Have you ever walked in on a conversation and misunderstood what was being discussed?
Sure you have – we all have missed the point when we don’t hear the full story or are told the full context.
In right wing circles, they are all clamoring to find that Black racist that proves that Blacks hate Whites as much as Whites hate Blacks. They want to support the comments made by Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh to prove that Obama is a racist. The thought that a man who is both white and black being racist is absurd, but there are people in this nation who believe the most unbelievable things. Their own racism shows when they fear that the other side of the coin believes the way that they do.
This desire to find anti-white racism where it isn’t is probably what led to conservative blogger and activist, Andrew Breitbart, to post a “2 minutes, 38 seconds of video clips of a black federal agriculture official saying she didn’t do everything she could to help a white farmer”. He merely found the part he wanted, posted it and watched as our nation – including our White House – lose its collective mind in a mad rush to judgment.
In one day, the black official – Shirley Sherrod – has been forced to resign by an administration who should have dug deeper into the facts. She is villainized by the right wing press, including Bill O’Reily (who is usually a bit more levelheaded). The clip plays every where until levelheads prevail and it is pointed out that the words taken out of context seem racist. However; context is everything and, if you don’t hear Sherrod’s entire speech, you miss her whole point, which is decidedly not racist.
Like the conversation that starts before you arrive.
I’m ashamed that the administration has to backpedal. Robert Gibbs made a full apology. The administration should take some of the blame for the mess that is now out there.
But, the media, who jumped on the story like a starving man jumping on a Big Mac, should shoulder the majority of the blame.
Even Glenn Beck, who surprisingly didn’t jump on the story (as far as I can tell), said “What’s happening here is that she’s guilty until proven innocent. They fired her and now they are back-pedaling. There’s no due process here. Doesn’t an American have a right to a fair trial? They have politically assassinated this woman. No one has heard the case for or against her, they just took her out. When did we stop having the right to face our accusers?”
A rare message of reason from Mr. Beck. He’s right. The administration went too far, but the media led the crusade against Shirley Sherrod. And, for that, they should hang their heads in shame.