Thursday, July 22, 2010

Snookered!


Andrew Breitbart, the blogger who distributed an edited tape of Shirley Sherrod's statements at a 24 year old NAACP meeting, said yesterday that "he is "sorry" that Mrs. Sherrod lost her job behind all of this and that his real objective was to get at The NAACP... to prove the "hypocrisy " of their claims that the Tea Party movement is stocked with racists (which it is, by the way). He said that he did not watch the entire tape... a tape that if watched in it's entirety proves that the woman was talking about racial reconciliation. He instead was talking about the reaction of the crowd to her earlier so-called racial statements. Bull!

Further, Breitbart is now blaming the NAACP for "overreacting!" Can you believe this? He and Fox News distributed this edited tape to the public... The NAACP and The White House immediately went into defense mode and in a knee-jerk reaction, dismissed the woman from her job. They wanted to prove to the right-wing that they clean their house, while that same right-wing is now condemning them for doing it? Do you understand any of this mess because I sure don't?



On Monday, Shirley Sherrod resigned from a senior position with the USDA in Georgia after edited video clips surfaced appearing to show her admitting to racial bias toward a white farmer. However, when the full video of her speech at an NAACP event was made public, the civil rights group retracted a previous statement condemning her for acting in a racist manner, and said she had been treated unfairly. Oh really? Now you're saying this, you gutless wonders? Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack then said in the early hours of Wednesday that he would reconsider the USDA's decision to ask for her resignation. A little too late now, don't you think? The woman has been publicly humiliated and embarrassed.

"I am of course willing and will conduct a thorough review and consider additional facts to ensure to the American people we are providing services in a fair and equitable manner," Vilsack said. But Sherrod, who said on Tuesday that she was pressured to resign, said on NBC's TODAY show that she might not want her job back... and I can't say that I blame her. "I am just not sure how I would be treated there," she said, adding that she couldn't get co-workers to listen to her side of the story about a speech she made in March, edited clips of which were recently shown on a conservative website.

Sherrod said her comments were part of a larger story about learning from her mistakes and racial reconciliation. They were not racist, she said, and were taken out of context. But, in America, anything longer than a sound bite is never listened to... we just take something and run with it! I've been saying that since I started writing this blog. Now, the Liberals and the Conservatives look bad and nobody is coming out of this one looking good.



NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous said that the group was "snookered" into believing that Sherrod expressed racist sentiments at a local NAACP meeting in Georgia earlier this year. After initially supporting her ouster, Jealous changed his mind and said she should keep her job.

The Obama administration's move to reconsider her employment was a reversal on the position just hours earlier, when a White House official, speaking only on the condition of anonymity, said President Barack Obama had been briefed on Sherrod's resignation after the fact and stood by the Agriculture Department's handling of it. However, the white farming family that was the subject of the story came to Sherrod's defense and said she should stay in her job. Which is probably why they're all reconsidering. It really says a lot, doesn't it?

"We probably wouldn't have our farm today if it hadn't been for her leading us in the right direction," said Eloise Spooner, the 82 year old wife of farmer Roger Spooner of Iron City, GA. "I wish she could get her job back because she was good to us, I tell you." As I wrote yesterday, she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she considered Sherrod a "friend for life," saying that "the federal official worked tirelessly to help them hold onto their farm as they faced bankruptcy in 1986". Her husband told her, "You're spending more time with the Spooners than you are with me", Spooner told the Journal-Constitution. "She took probably two or three trips with us to Albany just to help us out."

As people came to her defense and Sherrod reached out to the media to plead her case, the administration faced criticism that officials, nervous about racial perceptions, had overreacted to her comments and made her a political sacrifice amid dueling allegations of racism between the NAACP and the "Tea Party" movement. In the clip posted on BigGovernment.com, Sherrod described the first time a white farmer came to her for help. It was 1986, and she worked for a non-profit rural farm aid group. She said the farmer came in acting "superior" to her and she debated how much help to give him. "I was struggling with the fact that so many black people had lost their farmland, and here I was faced with helping a white person save their land," Sherrod said.

Initially, she said, "I didn't give him the full force of what I could do" and only gave him enough help to keep his case progressing. But eventually, she said, his situation "opened my eyes" that whites were struggling just like blacks, and helping farmers wasn't so much about race but was "about the poor versus those who have." The full video of Sherrod's speech showed that, while she took some shots at conservatives and spoke of continued racial inequities, she focused on encouraging blacks, particularly the younger generation, to do more to help themselves.

"We have to overcome the divisions that we have," she told the audience. "Change has to start with us... our young people. I'm not picking on you, but y'all gotta step-up to the plate. You are capable of being those doctors and lawyers." The Notorious ACORN prostitute video, that 2-minute + 38-second video clip posted Monday by BigGovernment.com, was presented as evidence that the NAACP was hypocritical in its recent resolution condemning what it calls racist elements of the Tea Party movement.

The website's owner, Andrew Breitbart, said the video shows the civil rights group condoning the same kind of racism it says it wants to erase. BigGovernment.com is the same outfit that gained fame last year after airing video footage of workers at the community group ACORN counseling actors posing as a prostitute and her boyfriend.

The Huffington Post said after Breitbart posted the YouTube video of the speech, it was then aired on Fox News and Sherrod's resignation came shortly after. Jealous said Breitbart deceived millions of people, including him and his organization, by releasing only partial clips. He said the full video makes clear that Sherrod was telling a story of racial unity. If you knew that, then why didn't you look deeper into it Mr. Jealous?"

Jealous said Tuesday afternoon... "The tape of Ms. Sherrod’s speech at an NAACP banquet was deliberately edited to create a false impression of racial bias, and to create a controversy where none existed. This just shows the lengths to which extremist elements will go to discredit legitimate opposition." Again, I ask... If you knew that, then why didn't you look deeper into it Mr. Jealous? These people don't play fair. Why would you expect them to? You either are very naive or you don't believe a word you've been saying about them, both of which makes me scratch my head!

Sherrod said she was on the road Monday when USDA deputy undersecretary Cheryl Cook called her and told her the White House wanted her to resign because her comments were generating a cable news controversy. "They called me twice," she told the AP in an interview. "The last time they asked me to pull over to the side of the road and submit my resignation on my BlackBerry, and that's what I did." Sherrod said administration officials weren't interested in hearing her explanation. "It hurts me that they didn't even try to attempt to see what is happening here. They didn't care", she said. "I'm not a racist... anyone who knows me knows that I'm for fairness."

The administration gave a slightly different version of events. Tom Vilsack, not the White House, made the decision to ask Sherrod to resign, said USDA spokeswoman Chris Mather. She said Sherrod willingly resigned when asked. Now, everyone is pointing fingers and playing the blame game. In a previous statement, Vilsack said the controversy surrounding Sherrod's comments could, rightly or wrongly, cause people to question her decisions as a federal employee and lead to lingering doubts about civil rights at the agency, which has a troubled history of discrimination.

The decision by the NAACP on Tuesday afternoon to support Sherrod was in stark contrast to its initial reaction to the incident Monday night in a statement... "Racism is about the abuse of power. Sherrod had it in her position at USDA. According to her remarks, she mistreated a white farmer in need of assistance because of his race." In that statement, Jealous said the organization was "appalled by her actions, just as we are with abuses of power against farmers of color and female farmers. Her actions were shameful. While she went on to explain in the story that she ultimately realized her mistake, as well as the common predicament of working people of all races, she gave no indication she had attempted to right the wrong she had done to this man," he said. However, the NAACP reversed its position after seeing the full video of the speech.

I can't trust the left-wing or the right-wing in this one. Yeah, the NAACP got snookered. Yeah, The White House got snookered. Yeah, the USDA got snookered. And, they all got snookered by Fox News, the Tea Party Movement, and a dishonest blogger. I don't know if the public can fully believe anything that comes out of anybody's mouth anymore. It's a damn shame!

5 comments:

The F$%K it List said...

I don't feel like anyone was snookered but Sherrod. The NAACP could have released the real tape, The administration done the research and found the full tape, but No everyone was ok with just throwing her under the bus to please a bunch of known racist.

No I'm sorry only Sherrod, everyone else is guilty as charged

Mizrepresent said...

It's a low-down, dirty shame the way this thing went down. The NAACP is just as guilty as the Blogger, Fox and the WH. smh...what's next?

Anna Renee said...

Obama's admin has found itself in the defensive position of a game that they can't win. When you can't win in the enemy's game, you ought to stop playing.
Reaction and overeaction to every stupid thing the racists say and do only strenghtens them. What the Obama people need to do is change the game! To be following behind these racists, shoveling up their bullshit at every turn is complete madness! I'd prefer if Obama's peeps would step outside of this madness, stop answering these people! YOu can't win in this game! I thought you was bringing change? Bring new strategies and tactics for dealing with this crap!!
YOu might want to hire some black revolutionaries, not because they might "pick up the gun" but because they might teach your peeps how to deal with racist derail tactics! Ummm, where's Jeremiah Wright when you need him?
Oops, he's under that big bus!

Arlene said...

If ever there was a time for the power of discernment, it is now! The NAACP was snookered because of their need to prove the value and validity of the organization. Prove it to who?? is my question. We already value the long history of work done by the NAACP to advance "colored" and poor people. No matter what the organization does people like Brietbart will find fault. The bible reminds us that we should stay away from certain people, those who don't want to know. Remember people are described as sheep and goats. The disciples were told to leave the ignorant. To shake the dust of these towns from their shoes and go where the people would listen. I'll say it: Andrew Brietbart is a GOAT, Let's just leave him to "his own kind." Is that racist, Ben, or discerned thinking???

P.S. Reidsville isn't the only NC town having trouble. The NAACP in NC is busy working, not just "stirring the pot." There's "hot mess" in the news in Wake County, home of the famous research triangle, the best and brightest medical minds. And smack in the middle of the bible belt. Where is the love???

Rich Fitzgerald said...

I'm with everyone else. You would think the NAACP of all people wouldn't trust what a right wing group puts out. This was the perfect opportunity for them to do some due diligence and then discredit the group for their ridiculous attacks.




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