Friday Free-for-All

Lots of talk recently about Shirley Sherrod, the USDA employee who was fired yesterday after a video clip was released that purported to demonstrate her “reverse racism” in a speech she gave to an NAACP meeting. Andrew Breitbart, who released the tape, essentially said that the NAACP “started it” with their accusations of racism against the Tea Party, and he was simply pointing out their own hypocrisy.

Of course, now the full tape of Sherrod’s speech has been released, and it’s clear that her point was exactly the opposite of what was shown in the edited clip — though she was still fired in less time than it took to discover the truth. The entire episode left Lizzie Scalia, among others, tired of the whole “racism” card game

This whole sordid mess of a story–which is clearly not over–may tell us that it is past time for people of good will to stop tolerating politically-expedient charges of racism, regardless of whether they originate from genuinely overzealous, malicious bloggers or from Congressmen who are confident that any charge they make will be deemed insta-credible, or from journalists who ignore real racism while trying to ignite the charge elsewhere, for the advancement of their own partisan agendas, or from the rightly marginalized, fringe-living, stupid people who every sensible person condemns. . . .

There is absolutely nothing simple about the matter of race in America; there is a ways to go before content of character will finally overcome color of skin. But I am not sure if further progress toward a truly color-blind society can be made until the manufactured cry of “raaaaacism”–by people who know that their are merely fanning flames or manipulating movements–has finally been rejected by both the right and the left. Race-baiters must be made to understand that their cheap tactic will no longer bear weight among fair-minded people, who are horrified by genuine racism but tired of its weaponized unreasonable facsimile.

 

Agreed. I don’t think the answer to trumped-up charges of racism is… more trumped-up charges of racism. Here’s hoping we can find more intelligent things to argue about.

 

Margaret Cabaniss

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Margaret Cabaniss is the former managing editor of Crisis Magazine. She joined Crisis in 2002 after graduating from the University of the South with a degree in English Literature and currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She now blogs at SlowMama.com.

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