our society actually has a good reason to feel superior to a racist bureaucrat who is clearly playing games and was surely being a complete jerk when approached for assistance.

    I would bet the ‘superiority’ was completely paranoid delusion from the racist, but it was a defensive paranoia, because a useless government thug like this probably does feel inferior to a hard working producer.

  • Twaz

    I got here via Instapundit, so my political sympathies should be easy to ascertain, but I thought the exact same thing. I thought it was building into a revelatory story about how she came to some sort of enlightenment about race. Then again, as the commenters have said, Breitbart does punch back about stuff like this. But I also had a thought: Since when is class antagonism acceptable? That’s where her story was going – poor vs. rich, proletariat vs. capitalist, laborer vs. bourgeois. It’s not the American sin of racism, but it’s still a leftist antagonism that almost always winds up with the speaker arguing for more government intervention and benefits.

  • Sarah

    Well, I think this is just more evidence the
    Obama admin is the most racist since Jimmy Carter the anti-Semite. Between the Dept of Justice dropping cases of black voter intimidation, instituting a policy of ignoring racial discrimination where the victim is white, settling won cases so they can give away my money on a racial basis, and now the Dept of Agriculture hiring an obvious racist who got away with her public racism until now and the Homeland Security Dept suing the state of Arizona in an action which can only be described as obvious racism, I can’t see any other conclusion.

    If any other admin had tried to do the exact same thing, only favoring whites, there would have been deserved public calls for impeachment. Because Obama is black and the victims are white the left believes racism is justified.

  • Eileen

    re: #40 — You really got me thinking, here. I wonder how old she was in 1986? If she was in her early to mid twenties, the “superiority” vibe she got from the farmer could have been due to her age (and presumed lack of knowledge) rather than her race. Or even both, I guess.

    Maybe the guy really did think it was beneath him to seek help from a young black woman. Or maybe it just was humiliating for him to have to be there at all, and it had nothing to do with her.

    She seems, I think, to have little doubt as to the consequences of her own thinking … her use of the phrase “his own kind” sounds like an intentional condemnation of that thinking, actually. The nodding agreement of the crowd, rather than showing their “racism” could have instead showed something much more promising — kind of like the nods you’d see at an AA meeting while someone shares the uglier highlights of their story. “Been there, done that,” not “you go, girl.” (The email exchange referred to in an earlier comment would appear to support this scenario as well.)

    My kids and I are currently reading _Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry_ together, and it just sickens me. Racism is racism, yes, and it’s no better when directed at white folks than it is at blacks, but my goodness, the resentment and distrust is certainly understandable. What a horrible legacy we all have to bear. I can cry all I want about how “I didn’t do it to you,” (and *wouldn’t,* either!), but the hurt is real and deep, even to the 10th generation.

    I can see some parallels here between this and the experience of the Church in the sexual abuse crisis … think we’ll be getting over that any time soon?

    I’m beginning to be sorry she resigned so quickly. If what she was describing really was something of a conversion story (even if only intended for a narrow audience), and she had the guts to follow it through, this could maybe have led to a more productive national conversation (assuming we’re at a point where we could even handle it). Right now, if Breitbart got it wrong, it looks more like a bully standing over his bloodied target, bellowing, “Who’s next?” (And how unfortunate the racial balance of that example, huh?)

    We so need a new lens to view our racial issues in this country, and honest self-reflection, on all sides, would be such a breath of fresh air. What are the chances we’ll be seeing any public self-reflection of this kind from the African American community, now?

    (Sorry for the long ramble …)

  • Stan

    Mary, #44,

    Yep, Ms. Sherrod doesn’t need to actually think and listen to someone of another “race” when it is just so much easier to utilize her mind reading skills and her racial ESP to understand the motives behind this white supremacist farmer. Any wise latina could tell you how this special talent works.