Professional Right wing liar and propagandist Andrew Breitbart has essentially ruined the life of a long time civil rights activist for no other reason than she was an easy target. Shirley Sherrod had confessed to once being motivated by prejudice towards white people after a lifetime of racial discrimination, but had since come to see the errors of her ways. Enter Breitbart and some selective video editing, and Sherrod gets portrayed as a racist and asked to resign from her position at the Department of Agriculture.
When it became clear that Sherrod’s quotes had been taken completely out of context, did the White House leap in to apologize and immediately reinstate Sherrod?
No. Not a word so far. As is ever the case with Obama, it is caution before action, and the desires of racist America have to be catered to first before coming to the aid of a largely defenseless black woman.
The White House will most likely try to reinstate her and find a graceful way out of the potentially explosive situation, but the truth is, this never should have happened in the first place. The rantings of a deranged, angry white man obsessed with power and black people taking his tax money are taken as gospel, while a quietly dignified civil rights activist protests of innocence are thrown aside in the name of a severely warped notion of a ‘post racial America’. This is the reality where whites are seen as victims and the success of minorities are attributed to affirmative action and social welfare. It is a reality that charlatans like Andrew Breitbart try to foster on America, and one that needs to be swiftly denounced by our political leaders. While the White House seems to have no problem denouncing Shirley Sherrod, where are they when it comes to the overtly racist Tea Party? The answer, unfortunately, is nowhere. Said Joe Biden last week:
“I wouldn’t characterize the Tea Party as racist…..there are individuals who are either members of or on
the periphery of some of their things, their — their protests — that
have expressed really unfortunate comments.”
Really Joe? Given the fact that the Tea Party movement cannot have anything to do with tax cuts and small government (Obama has cut taxes for 95% of the population and is by any sane standards a corporate centrist), there is nothing left to deduce other than lots of white people are pissed off about having a black President. Writes Ta-Nehisi Coates:
Words, too, have power and a strategy of falling back from the rhetoric
racists, while sometimes correct, is not definitive. There has to be
some amount of courage, some understanding of the moment, to accompany
the quiet strategy. I do not expect Barack Obama to condemn the Tea
Party’s racist elements, any more than I expect Ben Jealous to lead the
war in Afghanistan. But I do not expect him, or his administration, to
make the work of the NAACP harder, to contradict them for doing that
which the administration can not. I do not expect them to minimize those
elements, thus minimizing the NAACP’s fight, and then accede, to people
who are pulling from the darkest, vilest reaches of the American
Time to start fighting Mr President.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.