Faux News is blasting this highly edited tape of a speech given by Shirley Sherrod at her local NAACP Chapter. In the speech, she admits being conflicted about providing support to a white farmer 24 years ago when she worked with the Georgia field office for the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund (not the USDA), Mrs. Sherrod appears to giving a lesson on how she learned that race had no place in how she dealt with people. They byline of the story promoted by Faux, is that Mrs. Sherrod is “bragging about discriminating against whites.”
Secretary Visilak has fired Mrs. Sherrod, and yesterday, NAACP President Ben Jealous issued this statement –
“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.”
But there now appears to be a hole in the story presented by Faux. Just as in the ACORN Pimp case, the tape appears to have been carefully edited to exclude exactly what Mrs. Sherrod was saying.
I feel that it is time for the Department of Justice to step in and subpoena the entire tape. Should the exculpatory evidence be found on that tape, or it be found that Big Government and Faux willfully misrepresented the content or context of that speech – then criminal charges should be brought against all Big Government and Faux News employees responsible.
These charges should not be limited to individuals. If it is found that, as Mrs. Sherrod claims, the rest of the speech deals with how she personally exorcised the demons of racism – then, in light of a pattern of willful misrepresentation, injurious to individuals, their careers, as well as to ACORN, representing a criminal pattern, resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs – a petition should be filed by the DOJ to the FCC to remove Faux News’ broadcast license under the Telecom Act of 1937.
As to Ben Jealous pulling the trigger on this one so fast –
Ben – you fucked-up in not investigating fully the charges and the actual truth, especially in light of the historical pattern of racism, criminal misrepresentation, and lies put forth both by Faux and Big Government. It may well be that Mrs. Sherrod is innocent (it is possible she isn’t).
HOWEVER – I believe she should have been given the right to a fair hearing and investigation.
The USDA’s rural development director for Georgia says she was forced out of her federally appointed job after a “snippet” of a speech she gave in March appeared to show her admission to only half-heartedly aiding a struggling white farmer because of his race.
But in a phone interview from her home in Albany early Tuesday morning, Shirley Sherrod told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution that the two-minute, 38-second video posted online Monday by biggovernment.com and reported on by FoxNews.com and the AJC completely misconstrued the message she was trying to convey.
Sherrod, 62, insisted her statements in the video were not racist.
“For Fox to take a spin on this like they have done, and know it’s not the truth … it’s very upsetting,” she said.
In the video Sherrod, who is black, admits to the crowd at the NAACP banquet she didn’t do everything she could to help a white farmer whom she said was condescending when he came to her for aid.
“What he didn’t know while he was taking all that time trying to show me he was superior to me was, I was trying to decide just how much help I was going to give him,” Sherrod said in the video recorded March 27 in Douglas in southeast 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. So I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do. I did enough.”
But Tuesday morning, Sherrod said what online viewers weren’t told in reports posted throughout the day Monday was that the tale she told at the banquet happened 24 years ago — before she got the USDA job — when she worked with the Georgia field office for the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund.
Sherrod said the short video clip excluded the breadth of the story about how she eventually worked with the man over a two-year period to help ward off foreclosure of his farm, and how she eventually became friends with him and his wife.
“And I went on to work with many more white farmers,” she said. “The story helped me realize that race is not the issue, it’s about the people who have and the people who don’t. When I speak to groups, I try to speak about getting beyond the issue of race.”
Sherrod said the farmer, Roger Spooner of Iron City, Ga., has since died.
Responding to what he knew of the video Monday evening, Atlanta NAACP chapter president R.L. White recalled many years of unfair treatment against minority farmers when he told the AJC that the footage, at face value, “does suggest unfair treatment.”
“The playing table should be leveled,” said White, who wasn’t at the March event. “Everyone, regardless of race, creed or color, should be treated same way, regardless of the race of the administrator.”
And in a statement released to Fox News, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Sherrod’s resignation.
“There is zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA, and I strongly condemn any act of discrimination against any person,” Vilsack said in the statement.
An AJC reporter called Sherrod’s Albany home Monday evening but was unable to contact her until she reached out shortly after midnight.
“They were just looking at what the Tea Party and what Fox said, and thought it was too (politically) dangerous for them,” she said of the agriculture department.
The revelation of Sherrod’s statements came a week after the NAACP issued a resolution calling the National Tea Party racist for comments made against President Barack Obama and African-American congressmen during the health care debate.
Sherrod, 62, was appointed to her position in by Obama’s administration in July 2009 to manage more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs, and more than $114 billion in federal loans.
The AJC is trying to recover the full video footage of Sherrod’s speech to the Douglas NAACP.
She said the circumstances made it absurd for her to have made any racist comment.
“There were some white people there. The mayor (of Douglas) was there,” Sherrod recalled. “Why would I do something racist if they were there?”