USDA Official admits to not helping white farmer because of race

Aspects of the Obama Administration I like: Secretary Clinton, Secretary Gates, Secretary Duncan

Aspects I don’t like: Secretary Geithner, openly racist officials

Update: Title of the post changed to as further evidence indicates this was a confession, not a mark of pride, that this Democratic official was racist on the job.

40 thoughts on “USDA Official admits to not helping white farmer because of race”

  1. Stupidity and ignorance beyond belief. A provincial official drunk with power most likely only in that position because of the racial preference system she has been able to parasitically exploit to the hilt.

    I would hope no intelligent human being would stoop that low knowing they were being videotaped.

  2. Wow! So her response to someone trying to “act superior” is to view it through a racial prism and not do her job effectively. Notice that she gave no explanation of what this farmer did to “act superior”, not even a hint. I don’t think she’s drunk with power. She’s insecure. About herself and her position.

    Wonderful example of reverse racism. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I saw this on the beitbart site.

    I’d like to know is the IG for DeptAG has started their investigation of her?

    Aby response yet from the former civil-rights organization NAACP?

  4. She just resigned. [1]

    Hopefully a class action suit can be formed against her and the Department.

    Of course, as this Administration does not care about voter intimidation when the victims are not black [2], I doubt they will waive any sovereign immunities in this case, either…

    [1] http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/19/clip-shows-usda-official-admitting-withheld-help-white-farmer/
    [2] http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/pa/20100703_Former_U_S__prosecutor_to_testify_on_New_Black_Panthers_charges.html

  5. They shoot……and it’s a miss!

    The video was only a snippet. She just spent 15 or so minutes explaining the context on CNN, with some additional footage….AND, the wife of the white farmer referenced just called into CNN (or was called by them) and went on at length about how Sherrod went out of her way to help them, saving their farm, etc. etc. etc. The old farmer, who is now 85 years old, was out on his tractor at the time of the phone call (yes, working on the farm Sherrod helped them to save) but had come in earlier to tell his wife to turn on CNN because their dear friend Sherrod was being unfairly and viciously attacked in the media.

    This should stand as a lesson for the bumbling Obama administration, which went out of its way to force this woman to resign, out of abject fear of sensitive race-related issues.

    Also: a lesson in trying to attempt 4GW smear campaigns in a 5GW world. Yes, 4GW can still work, but for too long people have taken it for granted while assuming that 4GW is a simple matter of hyperbolic smear campaigns needing very little factual evidence. (This last bit goes out to all those jumping on the 4GW bandwagon on this story. Ahem. 😉 )

  6. CGW…I’ll assume the accuracy of what you are saying.

    Why on earth would she resign then? That makes no sense. Or did she actually “retire”? Perhaps she was threatened with being fired and loosing all retirement benefits (I assume she is getting some sort of reduced early retirement)

    It is also a lesson in this: The Press sucks. They are pretty bad at what they do. We are lucky in this age of the internet and digital video clips and Journolist exposure that we are beginning to understand this. Without the internet, it would be easier to snooker the public. With the internet, the press can be fact checked.

  7. Purpleslog,

    I don’t remember the exact details from the interview about her resignation, although I remember that she had been called at least three times from higher-ups telling her she HAD to resign, and that Sherrod specifically mentioned that one of the calls came from someone in the White House. I also vaguely caught some kind of reference to a vehicle (??), i.e., that she was told to pull over or stop the car and resign right then and there and that she did so, on the spot. I was in the middle of something else at the time and thought the reference to the vehicle was odd, but I may have caught that snippet wrong.

    OH, snippets!

    Apparently the speech snippet was of her telling the audience a story about the white farmer, someone she had helped in 1986 (before working for the USDA), who had come to her with a superior attitude. Technically, she didn’t have to help him at all, but she did anyway, although she did not do everything she could have done. (Although the wife of that farmer said later while being interviewed that Sherrod had done everything she could to save their farm.) The point of the story Sherrod was telling was this: that she had realized at the time that the issue was between the haves and have-nots, or the poor and the well-to-do, and not at all about race. I.e., poor white farmers were in the same boat as poor black farmers. But alas the media and punditry tried to frame the snippet as a racist speech by a racist black person serving a racist (or race-baiting) black president….

  8. “A former USDA employee who resigned after a video surfaced of her talking about a white farmer told CNN on Tuesday that the administration “wasn’t interested in hearing the truth.”

    Shirley Sherrod, who resigned Monday as the department’s state director of rural development for Georgia, told CNN she had four calls telling her the White House wanted her to resign. She said she was driving at the time, and the last call asked her to pull to the side of the road and offer her resignation.”

    –CNN [1]

    [1] http://edition.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/07/20/agriculture.employee.naacp/#fbid=JurEBeu_jRN

  9. I can see where the calls may have started to get kind of creepy, maybe even a bit scary.

    I think she should “undo” her resignation. The IG should be investigating who was pressuring her…especially since the speech snippet was taken out of context and about event prior to her being a Fed.

  10. This whole brouhaha is still too early to make a call…but I’ll make some any way.

    What I said before about the Obama administration’s abject fear of sensitive race-related issues? ✓ Check,/li>
    Although Tom Vilsack has come out to cover O’s a$$, saying that he alone and not the White House made the decision, I believe the buck stops somewhere else.

    No doubt O and a passel of Dems rejoiced when the NAACP took on the Tea Party — as well the NAACP and others (not least, serious Republicans) should. There had been reports that the TP was suffering schisms, which made November seem brighter. But then a segment of the “Say what? Back at you!” crowd, most of whom tend to believe that African-American activists are inherently racists, upended O’s joy, when they took this <3 minute snippet of a 40-minute speech and spun it just so.

    Trying to salvage the anti-TP 4GW being waged by the NAACP (and not suffer a reversal of the 4GW flames), Tom Vilsack fired her. Meaning, all that mumbo jumbo from O’s admin. saying they never listen to polls, never respond to the insane 4GWer opponents, etc., was never true. Duh

    At this point–or that is to say, if I were to jump as quickly to conclusions as those who were certain Sherrod was the A-typical reverse-racist Obama likes to hire/keep, I would have to say my gut is telling me that Tom Vilsack needs to be fired. Even his apologia today points at the thread-bare political maneuvering, saying basically that the 4GW unsubstantiated flame-accusations, based on a mere snippet, are enough to make Sherrod forevermore ineffective in her previous position. (I.e., even if she didn’t do anything wrong, Vilsack believes that the cat’s out of the bag and for the sake of his tenure, er, the job at hand, she can’t remain. Which means that Obama should be fired, because plenty of crap has been said about him too in the public sphere and people may no longer trust in the presidency….)

  11. This comment from Youtube is, I think, typical of those who are defending the official:

    “This video shows a woman who has examined her own prejudices and misconceptions about race and used those past ignorances to illustrate a lesson to others, not a woman who was boasting about them.” [1]

    In other words, she was a racist when she was appointed.

    And again, such is from her defenders!

    [1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJtEsGZE_fA&feature=related

  12. I am not sure how the NAACP could take on the tea parties. They are mostly a decentralized movement. Who will Alansky-ish techniques focus on?

    I am really not trying to think about 2010 or 2012 election stuff. I think big-gov/big-biz/christian-right republicans are in for a big surprise if they think the Tea Party people are “for” them.

    BTW, CGW…have you ever considered having your own blog?

  13. OH, and Dan, the comments in the snippet you posted referenced an event that happened in the 80’s.

    As much as some would like to spin it, the facts will out. The video you most recently linked appears to spin erroneously. She was referencing the event that happened over 20 years ago, not describing an event that happened or an attitude she’s held while at her most recent job working for O.

  14. Funny to see Sherrod dance around Rick’s questions.

    And Rick is hardly famous for being an in-depth questioner!

    When will the NAACP release the entire video, instead of allowing their speakers to say they were taken out of context, without providing the full context?

  15. PS: The basic inconsistency is that the Sharrod’s statements contradict the farmers, and Sharrod is claiming she was awakened to the race-neutral quality of class war after starting off as a racist, while the farmer denies all of it.

    Something’s afoot, and I don’t know what.

  16. The NAACP has screwed up big time with this. Their most recent back-tracking, saying they will review the whole videotape….only goes to show they’d not viewed the whole thing when they called for her forced resignation yesterday. They are being very inept. Obama and Vilsack have been very inept. Heck, even Glen Beck got it more right in his recent salvo [1]

    Rick Sanchez is a lightweight, but I mostly like him for his insane ADD.

    However lightweight Sanchez may be, please don’t call the old farmer a lightweight. The farmer and his wife appear to be speaking frankly and sincerely, and I trust them over Sanchez, the NAACP, or Vilsack.

    [1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48e7lY2VJwA

  17. You are right that, inexplicably, Beck seems to have the most level-headed take on the knowns and unknowns of the situations!

  18. Dan,

    “PS: The basic inconsistency is that the Sharrod’s statements contradict the farmers, and Sharrod is claiming she was awakened to the race-neutral quality of class war after starting off as a racist, while the farmer denies all of it.

    Something’s afoot, and I don’t know what.”

    On that note, I doubt the farmer was able to read her mind. Naturally, if someone talks about what was on their mind at the time, I would think people around them would naturally be surprised about what the something is. The farmer would be no exception.

    “You are right that, inexplicably, Beck seems to have the most level-headed take on the knowns and unknowns of the situations!”

    Perhaps you should take his lead and change the title of this post to something less misleading at a glance.

  19. “here is no doubt that Sherrod has been unfairly maligned based on selective editing of the speech she gave.”
    I agree 100%.

    “…Beck seems to have the most level-headed take on the knows and unknowns of the situations!”
    I think he knows what it is like to be taken out of context.

  20. “I took him to one of his own.”

    That’s probably enough right there for a low level official to be asked to resign. Her duties require judgment and communication – and despite the proper context of this video, there are infinite ways she could of relayed the story without offering such ripe moments for confusion. I don’t disagree with the resignation, but I do think it’s unfortunate that she was not properly defended by her employer. But what would that gain the White House? Tdaxp would get to post, “Obama defends racist”

    Had she remained in her position the opposition chorus would be spinning this differently – no doubt – until the distraction would force her out voluntarily anyway.

    It’s reminiscent of the Skip Gates arrest. The White House was criticized for having an opinion on the matter before all the facts were in and then mocked for trying to resolve it in a matter that was respectful to each side.

    Let’s recap; The administration is repeatedly attacked for being “racist” towards whites, then attacked for harboring “racist” officials by Breitbart and others (tdaxp) then is attacked for being too swift in doing something because it’s all “false”. It’s too bad for all of us that Obama’s opposition insists on crying wolf over invented non-issues.

  21. Having come across people like her (during fieldwork this year, among social workers, and sadly among civilian employees of DOD), I overreacted to a video I stupidly didn’t even realize was edited, so caught up was I in this woman laying bare her racist attitudes for an approving black audience.

    Recollecting my allegedly good senses after the fact, I feel duped by Breitbart and this whole incident takes on a darker tinge when you consider he did this deliberately (his past behavior in such matters is instructive to this regard) and fanned the flames accordingly. I understand the administration’s aversion to race and its various incompetent operating features, but that doesn’t excuse what happened to this woman. Her reputation was destroyed in a manner totally undeserving her service and apparently the goodwill she has accumulated from the Georgia rural community among whites.

    EVEN if she had “racist views” circa 2009 instead of 1986, I’m reminded of something very reasonable Gov. Huckabee said about Rev. Wright and racism in the South in general (that I would extend to older whites from the South who express less than PC commentary on other races b/c their entire worldview was flipped in the 60’s & 70’s by acts of gov’t and society):

    “And one other thing I think we’ve got to remember: As easy as it is for those of us who are white to look back and say, “That’s a terrible statement,” I grew up in a very segregated South, and I think that you have to cut some slack. And I’m going to be probably the only conservative in America who’s going to say something like this, but I’m just telling you: We’ve got to cut some slack to people who grew up being called names, being told, “You have to sit in the balcony when you go to the movie. You have to go to the back door to go into the restaurant. And you can’t sit out there with everyone else. There’s a separate waiting room in the doctor’s office. Here’s where you sit on the bus.” And you know what? Sometimes people do have a chip on their shoulder and resentment. And you have to just say, I probably would too. I probably would too. In fact, I may have had a more, more of a chip on my shoulder had it been me.”
    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/03/huckabee-defend.html

    For people who have not lived in the South, you honestly cannot understand this perhaps. There are people in my community (a reasonably-sized metro area, Greensboro, NC) who still remember vile things white neighbors did to them 40-50 years ago. My algebra teacher in 8th grade was a young Airman coming home from boot in his crisp new dress uniform in 1965 when a group of whites (including our school’s assistant principal) poured a bucket of feces on him at the corner grocery store b/c he dared accept a hug from a middle-aged white woman who was a family friend. My 57 year old female black co-worker distinctly remembers being chased by rock-throwing whites she had just attended church with when they saw her in line to swim in a YWCA pool. Are these people supposed to be perfect human beings who swallow pride and resentment throughout the rest of their lives despite the intense humiliations they were put through?
    For that matter, is an older white farmer who has never worked with or been put in a situation where a black person was his equal not supposed to be to some degree racist or at least uber-condescending to a black person suddenly professing to be his equal?

    PS,

    When Beck stops praising the works of known Nazi propagandists and anti-Semites, we can talk. Until then, he’s just another showboat promoter of hate and discord (as clownish as Olbermann but more vile and sinister) many of whom seem to populate the mainstream cable media on both sides these days.

  22. Well said Eddie!

    I too feel guilty for my immediate overreaction – I know better to trust anything from Breitbart, but the video was pretty effective. Her story, regardless of the edits, is not very clear. And her language tip-toes pretty close to sounding racist, “I took him to one of his own”. But you’re absolutely right in regards to what Huckabee has stated – that we should absorb that kind of language and attitude with the proper perspective, and not be so quick to condemn it.

    I heard today that she was offered her position back – nice to see logic prevail.

  23. PS,
    First, let’s go w/ the nuts (though he’s endorsed so many I’ll pick one, in this case a slavery apologist and rabid John Birch Society nut former FBI agent who was renounced by that organization in no uncertain terms in the early 1960’s) he’s given second life to.

    Cleon Skousen
    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/09/16/beck_skousen

    This is a guy who believed in a global conspiracy of “elites” running the world based on research by a Russian whose intellectual guide was the man who popularized the Protocols of Zion screed.

    Beck has also been lately praising and ranting about the works of Elizabeth Dilling, a Nazi propagandist and Axis Alliance agent, esp. her 1935 “The Red Network” which directly identified communism with Judiasm and blamed Jews themselves for Hitler’s oppression of them. She was also a traitor who conspired with Nazi elements in the US and proudly visited Nazi Germany enjoying Hitler’s policies.

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201006070020

    He is a clown but a dangerous one giving new life to crackpot theories and credibility to people who should be long forgotten because they were rightly discredited in their own lifetimes.

  24. Regading Huckabee’s statement, I understand the kindly and paternalistic (“fatherlike”) impulse of believing blacks have a lower, less civilized, and more infantile standard to live up to.

    I just disagree with it.

    We’re all Americans.

  25. Eddie:

    I don’t care about anything the guys (Soros-paid little bitches) at Media Matters say. I won’t read anything of theirs.

    Salon is pretty left-leaning nowadays, so I will look up some other stuff on Cleon Skousen. I am familiar with some book titles of his, but I haven’t read any of it. If he was writing ant-Marxists stuff in the 50’s and 60’s I am sure the left has been after him pretty hard. I will find some neutral sources for him. The Mormon stuff doesn’t do anything for me; I think that is why I haven’t read his books (too many book, too little time).

  26. PS,

    Seriously. I read writers on both sides (and the libertarians too). Some people exaggerate. So I double-check, but I still pay attention, because otherwise there is stuff that the other side simply won’t touch (especially in these days of epistemic closure on both sides). I’ll do the legwork for you on this via hopefully non-left websites. I’ll post the links on your FB so Dan doesn’t have to approve a comment with six to eight links).

    You also protest too much with MM. They mainly provide an interview with a scholar on the Far Right in America before and during WW2 and an audio recording of Glenn Beck. Are we to not believe their recording (well, somebody has to record that garbage, why not them)? They’re not quite Breitbart in their editing deviousness.

  27. PS,

    For Skousen, the Wiki page has a lot on him with many links. I sent links about his Nazi traitor buddy Dilling to you though.

    Dan,

    We are all Americans, but our experiences are not the same and there may be a very good reason for the views and actions of certain people of age. I disagree with Huckabee that it merely applies to blacks, because it corresponds to Southern Whites who were adults and children in that time as well. Sometimes change is a long time coming, if at all, in a person’s lifetime. Not everyone can be Mr. PC immediately b/c that’s what the environment demands.

    Race-based preferences for minorities post-1965 certainly didn’t help “heal” the country either.

  28. Eddie…I have gotten to your links yet. I see there sent to my facebook. I should have internet again at home over the weekend (I don’t try to get to that from work). I don’t use my my purpleslog FB to much (I use my real identity FB a lot).

  29. Perhaps an educational psychologist could tell me this…why when I am tired or stressed do I leave out “negative” works such as not/not/never-becomes-ever from quick communication like email, blogs, and IM?

  30. What’s fascinating is that when the full tape was released, and it was revealed that she was merely against the rich, the ‘scandal’ went away.

    This may have taken out some heat, but seems to reinforce the view of Obama as a socialist.

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