I think by now you are all familiar with the Shirley Sherrod affair. John Hawkins summarizes at Right Wing News for all of you who would like to get caught up. Long story short, a clipped video shows her speaking about how she once denied help to a white farmer, but the full clip demonstrates that she had a change of heart. She resigned (was fired) from the USDA, but it’s fairly obvious that she has been, in many ways, wronged by the incident. Andrew Breitbart claims that he did not have the full video and was not the one who did the selective editing. I give him the benefit of the doubt on that one, and I think the over-reaction to the incident is just the release of pent-up frustration by many on the left towards someone who has beaten them at their own game repeatedly. But she did not deserve to lose her job over this incident.
That said, as Hawkins goes on to explain, we shouldn’t exactly be shedding too many tears for poor Shirley. Here is another clip from the same speech. The key moment comes at 2:20.
While there is much in this clip to commend – “we’re not different” – there’s also some questionable history. But that’s neither here nor there. In this case, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that he intentions are not malignant. However, her mini-rant about the tea party movement (or the anti-health care reform movement) is mind-numbingly stupid. For those who don’t want to or can’t watch the video, she said:
I haven’t seen such mean people as I’ve seen lately over this issue of health care. Some of the racism we thought was buried, didn’t it surface? (Ed: I couldn’t quite catch those last couple of words. She might have said “resurfaced.”) We endured eight years of the Bushes and we didn’t do the stuff these Republicans are doing because you have a black president.
So we return to the typical line of stupidity. The only reason we oppose health care reform is because we’re all a bunch of Neanderthal racists, and our contempt for the president has nothing to do with his policies – oh no – it’s all about his skin color.
Is this a firing offense? Not with this administration, otherwise there would be no one left in it.