Social Question

Cruiser's avatar

How come racist comments at NAACP event ignored by broadcast TV?

Asked by Cruiser (40401points) July 20th, 2010

I read about Dept of Ag employee Shirley Sherrod bragging at an NAACP event about how she intentionally withheld assistance to a white farmer. Wow! How come main stream media is largely ignoring this occurrence when last week all three TV networks made a big stink over the Tea Party supposed racial remarks?!?

Both situations are an awful reminder that racism is alive and well in our country, but media bias is fanning the flames of this issue and what is up with this imbalance of reporting??

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55 Answers

ItsAHabit's avatar

This is just another example of systematic media bias. Although it’s been scientifically documented for decades, I think it’s getting worse.

dpworkin's avatar

This is a push-poll question. You’re not looking for answers, you’re just rallying the base and stirring the shit.

Cruiser's avatar

@dpworkin It’s pretty obvious there is a bias out there and no need to keep it in the dark and ignoring that fact certainly won’t make things better.

josie's avatar

It is an extension of the hypothesis that history is nothing more than an ongoing struggle between the Opressor, and the Opressed. Some of this notion has drifted into the social and legal environment of our time. A fundamental principle of it is that the Opressed can not be guilty of, let’s say, racism, since they do not have the power to harm anyone with their racism. The followers of the doctrine will assert that non-whites, females, non-Christians, non-Westerners, people in the Southern Hemisphere, and others, are currently holding the title of the Opressed. Everybody else is the Opressor. Since the NAACP is regarded as a “black” organization (it was founded by whites) then they usually get a pass because much of the press are believers in the Opressor/Opressed conflict. And before everybody jumps on me, I am just reporting the news. I have my own difficulties in life without worrying who follows this doctrine or who does not. But now that I think of it, as a taxpayer, I am feeling a little opressed.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

[moderates self]

kevbo's avatar

In the end, she gave him adequate assistance, but didn’t make him a pet project. I don’t see how that equates with “withholding assistance.” In the meantime, she subjectivly reflected on the overall fairness of the transaction given his disposition and her personal experience. A day in the life of a civil servant, it seems.

It would be great if she were able to rise above her personal experiences with institutionalized racism vis a vis her family, but I think it’s a pretty tame “denial of service” when compared to the status quo 50 or 60 years ago. Hell, my HS’s basketball team wasn’t allowed into a Wendy’s restaurant in Mississippi because they were comprised of black and white students, and this was in the late 80s.

kevbo's avatar

is this statement from the article’s comments true?

CNN reported this, including the following information:

1) She was describing an incident in her distant past as an example of how she THOUGHT these issues were all about race, but really she was wrong. Those are the best stories for taking out of context, aren’t they?

2)  The incident happened 20 years ago while she worked for a non-profit.  She wasn’t a government employee at the time.  She wasn’t in charge of “billions” of dollars!

So the video cuts off just as she starts explaining how the incident opened her eyes to the fact that it was not a race issue.  Mr. Sheppard, cleverly, cuts off his transcript even before that, because at the end of the video she starts to say some inconcenient things that make it clear that the point of the story was to show how she was WRONG to treat someone that way because of their race.

gemiwing's avatar

CNN youtube link where she explains herself.

jfos's avatar

—”Wow! How come main stream media is largely ignoring this occurrence…?!
—”Both situations are an awful reminder that racism is alive and well in our country, but media bias is fanning the flames of this issue

So… do you think it should be reported as another awful reminder that racism is ”still alive and well in our country,” or do you think the media should stop ”fanning the flames of this issue?”

janbb's avatar

I really question when snippets of videos are used by either side to “prove” something about the other side and @kevbo‘s research about CNN’s coverage shows that was the case here. Everyone needs to read his post. When are we going to stop this shit and start solving problems as a country?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Oh, well…clearly this is because the mainstream media hates white people!

tinyfaery's avatar

Fluther is not a soapbox.

ETpro's avatar

In fact, that NAACP speech was 20 years ago and racism was a far bigger obstacle to blacks then than now. But there is racism in the black community just as in the white, and right now it’s often more openly displayed among minorities because they are the ones that suffer from it. Ms. Sherrod has used the example in speeches since to demonstrate how it is in the interest of all races to drop stereotyping of others who are of different ethnic origins.

Try to put yourself in her shoes. If you were oppressed and dismissed as inferior by the majority population where you lived, would you not begin complaining about it? Would the majority population that benefited from holding your kind down complain? Why should they. They are on the winning end of the equation, and would rather it not even be discussed. Just leave things as they are would be their philosophy. Punish anyone who speaks out.

I am sorry that Ms. Sherrod resigned in the face of this. I would have preferred she hold her ground, explain herself, and let the chips fall where they may. It may have been a teachable moment lost.

Cruiser's avatar

Actually her speech was in March but was relating her involvement with the white farmer years ago and it appears now that this poor lady is being railroaded and lost her USDA job all because of selfish Party and media agenda’s.

“She told CNN that at the time, she was working with a nonprofit association aimed at assisting farmers in Georgia and the Southeast. In the end, she said, the lawyer did not help the farmer and she “had to frantically find a lawyer who would file a Chapter 11 to stop the foreclosure.

Sherrod said she wound up being friends with the farmer and his wife.

She said she tried to explain her speech to USDA officials, “but for some reason, the stuff Fox and the Tea Party does is scaring the administration. I told them to get the whole tape and look at the whole tape and see how I tell people we have to get beyond race and work together.”

Further makes my point about the media bias and the gross role they play in public opinion. Thanks for everybody’s help in straightening this out.

ItsAHabit's avatar

Racism is racism. Period. And it should never be defended. We show ourselves to be hypocrites if we have a double standard.

josie's avatar
But there is a double standard, obviously. If I were asked to do so, I could not even bring myself to type the words that would be the white racist analogue of what King Shabazz says out loud in this video.

kevbo's avatar

Reminds me of this story.

Pandora's avatar

When it comes to the media, its all about what sells papers and gets viewers. The media stopped reporting news years ago. Its all about sensationalism. A little bit of truth with a who lot of drama.

Kraigmo's avatar

What FAKE news site did you read this from?
The reason they don’t talk about this, is it’s NOT news. (Or it wasn’t news, until the controversy began. Now it’s news.)

The video of that lady is edited! The whole point of her speech was to put DOWN her past ignorant behavior. She eventually helped that white farmer and became friends with him.

Whatever trashy site or blog you got your “news” from, failed to mention that.

YARNLADY's avatar

Two words: Free speech

kevbo's avatar

CNN has claimed that they did not run the story immediately, because they wanted to fact check the story. Other news orgs ran with the immediately available part of the story which seems to have resulted in her resignation at the behest of the White House admin.

btw, it’ll be the topic of conversation on CNN for the next two hours.

Cruiser's avatar

@kevbo I am amazed the White House, NAACP and USDA all came down so hard on her for this.

kevbo's avatar

Here’s some other interesting facts:

She and a black cooperative of farmers won a $13 million lawsuit against the USDA just 3 months ago. The suit had been going on for a decade and was regarding discrimination in administering an agricultural grant program.

Her dad was killed by the KKK a white farmer who was never prosecuted..

The farmer in question is on TV now saying that she did a bang up job for them. She claims they were the first white farmers she’d ever had to advocate for her.

Now the white house is denying that they had anything to do with her resignation.

Jesus—who needs reality TV when you have this?

janbb's avatar

The more I learn about people the mroe I love my (dead) dog.

filmfann's avatar

You said “Both situations are an awful reminder that racism is alive and well in our country”

Actually, the awful reminder of how racism is alive and well in this country, is how the speech was edited to make it seem that she didn’t do her best for whitey.

Fox, and the editor of this film, need to be horsewhipped.

josie's avatar

@filmfann When you say whitey, are you including me? If so, you should say it to my face.

ETpro's avatar

@ItsAHabit There was a rush to judgement here. The full tape of the speech shows that she was relating an annecdote from 24 years ago when she was working for a Georgia non-profit, not the USDA. She told the current NAACP crowd that she had learned that her mission was to reach out to all people in need, whatever their race. This coming from a woman whose own father was lynched by the KKK. The crowd applauded. She then related the anecdote, in which a poor white farmer had come to her for help saving his farm. She said her first reaction was to think that whites have it good enough, and to not give him the full assistance she knew how to provide. But then she thought that her real mission was not to help blacks, buit all who are poor and in need. She did help the man, and she saved him from losing his farm. He and his wife have come to her defense.

Either Andrew Britebart or the person who sent him the tape edited it. They moved the applause from the point of introducing the story to the point where she said she didn’t want to help a white man. It was a LIE. It was a shameful attack on a woman who has spent 24 years helpoing people, and now thanks to a rush to judgment similar to that in the ACORN fake tape, has lost her job.

Yeah,m racism is racism, and the people who edited that tape to make it look like the NAACP are racist are the racist in question. Being it’s Britebart, that leads back to the Tea Party. Apparently their idea of how to punish the NAACP for telling the truth that there are racist elements in the Tea Party is to use race baiting as a weapon. Racism is Racism, and the people who rushed to judgement without giving Ms. Sherrod a chance to tell her side are showing it. Lying is lying, too. And whoever edited that tape is a racist liar.

josie's avatar

It is beginning to sound like everybody on this site thinks that everybody else is a racist-except them!

ETpro's avatar

@josie That seems to be about where race relations are at in America today. I;m in an interracial relationship, and have been for 35 years. I believe I can honestly say I do my utmost to avoid racism, and to challenge it when I see it regardless of the color of the person expressing it.

josie's avatar

@ETpro I am also in an interracial relationship (the most beautiful woman on earth by the way). I served in the military with every race identified by man. I simply can not believe that much of this American racial “hysteria” is not contrived for either political purposes, or to gain acceptance into the post modern bourgeoise of sensitivity. Either way, it borders on repulsive.

filmfann's avatar

@josie The comment was directed towards @Cruiser, but I wasn’t refering to him or you. I was refering to the editor of the tape .

ETpro's avatar

@josie How right you are. This was most definitely a political hatchet job, I can’t say who knew it was all a lie, edited to make a good thing look despicable. But whoever did the editing knew it was a lie, and they definitely did it as a political attack. The media types that jumped on it without fact checking first are also at fault. The OP’s question gives that away. The question was why isn’t the mainstream media jumping on this. The answer is because they fact check stories that come in from the blogosphere, they don’t just run with them when the story suits their political bias.

ItsAHabit's avatar

Indeed, there was a rush to judgment….by the Administration. What the complete video showed was a woman who first stated that she had discriminated against a white farm family because of their race. This was greeted by great applause from the NAACP members in attendance. She then explained that she had second thoughts and ended up not discriminating.

However, the intent of showing the video was to demonstrate the apparent hypocrisy of the NAACP in calling the Tea Party movement racist although clearly cheering applauding someone say that she had engaged in discriminating against a white family.

josie's avatar

@ItsAHabit There ya go. Nobody’s hands are clean in the racism racket. Screw all of them.

ETpro's avatar

@ItsAHabit That’s the new lie cooked up to explain yesterday’s lie.

First, bear in mind this is a woman whose father was lynched by the KKK. What the full tape showed was her telling the audience she was going to explain how she overcame the racial hatred she felt toward whites because of her loss of her father. That is what the NAACP audience actually applauded—her message of redemption. Britebart or whoever edited the tape editor moved that applause to make it look like they were cheering her discriminating against a white farmer. Lie number 2 to make lie number 1 look OK. We’re not out to get Ms. Sherrod. She’s actually OK. We’re out to get the racist NAACP.

The whole story is out now. The anecdote happened 24 years ago. She first thought to deny help to the white farmer, but then thought that her real job was to help all who needed it, and she in fact did help him. He and his wife credit her with saving their farm.

The fact that Andrew Britebart and Fox News are trying to spin this now as about the NAACP’s reverse racism just proves who the real race baiters are. And this episode is just one more i a long history of Fox race baiting. Murdoch will do it as long as enough whites still fall for it.

But you are ever so right that the Obama Administration rushed to judgement too—or maybe more accurately needs to get in to see a good orthopedic surgeon for a spine transplant.

shilolo's avatar

Who here is (wo)man enough to retract their statements given today’s news? Even Fox News, which helped promote this meme, is backtracking. Care to own up? Anyone? Buehler?

shilolo's avatar

@ItsAHabit Care to explain your very first comment? Systematic media bias? On the part of which media conglomerate? Oh, yeah, Fox News. Course, now that the full video is out, you (and others) need to switch gears. That’s integrity for you.

YARNLADY's avatar

S much for media integrity.

kevbo's avatar

@shilolo, I retract my statements.


ETpro's avatar

@YARNLADY Actually, aside from reporting the firing when it happened, the much maligned Mainstream Media did not fall for this one, much to their credit. The very fact it came from Andrew Breitbart, the same guy who first pushed the heavily edited videotape seemingly damning ACORN, but which was later proven to be a propaganda effort produced by film editing to make an ACORN employee who actually did the right thing look like a scumbag. ACORN largely helped blacks in inner cities, and thus the press had reason to suspect Breitbart might be up to phony race baiting yet again. Too bad Vilsack wasn’t as savvy.

ItsAHabit's avatar

shilolo Research studies going back as far as the 1970s have found a liberal bias in the press. There was an oligopoly controlling TV (ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS) for a very long period of time. Now, with cable and the internet, there is diversity of reporting and many people hate the fact that that the old media no longer control the news. Walter Cronkite (“The most trusted man in America”) said that “The news is what I say is the news.” We should all be pleased that those old days of controlled news are gone. When Matt Drudge broke the Monica Lewinsky story, the press attacked his credentials (he had never attended a school of journalism) at first and tried to minimize the story. Now we have many perspectives and biases rather than just one. Those of us who REALLY believe in free speech, and don’t just mouth support for it, are delighted.

shilolo's avatar

@ItsAHabit One does not prove the other. Whether there is a liberal bias or not (I happen to believe NOT given the conservative New York Post, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Fox News, etc.) is IRRELEVANT to this instance. A conservative blogger deliberately misrepresented evidence, did zero research, won’t acknowledge his “error” and yet you seem to defend him all the while claiming liberal bias? The facts in this case are no longer in dispute, even by Fox News. That you cannot bring yourself to admit you were wrong only proves something about you and your character.

ItsAHabit's avatar

If you believe, in spite of all the research, that the NYT and the Washington Post are conservative, then you might be living in your own little world. Well, not exactly, Mao, Mussolini, Stalin, and many others would agree with you.

ETpro's avatar

@ItsAHabit There is a liberal bias if you like to call it that among well educated people in general, and most reporters and editors are well educated. However, while individual newspapers once had a bias based on the political leanings of its top management, most of the print and broadcast media today is woned by a handful of huge multinational corporations. What bias they do lend to their news outlets often toward support for corporatism. The fact that General Electric gives as much freedom as it does to NBC and certainly to MSNBC is an exception that proves the rule.

ItsAHabit's avatar

Thanks for recognizing that there is a liberal bias in the media.

Many people are unable to recognize this. They are more likely to be Marxists and other extreme leftists and will never be able to recognize this fact. And I say “unable” rather than unwilling because it isn’t a matter of desire but of inability. The psychologist Milton Rokeach investigated this phenomenon and published it in The Open and Closed Mind. I wish there were more people like you who have an open mind.

ETpro's avatar

@ItsAHabit I have to stop the agreement when you define anyone with liberal sentiments as a Marxist. That is a bald faced lie. There are not many Marxists in the US press and media today outside openly Marxist fringe organizations.

filmfann's avatar

Rather was more liberal than Cronkite, but more poetic. NBC under Brokow was moderate. I don’t believe the media in general has a liberal bias, but they don’t buy the shit Republicans dish out.
Drudge didn’t do the leg work on the Lewinski story, he just published someone elses work on his website.
I think the press may appear to be more liberal than it did 4 years ago, because, under Bush, our government reached fascist levels, and people were afraid to speak out. We still have large segments of the population who believe there is nothing wrong with arresting, detaining, and torturing individuals, and not giving them access to the courts. That simply isn’t American.

ItsAHabit's avatar

ETpro Please re-read what I wrote. I did not say that liberals are Marxists but that Marxists are extreme liberals. I’m sure you didn’t mean to call me a liar.

Actually there are many Marxists and neo-Marxists in the U.S., mostly in colleges and universities.

shilolo's avatar

@ItsAHabit Nice job deflecting from your behavior. Applause. Moreover, you really should read peoples’ posts more for the sake of comprehension. I wrote comparing the New York Post (not the New York Times), Wall Street Journal and Fox News. All three are owned by Rupert Murdoch, and have a very similar conservative style (that is, if you believe Fox News actually reports “news” and not right wing propaganda.)

ETpro's avatar

@ItsAHabit I see how you could parse your words, and did when I originally read it. But you look again as well if you wish to be true to the work of Milton Rokeach you would have to admit that many, reading what you wrote, would come away with the impression you were claiming that there are lots of Marxists and extreme leftist working in the media. That isn’t so, and I wanted to not that it isn’t so. In surveys where people self identify, there aren’t even many Marxists and extreme leftists anywhere in the USA. They are not poised to take over anything.

I don’t know what you mean by “there are many Marxist and neo-Marxists in the USA” but I would challenge you to show some source. I searched for self identified Marxists in the USA and couldn’t find any credible study. If there is such a study, I would bet their percentage of the population is quite small.

Yes, as professions go, the Marxist sympathizers numbers are probably greatest in academia. I should note that none of these who I have ever traded thoughts with yearned for a Soviet style dictatorship. They were idealists wishing for the type of Communist society the Bible mentions the early Christians shared. I think if you have to go round up all the Soviet style commies the John Birch Society keeps warning us about, you could haul them all off to Moscow in a Learjet.

ItsAHabit's avatar

I wrote “Thanks for recognizing that there is a liberal bias in the media.
Many people are unable to recognize this. They are more likely to be Marxists and other extreme leftists….” This does not in any way imply that “there are lots of Marxists and extreme leftist working in the media.” I don’t see how anyone who is open-minded would draw that conclusion.

The point is that those with extreme beliefs “are unable to recognize” that “there is a liberal bias in the media.” And saying that there is a liberal bias in the media doesn’t indicate that that there are no exceptions.

ETpro's avatar

@ItsAHabit The same is most totally true of those on the right. There is an extreme right wing bias in a large section of the blogosphere, talk radio and all the media outlets Rupert Murdoch and Sun Myung Moon own. But you don’t have to go as far right as The American Nazi Party, The John Birch Society, Stormefront, The David Duke Society, the KKK or any of the other host of radical right groups. A much larger group of right wingers than those radical groups represent defend the perfection of all right-wing media and are convinced that all main stream media tells nothing but lies.

Those who get most or all their news from Fox, or from Rush and other right-wing talk radio personalities, or on the right-wing blogosphere number in the tens of millions, and just about to a one they will insist that their right-wing media his no bias, only the liberal Main Stream Media has a bias. Even when shown evidence of lies told by their beloved media, they will insist the lie is the truth and go right back to believing.

ItsAHabit's avatar

ETpro You’re correct. Extremists on the right also distort what they see, read and hear. Psychological research has long demonstrated that. It has also shown that while those on the extremes tend to be more knowledgeable factually, they distort their perceptions much, much more than those in the middle.

Those of either extreme insist that they are correct (and have no bias) and those on the other side are wrong (and are highly biased). That’s one reason I get so frustrated with those who see things in partisan terms.

In spite of the left-leanings of most researchers, their evidence nevertheless indicates that most of what we commonly call the media lean left.

ETpro's avatar

@ItsAHabit I agree they lean ever so slightly left. I oftne quip that leaning too far , you tip over. Doesn’t matter whether you lean way to the left or way to the right. In the 60s, we have a overabundance of people leaning too for to the left to stay on their feet. Now the bumper crop if tilting too far to the right to keep their footing. Too bad we can’t stop the pendulum swinging and just stay some where in the center.

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