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21 July 2010 @ 10:40 am
Tea Party ruins lives  
I don't normally comment on anything political here, but I've been watching the Shirley Sherrod situation unfold, and it has me completely livid.

So, as far as I can tell, this is the sequence of events:

1) The NAACP passes a resolution denouncing the Tea Party as "racist".
2) In response, some blogger within the Tea Party cuts up a video of a speech made by Sherrod to make it LOOK like she is racist, when in fact she is talking about the dangers of racism and how she overcame it.
3) The edited video goes viral, and some Washington official panics and forces Sherrod to pull over and submit her resignation in the middle of the street, ruining her life. And the one who edited the video doesn't even fucking care about what happens to her.

So, FOR NO FUCKING GOOD REASON, a woman's life has been ruined. Even with this morning's talk of reconsidering calling for her to resign, there's no going back for her - she's already under a spotlight she did nothing to deserve being under, forever to be labeled something she's not, and nothing is going to change that. And all for what?

I don't know about you, but I think it's really damn scary that one lunatic can edit a video to make anyone in the world sound like something they're not and make them lose their job over it.

Also, via jnik, a better summary and analysis than I could write.
大気光taiki on July 21st, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
This isn't the Tea Party per se, it's Andrew Breitbart specifically.

The Atlantic's got a great writeup from Josh Green.


But in the bigger picture, the fact that many tea party sects are embracing Breitbart says little for their intelligence, or racial sensitivity.

The whole problem is that the White House can't afford to be bogged down with the race card. Republicans are trying their damnedest to bog them down with just that. It may be working in the mean time, but I doubt it's going to be sustainable.
StarCreatorstarcreator on July 21st, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
What I'd really like to know is, if there were no Tea Party, would anyone listen to Breitbart? I would hope this brand of lunacy wouldn't be at all visible without a larger platform to carry it.
大気光taiki on July 21st, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Fox News.
Jeffaulddragon on July 21st, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
I hope someone ruins HIS life, although I know that won't happen as long as Matt Drudge, Fox News, and the like are around.
Jeffaulddragon on July 21st, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, also, I think the bigger issue is that the administration LISTENED to the bullshit edit and fired her nearly instantaneously rather than, say, referring it to the IG's office.
大気光taiki on July 21st, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
I really do blame the right wing for ruining Sherrod's life like this.

Yes, Obama caved, yes the media repeated the lie blindly and the NAACP threw her under the bus so fast I nearly got whiplash trying to keep track, but, if Ken Salazar didn't fire her immediately, the entire department would be bogged down with useless questions about a fake racist, Donald Gibbs would be spending his time fielding bullshit questions from a press corps that wants a story, not the truth.
Jeffaulddragon on July 22nd, 2010 12:34 pm (UTC)
I'm not trying to minimize the blame Fox news (other than Shep Smith, who refused to air the clip because he, rightfully so, does not consider Breitbart credible) has for this. But can you imagine the opposite having happened during the Bush administration? Or something similar having happened if Liberal groups brought forth evidence of a current administration official having bias against Asians or Gays or something? I don't think it would have. This administration has a serious problem of caving in to right wing pressure, and I refuse to ignore that.
nekocathy on July 22nd, 2010 01:12 am (UTC)
Jack, you're a cool person and I love you man. Unfortunately, I greatly disagree with this viewpoint. Sorry. Before I go off, let me ask this: did ANYONE, including the commentators above watch the full video? I just did. Here's a clip:


Being the analytical English major I am, I can understand why whites would be offended by what she said. I was quite frankly shocked that she didn't prepare her speech better as a government official.

On 17:00, she mentions about a Caucasian farmer facing foreclosure. Why does RACE have to be mentioned here? That's only going to build a misconstrued message of her being racist. Really... why did she have to mention that he was white at all?! THEN she labeled the Caucasian farmer that he was being "Superior" than her. What facts does SHE have to back this claim up? She doesn't support her argument while on the stand, making her seem biased.

See where I am going with this?

Did you all know that body language displays 80% of human communication and deeply conveys a person's perception? Watch her facial expression when she says "he took a looooong time of talking" (17:09 - 17:10). She rolled her eyes (Hah... HOW PROFESSIONAL!) and it makes her come off snotty and arrogant. This is a CLIENT trying to save his farmland and of course he's going to do whatever it takes to get support from a GOVERNMENT official. In fact, why should the comment about the length of the conversation be considered relevant? It's her job to deal with it, so is she complaining about it to the public? You can be fired for publicly complaining about what you do at work.

The other statement she made was when she compared her line of work of struggling to save black farmers and then having to save a white farmer all of a sudden... she states, "so... I didn't give him the full force of what I can do" (17:21-17:47) and that she ended up redirecting this Caucasian farmer to a Caucasian lawyer, concluding that "one of his own kind could take care of him" (18:00-18:22). I wouldn't like this woman saying that she turned me over to other white people because she felt they're the only one who could help. She indirectly stated here that she doesn't feel compassionate about saving a person based on race.

I am so disappointed this woman was given back her job because it DID come off as racist. If it was the other way around, spoken by a white person, the NAACP and Jesse Jackson would be ON that spokesperson! Why should it be any different? As a professional and a government official, she should of been careful choosing her words, especially when she mentions a touchy subject like a person's racial identity. Also you liberals posters do have a lot to say by stating Fox News purposely mixed her message in a negative light. Guess what? CNN and MSNBC does it too on political figures. That's public media for you.
Jeffaulddragon on July 22nd, 2010 12:29 pm (UTC)
You completely misconstrued the point of her speech. The entire point of her speech was how that event opened her eyes that the issue she was dealing with at the time (*24 years ago*) about poor black farmers was NOT an issue of race, but of the have nots versus the haves. It cut across racial barriers. It was all about how she overcame racial bias she held when she was younger.

Breitbart used selective editing to take quotes out of context to make it sound like she holds the opposite opinion.
nekocathy on July 24th, 2010 03:54 am (UTC)
Ok, let's take it another step further.

She was speaking to NAACP, which most of the members are black elitists; their recent standoffs appears racist. You say my findings were misconstrued and out of context? Ok, so I guess you don't know what the NAACP does either. They are NOTORIOUS for "over analyzing" speeches, conversations, and documents too, just like I did to that video, and make it into racial oppression issues. Please look up what they have been saying about the Conservative Tea Party being "racist" and them "defending" the interaction between the Cavelier coach and Lebron James. Also... keep in mind that not one person in the crowd Sherrod was speaking to was white.

My question has still been dodged here: why did her speech have to center itself upon race? We've moved pas that and people are STILL bringing it up to discussion. Her body language and her choice of words make it SEEM racist toward whites. As a speaker it was her responsibility to watch the context of her speech context or people WILL judge her. Lesson learned.
Jeffaulddragon on July 24th, 2010 06:04 am (UTC)
Your gross generalizations about the NAACP are FAR more racist than any of her comments. And I know very well what the NAACP does. They do quite a bit of good. They do sometimes make some incredibly boneheaded decisions/statements, and I'll definitely call them on it when they do. As for the Tea Party, large swaths of the membership are clearly racist and particularly anti-black; just look at samples of signage at many of the events. The party leadership has done virtually nothing to stop such statements; I'd call that an implicit endorsement.

"keep in mind that not one person in the crowd Sherrod was speaking to was white" - What does this have to do with anything? She was speaking to the *NAACP*. Would you complain about a lack of lawyers at an NEA event? Whites aren't the target audience. I'd be more surprised at whites being there than not being there, simply because speakers at NAACP events aren't directing their comments to them.

"why did her speech have to center itself upon race?" - You do realize that the speech was about moving beyond RACIAL BIAS, right? That sort of discussion centers on race BY DEFINITION. Sure, she could have chosen her words more carefully, but that doesn't change the intent of her message.
StarCreatorstarcreator on July 23rd, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
I admit I haven't seen the whole video, or even video of any sort. I'm inclined to take Sherrod's own word at face value, but I'll refrain from further comment until I've had time to actually watch the videos.

That said, this article is the latest I've seen on the issue, and if true, it's really quite damning...
nekocathy on July 24th, 2010 03:59 am (UTC)
The video is interesting. I took it bit by bit. It appears articulate at the beginning, but after seeing the middle of it, some people can take offense to it since it wasn't worded well. It could of been phrased better to avoid racial accusations.

Something I've learned from journalism and literary analysis classes in college: never believe in one source. Always read into other sources or find the original before making an opinionated statement.