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Daily Kos: Shirley Sherrod Sues Andrew Breitbart!

By FZ - Posted on 13 February 2011

February 13, 2011- Shirley Sherrod is suing Andrew Breitbart for releasing a deceptively edited video of a speech she gave to local NAACP group. The video was edited so that it appeared that Sherrod discriminated against white farmers. She lost her job with USDA. When the full speech was released it proved that Sherrod was no bigot.

I'm sure you remember the case of Shirley Sherrod, the USDA employee who lost her job when Andrew Breitbart released a highly edited video of her remarks to a NAACP group. Here's the post that Andrew Breitbart made when he released the video:

We are in possession of a video from in which Shirley Sherrod, USDA Georgia Director of Rural Development, speaks at the NAACP Freedom Fund dinner in Georgia. In her meandering speech to what appears to be an all-black audience, this federally appointed executive bureaucrat lays out in stark detail, that her federal duties are managed through the prism of race and class distinctions.
In the first video, Sherrod describes how she racially discriminates against a white farmer. She describes how she is torn over how much she will choose to help him. And, she admits that she doesn't do everything she can for him, because he is white. Eventually, her basic humanity informs that this white man is poor and needs help. But she decides that he should get help from "one of his own kind". She refers him to a white lawyer.

Sherrod's racist tale is received by the NAACP audience with nodding approval and murmurs of recognition and agreement. Hardly the behavior of the group now holding itself up as the supreme judge of another groups' racial tolerance.

Of course, that turned out to be completely untrue. Her tale was actually a heart-warming tale of overcoming prejudice and redemption. After a few days, the NAACP found the full video and released it. Shirley Sherrod had been deceptively edited and her story abruptly cut off.

By the time the video was released, Sherrod had lost her job and had been called a racist by many news commentators. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack did ask Sherrod to return to USDA, which she declined. The story has a coda, Sherrod is now suing Breitbart.


Mark Crispin Miller
Progressive Democrats of America