Not to belabor the Shirley Sherrod point further, but let’s belabor it. The context for all of this is the NAACP’s statement a few weeks back, which said this:
Today, NAACP delegates passed a resolution to condemn extremist elements within the Tea Party, calling on Tea Party leaders to repudiate those in their ranks who use racist language in their signs and speeches.
In response, a guy named Mark Williams, the spokesman for the Tea Party Express (admittedly, I have some difficulty keeping all the various tea factions straight), posted this letter on his website, presumably to disprove the idea that there are any “extremist elements within the Tea Party.”
Dear Mr. Lincoln,
We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!
In fact we held a big meeting and took a vote in Kansas City this week. We voted to condemn a political revival of that old abolitionist spirit called the ‘tea party movement’.
The tea party position to “end the bailouts” for example is just silly. Bailouts are just big money welfare and isn’t that what we want all Coloreds to strive for? What kind of racist would want to end big money welfare? What they need to do is start handing the bail outs directly to us coloreds! Of course, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the only responsible party that should be granted the right to disperse the funds.
And the ridiculous idea of “reduce[ing] the size and intrusiveness of government.” What kind of massa would ever not want to control my life? As Coloreds we must have somebody care for us otherwise we would be on our own, have to think for ourselves and make decisions!
The racist tea parties also demand that the government “stop the out of control spending.” Again, they directly target coloreds. That means we Coloreds would have to compete for jobs like everybody else and that is just not right.
Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government “stop raising our taxes.” That is outrageous! How will we coloreds ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn? Totally racist! The tea party expects coloreds to be productive members of society?
Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house. Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we belong.
Precious Ben Jealous, Tom’s Nephew NAACP Head Colored Person
[Late ed.: The guy who wrote that finally resigned from this spokesman post on Friday, several weeks after he wrote it.]
By the way, Randy Wilkinson is running as the Tea Party candidate, even though I don’t think such a formal party exists, in the race for Congress. Any statement on that Randy?
Anyway, Andrew Breitbart’ and Fox’s flogging of the three black guys/black panthers on tape not using a billy club two years ago and the Shirley Sherrod affair was meant as a sort of counterweight to the NAACP’s complaint about the Tea Party and Mark Williams, et, al. That’s the context for all of this. Fox covers the “Tea Party Movement” obsessively from what I can gather. So tell me watchers, did they report at all on the content of this note? Did they flog it 43 times for 3 1/2 hours?
I made a decision some time ago never again to refer to someone as racist. It’s a word, for better or worse, now drained of all meaning.
But read that note and ask yourself what you would call it.
Compare it to the NAACP’s very mild statement and think about your reactions to both and what they say about you. Think about the fact that some white man shot Shirley Sherrod’s father in the back over some cows when she was a 17-year-old girl. Think about the fact that an all-white grand jury refused to indict. Think about how often that happened — I’ll give you a hint, a lot — for more than 100 years. And now think about the fact that Shirley Sherrod never gave up on her country, while you guys lose one election to guy with politics like the elder Bush, “Hussein” in his middle name, and a peculiar pigment, and you all whine and moan and talk about losing your country and get off on pornographic Fox videos of black people doing things you fantasize about them doing.
Now think about how J.D. Alexander and other aristocratic “conservatives” use your weakness for racial and cultural pornography to enrich themselves with your money. They’ve been doing it non-stop since 1867. Hope it was worth it.
In short, grow the hell up and observe the world as it is. Stop screaming for government to get out of your Medicare. Stop griping about government when you’re about to retire on its pension. Stop whining about how the world was better before the New Deal and Civil Rights, when large numbers of people had no recourse of legal protection for their bodies and their property. That’s the basis of constitutional conservatism, and you want to go back to a time when it didn’t exist–in the name of “conservatism.”
One of our commenters on the other Shirley Sherrod piece suggested that I’m a bully. I thought addressing that point was fundamental reason for writing the piece in the first place. But let me reiterate, and clarify, and state without qualification: I am a bully. Full stop.
But I don’t bully the bullied – or those on the business end of mobs, real or virtual. If you’re sitting around watching 43 reports totaling 3 and 1/2 hours of Fox pornography about three black guys in Philly, you’re part of a mob. It’s a much less powerful, scary, and murderous one than those our ancestors dealt with. That makes my bullying a lot less significant, and certainly there’s nothing especially brave about it. But it is what it is. You’re certainly welcome not to read or reflect on anything I say. But don’t look to me to tell you that you’re not doing what you’re doing.
And ask yourself if you’ve ever complained about bullying from somebody like, say, O’Reilly. I’d take a bet on the answer.