Patterico's Pontifications

5/18/2011

A Shirley Sherrod Musing

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 1:40 am



[Guest post by Lee Stranahan]

[Shirley Sherrod] is democratic nobility and black royalty. She’s an American hero. She’s a Christian soldier for justice.

– Cornell West, Face The Nation

I’ve been thinking about this – it’s not “proof” of anything but it is something I wonder about.

All of Shirley Sherrod’s fans talk about her “redemptive arc” that was supposedly left out of the video excerpt that was originally posted by Andrew Breitbart. They – and Sherrod herself –  say that the point of the story is that Sherrod  has revelation that white people have problems due to poverty, as well.

In the full video, she says…

God will show you things and he’ll put things in your path so that — that you realize that the struggle is really about poor people.

And in the excerpt that Breitbart posted she says…

That’s when it was revealed to me that it’s about poor versus those who have, and 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

(emphasis added)

The summarize – her ‘redemption’ is realizing that what she calls ‘the struggle’ (for justice, I think) isn’t just about race but also about poverty.

So, here’s my question – shouldn’t she have known this already?

It seems like a pretty basic point. Scratch that – seriously basic Poor white people have problems, too. Poor white people sometimes have the same problems for the same reason as poor black people. I mean, who doesn’t understand that point?

The ‘white farmer’ incident happened in 1986. When Shirley Sherrod had this revelation, she was (by my estimate) 37 years old. She’d been an activist and helped manage a farm. She was working on her Master’s degree. She’d been given a job where she was supposed to help farmers of all races.

So, this middle-aged woman was just then figuring out that she should help white people? Really? And I’m supposed to be impressed by this, why? I think it’s insulting to have such a low bar set.

I’m really confused by this. Can anyone explain to me what’s so impressive about a nearly 40 year old, politically active person figuring out that white poor people suffer, too?

– Lee Stranahan

60 Responses to “A Shirley Sherrod Musing”

  1. Your thoughts are appreciated, but there isn’t much to figure out here. If she was 40 in this tale, and the tale was about class warfare, I would surmise that through a combination of projection and lying she’s trying to say that she’s a socialist. The story was about her “giving up” racism, and realizing class warfare is where her passions lie.
    Of course, she just can’t come right out and say that, nor can many other leftists in high positions, so she lies about the details when she tells the story. No one rational believes she came to this sudden realization at 40. She was probably into a whole hodgepodge of redistribution, black theology, and class warfare long before this video was taken. In the video, she says that all other things aside, her biggest motivator is class warfare. Of course, I believe she is a bigoted racist government parasite as well.

    moonwalker (433032)

  2. If she believes in half the things I put out there, depending on her visibility, again, she wouldn’t be able to put half these views on the street. Therefore, it takes multiple layers of deception and trickery to keep the ball rolling. I find most of these leftists wrap themselves in lies to avoid having their belief systems stomped on by the public. The true words only come out behind closed doors with a controlled audience. Sort of like a KKK meeting. I wonder if she thinks that she is a Christian? With liars, it’s hard to tell really what they believe in.

    moonwalker (433032)

  3. When you put it that way, Sherrod doesn’t seem like anything but a jackass, Lee.

    And I agree it’s a shame to elevate her to “royalty” status for this. But then, that’s not really why she’s “royalty.” It’s her victimhood that makes her special, not her insight or accomplishments. That mean Breitbart victimized Sherrod in a way that even includes a wish she become a slave (you know this because of the color of Breitbart’s skin, of course). That’s some hard core victimization. What I thought was simply quoting her own confession actually was stealing her job.

    And please, don’t tell me about how she was helping scam the Pigford settlement. Everyone involved with that scam was a victim too.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  4. And I agree it’s a shame to elevate her to “royalty” status for this. But then, that’s not really why she’s “royalty.” It’s her victimhood that makes her special, not her insight or accomplishments. That mean Breitbart victimized Sherrod in a way that even includes a wish she become a slave (you know this because of the color of Breitbart’s skin, of course). That’s some hard core victimization. What I thought was simply quoting her own confession actually was stealing her job.
    Comment by Dustin — 5/18/2011 @ 2:22 am

    Really well said, Dustin.

    So, this middle-aged woman was just then figuring out that she should help white people? Really? And I’m supposed to be impressed by this, why? I think it’s insulting to have such a low bar set. [Lee]

    Quite insulting. But once again (feel like a broken record lately) here we go with the far-left’s soft racism of low expectations.

    no one you know (fd287d)

  5. Lee, your last sentence is word salad. If you get nitecruzr’s permission I’m sure you can edit it.

    phunctor (29abd1)

  6. I agree, you are close to the real issue – but I would tweak your analysis a bit –

    It’s not that she suddenly realized that white people can be poor and need help. No, it’s much more than that, much more specific and direct.

    She claimed that she suddenly realized that the Government should not actively discriminate against white people.

    That is a whole lot different.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  7. She didn’t come from a poor background, so it would seem that her experience with poverty, was limited.

    narciso (72470d)

  8. Shirley Sherrod is simply another race hustler back on the government payroll.

    kansas (b73648)

  9. ZOMFG! How effin racist can you be?!

    JD (b98cae)

  10. Sherrod’s own statement tells us that it was STILL about black/white for her. Highlight a different section of her statement, and it becomes clear:

    “That’s when it was revealed to me that it’s about poor verses those who have, and 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.

    So, one of his own was not a fellow Methodist, or a fellow farmer, or a fellow Iowan (or whatever state this happened in), it was another white person.

    But having racists like Sherrod in positions of power is not her fault, it is the fault of every person of another color who allows this to happen. Sherrod is simply another proponent of the tactic used by those that inject race into what they do, then scream that other people are being racist. Case in point: put ten people in a room to decide what will be taught in their local schools. Let’s say that there are 9 whites and one black. If the black crys “racism” for one reason or another, most whites will cower back in their chairs and not dispute that claim. So 9 people will cave to the demands of one because they don’t want to be accused of being “racist.”

    None of this really has anything to do with actual racism, it has to do with power. I once heard a black lawyer say that hate crime laws were not designed to be applied to black people because hate crime laws were designed to right the wrongs of generations long gone.

    We have been programmed to think that anytime the charge of racism has been lodged against us, we have no right to fight back. Racism is constantly ignored in other races (Hispanics, Blacks, i.e. Louis Farrakhan) who say things that would get a white person banned from society. Take the current illegal immigration debate; if you oppose our open borders, where crime flows in like water from the Rio Grande, you are labeled a “racist”. Nevermind that it is not just Hispanics flowing across the border.

    I, for one, am sick of it.

    retire05 (2d538e)

  11. White people suffer too? Can’t be. Why would the man hold them down? That is the cause of all suffering. no?

    quasimodo (4af144)

  12. it is about white and black, but it’s not you know…

    with out this caveat, she looses her audience

    quasimodo (4af144)

  13. Personally, I’m grateful for all epiphanies, no matter how old I am when they arrive.

    angeleno (ec0b60)

  14. angeleno, Sherrod did NOT have an epiphany, she simply masked her blatant racism with political correctness. She was, and remains, as racist as she was before the “epiphany”.

    Sherrod is operating on the hypothesis that black people, because of slavery, cannot be “racists”. Nothing is farther from the truth. And people of other races are required to accept that as truth.

    retire05 (2d538e)

  15. Can anyone explain to me what’s so impressive about a nearly 40 year old, politically active person figuring out that white poor people suffer, too?

    Some people never do. Cornel West, for example.

    You did see, btw, his recent claim that Obama, since his father was from Kenya, is not really black?

    kishnevi (d785be)

  16. Good news!

    Some Democrats in positions of authority in our government are starting to realize that it is wrong for them to discriminate on the basis of race! They are even trying to gently convince their supporters who cheered the official discrimination to change their minds.

    These are truly wondrous times, indeed. And to think that all it took to accomplish epiphany was to replace the hatred of white people with the hatred of rich people. So laudably simple.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  17. Just take a look at the going-ons of Trinity Church and you can see the some elements of the Black community have created a “racial cul-de-sac” where the racial injustices of the past live on through a form of mental isolation from the rest of the world.

    Shirley Sherrod had this “revealation” when a white person stumbled into her “racial cul-de-sac” and upset the isolation stasis.

    Neo (95d77c)

  18. What both videos said to me, and the first clip especially, was when she said she was rather racist, the crowd applauds rather loudly this admission showing their agreement!
    Her later recant was overshadowed by playing the race card yet again during the ordeal that followed. She might be trying not to feel like she did earlier but has a long way to go. The shameful part is not her racism of days past but current day mass agreement with that thought process by the crowd she was addressing.

    JP (e05949)

  19. She’s describing her evolution from a racist to a class warrior. Under the naive racist model of the world to which she formerly subscribed, the evil oppressors are “the whites”; therefore how can whites possibly be victims of that oppression? (That isn’t to say whites can’t suffer; even truly evil oppressors such as Hitler get cancer and divorce and all kinds of unhappiness. But such suffering is irrelevant to the Great Struggle; it may be punishment, or mere random chance, but either way it’s irrelevant, because what matters is not suffering per se but rather crimes committed by the oppressor against the oppressed, and this isn’t that.)

    The great revelation that came to her, and which was the subject of her speech, is that she learned that the suffering of poor white farmers was something she should care about, because she had misidentified the enemy; the oppressor class is not “the whites” but “the rich” (who are mostly white but may also include some black people such as Clarence Thomas and Herman Cain). Thus, this white farmer whose suffering she had previously scorned was in fact her comrade, her fellow oppressed, and she had wronged him by classing him with the oppressors. Now his suffering mattered, and she wished she’d helped him with a whole heart.

    And that is the story of how a purehearted but naive black nationalist grew up and learned wisdom and became a Marxist. The end.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  20. Once again, don’t minimize her prior fault –

    It’s not just that before she was a racist. She was also willing to use her authority to make racial bias defacto government policy.

    There are a lot of racists whose racism would stop short of using an official position to discriminate. She wasn’t one of them, and I don’t know that she sees the difference even now.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  21. The great revelation that came to her, and which was the subject of her speech, is that she learned that the suffering of poor white farmers was something she should care about, because she had misidentified the enemy; the oppressor class is not “the whites” but “the rich”

    I certainly agree that this is what she is claiming.

    I wonder, however, if she really was just noticing that she was breaking the law, and amending her motivations ad hoc so as to continue her fight from a better defended POV than racism.

    Still, even under her claims, I think Lee’s point is really awesome. She’s 40 and just figured out that poor white people have these problems too? What a jackass!

    Dustin (c16eca)

  22. “And to think that all it took to accomplish epiphany was to replace the hatred of white people with the hatred of rich people.”

    Amphipolis – The default assupmtions here are that a) it is racist not to allow the government to confiscate as much of your money as it deems “fair” and, b) the rich somehow became rich by taking something away from poorer people, which is the reason for redistributing wealth back to where it belongs, out of “fairness” and “social justice.”

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  23. Dear Lee,

    Sometimes you are just a bit too cynical. David Duke had his revelation at mid-life and we all embraced his redemptive arc. So why not Shirley Sherrod?

    Yours truly,

    ThOR

    ThOR (94646f)

  24. Anyone recall David Duke’s redemption?

    JD (29e1cd)

  25. David Duke had his revelation at mid-life and we all embraced his redemptive arc

    We did? Hey, I’m glad that at the very least, these people finally admit they were wrong all those years they used racism in a way that harmed others. Sherrod and David Duke are cut from the same cloth. It’s better that they realize how stupid and evil their behavior was at mid life than continue it to their teary death bed plea for forgiveness. But it’s not like I’m asking for perfection when I relegate those twins to the jackass bin.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  26. JD, he seems to still be obsessed with Joooooos.

    God damn it. I guess I just don’t pay attention to these people. Duke is a stormfront contributor today. WTH are we even talking about this moron?

    Dustin (c16eca)

  27. WTH are we even talking about this moron?

    Because some Moby dropped by to claim that conservatives are cool with the likes of David Duke.

    quasimodo (4af144)

  28. So maybe Ronald Mcdonald is retiring so he can be Shirley Serrod’s lawyer.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  29. Thor, WTF? Another Moby troll.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  30. Breitbart’s point in showing the Sherrod video was the reaction of Sherrod’s black audience, who betrayed their own racism when they cheered her for discriminating against the white farmer, which she described prior to declaring her supposed “redemption.”

    YFS (931928)

  31. Breitbart’s point in showing the Sherrod video was the reaction of Sherrod’s black audience…

    Exactly, which is why the WH reacted so swiftly to can Sherrod – she was a sacrifice used to draw attention away from the reaction of the NAACP crowd, and the media executed the play flawlessly.

    sherlock (63e9fe)

  32. Shirley Sherrod can try and sue but the dyke is racist.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  33. And yes glenn Beck is still a birther even though he believes Obama was born in america

    /Sarcasm off

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  34. Perhaps Shirley is not alone. “Class consciousness” seems to be making a bit of a comeback…

    angeleno (2774d5)

  35. Shirley Sherrod can try and sue but the dyke is racist.

    Comment by DohBiden — 5/18/2011 @ 2:13 pm

    I think you’re right that her lawsuit will go absolutely nowhere. And agree that she’s a racist. But sorry – what’s a “dyke?”

    no one you know (fd287d)

  36. “Perhaps Shirley is not alone.”

    angeleno – Shirley is definitely not alone. Class warfare has been a common tool of Democrats/liberals for decades.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  37. What does Kanazawa think about Brown? Hot? Or not?

    stari_momak (d5f987)

  38. Oops, meant Sherrod, guess I was thinking of Sherrod Brown

    stari_momak (d5f987)

  39. Because some Moby dropped by to claim that conservatives are cool with the likes of David Duke.

    Um, no.

    Thor, WTF? Another Moby troll.

    What are you seeing that I’m not. I thought the intent of ThOR’s comment was clear. We didn’t “all embraced his redemptive arc”; and that’s precisely his point.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  40. ThOR has taken a few too many hammer blows to the head.

    angeleno has no problem with someone being a racist for 37 YEARS!!!

    Icy Texan (613df9)

  41. Oh, and scary moleman is predictably predictable.

    Icy Texan (613df9)

  42. angeleno has no problem with someone being a racist for 37 YEARS!!!

    You can put it that way if you want, icy. I approach it from the perspective of someone who will turn 60 later this year. I hope I haven’t lost the capacity for change and growth. I hope I never do. I hope there are still epiphanies ahead for me.

    I’m certainly willing to accord Shirley Sherrod the same latitude I accord myself. Thirty-seven is not so old, from where I sit now. Sherrod’s story moved me. I hope her defamation suit against Breitbart succeeds.

    angeleno (ec0b60)

  43. “I hope her defamation suit against Breitbart succeeds.”

    And pray, why do you think it should?

    Please show me a single thing Breitbart said that was either untrue or went uncorrected that very day.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  44. It’s well established by now that Breitbart distributed a highly misleading video excerpt. It also seems pretty clear that he acted recklessly. This is going to come back to haunt him, and should.

    angeleno (ec0b60)

  45. No, it hasn’t, it is well known that he didn’t have the whole speech, at the time,

    ian cormac (72470d)

  46. Nothing of the sort is established, well or otherwise. In fact you have just defamed Breitbart. The excerpt Breitbart published was 1) all he had; and 2) not misleading. The NAACP on the other hand had the whole speech recorded, plus its head was there; their reaction can’t be blamed on the excerpt.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  47. “It’s well established by now that Breitbart distributed a highly misleading video excerpt.”

    angeleno – He actually published two video excepts, which is widely ignored. He published the damning except and the portion showing her “redemptive” moment. To claim Breitbart acted recklessly must mean that Sherrod’s words were reckless.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  48. If we’re talking Reckless Richter Scale I would think the demand that she resign was much higher up on it, than Breitbart’s video distribution, with (IIRC) the clear caveat at the time that this was all he had at the moment, then the moment he had later video, making clear that her redemptive moment was there (but her prior racism wasn’t the main point of the video anyway, but rahter her audience’s reaction).

    no one you know (325a59)

  49. It’s well established by now that Breitbart distributed a highly misleading video excerpt. It also seems pretty clear that he acted recklessly.

    I would agree with you if a) the video showing her “redemptive moment” hadn’t been there b) the point of the piece wasn’t Sherrod, but the NAACP audience members who were quite happy with her words and deeds well before her “redemptive moment” and c) if Sherrod and the USDA hadn’t known about the videos five whole days before Breitbart published them, meaning they had MORE than ample time to work a good defense but chose instead to sh*tcan Sherrod.

    But those are just niggling little facts, and quite irrelevant to you, I’m sure.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  50. Breitbart himself described the excerpt he released as capturing Sherrod’s “racist tale.” I have a feeling he’s going to regret that, big time

    The way things are headed, it looks like a jury will determine liability and damages here. It should be interesting.

    angeleno (ec0b60)

  51. Breitbart himself described the excerpt he released as capturing Sherrod’s “racist tale.” I have a feeling he’s going to regret that, big time

    But it was a tale of her racism.

    The way things are headed, it looks like a jury will determine liability and damages here. It should be interesting.

    So if you criticize someone, and show a video of their words, unedited to change them, that is bad?

    Breitbart has every right to criticize officials in his government who admit to engaging in racism. The rest of her racist to socialist tale doesn’t somehow remove Breitbart’s right to free speech. We still haven’t seen the full video, either. The NAACP left some of it out, and unlike Breitbart, that was their choice.

    The burden of proof is on Sherrod, and she can’t meet it.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  52. It also seems pretty clear that he acted recklessly.

    He didn’t fire her.

    He just noted that an NAACP audience laughed and approved of racism against white people.

    I think you’re one of those people who says ‘clearly’ when you know something isn’t clear at all.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  53. It’s just sad that Angeleno can brush aside Sherrod’s ‘epiphany’ that white people have problems too as normal growth, while he spins Breitbart’s freedom of speech and honest analysis of the facts, with evidence, as some kind of horrible mark on his character.

    No, Angeleno, it’s Sherrod whose character is stained by her own claims about when she realized she was a racist. And I know what you’d say if the partisanship was reversed. If this was a high official in Bush’s administration saying he used his power in a way that was racist and harmed black people, until he was 37 when he noticed black people’s problems count too, and Rachel Maddow showed only the confession of racism, you would not see the problem.

    Nothing in the rest of her video changes the fact she treated those white farmers very poorly. No evidence has appeared to contradict it (especially not the farmers she claims she was talking about). If someone confesses to a crime, we are not obligated to mention everything they say about that behavior when we note the fact that they did that crime.

    Sherrod used tax dollars in a racist manner.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  54. It is well established …

    Apparently, well established means that if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes true.

    JD (b98cae)

  55. OK, JD. Of course, “well established” could also encompass the fact that even Breitbart has conceded that the excerpt was misleading and that he “should have waited for the full video.” I can’t help but think that the jury will agree.

    angeleno (ec0b60)

  56. I can’t help but think that the jury will agree.

    Will agree that he is liable for telling the truth, because he wishes he had the full video from the start?

    I think you’re conflating different concepts.

    Sherrod really did discriminate against white people. The rest of the video does not contradict that this is what she admitted to.

    In no way was she defamed. We don’t have to provide all of someone’s comments when we criticize them honestly. Sherrod is a public figure, a major instigator behind the Pigford settlements, and a rather high member of the government bureaucracy, and she admits to being a racist in how she administered her duties, at some point in her career.

    All Breitbart did to her, was show her own comments about herself. This ‘should have waited’ point doesn’t change that. People criticize members of the government all the time as they ‘wait’ for more information to cast more light on the issue.

    Why should the law stop us? I think it’s pretty clear at this point that you only think it should because of your unfair bias.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  57. Usually angeleno is more reasonable. It is really disappointing.

    JD (85b089)

  58. “even Breitbart has conceded that the excerpt was misleading”

    angeleno – Breitbart agreed the video was out of context (not misleading) because it did not show her complete redemptive tale, not because her racist treatment of the farmer was misleading. How dig is that hole you are digging?

    “Do you agree that the edited video took things out of context?
    Well, yes. But I put up what I had. It granted a great portion of her redemptive tale, but not all of it. If I could do it all over again, I should have waited for the full video to get to me.”

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  59. deep

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)


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