July 22, 2010

Category: Real Talk

Shirley Sherrod: From Racist to Victim


This Shirley Sherrod gaffe speaks volumes about the power of right-wingers, how women, especially Black women, are perceived and treated when ish hits the fan, and lastly, about the lack of investigative reportage nowadays. When Andrew Breitbart, a well known right-wing troublemaker can get the Obama administration to force the resignation of a senior official, this said more about our current administration, media, race and gender relations then it did about bad boy Breitbart.

What does it say about Black women? We are expendable, dispensable, and dangerous. The assumption that the NAACP, President Obama and the USDA made was, “Oh no, Shirley is showing her Angry-Black-Woman card and is now a walking, talking ticking time bomb.” And like Batman with a stick of lit dynamite in his hands, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, NAACP’s Ben Jealous, and President Obama tossed the highly respected Shirley Sherrod in the ocean. They abandoned her and according to Sherrod were “not interested in hearing the truth.” No one, and I mean no one wants to deal with racism, but definitely not from some lunatic sister on the Hill. Ask Anita Hill and Cynthia McKinney for their footnotes on this matter. Even today, Sherrod was on “The View” talking about a phone conversation she had with Vilsack yesterday where he said that she has every right to blast him and that its okay if she does so. Yeah, now that it’s clear that Sherrod was set-up “officials” want her to lose her cool and be all Omarosa in this piece because that is what they expect.

An apology does not dismiss the fact that from the White House on down, people, many of them deemed very intelligent, are buying into the paranoia that is being peddled by Republicans, right wing tea party enthusiasts, media pundits and bloggers. So now that we have YouTube no one needs to investigate accusations of racism anymore? Well it seems not if the accused are Black (Van Jones anyone?). Post-racial America is a very terrified America that has everyone jumping up at boo. Seriously, if I believed all the paranoia-based emails I received, especially as a woman, I would never use deodorant, never walk alone after 6pm, never eat at any Muslim owned restaurants, and oh yeah, my favorite, never use tampons (because they’re made out of asbestos). I would be a smelly, scared woman who could never don a swimsuit on the beach while menstruating. If I can take the time to investigate the mythic bullsnuff that ends up in my inbox, then the current administration, the NAACP and CNN need to do the same!

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4 Responses to “Shirley Sherrod: From Racist to VictimComment RSS feed

  • Justin
    July 23rd, 2010 11:06 am

    It’s the same old bullshit, and people don’t understand that what happened to Sherrod is indicative of a racism that is so entrenched in our society that people don’t even see it. It’s the “exception to the rule” scenario. The assumption is that if you’re not a criminal, you somehow rose above your intrinsic genetic destiny, but are one 40oz and a bucket of chicken away from being a convict. Regardless of her degrees, titles, job-performance or a 40-year history as a grass-roots activist, it only took a 2 minute edited clip for folks to say “I told you so” and force her to resign. Benefit of doubt is a foreign concept when you’re black in this country. It’s very disheartening.

  • florence tate
    July 23rd, 2010 1:53 pm

    ms hotness: i always enjoy your take on all kinds of stuff, including this matter. however, i must say that i hate to even SEE shirley sherrod’s name in the same phrase as “VICTIM”.
    sister sherrod has defeated – or at least fought to a standstill -all measure of hatred, intimidation,bigotry, segregation,discrimination, and injustice like others in her league. far from being a victim shirley sherrod is a warrior and freedom fighter in the tradition of ida b wells, ella baker,harriet tubman and sojourner truth.
    and don’t give up on your feminine necessities! (:-)

  • Sweetilocks
    July 23rd, 2010 4:05 pm

    Vilsack had some nerve. Even after they told his goofy ass that there was more to the tape, he said he would stand by his decision, just to distance the office from any racist allegations! Damn, kids aren’t the only ones who need to do homework!

  • theHotness
    July 26th, 2010 10:23 pm
    Author's Reply

    @Florence: When I use the word “victim” I mean of racism and ignorance. She lost her job because no one did their due diligence and she suffered by that. I’m not taking anything away from her by saying she’s a victim. Her stance is very much warrior-like, but that still does prevent her or any of us from being marginalized. Thanks though for making that point!