Posted by | July 20, 2010 18:32 | Filed under: Top Stories

A video of the Agriculture Department’s now-former director of rural development in Georgia, Shirley Sherrod, speaking to the NAACP, has conservatives up in arms and the Obama administration taking knee-jerk action to dismiss Sherrod.  The video is a short segment of a speech where Sherrod discusses the conflict she had helping a white couple save their farm when so many blacks suffered the same economic distress.

Right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart made a big deal of this in an effort to defend the tea party against charges of racism and attack the NAACP.  But Breitbat has admitted to Talking Points Memo that he hasn’t seen the entire video, and that even these few clips are enough to cry racism.

“I think the video speaks for itself,” he said. “The way she’s talking about white people … is conveying a present tense racism in my opinion. But racism is in the eye of the beholder.”

He also takes issue with how the audience, many of them members of the NAACP, respond positively to her comments — proof, he says, of prevalent racism.

However, there is far more to the story than the 2-plus minutes above. The farmer’s wife, Eloise Spooner, now says Sherrod helped keep the family from bankruptcy.

Spooner, who considers Sherrod a “friend for life,” said the federal official worked tirelessly to help the Iron City couple hold onto their land as they faced bankruptcy back in 1986.

“Her husband told her, ‘You’re spending more time with the Spooners than you are with me,’ ” Spooner told the AJC. “She took probably two or three trips with us to Albany just to help us out.”

And there is a moral to the story for Sherrod, one omitted by the narrative pushed by conservatives all day.

She said the whole video would reveal that she eventually came to work closely with the white farmer and that she was trying to impart a lesson about how important it is to get “beyond the issue of race.”

“I went on to work with many more white farmers,” she said. “The story helped me realize that race is not the issue.”

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.