Asked about the NAACP’s actions during an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Sherrod said the only reason the video surfaced was in response to an NAACP resolution accusing the tea party of using “racist” tactics. “They got into a fight with the tea party, and all of this came out as a result of that,” Sherrod said.
I said something very similar in the comment #81 section of this post:
It is worth noting that the impetus for Breitbart’s actions was [this] kind of crap, and the NAACP’s unnecessary move to play an extremely weak race card by making a big show of condemning “racist elements in the Tea Parties.” So, this mess was begun on a movement begun left-to-right. To my mind that doesn’t justify anything, but it’s worth remembering how this began. There is little glory here, for anyone.
The NAACP has pulled its initial statement on the Sherrod tape.
The wife of the farmer Sherrod referenced in her story speaks glowingly of Sherrod:
But 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.”
Spooner called Sherrod Tuesday morning. “She’s very sad about it,” Spooner said. “She told me she was so glad we talked. I just can’t believe this is happening to her.”
In my post yesterday, I was pretty clear that the Breitbart tape wasn’t sitting well with me. Ms. Sherrod–still not a great speaker–clearly was on her way to relate a tale that indicted her own understanding, when that tape ended.
You know what’s not singing to me, now? The argument that “the tape wasn’t about nailing Sherrod, it was about demonstrating the racism of the NAACP audience; it was a response to their wicked attempt to paint the Tea Party as racist.”
As I said yesterday, there was certainly a stones/glass houses note to it all, but Shirley Sherrod had a story to tell, and as far as I’m concerned, that story needed telling in full – that was the only way to be fair to Sherrod. After it was told, then, if you wanted to make the point about the audience’s reaction to her own tale–which is apparently one that indicts her own racist past–you could do that. Otherwise, all you’ve done is destroyed Sherrod in the same way that Trent Lott was ruined: by taking her remarks out of context.
Context matters. If the right, quite correctly, doesn’t like to see pols on their side tarnished with this despicable label sans context, they they can’t be happy to see what happened to Sherrod.
Likewise, I have zero patience for these visitors from the left who have come to this site like smug Ted Baxters, condescendingly patting me on the head for, apparently, meeting with their highbrow approval and then demanding that I “further denounce” Breitbart. When I ask them if they, in turn, will “denounce and disavow” nonsense like this and this from the left, why they morph into an amalgam of Claude Reins and Sgt. Schultz: they are shocked, shocked! They knew nothing, nothing of those leftist fabrications and manipulations!
Then they go away…
This whole sordid mess of a story–which is clearly not over–may tell us that it is past time for people of good will to stop tolerating politically-expedient charges of racism, regardless of whether they originate from genuinely from overzealous, malicious bloggers or from Congressmen who are confident that any charge they make will be deemed insta-credible, or from journalists who ignore real racism while trying to ignite the charge elsewhere, for the advancement of their own partisan agendas, or from the rightly marginalized, fringe-living, stupid people who every sensible person condemns.
The NAACP’s maneuver last week was an attempt at cynical manipulation, a lazy card they thought they could play, because it’s always taken the pot, before. They ticked off Breitbart, who upped the ante, but appears to have done so recklessly.
Everyone’s credibility is now strained, and perhaps that is a good thing. Perhaps the left should finally leave behind the smug instinct to sniff, “racism, straight up” over sincere disagreements on policy. If they can manage that, then perhaps the right can stop feeling so defensive.
There is absolutely nothing simple about the matter of race in America; there is a ways to go before content of character will finally overcome color of skin. But I am not sure if further progress toward a truly color-blind society can be made until the manufactured cry of “raaaaacism”–by people who know that their are merely fanning flames or manipulating movements–has finally been rejected by both the right and the left. Race-baiters must be made to understand that their cheap tactic will no longer bear weight among fair-minded people, who are horrified by genuine racism but tired of its weaponized unreasonable facsimile.
Breaking: The White House throws itself under the bus
NAACP says it was snookered by Breitbart and Fox. They said they have “reviewed the tape.” Well, good. Why didn’t they do that, first thing? And when can we see it?
NAACP: Says this is this is the full video:
Drew M Tweets: Most of it is a beautiful love letter to America and what it could be. I agree.
But towards the end she started talking about the “racist” Tea Party and insinuated they were using the healthcare debate as a ‘code’ of sorts to indicate their racism against BO. These were her worst comments, IMO, bc apparently she believes just as Ben Jealous and the rest of the NAACP does that the Tea Party is a “racist organization.”Video would have been great had she not gone there.
Agree with that, too. But I don’t blame Sherrod for going along with the group-think of the NAACP. It’s almost the human condition for people to just get into the habit of following along, don’t you think? It’s a habit of thought people get into.
Its politics aside, her full speech is heartfelt and moving. It’s the tale of someone overcoming hatred and rancor when she had every reason not to. Her saga over the last couple of days is a lesson in how the culture of offense often works in contemporary America—chewing people up and spitting them out before they even have a chance to defend themselves. Of course she should get her job back, although the Department of Agriculture is bizarrely standing by her firing so far.
Agree with that, too. This lady should be reinstated at her job.
For now, we know that the entire story is moving that this woman learned to overcome her own prejudices. She acknowledged that black Americans can and do harbor prejudices against their Caucasian fellows. While we may question Ms. Sherrod’s class consciousness, we can appreciate her willingness to acknowledge the hatred that was once in her own heart. And appreciate her willingness to gain compassion for individuals she once scorned.
Glenn Beck (we’re in rare agreement)
Da Tech Guy
Roger L. Simon