The smearing of Shirley Sherrod

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November 27, 2012 by kzhen

On July 19, it took less than 10 hours to get a federal employee to step down from her position. Shirley Sherrod’s name and character was smeared when blogger Andrew Breitbart posted a heavily-edited 2.5 minute video clip on his website, BigGovernment.com and claimed racism in the NAACP. Other conservative bloggers, FOX news, CNN and even the NAACP accepted the video clip as true and complete, and immediately disproved of and insulted Sherrod for her supposed racism against a white farmer.  Even when Sherrod and the farmers that she helped gave interviews to explain what really happened, they were not believed. It wasn’t until NAACP admitted being fooled and released the full video, did everyone finally realize that Sherrod was telling the truth. Conservatives blamed the White House for creating the hoax to discredit Fox News.

I’m not surprised that an edited video spread quickly and people believed it without doing research on where it came from. I’m not surprised that FOX and other conservative media outlets picked it up and used it to try and discredit the NAACP and to support the claims of reverse-racism. I am, however, shocked that the NAACP would also immediately denounce Sherrod and defend their own organization. If Sherrod or anybody who was being honored by them, had said racist statements during a speech, wouldn’t they know about it? Wouldn’t it have created some sort of drama? I’m just really surprised that the organization that fights so hard for civil rights would believe the video and not do their own research on what exactly was said before they posted their own press release to defend their image.

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