If you listen to the entire video of Shirley Sherrod’s infamous NAACP remarks, somewhere around the 14 minute mark, your stomach will start to curdle as you hear her describe her father’s death at the hands of a group of southern white men in the sixties.
“My father wasn’t the first black person to be killed. He was a leader in the community. He wasn’t the first one to be killed by, by white men in the county. But I couldn’t just let his death go without doing something in answer to what happened. I made the commitment on the night of my father’s death at the age of 17 that I would not leave the south, that I would stay in the south and devote my live to working for change. And I’ve been true to that commitment all of these 45 years.
You know, when you look at some of the things that I’ve done through the years, and when you look at some of the things that happened to us. I went, I went to school my first two years at Fort Valley, I know there are some Albany State graduates in here too. I did my first two years at Fort Valley, but so much was happening back at home and then I met this man here—I’ll tell you a little bit about him – that I transferred back to Albany State, and did the last two years.
But two weeks after I went to school at Fort Valley they called and told me that a bunch of white men had gathered outside of our home and burned the cross one night. Now in the house was my mother, my four sisters, and my brother, who was born June 6 and this was September. That was all in the house that night. What my mother and one of sisters went out on the porch. My mother had a gun.
Another sister, you know, some of the stuff, it’s like movies, some of the stuff that happened through the years—I won’t tell go into everything, I’ll just tell you about this—one of my sisters got on the phone, cause we were having, we organized the movement, started June of ’65, shortly, not long after my father’s death. That’s how I met my husband. He wasn’t from the north. See, I was going to marry someone from the north. He’s from up south, though, in Virginia.
But anyway, one of my sisters got on the phone, and called other black men in the county, and it wasn’t long before they had surrounded these white men, and they had to keep one young man from actually using his gun on one of them. You probably would have read about it had that happened that night. But they actually allowed those men to leave—they backed away and allowed them to get out of there. But um, I won’t go into some of the other things that happened that night.
But do know that mother and my sister were out on that porch with a gun and my mother said “I see you. I know who you are.” She recognized some of them.”
Excerpt transcribed from Shirley Sherrod NAACP video
I recognize some of their offspring myself, fifty five years later. I see them. I know who they are:
I could whip up a nice long litany of acid laced remarks about these media stars and their acolytes (that’s “followers” to you, Mrs. Palin, in case you don’t have your dictionary handy) that practically shows in high definition how the hatred in the hearts of the men that surrounded Mrs. Sherrod’s family home on that fateful night back in the sixties is the same hatred that spews from FOX News every night of the week, as if Beck, O’Reilly and Hannity are hell bent on taking the entire country back in time. But I’m not going to go there today, because Mrs. Sherrod’s story in the transcript above speaks for itself. The kind of truth telling that Mrs. Sherrod engaged in, beginning around at about the 16 minute mark in the video above, is the kind of honest discourse we need more of in this country, not less.
As much as Andrew Breitbart is to blame for this, the lion’s share of the guilt lies with the FOX on-air personalities, because they have willingly allowed the use of their network to amplify a non-story. FOX commentators have willfully transmogrified a personal anecdote about a white farmer that Mrs. Sherrod was obviously using as a teachable moment during her remarks into a totally unfounded indictment of black Americans, one of many accusations made by this network on an almost nightly basis that are meant to satisfy the perverse fetishes and fantasies of their viewing audience.
These cable news fear mongers picked the wrong one this time, though. Not only is the trumped up story of Mrs. Sherrod’s racist remarks a sham, it is a sham that sits on top of a real story, story that explains in a nutshell why the “eye for an eye” crowd of bible thumpers FOX caters to have always been so afraid of an imagined level of African American retribution. This fear today is the same fear that had the Nazis cooking Jews in ovens Europe, the same kind of fear that had southern whites roasting blacks over open flames in the very same Georgia where Mrs. Sherrod grew up.
I won’t hold my breath waiting for the FOX commentators to give up this demented line of reasoning any time soon, though. As Lyndon Johnson once said, “reporters are puppets. They simply respond to the pull of the most powerful strings.” And as long as Rupert Murdoch feels that he can easily stack up a few more billions by bankrolling this bullshit excuse for a television news network, he will continue to play puppeteer to his rabid band of TV studio marionettes.