The initial smearing and subsequent vindication of Shirley Sherrod is hardly the first time that a quote was taken out of context in order to further a political agenda and it certainly won’t be the last. The sad affair serves as an object lesson to everyone in the media, old and new, of the importance of fully understanding a story before breaking it. Yet, while a heretofore virtually unknown official in the USDA will emerge from this fiasco with her head held high and her reputation intact, one can’t say as much when it comes to the Obama administration. The shabby treatment that the White House subjected this good lady to was embarrassing to say the least, from a knee-jerk dismissal through a presidential apology that fell entirely flat.
According to Fox, after she received an apology from the president himself, Sherrod said that she’s still not convinced that Obama fully supports her. Moreover, she expressed a desire to teach him some life lessons, adding that the president is “…not someone who has experienced some of the things I’ve experienced in life.” As more and more Americans are starting to realize, Barack Obama hasn’t experienced most of the things that the people he is supposed to be leading have experienced. The president is the product of a sheltered academic world that morphed into the fantasyland of liberal politics without any pause to discover what the average Joe and Josephine do for a living or how they think. His secluded, narcissistic life explains the two characteristics of Barack Obama and his administration that made their discreditable reaction to the Sherrod affair so inevitable: the president’s schizophrenic attitude about race and the administration’s refusal to put away their campaign planner and get down to the dirty and often thankless job of governing a nation.
It’s ironic that this so-called “post racial” president has done more to inflame the dying embers of racism in America than any president since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, not because of the color of the president’s skin – America was ready to, and did, embrace the deep symbolism of electing Barack Obama to the nation’s highest office – but because of the hue of his attitudes and that of those surrounding him. On the one hand, Barack Obama hopes that America can get past whatever vestiges of racism remain in this country. Americans may argue about how significant an issue that is today, but the overwhelming majority of us agree that is a worthy goal.
On the other hand, the president and his advisors continually inject racism into discussions that should have nothing to do with race. The perception, justified or not, is that this administration in continually trying to impose limitations in public discourse that are, de facto if not de jure, “separate but equal,” depending on one’s pigmentation. There’s a set of standards that applies to the Van Jones, Jeremiah Wrights and Henry Gates of the world, and another that applies to everybody else, from Tea Partiers to Fox News. In an ideal world, presumably even in the nirvana that liberals dream about, people would be judged strictly as individuals rather than pre-judged as a member of a particular group. Yet, the Obama White House is obsessed with the group and doesn’t appear to give much thought to the individual.
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