Following Andrew Breitbart’s release of a video showing now former USDA official Shirley Sherrod making questionable racial remarks to an NAACP audience regarding how she handled an interaction with a white farmer, she resigned from her position at the USDA on Monday.
Ms. Sherrod claims she was forced out by Obama administration. The NAACP first condemned Ms. Sherrod when the video first came out, but later turned around and defended Ms. Sherrod while attacking Mr. Breitbart and Fox News.
A longer version of the video, shot by a local NAACP has been posted, and the NAACP is pointing to it as proof that the organization was “snookered” by Mr. Breitbart. Ms. Sherrod has said she was taken out of context, because she was re-telling a story from the 1980’s about a situation she handled poorly.
Mr. Breitbart declared that the issue is not about Ms. Sherrod but about the NAACP attacking the tea party. On Fox News Channel’s Hannity on Tuesday evening, he remains critical of the NAACP audience for giving a positive reaction to Ms. Sherrod’s initial statements in the video.
“The tea party has extended its hand to the Congressional Black Caucus to investigate the ‘n’ word incident, and they have not responded, because they know that we caught them lying about it,” he explained to me on Tuesday night. “And the NAACP re-asserted that lie in order to negatively re-brand the Tea Party. They wanted to stop them in their tracks.”
In a press release sent on Tuesday, the NAACP stated in part:
“The NAACP has a zero tolerance policy against racial discrimination, whether practiced by blacks, whites, or any other group.
The NAACP also has long championed and embraced transformation by people who have moved beyond racial bias. Most notably, we have done so for late Alabama Governor George Wallace and late US Senator Robert Byrd — each a man who had associated with and supported white supremacists and their cause before embracing civil rights for all.
With regard to the initial media coverage of the resignation of USDA Official Shirley Sherrod, we have come to the conclusion we were snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart into believing she had harmed white farmers because of racial bias.
Having reviewed the full tape, spoken to Ms. Sherrod, and most importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this story, we now believe the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans.
The fact is Ms. Sherrod did help the white farmers mentioned in her speech. They personally credit her with helping to save their family farm.”
Mr. Breitbart responded to the NAACP saying, “The NAACP is trying to snooker America in claiming to care about weeding out racism in the tea part. What they are trying to do is maintain the grip of the black vote, because what the tea party is saying could potentially move a substantial number of black voters away from the liberal plantation.”
“They are snookering America by asserting a provable falsehood that the ‘n’ word was said at the Capitol Hill tea party rally, and that is a massive snooker. It’s an egregious slander of the tea party,” he said.