Monday, July 19, 2010

Shirley Sherrod, the NAACP, and Racism

UPDATE, July 22, 2010: Shirley Sherrod - Video, full speech (43:15)



Complete transcript.

Excerpt

SHIRLEY SHERROD: There is no difference between us. The only difference is that the folks with money want to stay in power and whether it's health care or whatever it is, they'll do what they need to do to keep that power, you know. It's always about money, y'all.

You know, I haven't seen such a mean-spirited people as I've seen lately over this issue of health care. Some of the racism we thought was buried. Didn't it surface? Now, we endured eight years of the Bush's and we didn't do the stuff these Republicans are doing because you have a black President.

I wanted to give you that little history -- especially the young people -- I want you to know they created it, you know, not just for us. But we got the brunt of it 'cause they needed to elevate what is just a little higher than us to make them think that we're so much better, and then we -- they would never work with us, you know, to try to change the situation that they were all in.

But where am I going with this? You know, I couldn't say 45 years ago -- I couldn't stand here and say what I'm saying -- what I will say to you tonight. Like I told you, God helped me to see that it's not just about black people -- it's about poor people. And I've come a long way. I knew that I couldn't live with hate, you know.

It sounds like she still harbors a lot of hate and is far from post-racial.
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UPDATE, July 21, 2010: White House and NAACP backtrack
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UPDATE, July 20, 2010: Shirley Sherrod backs out of FOX interview.
Shirley Sherrod agrees to go on Megyn Kelly's show to describe how the White House "forced" her to resign, then bails on the interview-nice.

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UPDATE, July 20, 2010: White House pressured Shirley Sherrod to resign.



Sherrod says she "gave it all [she] had" in her position. That doesn't make sense given Sherrod's admission, "I didn't give him the full force of what I could do."

Sherrod is ticked off at the Obama administration, claiming she wasn't given an opportunity to defend herself.
"They asked me to resign, and, in fact, they harassed me as I was driving back to the state office from West Point, Georgia yesterday," Sherrod told CNN. "I had at least three calls telling me the White House wanted me to resign…and the last one asked me to pull over to the side of the road and do it."

Sherrod said the final call came from Cheryl Cook, an undersecretary at the Department of Agriculture. Sherrod said White House officials wanted her to quit immediately because the controversy was "going to be on Glenn Beck tonight."

She's also angry with the NAACP.

Will the NAACP retract its statement condemning Sherrod?

Full statement from NAACP President Benjamin Jealous:

Since our founding in 1909, the NAACP has been a multi-racial, multi-faith organization that-- while generally rooted in African American communities-- fights to end racial discrimination against all Americans.

We concur with US Agriculture Secretary Vilsack in accepting the resignation of Shirley Sherrod for her remarks at a local NAACP Freedom Fund banquet.

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.

We are 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.

The reaction from many in the audience is disturbing. We will be looking into the behavior of NAACP representatives at this local event and take any appropriate action.

We thank those who brought this to our national office's attention, as there are hundreds of local fundraising dinners each year.

Sherrod's behavior is even more intolerable in light of the US Department of Agriculture's well documented history of denying opportunities to African American, Latino, Asian American, and Native American farmers, as well as female farmers of all races. Currently, justice for many of these farmers is being held up by Congress. We would hope all who share our outrage at Sherrod's statements would join us in pushing for these cases to be remedied.

The NAACP will continue to advance the ideals of America and fight for freedom, justice and fairness for all Americans.


Sherrod says the NAACP is hanging her out to dry.

Why is the NAACP abandoning Sherrod if she's telling the truth? Why is the White House doing the same?

Wouldn't you think both the NAACP and the Obama administration would enjoy debunking a smear campaign by conservative Andrew Breitbart?

Maybe Obama should invite Sherrod to the White House for a beer to smooth things over? We're nearing the first anniversary of the storied Beer Summit.

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UPDATE: Shirley Sherrod resigns.
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Andrew Breitbart offers video proof of racism in the NAACP.

Shirley Sherrod, Georgia Director of Rural Development, shows her true colors at a March 27, 2010, NAACP Freedom Fund banquet.

Ms. Sherrod admits that in her federally appointed position, overseeing over a billion dollars, she discriminates against people due to their race.

Transcript
SHIRLEY SHERROD: The first time I was faced with having to help a white farmer save his farm, he took a long time talking; but he was trying to show me he was superior to me. I know what he was doing, but he had come to me for help.

What he didn't know while he was taking all that time trying to show me he was superior to me was I was trying to decide just how much help I was going to give him.

I was struggling with the fact that so many black people had lost their farm land. And here I was faced with having to help a white person save their land. So I didn't give him the full force of what I could do. I did enough so that when he -- I assumed the Department of Agriculture had sent him to me, either that or the Georgia Department of Agriculture. And, uh, he needed to go back and report that I did try to help him. So, I took him to a white lawyer that had attended some of the training that we had provided because Chapter 12 bankruptcy had just been enacted for the family farm. So I figured if I take him to one of them that his own kind would take care of him.

That's when it was revealed to me that it's about the poor versus those who have. It's not so much about white. It is about white and black but it's not, you know, it opened my eyes. Because I took him to one of his own.


Video.


Very troubling.

6 comments:

King Dave said...

This is what you'd expect from a racist black woman. the NAACP is no better than the KKK.

Mary said...

Sherrod exposed herself to be racist and unwilling to adequately do her taxpayer funded job.

It's a disgrace. It's good she was fired (aka "resigned").

It's unfortunate that the NAACP's legacy is being tarnished so badly.

No better than the KKK?

To the extent that racism is embedded in both groups now, that's true.

Historically speaking though, the KKK is far worse than the NAACP.

Lisa said...

How about the rest of the video? Coz it sounds like she was about to say a revelatory statement that she had come to a conclusion that it’s about poor vs. rich not black vs. white.

Mary said...

Sherrod's job was to help AMERICANS, of all races. She admits that she discriminated against the white farmer.

Her statements about taking the farmer to "one of his own" were really unacceptable.

She said she denied him her best efforts.

Whatever her revelations may have been, Sherrod said race was a factor in how she performed her job.

She had to resign.

James said...

Turns out that she was not being racist after all. Way to go everyone for jumping to conclusions. What this just reveals is everyone's desire for their to be racism in the NAACP. Will everyone that has publicly defamed her take their comments back? I don't think so. It's far easier to talk negatively and react quickly to news events instead of waiting for all the facts to come out. Shame on all of you!

Mary said...

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous and Tom Vilsack were quick to condemn Sherrod yesterday.

Jealous said:

We are 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.

The reaction from many in the audience is disturbing. We will be looking into the behavior of NAACP representatives at this local event and take any appropriate action.

We thank those who brought this to our national office's attention, as there are hundreds of local fundraising dinners each year.


Why didn't the NAACP and Vilsack defend Sherrod if her words were taken out of context and she was the victim of a smear campaign?

Today, there's a story in the AJC about the farmer's wife standing up for Sherrod.

Weird.

Why did Jealous and the NAACP bash Sherrod? Someone in the organization should have been familiar with Sherrod's complete remarks at the dinner.

Shame on the NAACP?