Why Were Obama, Andrew Breitbart & Ben Jealous So Quick To Demonize Shirley Sherrod?

Who wants to be integrated into a burning house? – MLK

Where’s Newt Gingrich when you need him? He was offering his assistance and support to the NAACP last week in their stupid misguided attempt at promoting faux controversies and blatant fundraising schemes fighting racism by denouncing the Tea Party. Not to help black people of course but to divide and conquer.  I bet you Ben Jealous would sure love a distraction story right now.

This is the same Newt Gingrich who led a very successful Republican obstructionist/attack  agenda when he served as Speaker Of The House during the Clinton Administration amongst other things. Thanks to Billy Jeff’s proclivities, their failed attempt at impeachment and constant pressure he signed the very flawed Telecommunications Act of 1996 into law. I’m reminding you dear readers of this most recent history because it ties into this latest debacle from the last 24-hours.

We all know how redundant the FCC is especially if you use online media, have a cell phone, watch cable, listen to the radio, require internet access and have seen prices skyrocket while the quality of programming has sunk to the depths of mediocrity. That’s due to the deregulation that allowed for a concentration of media ownership by one company. Some would simply call it monopoly, but it’s not nearly as fun to play as the board game.

We’ve seen what havoc banking deregulation (initiated by Republicans, co-signed by the co-opted and spineless Democrats)  has brought down on this country (and the world). Our economy has yet to recover and will never go back to the way we once knew things. Due to the constant deregulation pushed by the Republican agenda conglomerates have taken over, independent media has been almost completely marginalized and terrestrial radio is craptastic.  In case this doesn’t connect with you, 1996 was also the year Fox went on the air. Oh happy joy!

What the FCC hasn’t bungled, the FTC will gut and kill off given the chance since they’ll be targeting those of us who write content in online forums and use social networking. So rabble rouse while you can before they roll up on us gangbanger-style.  

This ties into the lack of enforcable standards of so-called traditional journalism along with television standards and practices – of which there doesn’t seem to be much left.  Andrew Breitbart took it upon himself to enlighten us with a doctored version of a speech given in March by former USDA Director of Rural Development for Georgia Shirley Sherrod.

In this speech Sherrod discussed her own personal history at separating unfavorable racial attitudes and unpleasant life experiences in light of meeting the needs of people. Just a quick background, Sherrod is 62 so she would remember the Jim Crow era and life before Civil Rights. Also her father was murdered by a white male KKK member when she was 17. She went on to tell how she had to set aside the previous negativity when she oversaw a case involving a white farmer who needed assistance.

She was not an employee of the USDA at the time. This also occurred in the 1980’s.

Breitbart made it seem as if this was something that happened recently while in her current role instead of a Reagan-era event. Remember Ronald Reagan, the denier of AIDS and race-baiter? Fox News and quite a few others who lack real journalistic standards jumped all over this story.

So let’s connect the dots: Gingrich  –> Breitbart –> Media That Spins A Negative False Story  –> Race  Distortion vs. REAL Racism–>

Now how does the NAACP jump in the mix? Well….I think they were so busy being outraged they didn’t bother to do any DUE DILIGENCE. They publicly condemned Sherrod for…wait for it…RACISM! Of course the NAACP knows all about racism…against black women for ignoring the needs of their most loyal constituents. Let’s never forget how the West Palm Beach chapter joined with Rev Hot Comb Al Sharpton in defending the now-convicted Dunbar Village rapists.

Trail of Shame for the Shameless: Gingrich —> Breitbart —> YELLOW JOURNALISM —>NAACP —> SEXISM and…the Obama Administration.

How? Well they also denounced Sherrod and she was coerced into resigning. She was harrassed while she was driving for goodness sake! Didn’t any of these people take Oprah’s No Phone Zone pledge?

Sherrod said she received a phone call from the USDA‘s deputy undersecretary Cheryl Cook  on Monday while she was in a car. Cook told her that the White House wanted her to call it quits.

“They called me twice,” Sherrod told the Associated Press. “The last time they asked me to pull over the side of the road and submit my resignation on my Blackberry, and that’s what I did.”  NY Daily News

Apparently they were scurred of Glen Beck doing a story on Sherrod but curiously enough he refused. Since Beck hasn’t let something like facts get in his way of spreading chaos and mayhem perhaps someone should’ve paid close attention. Sherrod should have told them to shove it and hired a lawyer immediately but she’s probably a loyalist who takes orders without question.  If the Obama Administration was not hell-bent on distancing itself from the needs of blacks and stopped being overly concerned with the right wingers (i.e white people mad he’s in office) then perhaps Obama would take a stance for something for a change.  It’s a combination of obvious fear on the part of this President for standing up to the obstructionists and the lack of control over his message that makes him appear far too eager to meet with the approval of those who will always seek his failure.

Some people won’t even allow for such concessions and see a trend where blacks will be literally ignored into oblivion. It’s certainly time other black people reassess their near-blind support for Obama and start exacting some standards PUBLICLY. A reality check is in order for the condition of the entire collective. After all, black women were the largest percentage of voters for Obama to begin with. The backpedalling (or CYA) from the White House has already begun as it’s floated by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack it was his decision to fire Sherrod without input from the White House. Yeah right.

The NAACP misleadership should be ashamed of themselves for jumping the gun and attacking a woman who could be the grandmother next door. Her speech was taken out of context and no one bothered to check!  Ben Jealous was on tv last night making a fool himself apparently but by then I was tired of watching this media circus. He and Obama are at least a generation removed from those who fought for Civil Rights. Nor is Obama African-American. They’ve certainly enjoyed the benefits of the sacrifices of women like Shirley Sherrod. Breibart is a less-clever copycat of yellow journalists but his throw rocks and duck tactic is effective yet predictable.

It’s time we take a stand for justice.

1. Ben Jealous needs to be fired

2. President Obama needs to apologize to Sherrod – and us for his failure in leadership

3. Shirley Sherrod needs to have her job reinstated OR whatever else she wants (including winning a defamation lawsuit against Breitbart and the NAACP)

4. We need journalistic standards and integrity put on the front burner and an overhaul of the monkey-see monkey-do crew

Perhaps Sherrod can embark on a career discussing race and sexism in a society where white and (half) black men all join together to piss all over who they view to be defenseless : a black woman. Or take a nice looong vacation. It’s shoould be HER choice and I hope she doesn’t let them off the hook without recompense. Thank goodness an inter-racial and inter-generational group of people  have pushed back against her being permanently blacklisted. I’m also relieved to see black people distinguish the difference between a true injustice versus excusing criminals.

Andrew Breitbart is just flexing his muscles as he makes his play as a more telegenic Rush Limbaugh. He’s as greasy and slimy as that BP Oil Spill and even more toxic. No matter, he’s tipped his hand. Lucifer wants us to know he has better things to occupy his time with than messing with 62 year old grandmothers – but Breitbart’s just shot up on the list for the Hell Hounds to greet in the pit.

Ben Jealous says he’s “sorry” and he’ll talk to Sherrod when he’s back in GA. Does she even want to meet with Jealous? Sounds like it’s on his “high-priority” list between swimming in warm tea, television appearances and fighting white hegemony for profit.

Obama will continue to kowtow (let’s keep it real) but at least it’ll be far more obvious to those that ought to be paying attention. This is a teachable moment so pay attention: black males will continue to jockey for power in a partriarchy-based hegemony war  with white males at our expense even at that level. They need to know black women will not continue to be used as canon fodder

The rush to frame racism, misuse charges of racism and denial of racism by males in power will ALWAYS fail when they refuse to account for their SEXISM. Obama wasted his race “grace period” when he foolishly stuck up for Skippy “I’m more European than African” Gates last summer. Remember the “Beer Summit” where the white cop said he would not aplogize and didn’t? Shirley Sherrod deserves so much more! If this is how the administration is going to treat blacks (particularly black women) in America it’s going to be a rotten six years (provided he’s reelected).

Here’s something else for all the black women who continue to support the do-little organizations from the Industrial Complex and/or blowhard politicians and pundits to consider:

After you’ve devoted all of your free time building them up and your financial resources at sustaining them what have they done for you lately? They’ve moved from ignoring the needs of black women (supporting black male criminals and miscreants)  to openly attacking you. Do you still plan on supporting them after this? Or will you claim it was anomoly? Don’t be caught with no safety net or backup support when they’re done leeching from you.

This is the video in its entirety. If you fast forward to 16:00 you’ll get to the best parts.


30 comments to Why Were Obama, Andrew Breitbart & Ben Jealous So Quick To Demonize Shirley Sherrod?

  • I feel bad for Shirley; I think people took her comments way out of context. Anyone could bend your words into what they want it to be. I was reading a post (I edited the link) . I think people need to take more time to analyze what someone is saying before throwing them under the bus.

  • Hodan

    Khadija: "I say “NO” to this. I want Pres. Obama to do for AA interests what Jewish-American politicians do for Jewish interests and the foreign state of Israel. I want Pres. Obama to do for AAs what HE does for Jewish interests and the foreign country of Israel!"

    Hodan: You got no argument from me on this. Indeed, Obama should start being loyal to those who put him in office….from white progressives to blacks and hispanics. As the saying goes, dance with the one who brought you, and Obama and his operative political machine has yet to show us their loyalty.

    However, in the same breath I know it will take few years to realize much of what you, his voters want. Israel is a unique case because its based on imperialism and colonial power out of the League of Nation (Great Britain, France, Germany, etc), who created the State as a pay off for committing genocide against millions of them. I don't have to tell you the history of Palestine and the violent foundation that is today's state of Israel, where Britain was replace by the US as its protector in the name of Oil and political domination in the ME.

    I think its up to every American who is not a puritanical ideologue to keep Obama's feet to the fire, while at the same time recognizing his achievements.

  • Nysee

    I want to apologize in an earlier post about being through with Obama. Please forgive me. But I will use that energy to make sure that our vote in 2012 is heard due to volunteering a the polls and also writing to our State Reps. He has put in to place that was not there before regarding education. A lot of these thibngs are coming to the fore front because of previous Admiistration and he reaping the consequesnces. I love your blog and I want to make sure that our vote does count and we are heard as BW. Because our vote is our voice.

  • stella

    "Right now we’re getting all this racially motivated blowback and *none* not *any* racially motivated favoritism! That’s a bad deal and my vote is up for grabs for that reason."

    Excellent Point!!!

  • Hodan,

    I respectfully and cheerfully agree to disagree. I don't like linking to my own posts on somebody else's blog (Faith, I apologize), but in several posts I linked to articles that documented how Pres. Obama has continued key Bush foreign policies AND kept key Bush appointees in place. Here and here.

    You said, "Obama admin is the most successful so-called liberal administration since LBJ. He passed more legislation than any other democratic president since the 60s."

    This is the same as the NAACP touting their useless, unknown to the public, and ineffective "initiatives." Which I believe ties into your point when you said, "The problem is that his success from health care coverage (32 million Americans covered and controlling the cost of Health Insurance), Equal Pay Act, Hate crime law, Student Loan, Financial Regulations, etc, etc…have yet to reflect public opinion (mostly bc the economy is still recovering)."

    I would submit to you that nobody feels any benefit from his so-called "success" because the compromises he made to get these bills passed rendered them totally ineffective. If legislation is not being felt in people's lives, what is the point?

    You said, "On the gay agenda, Obama has more gays and transvestite couples/individuals leading prominent positions within his admin."

    I can't speak for gays and lesbians. But their leadership appears to have the common sense to NOT be satisfied with tokenism. [Unlike AAs who are delighted to see "Black faces in high places." Even if those Black faces are working against our interests, such as Condi Rice, Colin Powell. I'll never forget the antics of similar "first Blacks" like Mayor Wilson Goode who presided over the police firebombing and destruction of an AA neighborhood in Philadelphia. AA children lost their lives because of his weakness and inaction.]

    You said, "He and Congress will repeal DADT."

    Time will tell. Again, the gays have the sense (unlike AAs) to refuse to cooperate with their interests being ignored or delayed. They expect prompt action from the politician who solicited their support on the premise that he would advance their interests.

    You said, "Obama despite his failings, is not just the President of black America, he represents all Americans, even those who wish him ill."

    I say "NO" to this. I want Pres. Obama to do for AA interests what Jewish-American politicians do for Jewish interests and the foreign state of Israel. I want Pres. Obama to do for AAs what HE does for Jewish interests and the foreign country of Israel!

  • Hodan

    Thanks for this lengthy discussion/debate sisters. So here is some of my last comments:


    "The problem is that, like most crossover Black politicians, Pres. Obama is not “tangible,” and he’s not “standing between” (=blocking) anything the right-wing nuts want to do. He just pretends to be doing that—it’s his way of hustling AA and progressive voters.

    The gays caught on very quickly that they had been tricked."

    Hodan: I would have to respectfully disagree with you Khadija. Obama admin is the most successful so-called liberal administration since LBJ. He passed more legislation than any other democratic president since the 60s. The problem is that his success from health care coverage (32 million Americans covered and controlling the cost of Health Insurance), Equal Pay Act, Hate crime law, Student Loan, Financial Regulations, etc, etc…have yet to reflect public opinion (mostly bc the economy is still recovering).

    On the gay agenda, Obama has more gays and transvestite couples/individuals leading prominent positions within his admin. He and Congress will repeal DADT. Obama might not be quick on his feet when it comes to showing he is a fighter against white racists bend in destroying him, but he has done a lot for average Americans. Most of it will positively impact the poor who are disproportionally minority.

    here is a video summed up by Rachel Maddow…a prominent journalist and one of the best media figure out there:


    Faith, Obama despite his failings, is not just the President of black America, he represents all Americans, even those who wish him ill. I'm not an American even thou I have families and lived there, but as a fellow neighbor to your north, I see him from the outside looking in. I'm a political animal and know the pattern of political operation, which is why I never expected him to be any better than the average moderate democrat. I wish I could pass him some real balls to give up on the bipartisan bullshit and lead this country by arguing for his agenda instead of coattailing to every f'ng fringe group.

    lastly, Rangel is not one where any black America should waste their time defending. Yes, he's no more evil than the corrupt in his own party and that of the Repubs, but its time for him to go and let some new fresh blood, preferably a black woman get elected representing his district.

  • Miss V

    I'm wondering what it will take for more black women to accept the fact that we're on our own.

  • Hodan

    I'm sorry ladies, but under what planet do you think American politics has ever been about one person? Is Obama some perfect Messiah-like who was expected to right every wrong in America under 2 yrs? This is a country that was f%&$* up by Bush for 8 yrs, not to mention the conservative vodoo-economic movement that began with Reagan and continued under Clinton.

    I have little respect for the NAACP, but I would never put them in the same line of bigots like Breitbart who make their millions scaring White America with: black people are gonna get you political campaigning that existed since the Jim Crow.

    Call me cynical, but Obama has bigger fish to fry than Ms. Shirley. I highly doubt with 2 wars, an economy in the tank, right wing political machine that is trying to destroy his 18 months old administration, he would know what youtube video comes out of a low level bureaucrat.

    You can be done with Obama, but he's the only tangible political entity standing between you and the politically bankrupted idiots called Republicans and the delusional right wing who think he's a Muslim/Communist/Fascist/Marxist/ect/ect.

    I would criticize Obama for not fighting against endless smears from Fox and its right wign political operative machine. Because at the end of the day, politics is a contact sport and unless you are willing to get dirty and break the bully after you, he'll only get bolder and more dangerous. It began with Van Jone, then ACORN and now Ms. Shirley Sherrod.

  • Nysee

    I am SOOOOOO DONE WITH OBAMA. Black Women we need to wake-up and smell the coffee big time. I wonder what does Michelle think of her husband not supporting the her. Also I

    heard the whole tape and she was more made reference to CLASS not RACE. When someone out right show you their a**, then get the

    h**l away from them quick fast and in a hurry. No more excuses should be made for DBR no matter what his status is . When people tell you they hate you and show it, peace out.

    BLACK WOMEN, (think insert your name) fisrt and foremost period.

  • Felicia

    I am truly repulsed with the actions of the NAACP and the Obama Administration. I didn't expect much from Andrew Breitbart to begin with.

    All I am happy about is, I've never given ONE DIME to the NAACP and never will. What low down something that rhymes with duckers.

    They had the FULL TAPE? And STILL were a** kissing and agreeing these Tea Party types? Turning against this good woman who helped the white farmer who's been singing her praises in interviews? All the while amening her when she was giving her excellent speech?

    A big WTF reason does ANY BW have supporting such a useless turncoat detrimental to BW organization like the NAACP?

    That is a true mystery to me…

    Anyway a good brief summary of this stupid, ignorant and unnecessary fiasco can be found at NPR.


  • Bellydancer

    Even the white farmer's wife said that Shirley did a good job helping them with their problem with the farm. USDA is playing games with this woman because she sued them once for black farmers rights they were looking for a lynching and now have to put the ropes up even white people are like damn WTF Obama get yo people!

  • stella

    A simple statement such as, " the matter is under investigation" could have sufficed. The Obama administration would have learned the facts of the case and proceeded accordingly. However, a black woman is always expendable so let's just go ahead and denounce her to save our own hide. The NAACP is best known for nominating people like Angelina Jolie for awards and lending support to black male criminals. I hope Sherron get's a great lawyer.

  • Tracy

    I am with aBetty; I too am done with Obama. I am so disgusted that he has allowed these fools to run his administration. Anyone else would have told them where to take themselves and yet he still jumps when they say so.

    Don't even get me started on the NAACP.

  • aBetty

    Excellent post and thank you for breaking this down. It disgusts me the way Shirley Sherrod was demonized and then to have the NAADBRBM come out and co-sign this nonsense, to basically say she should be let go…why? Because some right wing dude said "Jump!"? They didn't have all the facts, pieced-together tape and all that. Fresh off that manufactured outrage at (and publicity from) tea party racism (and come on, we all know that they are outraged at the racism directed at BM), I can imagine that these pathetic syncopants were chomping at the bit to appeal to the administration and tear this black woman down.

    Done with Obama. So done. This is what Reverend Wright was talking about. I wonder if he will invite the USDA chief and Sherrod to sit in the garden and have a beer. Sherrod is not a black man from Harvard, so I doubt it.

  • tertiaryanna

    "The rush to frame racism, misuse charges of racism and denial of racism by males in power will ALWAYS fail when they refuse to account for their SEXISM. "

    This is something to remember come the next election cycle. There's too much " wanting something for nothing" when it comes to courting BW's votes.

  • I'm (mildly) curious to see:

    1-How many, if any, of the NAACP's BW footsoldiers finally catch the hint after this episode. I already know that the hardcore Obama-ssiah worshippers will never wake up.

    2-How long it'll take for Black status-quo-supporters to start telling those Black folks who are offended about this that "it's time to move past" this. If I gambled, I would say sometime early next week.

    Expect Success!

  • Bellydancer

    Speaking of farmers especially the black ones who have been complaining for years about discrimination while applying for loans where are all these people then. Has Obama called the USDA and told them to stop discriminating against black farmers all it would take is for him to submit this request on his damn blackberry!