Below is the NAACP’s original Statement Regarding Shirley Sherrod head of the Department of Agriculture’s rural development office in Georgia, after being ‘snookered’ into thinking she was a racist based upon a video shown by Fox and other right-wing outlets..Proceeding it is the full video of Ms Sherrod’s remarks.. Her speech was about reconciliation and overcoming racial hatred.. Whats even sadder is up til now President Obama is sticking to their guns..All parties involved need to do right by Ms Sherrod starting with some major apologies.
Next everyone involved need to take firm steps to stop validating bloggers Conservative attack dog Andrew Breitbart, Fox News and other outlets who say they are news, but are really invested in spreading propaganda and finding ways to take down or aggressively support those who are out to take down their political enemies. In the case of Breibert, that was his full intention, to embarrass and discredit the NAACP-Mission Accomplished. Up til today the story was the NAACP smashes of the Tea Party and their racism and how the oldest Civil Rights organization was making moves to become more relevant in the lives of today’s generation. All that was gone in an instant with this ‘snookering’ that took place. There are lots of lessons to be learned here.
First, we have got to stop depending upon media outlets that don’t have our best interest at heart to fully deliver our message. This is especially true of places like Fox News. There have been too many good people who have had their reputations soiled because of Fox and their unrelenting attacks. It ranges from Ludacris to Reverend Jeremiah Wright to Van Jones and Yoshi Sergent to Acorn to now Shirley Sherrod. All the while this is happening, Negro after Negro goes onto one of these shows to do verbal battle with hosts who’ve set things up so you will never ever get the last word.
Second we have got to stop letting them dictate what we will and won’t talk about. This is not limited to Fox.. The other day I saw NAACP head Ben Jealous on TV disavowing the New Black Panther Party.. Why? Whatever they said or done could’ve been disavowed on your own terms years ago. Instead they become a hot button campaign for right wing zealots and suddenly the NAACP and every other Black pundit is on TV apologozing, distancing themselves and acting like they need to be ashamed. Not a good look. It reminds me of the old Farrakhan litmus test, where every Black person on TV had to state he did not like the Minister in order to appear creditable.
Shame on us for validating them with our presence. Shame on us for using them as the basis to go after someone who had not only the best of intentions but was setting a good example for all of us to follow. Sherrod’s speech was about reconciliation.
The NAACP would do good by investing time and energy into establishing a series of well heeled local media outlets that speak unapologetically to our issues and forget having to explain and apologizee on outlets that little or no interest in giving us equal footing.
*** Important Update July 21 2010** According to CNN the Agriculture department is now ‘Considering’ Sherrod’s resignation.. Here’s what they said…
(CNN) — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said early Wednesday that he will review the case of a former Agriculture Department official who resigned after a video clip surfaced of her discussing a white farmer.
“I am, of course, willing and will conduct a thorough review and consider additional facts to ensure to the American people we are providing services in a fair and equitable manner,” Vilsack said in a statement.
Shirley Sherrod — an African-American — resigned Monday under pressure after the video clip first appeared on a conservative website and later on Fox News. In the video, she seemed to tell an audience she did not do her utmost to help a white farmer avoid foreclosure. However, Sherrod later said the clip only shows part of her comments, and that she tells the story of her experience — from nearly a quarter century ago when she was not a federal employee — to illustrate the importance of moving beyond race. continue reading here http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/07/21/agriculture.employee.usda/
NAACP’s Original Statement Condemning Sherrod
According to NAACP head Ben Jealous, he has since called, spoken with and apologized to Sherrod for the remarks below….
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.
N.A.A.C.P. Retracts Bias Accusation
The president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People apologized Tuesday to a black civil servant whose ouster the civil rights organization had originally cheered.
Last week, the N.A.A.C.P. garnered headlines when it accused parts of the Tea Party movement of being racist. Then, over the weekend, a video emerged of Shirley Sherrod, the head of the Department of Agriculture’s rural development office in Georgia, speaking at an N.A.A.C.P. event in Douglas, Ga., in March. In a two-and-a-half-minute clip, Ms. Sherrod seemed to explain that she discriminated against a white farmer 24 years ago.
Ms. Sherrod said she was pressed to resign after the video whipped around the Web. But she said the clip was misleading. According to Ms. Sherrod and people who have seen the full video, she went on to say in her speech that she had learned from working with the farmer that all people must overcome their prejudices.
After seeing the full video, the N.A.A.C.P. said Tuesday that it had been “snookered” into believing Ms. Sherrod had acted with bias.
“We are in a moment where there is heightened sensitivity and concern, including within the N.A.A.C.P., about discrimination against white people,” said Benjamin T. Jealous, the group’s president. He said the N.A.A.C.P. wanted “to be clear that there’s a single yardstick by which civil rights are judged.”
In the video, which received much airtime on the Fox News Channel on Monday, Ms. Sherrod recalled working for a nonprofit organization in Georgia.
“I was struggling with the fact that so many black people had lost their farmland, and here I was faced with having to help a white person save their land,” Ms. Sherrod said in the video. “So I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do. I did enough.”
The video was spotlighted by Andrew Breitbart, a conservative blogger known for promoting videos that emerged last year and ultimately brought down Acorn, the community organizing group. By Monday evening, Ms. Sherrod was out of her job. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack cited the agency’s “zero-tolerance” policy on discrimination in explaining her ouster.
Ms. Sherrod took to the airwaves, especially those of CNN, on Tuesday. She told the network that the N.A.A.C.P. was “the reason why this happened.”
“They got into a fight with the Tea Party, and all of this came out as a result of that,” she said.
Mr. Breitbart reached a similar conclusion, though from a different perspective. “They’re trying to make this about me and Shirley Sherrod. This is about the N.A.A.C.P.,” he said by phone. He said that the civil rights group had “spent an inordinate amount of airtime trying to brand the Tea Party as racist” while tolerating racism itself.