Shirley Sherrod is a civil rights pioneer, married to civil rights legend Charles Sherrod, a leading member of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, who risked their lives to challenge Jim Crow segregation of the sixties.
She gave a speech last March on the problem of classism in
She had no idea how her words would be manipulated and used in a high-profile political fight that would ultimately end in a demand for her resignation.
But that’s what happened.
And when conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart manipulated Mrs. Sherrod’s speech to make it look like she had denied a farmer help because he was white, he may or may not have realized the full video would have eventually surfaced.
In the immediate aftermath, Mrs. Sherrod was decried as a “reverse racist” and denounced not only by those in the conservative media, but by CNN and others in the mainstream media, by the Obama administration and even the NAACP. Mere hours had gone by before she received a call on her cell phone demanding her resignation.
It didn’t take long for the truth to come out.
The white farmers Breitbart accused Mrs. Sherrod of refusing to help went in front of the camera and made it as clear as they could. Shirley Sherrod helped them in every way.
Then, the full tape was released.
And with the full tape, everybody could plainly see what Shirley Sherrod was saying in her speech. She did not say that she had denied anyone help because they were white.
The speech was clearly about the need for all the working class of
And Andrew Breitbart was discredited.
Mrs. Sherrod got apologies from the NAACP, the Obama administration and Bill O’Reilly.
It would seem that everyone would want to keep Breitbart at arm’s length.
But he has been invited by the Republican National Committee to participate next month at a GOP fundraiser.
Tickets to the donor event in
Breitbart and RNC Chairman Michael Steele are listed as confirmed speakers to the August 12 event.
They will update donors on the RNC’s strategies to win back the House and Senate in the upcoming midterm elections.
The invitation has been confirmed by the RNC, but they have declined to discuss the event further.
And now here comes my own personal commentary that I have to reserve for my blog. Here goes.
ANDREW BREITBART? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
Okay, now I'm talking to all of you out there in fucktard land. Did you know what Breitbart said when he was caught in his lie? He said that he wasn’t trying to make Mrs. Sherrod look bad. He was trying to make the audience look bad for clapping. And that sounds believable to you?
But that was his explanation.
Mr. Breitbart, you say you were trying to make the people who were clapping look bad? That's your story? That’s the best you can come up with?
You’re not even fucking trying, are you?
Remind me to never fucking ever bet anything of value on Andrew Breitbart's lying skills.
The fact that the RNC isn’t keeping this slimy git as far away from them as possible is mind-blowing, and very telling at the same time. When you think about it, Breitbart is just a guy emulating Karl Rove. He’s just not as good as covering his shit up yet.
But those are the small details that can be learned. Breitbart has shown himself to be a clever and willing character assassin. He’s willing to exploit the prejudices of the American public and ignite racial tensions to win power for his side. He just needs some training on how to cover his tracks better.
The RNC has shown with this invitation that they are very impressed with Breitbart’s willingness to take aim at Shirley Sherrod, one of the great heroes of the 20th century, and assassinate her character, her career and her legacy. Yes, they publicly apologized because they had to, but this invitation is Michael Steele’s way of telling Breitbart that he liked his work.
Even more disturbing than the invitation to next month’s fundraiser is the role Breitbart has been asked to play. He, along with Michael Steele, will be talking about strategies on how to win the upcoming election.
That’s right. Breitbart isn’t only a guest. He’ll be addressing the group as a strategist. His approach to politics is one of deliberate deceit, crushing the reputations of
And when they invited this discredited, disgraced blogger to talk strategy regarding the upcoming midterm, the RNC has essentially announced they intend to use that strategy of deceit, slander and exploitation of our lowest, basest fears and prejudices.
All of this should make me very angry, but it doesn’t. It just makes me sad.
Because the truth is that their strategy could very well work and that just makes me want to weep for my country.
It blows my mind knowing full well that there are a lot of people out there who are not going to see through this.
And I’m not talking about delusional simpletons, either. These are people I know are smart and reasonable and should know better.
I have friends and family, people who are compassionate and intelligent, who I respect, who will refuse to see that the RNC is purposely rewarding a man who deliberately tried to destroy one of the heroes of the civil rights movement in a revenge hit against the NAACP for their criticism of the tea party movement.
It doesn’t matter what your ideology is.
The fact that in recent years, people have jumped to defend the most unconscionable acts of the people who will help them keep their power is sickening.
There is no sense any more that wrong is wrong.
There are conservatives who are honorable. I know many of them. As a socialist, I have to say they are absolutely wrong about everything, but they are my neighbors, family members and friends and they genuinely believe the path the right has chiseled out is good for our country.
Once again, good people can be mistaken as hell and I have no choice but to fight them every step of the way in the political arena. But many of these people, I know for a fact are not malicious.
So, how can they put up with these horrible men who have hijacked what they believe are honorable values?
How can they tolerate Rove and Steele and Rumsfeld and Cheney and Bush and I could fill a whole paragraph, but I won’t.
I’ve gone on long enough. I’m going to sum it up with this.
Debate, discourse and arguments are good. They keep us sharp and they make us rethink everything. We see things in different lights because we disagree with others and nothing could be healthier. Republicans and Democrats should all have at least one Socialist friend like me to tell them that there’s a better way. And it’s good for me to hear the other side from someone I care about and respect rather than some dick on the radio who I can easily hate. It gives me perspective.
But there are people out there who are hurting the debate. It’s people like Breitbart who have taken the honesty out of honest disagreement.
And if anyone cares, I'm listening to: