The Shirley Sherrod story is a fascinating one (even if you happen to be Shirley Sherrod). In a speech to an NAACP group, in telling the story of how she overcame feelings of racial prejudice, she tells the story of a white farm family, in danger of losing their farm over twenty years ago, whom she helped, but only to a limit. There was a mild tittering in the audience.
Andrew Breitbart, who is an embarrassment to the internet media, distributes a clip of Ms. Sherrod’s speech, which is read by the media, and especially but not exclusively by Fox News, as indicative of (you decide) either racism in the Obama administration (Sherrod works for the Agriculture Department) or racism inherent in the thinking of black America. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, either on his own or at the urging or agreement of the White House, immediately fires her.
Of course, it turns out that Ms. Sherrod was not giving an overtly racist speech, but rather a healing and motivational speech (one which she delivered from time to time) about how her reaction 20 years ago was wrong, how she realized that her focus should not be on race, but that her job was to fight poverty and help anyone who suffers from that particular social condition, and how it was this instance that helped her learn that important lesson that she is now passing along.
You could not ask for a better speech.
But further, it seems that the white farm couple involved, remember nothing of a racial attitude on the part of Sherrod, but instead credit her with working very hard on their behalf, putting them in touch with a helpful bankruptcy attorney, and saving their farm. They considered her as having gone well beyond her duty.
Now what really happened, we don’t know. Perhaps 24 years ago, Shirley Sharrod did harbor strong anti-white feelings, and masked them when communicating directly with the white couple. Or perhaps, they simply did not pick up on feelings, which she was not really trying to hide. Or perhaps in telling her story, she exaggerates what happened twenty plus years ago; after all, stories used to make a point are always the better when exaggerated to make the biggest impact.
And once the real story came out, as well all know, everyone properly rushed to apologize. Even some of the Fox News reporters like Bill O’Reilly admitted they were wrong. So did Vilsack. And President Obama called her up. And she has been offered her job back (perhaps with a promotion that she doesn’t even want). Of course, Breitbart didn’t really apologize. He said he never meant to harm her (ha, ha), that he was after the NAACP, and it was others who decided to focus on Sharrod.
But what about Karl Rove? He takes the cake. Rove, who has some position as a commentator on Fox, was interviewed about the incident a day or two ago. He too admitted in the interview that Sharrod did not appear to be a racist. But did he leave it at that?
No. Karl Rove went on to say that, while she may not be a racist, she is doing something at least as bad, or maybe worse. By saying her job (Georgia State Department of Agriculture Rural Development Director) was to help poor people, SHE WAS INCITING CLASS WARFARE!!!!!!
Am I the only one who heard that?