Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Shocked, but not surprised

Here's a Fox News story about a black USDA official resigning her job. Shirley Sherrod resigned because she admitted in a speech to the NAACP that she didn't help a white farmer as much as she could have. Read it carefully and fully, because there are lessons to be learned.

Okay, now here's the video, so you can see it for yourself. It's not really required viewing, other than to be able to say you saw it with your own eyes and heard it with your own ears.

Two points to be made here. First of all, Sherrod felt completely comfortable talking about her racism in a public forum. Even in the telling of her story, she displays her racism -- "one of his own" "it IS about white and black." She also tossed in that it (whatever "it" is) is about "poor versus those who have." Her whole message seems to be that opportunity is predatory. Blacks must fight whites, poor must fight those who are not poor.

Whatever the point of her story, she apparently believed that in that particular forum, the audience would either understand her racism, or sympathize with it. Now imagine the firestorm that would follow if a white official casually made such a statement. He would likely be prosecuted, and his name would be used as a verb for decades.

To its credit, the NAACP has condemned Sherrod's statements and actions. My first point is this -- why would anyone ever feel comfortable enough to admit such a thing in public? Doesn't such conduct call for head-bowing, toe-scuffing embarrassment?

My second point is at the very end of the Fox story. Here's the quote from Sherrod: "There are jobs at USDA and many times there are no people of color to fill those jobs because we shy away from agriculture. We hear the word agriculture and think, why are we working in the fields?" she said. "You've heard of a lot of layoffs. Have you heard of anybody in the federal government losing their job? That's all I need to say."

'Nuff sed.

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