Wednesday, July 21, 2010

That didn't work out so well, did it? (UPDATED)

(please scroll to bottom of post for update)

Let's get straight to it. Left Coast Rebel has the full video of the axed USDA worker, Shirley Sherrod, in her presentation at an NAACP event where she allegedly makes her racist comments regarding a white farmer which caused her termination. Here's what we wrote in the comment section at LCR in an earlier post on this subject:

At this point, I don't feel comfortable with this. The video I saw cut off at what possibly may have been the "but..." moment. As if her narrative went from an act of bigotry to the realization that what she was doing was wrong. Except, if the realization part did indeed happen, we didn't see it.

If Breitbart edited the video in any way so that we did not get the full context then that is despicable as, for all we know, a dedicated civil servant was terminated.

If I am mistaken then so be it. This one, however, doesn't pass my gut check and is why I ran, instead, with goofy Brown Beret mama at the Angels game for my daily lefty racism/bigotry post.

At 18:45 begins the "but..." moment that did not make the original video that blew up on the internet on Monday.

Now, about these Alinsky tactics that many on the right, including ourselves, were so eager to embrace, especially after witnessing the guerrilla ops of James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles as they infiltrated Planned Parenthood offices: Be careful what you wish for. The left lives and dies by these tactics - we merely die because we can't afford screw-ups like that which Andrew Breitbart presented us.

The problem with adopting Alinsky tactics is precisely because in adopting Alinsky tactics you have explicitly bought into the mindset of the opposition. It is a mindset where everything you do, everything you say is informed by politics; that being the politics of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, class warfare, grievances, victimhood, etc.

It is our contention that our conservative beliefs are apolitical by nature. In our mind, the embracing of conservatism is, in large part, to free the mind of the political road map by which to live your life. The Alinsky tactics represent a day after day grind of bending the individual will to the machinery of politics as dictated by the ruling class when what it is we are trying to accomplish is to free the individual from this crushing grind.

In the end, it's about ideas, not gotcha. Should real instances of racism be brought to light? Absolutely. But playing this game is a dangerous one because it detracts from the end goals of increased individual freedom and liberty and too easily lends itself to embarrassing and shameful instances like this.

Shirley Sherrod is no racist and deserves her job back.

Let's all chill out for a moment, spend some time with Friedman, Hayek and the Book of Proverbs and think about what were doing.

UPDATE #1: We understand Andrew Breitbart received the edited version of the video and did not edit it himself. This does not excuse him from what transpired after he released this video. His supporters will say that he merely threw the video out there so that we all could come to our own conclusions. Bull shit. The "context" provided was to smear this woman as a bigot. Breitbart should have demanded to see the full-length video when presented with the edited version.

Having said that, we're big fans of Andrew Breitbart and the work he has done to date in battling the statist left. He screwed up on this one, however, and he needs to make things right.

Re: the White House... who acted stupidly. Good lord. What a bunch of spineless creeps. Video shows up Monday, Sherrod is out Tuesday. Got due process? Not these guys.


K T Cat said...

I'm glad I decided not to blog about this.

B-Daddy said...

Nice post Dean and well put. I think there are times when Alinsky tactics can be applied honestly, the manner in which Tucker Carlson is exposing the Journolist seems a good current example. But the dishonesty is exactly part of what we are fighting and need to rise above. Look at the dishonesty in selling Obamacare for instance. Do we want or even need to sell our agenda with similar sleazy tactics, hell no. Our agenda speaks for itself. Yes we will fight back; but always in an ethical manner.

Road Dawg said...

Let’s not demean Breithart by mischaracterizing the video as a “screw-up”. We shouldn’t take the same path as Team Obama by immediately throwing him under the bus without knowing the context and reasoning of his video post.

The subject matter of the video was NOT Sherrod, but the jeers and cheers of the NAACP audience prior to the “but” moment in an effort to expose the hypocrisy since the NAACP has alleged racism within the Tea Party movement and in Breitbart’s words “for them to talk about racism they should not be throwing stones in glass houses.”

Breitbart: The reason why Shirley Sherrod is the story not the NAACP because the White House which stands by the forced resignation, harassment as she said, they made the story about Shirley

Breithart’s video was misrepresented as a means of outing Sherrod and both the left and the right were not interesting in the purpose of the video, but damage control and scoring political points. Mr. K.T. is correct to stay out until the story unfolds.

This is so similar to “the police acted foolishly”. Glen Beck, Rush, and Hannity have supported Sherrod. How’s that look on her resume?

Dean said...

KT, that cooling off period paying off already, huh?

Brian, thanks for the kind words.

'Dawg, we're going to have to agree to disagree. Sherrod was indeed the focal point of this dust-up because Brietbart released the edited video and as a result of that combined with a spineless response from the White House, this woman's career has been most likely cut short.

Breitbart should've asked for the full-length video. It's pretty simple

Road Dawg said...

Agreed, but I have heard his response and felt it sincere. We will see how it plays out. But poorly played and counterplayed on many sides.

K T Cat said...

Dean, the cooling off period has been terrific.

B-Daddy said...

I was a little surprised that Ms. Sherrod resigned under pressure. If I were smeared with edited video, I would not resign. I would tell those asking me to do so to contact my lawyer and be prepared to be on the receiving end of a civil lawsuit.

I tend to agree with 'Dawg about the reaction of the crowd at the NAACP gathering to be the more important part of this story. However, again, context matters. The audience may have been alerted to the redemption that comes at the end of the story. That gives the tape a 12-step kind of feel.

Context matters greatly. I have seen some video of police pulling out a can of whupass, often with racial overtones, only to later see the whole thing and realize how much they were provoked prior to the incident. That doesn't always happen, but it reminds us of the need to get all the facts.

Road Dawg said...

I took into context the fight Breitbart and his agenda: defending the preposterous racist accusations against the Tea Party by the NAACP.

In that context, I can understand his urgency to display the "get whitey" mob mentality of the audience in comparison to the accusations of racism under the Tea Party baner. The unedited or edited video displayed huge hypocrisy of the NAACP accusers of racist undercurrent as the NAACP leadership plays "the race card" without humility or consideration of reprisal. THAT should be the story.

So I can forgive Breitbart the indiscretion of editing. It didn't seem to be his intention after consideration of his explanation and YES his agenda is undermined by the “editing debate”. His rush to post without consideration of the fallout of the whole story seems to be the story, and that is our loss, but subsequent to hearing his explanation and knowing his agenda, I feel safe in giving him a pass.

Unfortunately the comparison displaying the shaky moral ground on which the NAACP lays its foundation is overshadowed by the journalistic editing debate. Where is the same debate over Couric and Palin?

Get over the editing debate. This is of minor consequence as we observe the wholesale racism of the NAACP crowd in the video. How did this get so overshadowed? This is not an Obama plot; they’re not that bright. Look how they handled it. STUPIDLY! But so are we. Sherrod is a hero, and her presentation to the crowd subsequent to the short end of the video post was courageous.

Everyone is a loser here if we don’t focus on the facts.

Dean said...

For reasons that are painfully obvious, us conservo-libertarians need to have our shit together better than this. Moving on.

K T Cat said...

After all is said and done on this, I'm not willing to give Ms. Sherrod a break at all. As far as I can tell, she's a racist. What jumped out at me had nothing to do with the resolution of the farmer's issues. Instead, it was the use of the term "his own kind" to refer to whites. It was done effortlessly and without guile. Whatever redemption happens at the end of the story, Ms. Sherrod and her audience all knew what was meant by "his own kind" and it was as natural to them as butter on bread. If that kind of talk isn't indicative of racism, then I don't know what is short of autographing copies of Mein Kampf for your friends for Christmas.