If you haven’t heard about the Shirley Sherrod debacle, you might want to leave now, because I’m only going to give it a cursory overview before I get into the meat of this relatively short post (Miz Pink just went on a race thing the other day here, so why not me, too, eh?)
So, conservative asshole (or assholes), mess with video from a presentation that USDA official Shirley Sherrod made, in an attempt to make her look like a black racist who had perhaps been screwing over white farmers. Conservative dickhead Andrew “I don’t care if it’s true as long as it gets me hits” Briebart puts up the video. Fox News has a field day with it. Many others in the media, wanting to show they aren’t liberal elitists, jump all over Sherrod, too. The USDA reacts hastily and makes her quit.
In the span of a day, give or take, a woman is torn to pieces metaphorically. Then comes CNN with massive coverage showing that the tapes were doctored to make Sherrod look bad, when in fact white farmers and many other people have been quite happy with Sherrod’s work at the USDA.
Now, the head of the USDA is apologizing, and the White House is trying to make good and polish its image after what seems to be yet another attempt by the administration to show that it won’t play favorites with blacks, and will in fact throw them under the bus (as the saying goes).
Here’s what I’m not going to do:
Cuss out Andrew Briebart (he’s a dick and apparently cannot cease being so any more than Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck can. No one should have trusted anything that he touches, and the media should be ashamed for being led down the primrose path by him)
Blame Barack Obama (or anyone else in the White House. There is no reason to believe that Sherrod’s situation and firing would have gotten that high on the food chain. Obama and his core staff had bigger fish on the grill at that point with unemployment benefits and financial reform)
Here’s what I am going to do:
Shake my head, mutter and swear about how easily duped the mainstream media is these days.
Lament that people can get fired lickety-split these days over a controversy or rumors without anyone bothering to investigate whether there’s any basis to it all.
And finally, I’m going to ask, “Why?”
Why did someone think it was necessary to murder Sherrod’s reputation? Why paint her as evil and as some racist black woman in power? Why? Why doctor a video to target her?
That’s it. Someone was racist enough and hateful enough to try to ruin a black woman who apparently has done a lot of good (much of that good for white farmers and white poor people), just because she was black and, probably, because it might help make our black president look worse.
It’s not enough to just blame black folks for crimes they don’t commit or play up isolated incidents in their past to make them look militant or extreme. It’s not enough to jail them for crimes at higher rates and deny them not only their freedom but take away their future right to vote when white folks go free for the same crimes routinely.
No, none of that is enough.
Now, it’s necessary just to flat-out make shit up about a black person just because. Not even someone who’s at the top in power. Just a key official in a certain region doing her job. But because she’s black, it’s OK to make her look like a villain. With outright lies. Doctored video. Out of context comments.