Archive for category Andrew Breitbart
It’s not often that something in public life just plain pisses me the fuck off but the god damned cowardice of the Obama administration with regard to their unbelievably cowardly response to the invented controversy about Shirley Sherrod has done it.
It goes something like this. Right-wing liar and provocateur Andrew Breitbart edited out some key portions of Ms. Sherrod’s speech to make it sound like she’s racist against white people. The Obama folks completely freaked out and Secretary Tom Vilsack demanded her resignation via blackberry.
So then the whole video comes out and it turns out that Sherrod’s point was pretty much the opposite of what Breitbart made it out to be (big fucking surprise!).
Here’s how Ta-Nehisi Coates describes her story:
Shirley Sherrod, a longtime Civil Rights worker and black USDA appointee . . .dared confess that she’d once been motivated by racial prejudice but had since seen the error of her ways. Sherrod details how, as a child, her family was essentially terrorized by the Klan and white vigilantes. Her father was murdered 45 years ago. Her widowed mother, at one point, had to stand on the porch with a rifle to fight off the Klan. “I know who you are!” she yelled at them.
Sherrod’s personal story is about redemption, and the case she highlights took place 20 years ago, long before she was working for the federal government.
Here’s how Coates summarizes his take:
Taking it all in, it must be said that the landscape is as follows: We have an administration that will contort itself to defend a movement whose convention speakers call for the reinstatement of the tools of segregation. That same administration will swiftly jettison an appointee, herself the victim of homegrown terrorism, for echoing the kind of message of redemption and personal responsibility that has become the president’s hallmark on race. Andrew Breitbart says that Sherrod’s speech, not the Tea Party’s rhetoric, is the real racism. It is an argument that is as old as American white supremacy, and one that this administration, through its actions over the past week, has tacitly endorsed.
From the American Prospect:
If there’s anything that strikes me most about both incidents, it’s that they completely vindicate Attorney General Eric Holder‘s assertion that the United States is a “nation of cowards” when it comes to discussing race. I understand that a lot of Americans feel really uncomfortable talking about race, but that’s no excuse for the week we spent debating whether the NAACP is racist against white people, or the fact that the Obama administration punished a dedicated federal employee for the “crime” of speaking honestly about race. Instead of tackling these issues with maturity and candor, we spend our time rebuffing accusations of racism — because there are no racists in America — and shouting nonsense complaints about “reverse racism,” while provocateurs like Andrew Breitbart and Glenn Beck distort our understanding of racism and prejudice.
You wanna know something? I’m sick and tired of these cowardly centrist Democrats and their lack of conviction. They’ll do whatever they can to make sure no white person ever feels bad about the issue of race but god forbid an black person speak honestly about it. They’ll bend over backwards to avoid offending the delicate sensibilities of raving lunatic tea baggers but god forbid they actually hear what black people have to say.
I have a dear friend whose personal story isn’t so different than Shirley Sherrod’s – born in the segregated South, she saw her friends and family subjected to racially motivated violence. She lived first hand the indignity of Jim Crow. She told me she grew up knowing white people were dangerous. That’s our heritage. And until we face it honestly, too many of us will continue to be taken in by the inversion – that the racists are the victims, that groups and individuals who dare to confront race honestly are the real racists.
In the meantime, the Obama administration should grow a pair, fire Vilsack and offer Shirley Sherrod his job.
And I hope she sues the holy fuck out of that lying sonofabitch Breitbart.