I consider myself a conservative, though I have no party affiliation. I want you to know this before I begin this.
A few days ago, a video appeared on Andrew Breitbart’s website that showed a black woman speaking to the NAACP. This woman, Shirley Sherrod, tells the story of a white farmer who comes to her asking for help. She says he is acting superior, and so she doesn’t throw the full weight of her power into helping him, but refers him to a white lawyer, one of his own. That’s all the video shows.
The US Department of Agriculture, that Ms. Sherrod worked for demanded her resignation over the video. They have a zero tolerance policy. Even the NAACP refused to stand behind her.
I admit, when I first heard the story, I was pissed. Now, as more details have come out, I am even more upset. Just in the other direction. This is a perfect case of Shoot First, Ask Later.
It turns out Roger Spooner, the whiter farmer in question, is very grateful to Ms. Sherrod. More to the point, it was the “White Officials” who referred Mr. Spooner to Ms. Sherrod in the first place. The point of her story was to look beyond race, but the video had been maliciously edited, allegedly to make the NAACP look racist for laughing at the story. If this is the truly case, then Andrew Breitbart should man up and apologize to her. Even if not, he still should.
Since the true story has come out, the USDA has offered Ms. Sherrod a new position in Race Relations that she says she is unsure she will take. She also says she wants to speak with President Obama or someone on his staff. I support this. He should know this, too. More than anyone, he should respect how difficult it is to looke beyond the color of one’s skin.