Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Night the Light of Truth Went Out in Georgia

"How many times can anono-blogger @allahpundit write same piece in which he raises specter of me falling on face while I stand in end zone? - Andrew Breitbart on Twitter

(By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)

Jim Marshall of the Vikings also danced in the end zone. Only, in his famous wrong way play in 1964, he scored a couple of points for the opposing team because, after recovering a fumble, he ran into the opposing team’s end zone. In that respect, We are Marshall. It can happen to any of us. This time around, it’s Andrew Breitbart’s turn to wipe the yolk off his face.

But Marshall’s blunder was an honest mistake. Breitbart’s was the more egregious because it was patently dishonest, needlessly changed the face of our government and it certainly wasn’t a mistake. And there are many lessons that we could and should take away from this latest fuckup of Breitbart’s, the MSM’s and the Obama administration, once again asking, “How high, massa?” every time some vacuum-skulled, right wing douchebag like Breitbart or Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck snap their fingers.

First off, we need to ask ourselves why Breitbart settled his crosshairs on Shirley Sherrod, a low-level USDA bureaucrat in charge of rural development for Georgia, someone who had 49 other counterparts, over a speech given a quarter of a century ago when Obama was half his present age, a previously obscure bureaucrat who just happens to be African American?

Indeed, it seems every time Breitbart, James “Superfly” O’Keefe, Beck or someone wants to prove racism or a stereotype (such as black ACORN workers giving sympathetic advice to a pimp and his ho’), the subjects of their baleful ken always seem to be African American.

And if the white-dominated press didn’t have such a reliable track record for passive racism (missing children grabbing headlines or lead stories are guaranteed to be white), it would be as big a mystery as to why they’re as easily and gullibly led astray by right wing bloggers and media sites like the Drudge Report as so many unwitting Adam Walshes.

The MSM are, once again, unforgivably negligent and/or naïve for not sourcing its material and for not openly wondering why these very same right wingers consistently target people of color while, audaciously, charging them with nonexistent instances of racism against the poor, persecuted white majority. What were they thinking, or were they, in assuming that Breitbart did his homework for them? And, after this debacle, I don’t want to hear any snooty, elitist dismissals of bloggers by this very same easily-fooled mainstream media.

How could the NAACP be so easily Klan hood-winked by a person with an equally reliable track record for chicanery when its own top officials were in live attendance for Ms. Sherrod’s 1986 speech? Wouldn’t they have had the full tape and not have to rely on a fuzzy, carefully edited version given to them by a Republican mainly noted for his witch hunts of African Americans? Had they learned nothing since Larry Johnson’s phantom video of Michelle Obama’s “whitey” speech?

And why isn’t President Obama himself apologizing for, once again, allowing another fellow African American administration official to get thrown under the wheels of his Bipartisan Express and how come he’s content with letting Robert Gibbs and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack do his apologizing for him, in letting them keep him safely removed from the PR fallout? Or did I just answer my own question?

It’s Van Jones/Glenn Beck all over again, only with a more overt racist overtone and impetus behind it all. In fact, mentioning the Nazi-loving/Nazi-hating Glenn Beck is very appropriate at this time.

Profiles in Cowardice

(Resign), because you’re going to be on ‘Glenn Beck’ tonight.” – USDA Deputy Undersecretary Cheryl Cook to Shirley Sherrod.

The only reason I’m linking to the Wa Po’s article is because they “privileged Breitbart’s lie” according to Media Matters. As Media Matters points out, it took Karen Tumulty and Krissah Thompson 15 paragraphs to get around to admitting that Breitbart’s video was far from a complete document of Ms. Sherrod’s speech. It took them an additional two paragraphs to admit that she did, indeed, help Mr. Spooner, a struggling farmer. The speech was about owning up to mistakes and prejudices and learning from making those mistakes. Still, despite the Washington Post reporters coming clean, they never took it upon themselves to mention that Ms. Sherrod went on to save the family’s farm but rather to let Mrs. Spooner say it for them. They chose, instead, to focus more on her “inelegant” delivery instead of how inelegant it was for a major metropolitan newspaper to trust that a right wing douchebag with an axe handle to grind would kindly do all their sourcing for them.

Perhaps it’s too tempting to be seeing too much into USDA Deputy Undersecretary Cheryl Cook’s incredibly craven comments by way of justifying why Ms. Sherrod should’ve needlessly fallen on a sword that was perhaps put into her hands by the Obama administration, certainly by the USDA. But this wetlegged attitude and almost atavistic, antebellum dread and terror of incurring white, right wing wrath had been a hallmark of the Obama administration since it was the Obama campaign.

Say whatever you want about the Bush era government, but you’ve gotta give them this: They never gave a rat’s ass what the press or the people thought of their war crimes agenda and they certainly didn’t give a shit about what a liberal blogger might write about them let alone a walking, talking bladder like Glenn Beck.

Yet a senior USDA official thought it more expedient for that organization to divest itself of a valued and competent official than to be mentioned, O horror of horrors, on Glenn Beck’s show on Fox. Sen. Dick Durbin was wrong. It isn’t the banks that own the place; It’s the momentarily powerless right wing and Fox “News”, with the right wing a rectum loaded with methane and Fox the amplifying flat wooden bench.

As further proof of the Obama administration’s cowardice, the Wa Po article did us the favor of reminding us of Joe Biden’s incredibly fallacious and out of touch recusal from calling the tea party movement what it is: A semi-literate, gun-clutching, glorified serial flash mob organized under false pretenses by right wing money men and rotten to the core with racism. In fact, this is what Biden said:
“The president doesn’t believe that the tea party is a racist organization. I don’t believe that. Very conservative, very different views on government and a whole lot of things. But it is not a racist organization.”

It’s the kind of comment made by someone who, on seeing a Klan rally walk past their home, would say to their spouse, “Looks like Macy’s is having a white sale.”

Despite having thrown one African American after another to the wolves of the Great White, Right Wing Blogosphere, the Obama administration remains under an inverted microscope, pinned in place under the lens by a glass ceiling through which it can never hope to break.

Van Jones was thrown out of a job despite Glenn Beck not providing a single shred of proof of him being a Socialist to justify it (and would that be so bad? We have an open Socialist in the Senate in Vermont’s Bernie Sanders). The Rev. James Wright, glory-seeking blowhard though he was, was essentially fired as Obama’s home town pastor in spite of speaking the truth about our nation’s racist, terroristic roots. ACORN, dedicated to the empowerment of inner city residents who happen to mainly be ones of color, was hysterically defunded by an almost all-white Congress without apology. Meanwhile Obama, who was elected largely through its GOTV efforts, serenely looked on after Breitbart’s protégé, James O’Keefe, misrepresented himself and “exposed” a “murder” “scandal” that was eaten up uncritically by Fox and other media outlets.

Later, O’Keefe and three other Republican activists were arrested and charged with attempting to break into Senator Landrieu’s office with the intention of tapping into her phone lines. He got off with a slap on his lilly-white wrist.

Yet, in spite of Breitbart’s unbroken track record for being a feloniously fallacious Republican fuckstick, these people of color were pilloried without being given the benefit of any doubt, no chance of proving their innocence while professional prevaricators such as Breitbart, O’Keefe, Glenn Beck and others are not asked to assume the burden of proof in the slightest and were given every benefit of seemingly no doubt.

All things considered, it’s surprising that Obama didn’t throw future Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor under his already blood-slicked bus wheels when right wing bloggers, Rush Limbaugh and several white Southern GOP senators tried to tar Judge Sotomayor with the brush of racism just for belonging to La Raza and being informed by cultural upbringing (Once again, as with Ms. Sherrod, right wingers went back into the mists of time to dig up a ten year-old speech that Sotomayor had delivered). Years before, not a word was uttered by either they or the utterly worthless MSM when it was learned that Samuel Alito, also a Princeton alumnus, belonged to CAP, a racist, misogynistic organization devoted to keeping minorities and women out of Princeton.

But perhaps Obama held onto her like a hot potato because it would’ve projected badly on him and his judgment for turning his back on such a high profile nominee. Van Jones and Shirley Sherrod had no such prestige in their respective jobs that they could use as career armor.

So who’s really being racist again? Is it the Obama administration? Oh, absolutely. But the targets of their intolerant, misinformed discrimination are the same as Breitbart’s and Beck’s: Innocent and largely competent people of color, people with whom, on those two counts alone, Obama has absolutely nothing whatsoever in common.


At July 22, 2010 at 1:15 PM, Anonymous Realist said...

Shirley Sherrod is reportedly considering refusing a new job with the USDA. She would be wise to refuse any such job, as it is crystal clear that the White House is too craven to defend an innocent person of color from the fascist racists which seek to rule this nation into total destruction.

At July 22, 2010 at 4:31 PM, Blogger Bukko Boomeranger said...

Here's a story that shows how the U.S. government treats black people, courtesy of TruthOut. I thought of you when I read it, because it involves Avon Park, Florida. I still recall how many comments you got on the post about the elementary school girl getting arrested in Avon Park.

To sum it up for anyone who doesn't click the link, the secret military indeathstrial complex did human experiments in the 1970s on how it could use dengue fever (aka "bone-break fever") as a weapon. Part of the experimentation was dropping paper bags full of dengue-infected mosquitos out of an airplane and onto the black slum housing of Avon Park. Seven or eight people died of this tropical disease just after the Nazi-like experiment was done, according to the link.

There's other interesting stuff mentioned, like a massive outbreak of dengue in Cuba in early 1981, shortly after Reagan and his spook VP Bush (I mean "spook" in a spy way, not a racial epithet way). There was also swine flu in Cuba, dengue in Sandinista-era Nicaragua, other horrors.

Remind me again why the United States was better than the evil empire of the communist Soviet Union?

At July 22, 2010 at 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shirley Sherrod's grandfather was murdered by a white farmer, who went free. IIRC

At July 24, 2010 at 12:31 AM, Anonymous grouchomarxist said...

The MSM are, once again, unforgivably negligent and/or naïve ...

This is true only if you assume the MSM have the slightest interest in objective truth, much less fair play. As the employees of frankly commercial entities, their obligation is to maximize profits, and for that purpose lies are just as good, hell often better than the truth.

They didn't get punked: they just flat don't give a rat's ass.

I can understand the Administration's aversion to controversy, because the crazies have a megaphone while saner voices are left with the equivalent of two tin cans and some string. But there's simply no avoiding the fact that if the Right can't find a real scandal, they'll just manufacture one. You have to be prepared to fight back.

My expectations of Obama were pretty damned low from the start, but this really has been a stunning display of cowardice and incompetence.


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