The media and progressive-left Democrats now appear in a rush to convict Andrew Breitbart of shoddy journalism, while exonerating Shirley Sherrod and the NAACP from charges of abiding racism within their ranks. Both Sherrod and the NAACP have charged the Tea Party movement and the Republican Party with racism, while offering less proof than Breitbart did of the racism he correctly alleged. In many cases, the Left has outright manufactured evidence of racism regarding Tea Party events, yet no one has raised a voice about that slander at all. If one didn't know better, this wouldn't be today's news, but an Orwellian script circa 1984.
At approximately 17 minutes into the now-released full video of the event, Sherrod can be heard relaying a tale from her past in which she initially failed to help a white farmer with the full effort she would reserve for a black farmer.
The assembled crowd of card-carrying members of the NAACP took great pleasure in that, their laughter was not nervous at all. That is a contemporaneous expression of racism by today's politically correct standards, not racism from some 40 years ago.
Sherrod later says, "It's not so much about white…" then catches herself and says, "It IS about white and black." Perhaps Sherrod should explain why, even today, color is so centrally important in her work, be it at the Agriculture Department or elsewhere.
Breitbart’s web-posting of the speech showed more racism at one NAACP event than those charging Republicans and Tea Parties with racism have yet to produce after making accusations for months on end. The people making that charge include both Sherrod and the NAACP, neither of which has produced any proof. But it is Breitbart who should be convicted for false charges in the court of public opinion? That is totally absurd given the actual facts.
Sherrod twice decried present-day racism, as if it was 400 years ago. That suggests a person whose views on race have not truly changed at all. But she doesn't stop there. Sherrod says, "I haven't seen such mean-spirited people as I have seen lately over this issue, healthcare. Some of the racism we thought was buried, didn't it surface."
In Sherrod's world, no one is allowed to object to a significant Obama-supported policy change impacting the healthcare of all Americans without being labeled a racist. Clearly Sherrod sees everything through the lens of color or race. If her view is not racist, it is supremely ignorant and unfit for a public official. It is meant to marginalize any and all legitimate opposition to a political act. Sherrod is merely projecting her own racism into a perfectly rational, legitimate political debate so as to avoid it. That is not democracy; it is race-based demagogy commonly employed by racists everywhere. And still she was not done.
During the Bush years, says Sherrod, "We didn't do the stuff these Republicans are doing because you have a black President." Gone is any valid argument over actual policy, fiscal restraint, government growth, or control of healthcare—supported or opposed by entire national political parties. In Sherrod's world, everything is all and only about race. If that isn't a tenet of racism, then what is? Without ignorant race-based presumptions, otherwise known as racism, Sherrod's entire scope of political argument falls apart.
Atty. Gen. Eric Holder said America is a nation of cowards on matters of race. He was correct, but in a manner he likely didn't predict. The racism Breitbart revealed is the racism of the Shirley Sherrods of the progressive-leftist Democratic Party and the NAACP. Afraid to honestly look at and address that, the usual leftist suspects are simply turning the tables as a distraction in a weak effort to instead attack Breitbart.
Breitbart did exactly what he set out and claimed to do, put the inherent racism of the NAACP and the American left on full display.
Additionally troubling are Sherrod's race-based political views that amount to Marxism. She sees an America in thirds. Evil capitalists are at the top, exploiting racist divisions to maintain control. She argues that whites were deliberately propped up to make them feel superior to blacks, which they apparently still do in Sherrod's view. Blacks then bring up the rear, seemingly oppressed by all. The racism in that view is inherent and severe, no matter how much she would try and dismiss it with an anecdote or two. Clearly in Sherrod's view, what is needed is the type of government-dictated economy more like a Marxist state, than the America we know and live in today.
Sadly, Sherrod wants to pass on that view to young black Americans. How tragic that she would saddle a next generation of black Americans with such an ill considered, ignorant, utterly divisive and ridiculous view.
If there's anyone who needs to apologize, it is a Shirley Sherrod unfit for public service and the NAACP—not Andrew Breitbart, who did precisely what he claimed he set out to do.
Dan Riehl works as a political consultant in Washington, DC and also maintains a popular Internet blog, www.Riehlworldview.com.