Shirley Sherrod, a USDA official in charge of rural development in Georgia, was forced to resign after Andrew Breitbart's Big Government Web site ran a video clip of a speech in which Sherrod said she had once dragged her feet in helping a white farmer because she resented his superior attitude.
The anecdote, delivered at an NAACP banquet, apparently described an event that happened 24 years ago. In the clip, Sherrod says that at the time, Chapter 12 bankruptcy for farmers had just been enacted, which would put the story in 1986 or soon after . During that period, Sherrod was working for a nonprofit, not for any government agency.
In the clip, Sherrod also clearly says that her attitude at the time was a mistake, and that when government officials failed to help the farmer, she realized that all poor people were suffering regardless of race. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the wife of the white farmer said that Sherrod went on to " keep us out of bankruptcy ."
The introductory titles on the Big Government clip describe Sherrod's speech this way:
Ms. Sherrod admits that in her federally appointed position, overseeing over a billion dollars ... She discriminates against people due to their race.
This is, by all evidence, a lie. Sherrod was not talking about her work in her current job. She was saying that racial discrimination was a bad thing.
Nevertheless, she had to go. Andrew Breitbart and Fox News had convinced people that there was a video clip showing a black official bragging about how she uses her job to actively discriminate against white people. The actual content of the video—let alone the context—didn't matter.
Breitbart is rapidly perfecting the 21st-century mau-mau: Conservative white people are so afraid of being discriminated against that if you mention the fact that sometimes black people don't like white people—even if you are telling a story about why racism is bad—you are automatically committing a hate crime against white conservatives. After three or four decades of whining about reverse racism, America now has achieved full-blown white victimology. The most powerful and dangerous groups in the nation are ACORN and the New Black Panther Party.
By 2013, Andrew Breitbart will be stuffing himself inside a trash bag, smearing himself with feces, and scrawling "honky" on his body.