There are many things that disgust me over the forced resignation of Shirley Sherrod, Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Last week a highly excerpted video was released which featured Sherrod saying,
“…And here I was faced with having to help a white person save their land. So, I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do. I did enough so that when he… I assumed the Department of Agriculture had sent him to me, either that, or the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and he needed to go back and report that I did try to help him. So I took him to a white lawyer that had attended some of the training that we had provided because Chapter 12 bankruptcy had just been enacted for the family farm. So I figured if I take him to one of them, that his own kind would take care of him.”
In the modern political world, where Orwellian double-speak reigns, the truth becomes the opposite of what is tendered. If a non-edited video had been released we would have learned…
“…I didn’t let that get in the way of trying to help… I didn’t discriminate … If I had discriminated against him, I would not have given him any help at all because I wasn’t obligated to do it by anyone … I didn’t have to help that farmer. I could have sent him out the door without giving him any help at all. But in the end, we became very good friends, and that friendship lasted for some years. I didn’t let that get in the way of trying to help… I didn’t discriminate … If I had discriminated against him, I would not have given him any help at all because I wasn’t obligated to do it by anyone … I didn’t have to help that farmer. I could have sent him out the door without giving him any help at all. But in the end, we became very good friends, and that friendship lasted for some years.”
That a hack such as Andrew Breitbart, who has a history of fabricating facts via heavily edited videos, could gain such credence with the media is a sad commentary on our current state of affairs. The Whitehouse and the NAACP have taken a huge hit as well for their knee jerk reactions. My god, doesn’t anyone bother to fact check?!
Sherrod is a woman who has every right to feel antipathy towards whites. Her father, a black farmer, was shot by a white farmer because of a dispute over cows. An all white jury subsequently failed to charge the shooter. Instead of living her life in festering resentment Sherrod has worked to help the downtrodden, regardless of race. She eventually came to the conclusion that it wasn’t about white versus black, but the haves versus the have-nots.
The fact that a woman with her credentials can be so easily cast aside is disgusting to me. Her very act of being accused of racism by such reputable sources is in itself an act of racism. At the very least it is cynical, partisan politics.
Now, let’s assume for a moment, that somehow Breitbart got it right and Sherrod actually did decline to help a white farmer. He didn’t, but let’s play devils advocate. Would you equate this kind of racism with the Jim Crow laws of the 19th and 20th centuries? Is it racism on the scale of separate water fountains for blacks? Of lynchings? Of slavery? Is it even racism? That someone could lose his or her job over such a matter is sickening.
Shame on you, Mr Breitbart. And shame on the Obama administration for not stepping up to plate.