Shirley Sherrod, former Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recalls how she was fired by the Obama administration after becoming the target of the late right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart. Her new text is The Courage to Hope: How I Stood Up to the Politics of Fear.
A Beacon of Light
Inspiring us to Love
And Reminding Us. . .
There’s Work to be Done!
This is a great interview with a great person.
I wonder if she is aware of the role she played in bringing sanity back to millions of African Americans. I am convinced that when historians (who study her case in relation to a shift in African American political attitudes toward the current admn.)) reach a conclusion on a pivotal point, Mrs. Shirley Sherrod's case (through no intent or volition of her own) will be cited as significant. I was vacationing when the news reports describing how she'd been forced to resign (fired) without due process first broke. I remember the anger felt by those in the Black community over her case upon my return and in discussions prior to my return--- this decent person was treated, not only unfairly, but also disrespectfully, on the word of a zealous right-wing sociopath.
He slandered Mrs. Sherrod to prove a delirious idea that the NACCP was a racist organization, and she was a racist as evidenced by a speech she'd made.The problem with the scheme, however, was that the sociopath had doctored the evidence.
What angered many people, forcing them to do a reality check, was that not only had leadership of the NAACP been "snookered" by the sociopath / psychopath, but the admin. had also rushed to judgement. It was one of the first times that mass Black dissent became public, and unapologetic. She reminds / reminded many of us of our mothers, grandmothers, and aunts. We felt the insult fully.
I disagree with her belief, however, that there's hope where there obviously is none. Instead, a right- wing agenda has been stimulus- paired (associated) with a progressive agenda in order to get the reponse that a progressive agenda would get in the interest of a progressive agenda. But the problem is, because it is a right-wing agenda, all enegry goes to the right-wing, whose agenda it is in the first place. It only looks progressive via false marketing and progressives' own psychological projections.
Nevertheless, my respect for Mrs. Shirley Sherrod is unalterable. I will definitely read her book.
I wish her well.
I really enjoyed this discussion as it was a pleasant surprise. I must say, however, that I was somewhat disappointed that the hsots were not prepared to listen to what sister SHerrod was saying about rage. Instead of listening, they kept pushing back, demanding that she express the outrage they felt. This was difficult to hear, over and over, from both Smiley and West, yet I was amazed at how sister Sherrod stood her group and kept insisting that the goals and terms of are freedom are much more important than picking out who wronged her. In that light, the outrage that Smiley and West continued to express sounded like they took the issu personally, indeed, the Sherrod controversy had become a war of egos for them. They demanded to hold the moral place against the moral "misstep" of the administration. Yet, to paraphrase sister Sherrod, we should not ignore the forest for the trees. These mini battles are trees standing in the ground, blocking the beauty and awe of freedom. Please stop squabbling with the president and forge ahead in your roles of getting the voices of the poor out there for all to know. You are champions, but please release yourselves of the disappointment that others do not yet understand your cause. You loose allies that way, and miss many opportunities for true sort of dialog that creates genuine change.
Working while Black today at 10PM-12
Last Updated: 10:58 PM, September 3, 2012
Posted: 10:58 PM, September 3, 2012
A recent poll conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal came up with this startling result: Mitt Romney has absolutely no support among black voters.
I’m not saying that he had “little support” or “less support” than President Obama — who, I don’t think I need to remind you, is half-black.
Romney, the official Republican presidential candidate as of last week, polled absolutely no support.
Zero percent for Romney, 94 percent for Obama. (The rest, I presume, will be voting for me.)
I’ll assume the poll is accurate because of the quality of the news organizations involved. Accurate — and mind-boggling.
But not only for the reason you think.
My first thought is that at least a few black people called by pollsters must have said they liked Mitt. Sure, he’s whiter than white, but the guy’s not blazing red with horns.
And even if they don’t care for the candidate himself, a few black people must like his wife, Ann, or the fact that he has successfully supported his many kids and avoided getting arrested during his 63 years on Earth.
(I didn’t actually fact check for arrests but I assume the Republicans have.)
In the typical poll, people also say things they don’t really believe — “I like his name. Sure I’ll vote for him.” Surely a few people must have misspoke to the pollsters!
But there’s another, more important reason why this poll was so shocking: blacks have not done well financially during the Obama Administration.
I know, nobody has done well. But blacks have a legitimate gripe.
Yesterday was Labor Day (yes, that’s why you didn’t have to go to work) and the August employment report will be released this Friday. So I thought this would be a good time to revisit the job situation in this country.
And I’m going to start by chronicling the fact that black people love President Obama despite what the economy has done to them.
You can interpret the numbers I am going to give you in different ways.
One is that the president has an amazingly loyal following among blacks. The second interpretation is that blacks — because they have fared so poorly over the past four years — might be ripe for Mitt and his vice-presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, to pick off.
Here are some numbers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 15 percent of all blacks were unemployed in July. That is down from 16.8 percent in July, 2011, but the figure is still much higher than the 8.3 percent total unemployment rate.
Overall, whites had an 8.2 percent jobless rate in July — a terrible number, of course, but not nearly as bad as the figure for blacks.
Jacqueline Berrien Chair of the Corrupt EEOC appointed by President Obama because she the First Ladies friend and went to Harvard Law School with same. Corruption against Black people!
In the shadow of Americas first Presidency of color revel's the ugly head of racism, colorism and classism. Why are so many so called Black intellectuals and media allowing the Obama administration to getaway with corruption and cronyism in its name? Harvard Law School Crony’s of the President and First Lady riddle this corrupt administration. Is this administration just a copy of the Grant presidencies? Where’s the accountable of the first President of color? Now we’re asked to re-elect a failed Presidency. Unemployment is out of control especially among people of color. Excuses made daily for the presidents lack of moral courage. We’re living a lie that Racism and colorism have vanished because of the election of a person of color who knows very little and/or has no experience of racial indifferences towards Blacks in America. The government is failing to insure the Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for Blacks. President of color and Attorney General of color are both ignoring gross discriminations based on Race covered by the Executive branch. Why other than the devil we know verses the devil we don’t know should anyone re-elect the failed presidency of the Obama’s?
When Barack Obama was elected as the president of the United States, black liberals dreamily believed that the numerous maladies in the black community would cease to exist. They believed that his election was indicative of a vigorous wind of political and social change that was blowing across the country. Barack Obama himself vowed that his election would demarcate the conclusion of grisly "politics as usual" from the commencement of political and democratic freshness. However, as this administration continues on, it is abundantly clear that Obama has not only failed to deliver in a general sense, but he has also completely betrayed his most loyal constituency -- the black community.
After passing a gargantuan stimulus plan that was supposed to fix the economy, the unemployment rate continued to rise -- until it only recently began falling. Although we are currently at an 8.7 percent unemployment rate, the rate in the black community is at an unpardonably enormous 16.1 percent -- the highest of any ethnic group in the country. It is also important to note that black unemployment was lower under Bush than it has been at any point during Obama's administration. In point of fact, black unemployment was even lower under Bush than it was under Clinton.
More egregious than the high rate of black unemployment is the fact that Obama has been completely disconnected with the black community. He has failed to articulate any policy that would deal with the crisis that is evident in urban America. Rather, Obama is much more focused on articulating and enacting policies about issues that are close to his heart, such as allowing gays to serve openly in the military, as well as becoming a potent mouthpiece for the immoral Arab scam to steal Israeli land and annihilate the Jewish people.
Any intellectually honest person in America must look at Obama's demonstrable disregard for black issues and come to the unavoidable conclusion that black America is the very least of Obama's concerns. So obvious is this fact that even some of Barack Obama's most ardent supporters in the black intelligentsia have begun voicing strident denunciations of the president. The latest assault on Obama from his left-wing compatriot Cornel West is evidence of this phenomenon.
Although West's critique of Obama was partly personal and laden with his characteristically asinine divisive racial rhetoric, there was some substance to his criticism to which left-wing Obama cheerleaders in the black community remain willfully blind. West accused Obama of being "a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats."
While West foolishly assumes that support for black issues and being in favor of business are mutually exclusive, the unstated and basic premise in West's critique is that Obama does not care enough about, and expresses no interest in, black people and black issues. As absurd as the rest of his intellectually messy ramblings are, West is right about that fundamental point.
Obama's sycophants are used to writing off all criticism of the president coming from whites as racist, and they are equally used to describing all criticism from black conservatives as being the puerile rants of Uncle Toms obsequiously looking for approval from "the white man"; however, although Cornel West is one of the black left's most revered academics, they would much rather write him off as entirely crazy than to admit that any criticism he has of Barack Obama contains even a scintilla of merit.
Big Government is the Problem, Not the Solution
By arguing that Obama has betrayed the black community, I am not arguing that Obama needs to spend his time carving out black-specific governmental policies. Manifestly, the black-specific liberal policies that have been attempted in the past have done nothing more than stimulate a metastasizing of the very social cancers that they were designed to treat. My argument is, however, that Obama has failed to enact the economic policies that would provide the necessary environment for blacks to fend for themselves independent of government -- despite the fact that he presented himself during his campaign as someone who was inimitably skilled and uniquely well-positioned to do so.
Without attempting to cater to blacks specifically, President Reagan managed to create economic prosperity throughout the entire country which, in point of fact, benefited blacks more than it did whites. The facts cannot be disputed: Reaganomics had a salubrious effect on the black community, whereas Obamanomics is having an unequivocally deleterious effect on black economics and the black community at large.
Obama Is Not The President of African Americans?
One of the talking points formulated by Obama's apologists in the media is the notion that Obama is not the president of black America. They argue he is the president of the United States of America. This pathetically feeble argument exists for the sole purpose of deflecting legitimate criticism of Obama's failure to meet the needs of the black community.
The fact of the matter is that Obama is the president of African Americans, just as he is the president of white Americans. It takes a shocking display of intellectual dishonesty to suddenly release Obama of any responsibility for black America, especially when previous presidents have always been held responsible for their treatment of the black community.
In 1998, the Nobel-Prize-winning writer Toni Morrison gave Bill Clinton the honorary moniker of "America's first black president" because, according to her, he "display[ed] almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas."
Leaving aside the recognizably insulting view of what constitutes blackness in Morrison's perverse mind, had white, southern Clinton possessed all these qualities while presiding over 16.1 percent unemployment, I am positive that this endearing nickname would never have been created -- much less believed by black liberals for many years until the emergence of Obama.
By contrast, the left, with unutterable alacrity, vociferously argued that George W. Bush's less-than-stellar handling of Hurricane Katrina was indicative of his incurable allergy toward black skin. Even largely apolitical rapper Kanye West took the time out to accuse Bush of not caring about blacks. The fact that Bush packed his administration with exceptionally well-qualified minorities was completely disregarded when the black left gave Bush his failing report card. One can only imagine the panic-stricken cries of racism that would have been heard for years if Bush had overseen 16.1 percent black unemployment.
It is nothing more than liberal hypocrisy to see the crisis evident in the black community under Obama's watch and simply respond with the contemptible shibboleth stating, "Obama is not the president of black America; he's the president of the United States of America" -- especially when every other president in recent history has been critically judged on their treatment of the black community.
Can Republicans Argue Back?
If the Republican Party cannot effectively communicate to blacks the obvious fact that Obama has been working diligently on all the trivial left-wing issues close to his heart, yet has completely neglected to address the glaring emergency occurring in his "own" community, then the Republicans are destined to -- and deserve to -- lose the black vote in 2012.
The black community is looking for political change. Yes, Obama is black, but he has proven that his liberalism takes preeminence over his blackness. Liberalism cannot save black America. If Republicans cannot capitalize on this crisis in leadership that Obama has provided and offer a concrete alternative message to the black community as to why conservatism is the answer, it's safe to say Republicans will never capture the black vote.
The opportunity to make powerful racial public policy arguments is now. Republicans pass up this pristine opportunity at their own political peril.