Shirley Sherrod dominated the news last week due to a conservative blogger taking her words out of context in a speech at the NAACP. In the now infamous video clip Sherrod states that she did not give the farmer all the help that she could have although she did help the farmer save his farm. But the conservative media jumped on the story as an example of racism against a white farmer.
The blogger wanted you to believe that the white farmer was discriminated against because of his race. He ignored the fact that in the same clip she states that the white farmer in question approached her speaking in superior terms like he knew more than her, essentially wanting to make sure she was in her place. The blogger has also stated that people are nodding and applauding the discrimination against the white farmer. But what the white blogger doesn’t understand is the culture of testimony in the black church. Here an audience of African Americans who have experienced discrimination in some form in life are nodding in the fact that it would be difficult to give a white farmer all the help that they could if that white farmer approached them in a racist manner, in a racist tone, given the history experienced by African Americans.
Race aside whose going to help someone who approaches them in a demeaning way. If you go to a fast food restaurant and you’re rude to the service, you’re gonna expect some special sauce in that burger. The white blogger ignores this fact. He also originally ignored the fact that Sherrod was not employed by the government when the events occurred or that she went on to help the farmer in fact saving his farm. As has been well reported elsewhere he ignores the entire speech which is more about race and redemption than race and division.
The audacity of a conservative blogger to accuse Shirley Sherrod of racism whose own father was killed by the klan without justice is the grossest of American ironies. An example of the racial sickness that continues to permeate the far right in America. We’re only talking about a conservative blogger because that blogger has a voice in what is considered the mainstream media. The far right and their sympathizers have a strong voice in the American media backed up by billions of dollars and a television network called Fox News. Fox News speaks to an audience eager to be afraid. Their ratings are high because they profit on fear. They are intimately connected with right wing bloggers and right wing hate radio. They are not news. The network is pure right wing propaganda.
The NAACP, who the blogger had been after, admittedly was snookered by Fox News and the blogger in denouncing Sherrod without first investigating the facts and watching her entire speech. CNN did the best reporting in this story in terms of getting the truth out. They interviewed Shirley Sherrod, the white farmer and played her entire moving speech. They helped exonerate her which led to a White House and USDA apology.
The Obama Administration acted too quickly in not investigating the circumstances surrounding the speech and for basically falling for the right wing tricks. Fox proclaims the absurd notion of reverse racism to fit the Fox propaganda narrative and the Obama administration overreacts. The far right are so full of guilt and bile. They are so afraid that the first black President will strip away their ill-gotten privileges that they will make up incidences where this has occurred. The truth is revealed in their lies.
Who will they attempt to ruin next?