Friday, July 23, 2010


Last week, Shirley Sherrod was merely another regional director for the USDA.  She performed her job admirably well, and has spent much of her life helping the poor.  But all of that was thrown out like last week's garbage when Andrew Breitbart posted video of Ms. Sherrod on his BigGovernment website. 

The video showed Sherrod speaking before the NAACP last year, telling a story about a white farmer who, twenty-four years ago when she worked for a different agency, came to her for aid to keep his farm.  At first, Sherrod was reluctant to help him, feeling her duty lay with the black farmers in the region.  She helped him a bit, but not to the full scope of her capabilities, as she warred with herself over what to do with him.  She finally referred him to a white lawyer, preferring to allow "his own kind" to help him. 

Out of context, her remarks seem to promote discriminating against whites.  But taken in context, her story wasn't about some sort of 'justifiable' racism, it was about racism never being justifiable.  It was about the needs of the poor being universal, and the help from people such as her being colorblind.  It was something she struggled with over the years, and continues to struggle with, but, at least in the case of the farmer in question, she saw the wrong she was doing and set it right.    She was not perfect, but she recognized her imperfection and strove to change it.  She overcame her bias and wanted to use her story to inspire others to see things as she did.

But this story isn't really about Shirley Sherrod.   As compelling as her story may be, she is just the most recent in a long string of innocent victims to the racial narrative that has exploded in this country since Barack Obama took office. 

Was this a setup by Andew Breitbart - an effort to draw out a racial accusation by the NAACP on an erronious spot judgement to prove a larger point?  There have been several unfounded accusations from the left over the past 18 months, culminating in the NAACP's denouncement of the tea parties last week over implied but unproved slurs and slights.  The NAACP demanded that the tea parties take ownership of and denounce any and all persons who make racial remarks at a tea party function, whether they are affiliated with the group or not.  Because of this ridiculous, impossible stance, they were forced to live up to their own standards and so went after Sherrod as an example to prove their own, well, intolerance of intolerance. 

Sherrod is more of an example than they know in that, much like the tea parties that are the left's favorite punching bags, she was innocent of their charges of racism.  Much like the tea parties, the NAACP made judgements on Sherrod based on incomplete and incorrect information.  Instead of checking their own archives, they just assumed she was in the wrong, much as they assume the allegations of racism in the tea party are correct, with no evidence to corroborate.

Which brings up another question - why were they so quick to think she really was making racist statements at an NAACP forum?  Considering how quick they were to come out on this story, without even researching their own archives first, that raises an important question -  does it happen that often?  Ben Jealous claims the NAACP was "snookered", but it seems more like they set themselves up. 

Granted, it is one of Alinsky's Rules (Tactic #4) to hold the opposition to a higher standard (#4. "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.").  The problem is, sometimes the hypocrisy is just too much and the blowback is worse than the initial assault.  After the rantings of the New Black Panthers, Rev. Wright, and even members of the NAACP itself, there just isn't as much weight behind the accusation anymore.  The race card has been played too much, with too little to back it up.  In short, the country is suffering from race fatigue.  This is an excellent example of why tactic #7 - "A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag" - is a caution that should be heeded.

The NAACP doesn't seem to want the country to move on, though.  They cannot afford to acknowledge the giant strides this country has made in race relations, because it would illustrate their eventual obsolescence.  For every step forward, people like Jealous, Al Sharpton, Rev. Wright and Jesse Jackson try to drag us back to 1967, when they were relevant and necessary.  Not to say there is no discrimination, it is just that it is becoming more rare, as opposed to the systemic corruption of bigotry from the Jim Crow era.  With their broad brush accusations, they are trying to argue that the entire tea party 'system', as well as everyone sympathetic to it, are racists.  Even with a surge of black conservatives denouncing the racial accusations, the NAACP has their narrative and they're sticking to it. 

They are attempting to lay blame on, of all things, Fox News.  This is interesting, since Fox did not air the video until hours after she had been booted to the curb resigned.  The USDA blamed the White House, saying if she didn't resign, she would be on Glenn Beck.  The White House is now blaming Vilsack, the head of the USDA, saying he "jumped the gun".  It would be very interesting to know if the White House did demand her head out of fear of giving Beck fodder for another show.  The threat of Beck coverage seems to be a pretty strong incentive for this administration.  Odd, considering how stupid and crazy they keep saying he is.

The problem we have in this country is that we are unwilling or not allowed to see the strides made, only the original sins that propelled the change.  It is nothing short of amazing to me that in this day and age, with the country being led by a man of african descent, that racial bias and the old stereotypes of decades past are still being trotted out as relevant today. Opposition to a political agenda is NOT racism.

The constant race baiting by left-wing groups has become nothing more than a distraction from the real issues.  This is far too serious a charge to be bandied about in that way.  If the Journolist scandal has taught us anything, it is that a surprising number on the left are perfectly happy to use the race card to change the subject, no facts required.

Many of those the NAACP would label racists for opposing the Obama agenda were the self-same people who helped vote Obama into office in the first place. The NAACP seems to be incapable of seeing the great strides towards equality that this country has taken since the civil rights era. They are unable to let go of the hate, and it has poisoned them nearly to the point of irrationality. Much like infection keeps a wound from healing, so too does the continued trumping up of racial charges keep the country from moving on in the quest for an equal society of free people.

UPDATE: Allen West weighs in.



  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP