Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Reverse Racism?

Shirley Sherrod with the "Family Farm Champion Award" from   2009

By now, you are probably familiar with the Shirley Sherrod situation.  If  not, go here.   Up until yesterday, Ms. Sherrod served as USDA director of agriculture in the state of Georgia.  She is African American.  She was asked to resign by Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsak.  She was also condemned by the NAACP.
The reason?  A  tape surfaced on the conservative web site showing Ms. Sherrod supposedly telling a story of how race played a part in her work with a white farmer 24 years ago who came to her seeking a loan.  The tape is edited.  It is only a segment of an entire speech she was giving at an NAACP dinner in which the point of the story was reconciliation through race.  The web site's edit makes the speech look as though she was influenced by her feelings towards whites to not help the farmer.  Interestingly enough, said farmer says he wouldn't have his farm today without her help back in the day.

This is all over the news.  It's a big story about racism on both sides of our government.  It's also about viral information, sound bytes, editing, spin. The mainstream media have expressed shock and surprise that the government and NAACP would punish her without vetting the tape, watching it in its entirety.  The conservative media are using this as an example of the NAACP, who last week accused the tea party of being "rascist", as now on the receiving end of the same thing.  One blogger whose writings incense alot of his readers feels she's been thrown under the "O Bus".

This is a fascinating debate and really points up the complex fast paced nature of news today.  While I abhor the tactics used by conservative media, they are on the right side this time (no pun intended) by calling for Ms. Sherrods "re-instatement" and apologies from the Administration.  The NAACP already issued their apology last night.


DJan said...

I have followed this, too, and it does seem really weird that people jump on these bandwagons so quickly and ruin people's lives without a second thought. Thanks for this post, it's very enlightening.

Susan said...

All of the idiots involved are falling over themselves in their race to right the wrong. It certainly raised some interesting discussions.

Baino said...

Death by media . . makes me wonder how people can believe all they see and read. Research folks, didn't your parents tell you to get the whole story before you commit character assassination?

injaynesworld said...

The blogger who first presented the edited tape was the same one who pushed the lies about ACORN with those edited tapes, too. They were exonerated of all the accusations, but not until after the group was destroyed. It's sad that people are still stupid enough to believe this hateful bastard. Just heard the news that Sherrod had received an apology and a job offer. CNN and the progressive media were pushing for this before the conservative media realized they'd gotten all the mileage out of the lie that they could and hopped on the bandwagon.

Nancy said...

This is why I have turned all the pundits off. It's a one upping on both sides - all of the time. We are turning into sound bite reactionists. I'm over it.

Mama Zen said...

As Baino said, death by media.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I haven't been able to follow the story in the media but every day my hubby gives me another detail that makes me just shake my head. Next time let's get the information first, before we panic and fire someone and make it look like the originator of the lie was right. Aarrgghh.

jeannette said...

This subject is one of the few things I don't like in this country. When will they stop fighting about this??


by Cole Scott