There’s something that has been lost in all of the commotion about Ms. Sherrod and what Andrew Breitbart did to her: she has obviously worked for years to help all types of people keep their family farms. This is a long term mission for her. Perhaps I noticed this because I have started my own little garden and I also remember what sank my grandfather’s farm. In other words, family farms have been fighting for decades just to stay alive. It also brings back memories of the dust bowl and the specter of agribusiness.
Ms. Sherrod has devoted her life to helping family farmers. She has fought against banks. She has actually helped people in a tangible way.
That’s why I was so sad yesterday — so dejected. If a woman like her could be dragged though mud by a person like Andrew Breitbart, then no one — no one is safe. No good anyone does will be rewarded without the possibility of someone like Breitbart attacking.
What happened is clear. Brietbart had a video in hand and published it on the Monday after all of the discussion about racists in the tea party people. It was his attempt at exacting a piece of flesh. It’s also clear that he didn’t give one whit about Ms. Sherrod.
The same bloggers who pounch on and/or make things up, pounced on the video and false characterization and I watched it, hoping that someone somewhere would ask the question — is this accurate?
Finally yesterday morning, I saw one hot link on memeorandum — it was from the Atlanta paper. It had an interview with Ms. Sherrod. I clicked that mother fucking link on every computer I could log onto. Why? Because it discredited everything Brietbart had said. Everything. I’m certain that there were many people like me who clicked on that link, knowing that it would rise to the top of memeorandum. We may not be big blogger types or radio types, but we can push a story, too, even on a wingnut site like memorandum.
When did someone anywhere say WTF? If you believe Kathleen, she did, as well as others who travel in her circles (she seems to only read the Corner). But truth be told, Kathleen’s friends were the first ones on the bandwagon to call Ms. Sherrod a racist. You will have to look at their blogs/facebook :( pages to see if they have apologized. Here’s what Michela Berry had to say on his teenage facebook page:
Federal Official resigns after caught on tape making racist remarks against white farmer at NAACP event…Andrew Breitbart released the tape which shows Shirley Sherrod, USDA’s Georgia State Director of Rural Development, admitting that she did not help a farm with ‘full force’ because he was white. Interestingly the NAACP crowd was not outraged by the incident. NAACP put out a statement about Sherrod saying, “Racism is about the abuse of power. Sherrod had it in her position at USDA. According to her remarks, she mistreated a white farmer in need of assistance because of his race.”
Michela hasn’t corrected anything. I didn’t expect him to. He just lies and lies and lies.
At any rate, Kathleen claims to have been sole support for Ms. Sherrod. Given what I have read about Ms. Sherrod’s view of FOX News, Kathleen might not feel so comfortable having a beer with her.
But let’s get back to the main point I have: for years — decades — farming policy has been dominated by big agribusiness. Family farms have struggled to survive — and I am not talking about “family” agribusiness farms — just simple family farms. Capitalism would dictate that the large companies win — little family farms can’t compete — look at any industry and tell me that consolidation doesn’t happen when the market is left to itself.
It’s my hope that this mess will lead to a greater examination of what Ms. Sherrod was working on and perhaps bring some media attention to it.
As an addendum: Kathleen doesn’t seem to have heard that Ms. Sherrod is no fan of Fox News and proclaims:
She said Fox showed no professionalism in continuing to bother her for an interview, but failing to correct their coverage.
“I think they should but they won’t. They intended exactly what they did. They were looking for the result they got yesterday,” she said of Fox. “I am just a pawn. I was just here. They are after a bigger thing, they would love to take us back to where we were many years ago. Back to where black people were looking down, not looking white folks in the face, not being able to compete for a job out there and not be a whole person.”
Still, Fox continued to push for an interview with her, Sherrod said.
“It was unbelievable. I am refusing to be on there. They have been calling me and calling me. I have refused to do an interview because they are biased,” she explained. “I don’t think Fox News does it fairly. It is worse so now. I have sat and listened to the way they cover the news even before this administration and I saw what was going on.”
Sherrod said this situation has worsened her view of racism in media coverage.
“I think it is race. You think we have come a long way in terms of race relations in this country, but we keep going backwards,” she said. “We have become more racist. This was their doing, Breitbart put that together misrepresenting what I was saying and Fox carried it.”
And reading this, Kathleen says:
This is what happens when one is constantly on the defensive, and trying to control the narrative. Pres. Obama and the left need to stop worrying about Fox News, the blogs, and radio talk show hosts, and DO THEIR JOB.
I guess because Kathleen nor Michela read anything but Fox sites they missed that interview.