The Sherrod Firing, One Disgusting Cowardice After Another: Updated

Posted on July 21, 2010


As others have already documented, Shirley Sherrod was fired from the USDA, by Obama appointee, ally and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Others have covered this story, such as Mother Jones  here.

It occurred to me at some point today, as the full video [which easily exonerates Sherrod] became available and was posted at the NAACP site–followed by an apology nearly as quick and almost as cowardly as their pant-staining condemnation—that perhaps Breitbart had a longer strategy in mind. I don’t know if that’s true, but for all intents and purposes, Breitbart and other right wing operatives will be able to, and most likely will, play both angles of the story.  This excerpt from an article extracted from the briny depths of Breitbart’s blog, BigGovernment, and written by previously unheard of POS, Jeff Dunetz, is a literal blueprint of how they’ll do it:

If this story is true, and there is no  reason to doubt her,  it shows the extent that  Breitbart, Fox,and  the Tea Party have gotten under the skin of the White House. Rather then to think it through they overreacted and  forced Sherrod to pull over on the side of the road and resign without telling her side of the story.

It is also hard to understand why the NAACP would instantly condemn Ms Sherrod, if the speech was indeed as she said, why wouldn’t they respond by releasing the entire speech?  One explanation may be that she is lying,  but if you listen closely to the end of the clip she does seem to be pivoting toward saying it was about income not race (and then seems to change her mind again).

Another explanation for the White House and the NAACP not releasing the entire tape is the possibility that Shirley Sherrod is their sacrificial lamb. Possibly they do not care about the truth [!!!OMFG!!!]. Perhaps they realized their resolution attacking the Tea Party as racist was such a political loser, especially coming right after disclosure of  DOJ Black Panther scandal, they see the condemnation of Sherrod as a way out of theses crises  and seem racially balanced.

Either way Shirley Sherrod is the victim of a White House so incredibly thin skinned, so frighted of the media and the citizens of the United States who believe these words written by William Shakespeare  “Tell truth and shame the devil”

Yes,  this was written on the same repugnant site that edited the Sherrod video to make a thoughtful story about racial understanding appear to be a story about self-satisfied bigotry. It’s difficult to imagine how these reptiles manage to get up on their hind legs every day to reach their keyboards.


As Breitbart’s pretty little world of lies and videotape begins to fall around him, he’s shifted the narrative of his motive for showing the video. He now claims that his goal was to show, not the racism of Sherrod, but that of the crowd at the  NAACP function, which he implies, was all black.  This is absurd for several reasons:

1. Breitbart’s primary goal by showing the video by his own admission was to demonstrate that Sherrod, a government employee, was discriminating against white people on the job. In the introduction to the video, Breitbart writes:

In this piece you will see video evidence of racism coming from a federal appointee and NAACP award recipient…We are in possession of a video from in which Shirley Sherrod, USDA Georgia Director of Rural Development, speaks at the NAACP Freedom Fund dinner in Georgia. In her meandering speech to what appears to be an all-black audience, this federally appointed executive bureaucrat lays out in stark detail, that her federal duties are managed through the prism of race and class distinctions. Sherrod describes how she racially discriminates…Sherrod’s racist tale…

Something tells me that Breitbart wants you to think that she’s racist. He does make a comment about the”racist” crowd, but only in passing and at the end of the video. After editing the piece to make it appear as if Sherrod is racist—and having his mendacity revealed— it’s quite disingenuous to later claim that the clip was only meant to highlight the racism of the crowd. That’s just bullshit.

2. As even conservative Rich Lowry admits, the crucial context removed by Breitbart demonstrates that Sherrod prefaced her tale as one of a challenge to her then-beliefs and as a process of growth, saying…

When I made that commitment [to stay in the South], I was making that commitment to black people, and to black people only. But you know God will show you things, and he’ll put things in your path so that you realize that the struggle is really about poor people.

It’s quite obvious in that context, that the audience hardly expected a gleeful tale of a racial hatred.

3. Sherrod’s tale of her encounter with the “white farmer”, begins with an account of his racist attitude to her, and Sherrod’s claim that she didn’t help him as much as she could have, isn’t contextualized in terms of how serious her lack of help was [and, of course, she did help him perhaps even more than she was required to in any case according to the man’s family]. It’s hard to imagine any group hearing a story of someone trying to push their weight around against that group because of issues of race—only to find that the person in question was capable of pushing back—and not feel a sense of empathy.

In other words, even if there was some level of satisfaction that Sherrod was less than civil to the man SFW. Sherrod’s father was killed by a white man; and she isn’t the only one who lost a family member or experienced violence just a brief generation ago. When black people must pretend that there has never been anything but racial harmony in this country, there’s obviously something wrong with this picture. It may be a convenient way of looking at the world for Breitbart, but we need to start reinforcing the idea that the US is not now, nor has it ever been race neutral.It’s only then that we can we have a fair accounting of racist abuses of power against white folks.

Update 2:

Not to let Obama off the hook, but ignoring the real dangers an African American President faces in our still deeply racist society, isn’t going to do anyone any good. The previous Gates-Crowley affair, and the disgusting pant-piss beer-fest that followed it,  are the perfect example of why Obama needs to have some fear about race issues. Last year, a Pew Research Center poll of voters found that:

…41 percent disapproved of Obama’s handling of the Gates arrest, compared with 29 percent who approved. The poll also found the incident and Obama’s reaction saturated the public consciousness. As many as 80 percent of Americans said they are now aware of Obama’s comments on the matter…white voters [were] especially likely to take a negative viewThe president’s approval ratings fell, especially among working class whites, as the focus of the Gates story shifted from details about the incident to Obama’s remarks,… Among whites in general, more disapprove than approve of his comments by a two-to-one margin.

The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday, July 22-26. Among those interviewed on Wednesday and Thursday, 53 percent of whites approved of Obama’s job performance. This slipped to 46 percent among whites interviewed Friday through Sunday as the Gates story played out.,

It doesn’t excuse the administration’s actions. But it does put them in context. Obama missed another opportunity to lead, however. And even that formulation—that he “missed” the opportunity–is misleading, because it indicates that he wants to lead in the first place. Doubtful. At this rate, there will be no group that will remember his presidency with anything other than contempt. And I find that a tragedy