Sherrod should write a book- UPDATED


The Pool of Bethesda, 1645, Joost Cornelisz Droochsloot

Shirley Sherrod says she is not certain that she would accept a reinstatement to her office even if the USDA offers it to her.

I think she should not. This woman needs to write a book. Politics aside, (and Sherrod may have had a little time to reconsider her absorption of the NAACP’s message that tea parties = racists) her personal story is gripping, poignant and wholesome – a staggering snapshot of where America was 50 years ago, and how far the nation has come, despite the political opportunism and flame-fanning of the worst elements of our society. Sherrod’s remembrances of parents and siblings are gorgeous lovesongs to the value of the nuclear family. “My father was just everything to us,” she says.

Her father sounds like the sort of unsung hero–hardworking, good-humored, family-focused, liberty-seeking–who should resonate with all of us who do not wish to be told where or how we may live, or whether our house may be built of brick or blocks.

And his murder–two months before the birth of his longed-for, beloved son–(watch from 8:00 on) and how it impacted Sherrod’s decisions as a 17-year old, and the story of her own evolved thinking – this is the stuff of a book that could be more than a great, inspiring read. This is a book that could teach, and unite and bring real healing. Her story encompasses the lunacy of a bygone age, the shared personal sorrows to which all can relate, the lessons of faith, surrender, personal and social triumph and, finally, how precariously we all stand in our present moments.

Talking about the slowly risen dawn of her understanding, Sherrod said to the young people attending her talk:

“When you are true to what God wants you to do, the path just opens up.”

She is so right.

We make a lot of jokes about Rahm Emmanuel’s obnoxious dictum to “never let a good crisis go to waste.” Yes, it’s a cynical politicians mindset. But it is also true that great things are often born from leaning into what seems like a destructive storm. The waters of Bethesda did not heal until they had first been stirred by an angel. The Resurrection of Christ did not overcome death until death first had its illusory moment.

Perhaps Sherrod (who–according to Breitbart–was not meant to be the focal point of his ill-played response to the NAACP’s needless provocation of the Tea Party) is not meant to return to her old job. The country doesn’t really need another bureaucrat–she could use a good deal fewer, in fact–but she does need someone to tell a true American Story, one that can strike common chords of liberty, aspiration and the constantly-evolving conscience.

God is not done with anyone, until their last day. He is not done with Shirley Sherrod, or with you or me. We are all on quite a journey, and perhaps this debacle is meant to shake up stagnant entrenched thought–on personal and societal levels–on the right and the left. For certain, we cannot continue on our present trajectory.

If it is still possible for people to, even briefly, put politics aside and simply listen to each other (and I’m sure Ms. Sherrod and I would disagree on many policy issues) that would be a book I want to read, and to see discussed in America.

Don’t go back to the office, Ms. Sherrod; tell your story; it is ours.

UPDATE:
Jonah Goldberg:

I think she’s owed apologies from pretty much everyone, including my good friend Andrew Breitbart. I generally think Andrew is on the side of the angels and a great champion of the cause. He says he received the video in its edited form and I believe him. But the relevant question is, Would he have done the same thing over again if he had seen the full video from the outset? I’d like to think he wouldn’t have. Because to knowingly turn this woman into a racist in order to fight fire with fire with the NAACP is unacceptable. When it seemed that Sherrod was a racist who abused her power, exposing her and the NAACP’s hypocrisy was perfectly fair game. But now that we have the benefit of knowing the facts, the equation is completely different.

Read it all.

And check back…I have a feeling I’ll be updating this story several times throughout the day!

UPDATE II:
In mild hysterics, David Frum goes after some of the very “conservative” folks who were very quick to say, “waaait a second, there,” (note the date, Dave!) and ask to see the whole tape. In this, he is almost as negligent about doing due diligence as was Breitbart. Frum rides in on a horse of hindsight, though, and with great nobility, with his sword drawn to slay the savage hoard as he does precisely what he essentially accuses Breitbart of doing: tries to tar many with one brush. Opportunism, flame-fanning and posturing will apparently not be abated by what should be a thoughtful moment for the whole nation.

Also, Richard Cohen, writes of “the cowardice of Tom Vilsack,” for firing Sherrod. He makes no note of the NAACP’s fast initial condemnation of Sherrod – without first talking to her, and even though they were in possession of the full tape of her speech. There is lots of blame to go around, here–no one associated with this story is covered with glory–but perspectives and narratives are being carefully parsed by all the usual suspects, which indicates that lessons are not really being learned, after all.

UPDATE III:
Ann Althouse: getting analytical:

When he saw that video, Jealous’s reaction against Sherrod was immediate. She was toxic and had to be spat out.

To react like that is to display the same human weakness that underlies racism itself. You see one thing, you see the whole person as nothing but that one thing, you feel instinctive aversion and fear, and you reflexively push that person away. Blaming those who showed you that one thing does not absolve you from your responsibility to rise above the level of instinct and fear. It is up to you to go beyond your first perception, to search for the truth, and to use reason and judgment before you make a decision about someone.

UPDATE IV: Mary Katharine Ham Sounds the right notes…but her last link just depresses me. Apparently this “teachable moment” doesn’t do much to advance anything.

UPDATE V: Breitbart Needs to Apologize. I’d call that a big “duh.” He needed to do it already.

Meanwhile,Instapundit: Rounding up the Journolist stuff, and enjoying it! Well, it has made for some fun/sad reading.

Also writing (linked to but not always read by me due to time constraints):
Sissy Willis: NAACP & Tea Party in Last Throes of the Fear and Smear Machine?
Hot Air: Should she get her job back?
Confederate Yankee: summing it up calmly
Examiner: Journolist stuff. The WaPo must be so glad the Sherrod story appears to be dwarfing the Journolist stories.
The Macho Response: (Language Warning) Tired of this stuff

Related:
Genesis, Evolution & Trust in the Great Quest

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Jeff

    Last Sphere sums it up very well. We need more Bill Cosby, i.e., “We HAVE overcome,” than people like Shirley who are clinging to the bitter past. I feel terrible for what happened to her father, but plenty of whites have been murdered by blacks. There would be no tolerance for a white saying the things she is saying.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Zachriel: Not only didn’t you provide evidence of this, but it is irrelevant to th issue at hand.

    Last Sphere: I have already posted most of this earlier in this thread.

    Yes, you did. And readers can see that it is just your unsupported position posed as “serious questions“.

    Last Sphere: First of all “racially conscious” is a subjective and contrived politically-correct Liberal term used to paint Liberal bigots like Sherrod with a happy face.

    That’s nonsense. Anyone who has experienced racial discrimination is racially conscious. That doesn’t make them bigots.

    Last Sphere: No. “Racial Unconsciousness” in it’s subjective meaning SHOULD define “color blindness”.

    In Heaven, maybe. But not in the world as it is. And the world as it is includes the race-conscious Civil Rights Movement.

    Zachriel: This isn’t ancient history, but the wounds are fresh in the memory.

    Last Sphere: The murder of her father was also decades ago.

    You have a rather cold sense of remembrance.

  • Last Sphere

    (Zachriel wrote – “Yes, you did. And readers can see that it is just your unsupported position posed as “serious questions“.)

    uhm do you have a problem with reading comprehension Zach?

    Those were not MY opinions. Those were logical and reasonable questions raised by journalists BASED ON information directly sourced from:

    -Agri-Pulse

    -The USDA

    -The Rural Development Leadership Network

    -and Rep. Steve King

    (Zachriel wrote – “That’s nonsense. Anyone who has experienced racial discrimination is racially conscious. That doesn’t make them bigots.”)

    I’m not referring to their experiences Zach-

    I’m referring to the use of their experiences as a justification for their unjust reactions.

    When does this ever stop?

    (Zachriel wrote – “In Heaven, maybe. But not in the world as it is. And the world as it is includes the race-conscious Civil Rights Movement.”)

    And therein lies the problem- NOT the solution.

    The Civil Rights Movement has become the corrupt advocacy of the very racial segregation that it was created to abolish.

    Justice is still justice Zach- only if it is blind. Especially color blind.

    (Zachriel wrote – “You have a rather cold sense of remembrance.”)

    On the contrary Zach, Sherrod’s ongoing bigotry justified by the murder of her father robs her father’s memory of the true dignity that it deserves.

    And that is a deadly cold that further permeates the hearts of stone and freezes out any hope of compassion with the frigid ice of hate and revenge.

    [Long after people have moved on to other things, you two keep going, round for round, line by line. I think this thread is exhausted and will be closing it soon. Please get each other's email addresses, and continue on your own, thanks -admin]

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Last Sphere: Those were logical and reasonable questions raised by journalists …

    They are accusations posed as questions accepted unless rebutted in lieu of facts.

    Last Sphere: First of all “racially conscious” is a subjective and contrived politically-correct Liberal term used to paint Liberal bigots like Sherrod with a happy face.

    Zachriel: That’s nonsense. Anyone who has experienced racial discrimination is racially conscious.

    Last Sphere: I’m not referring to their experiences Zach- I’m referring to the use of their experiences as a justification for their unjust reactions.

    That’s not what you said, of course. You said it was a term contrived by politically-correct Liberals. The term “race consciousness” dates to at least to the Harlem Renaissance of the early twentieth-century.

    As to Sherrod, she was talking as a black person to an organization dedicated to the advancement of “color people,” about her own struggle and triumph over bias.

    Last Sphere: Justice is still justice Zach- only if it is blind.

    Whenever this issue of compensatory or preferential treatment for the Negro is raised, some of our friends recoil in horror. The Negro should be granted equality, they agree; but he should ask for nothing more. On the surface, this appears reasonable, but it is not realistic. For it is obvious that if a man is entering the starting line in a race 300 years after another man, the first would have to perform some impossible feat in order to catch up with his fellow runner.

    It’s ridiculous to suggest that minorities who have suffered relentless discrimination should not recognize the source of that discrimination or that they shouldn’t organize to protect their rights.

    Last Sphere: And that is a deadly cold that further permeates the hearts of stone and freezes out any hope of compassion with the frigid ice of hate and revenge.

    Sherrod is hardly subject to “a deadly cold that further permeates the hearts of stone and freezes out any hope of compassion with the frigid ice of hate and revenge,” as so many have attested.

    [Last call, gents. I'm closing this thread at 3:30 PM, ET - admin]

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    The Anchoress: This woman needs to write a book.

    Agreed!

  • Last Sphere

    (Zachriel wrote – “They are accusations posed as questions accepted unless rebutted in lieu of facts.”)

    What facts have rebutted them?

    The facts actually scream out for these questions.

    (Zachriel wrote – “The term “race consciousness” dates to at least to the Harlem Renaissance of the early twentieth-century.”)

    So?

    The Civil Rights Movement is no longer what it once was either.

    (Zachriel wrote – “As to Sherrod, she was talking as a black person to an organization dedicated to the advancement of “color people,” about her own struggle and triumph over bias.”)

    The fact that black people are still organized based on their race, the fact that they are still advancing anything on behalf of “color people”, and Sherrod’s very own words- PROVE that they have NOT triumphed over bias, but that they are fostering bias.

    (Zachriel wrote – “For it is obvious that if a man is entering the starting line in a race 300 years after another man, the first would have to perform some impossible feat in order to catch up with his fellow runner.”)

    300 years after?

    You’re kidding.

    So the average white person is 300 years ahead of blacks in this country?

    That is ridiculous.

    So the Jews are what? 3000 years behind all of us?

    (Zachriel wrote – “It’s ridiculous to suggest that minorities who have suffered relentless discrimination should not recognize the source of that discrimination or that they shouldn’t organize to protect their rights.”)

    When does this ever end?

    As long as it pays big bucks, the answer is- Never.

    (Zachriel wrote – “Sherrod is hardly subject to “a deadly cold that further permeates the hearts of stone and freezes out any hope of compassion with the frigid ice of hate and revenge,” as so”)

    Really?

    The comments she made in the tape, and in the interviews since, beg to differ.

  • Last Sphere

    (Zachriel wrote – “The Anchoress: This woman needs to write a book.

    Agreed!”)

    Actually, she needs to be investigated along with the her fraudulent co-opt and the USDA.

    If she were a white man making these statements against blacks- I can assure you this Democrat congress would be doing just that.

    And you Zach- would be cheer-leading them.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Zachriel: They are accusations posed as questions accepted unless rebutted in lieu of facts.

    Last Sphere: What facts have rebutted them?

    Demonstrating the point.

    Last Sphere: The fact that black people are still organized based on their race, the fact that they are still advancing anything on behalf of “color people”, and Sherrod’s very own words- PROVE that they have NOT triumphed over bias, but that they are fostering bias.

    It’s not as if people living today haven’t had their lives profoundly influenced by racism.

    Last Sphere: 300 years after?

    King was illustrating the injustice of society suddenly deciding to ignore the inequity of the past under the guise of being ‘color-blind’.


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