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Monday, July 26, 2010

American Spectator Writer, Jeffrey Lord, Connects Progressive Activists With Racism Going Back Decades

A five page piece at The American Spectator, and the reaction has been explosive to say the least.

Jeffrey Lord compares a story Shirley Sherrod told, playing semantics with the word lynching, to prove a point which the majority of progressive liberal bloggers and pundits completely ignore so that they too can join the game of "semantics."

Long story short, Sherrod spoke of a family member that was brutally beaten to death and she called it a lynching. Lord compares that to Andrew Breitbart who first published a video of Sherrod that made her appear racist, when the full length of the video that Breitbart didn't have originally, showed Sherrod making a point in her story about how she acted that way at first but learned better.

Breitbart's has stated that it was the audience reaction to her when she claimed to have not done all she could to help a poor white family, where the NAACP audience clapped, that he was trying to highlight as well as her apparent racism from the clip he had available, because the the NAACP recent accused Tea Party members of being racist.

SO, Lord makes this point:

Lord's game of semantics was deliberate and you see why on page #2 of the piece where he states:

But much has been made of Andrew Breitbart's selectively edited tape -- with all manner of people using this as an opportunity to question his credibility. There is no proof -- none -- that Breitbart deliberately edited this tape to fashion the image of Ms. Sherrod as a government racist. Say again, not a shred of evidence. Whatever else, Mr. Breitbart is no fool. To know that chances were high an unedited version of this tape existed is what he is in the business of knowing. To think he would willfully put out a selectively edited tape -- knowing full well someone somewhere would surely appear to make him look like a lying idiot -- is idiocy on its face.

Be that as it may, that's the charge. And as the saying goes, if one lives by the sword, one can die by the sword. Having now insisted that the slightest deviation from the truth can only be deliberate falsehood that ruins credibility rather than a mistake, Sherrod's defenders are staring at the cold, hard text of a 65-year old Supreme Court case in which nine Supreme Court Justices, eight of them FDR appointees, have unanimously agreed to the facts in the Bobby Hall murder. Facts that make Sherrod appear, to put it mildly, prone to exaggeration if not worse.

Will Anderson Cooper of CNN, who angrily snapped of Breitbart that "we think the truth matters," be investigating this untruth of Sherrod's? Rick Sanchez of CNN asked of Ann Coulter: "Doesn't Breitbart deserve to lose his credibility for this? …What matters is he published this stuff. Something that turned out to be wrong." Ms. Sherrod stood up in front of the NAACP and said "something that turned out to be wrong." Will Sanchez ponder this if Sherrod gets her job back in the Obama Administration? Frank Rich at the New York Times, who blasted Fox News on Sunday for allowing Breitbart to be "hustling skewed partisan videos" (as opposed, I guess, to hustling skewed partisan newspapers), never even mentioned a word of Sherrod's considerable untruth. Not a word. MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, according to his Media Matters friends, barked that "I think [Breitbart] has lost his standing to present videos to the country at any time." By the O'Donnell standards apparently Ms. Sherrod must now sit down and shut up. And speaking of Media Matters, Eric Hananoki chimed in that "The way to avoid another ACORN or Sherrod debacle is simple: Don't trust Andrew Breitbart." To which, of course, the obvious question is whether Media Matters or any of the rest of the media will and should ever again trust Shirley Sherrod after the debacle of her lynching untruth.

Interesting, fine. His point was made and completely ignored by liberal and some conservative bloggers that are busy trying to discredit him for his selective understanding of the word "lynching", and not one, so far, has answered the questions he asked on that page.

I wonder if Lord cold bloodedly used the "lynching" theme to see how many people would freak out?

I have to assume he did because anyone that knows how to use a search engine, clearly would see the definition of lynch does not necessarily state that hanging must be the exact method. Right?

to put to death, esp. by hanging, by mob action and without legal authority.

Lynching, according to is a little more direct though:

( tr ) (of a mob) to punish (a person) for some supposed offence by hanging without a trial


Ok, so lets go to Webster's Dictionary instead.


: to put to death (as by hanging) by mob action without legal sanction

The hell with it if dictionaries are going to be ambivalent... meh.

Back to the original point... If he did deliberately play semantics with the word lynch, he certainly got his entertainment from it just by looking at the reactions from the left and the right.

To me though, far more interesting than the game of semantics or the reaction to the first two pages, is where Lord went on the remaining three pages.

Research, quotes, facts.. none of which I see being discussed and that is a pity because he shows, for three pages the connection between progressive of that time, their thinking and racism in the exact era that Sherrod's story was speaking of.

What's left out here? We learn from Ms. Sherrod that the Screws verdict against Bobby Hall's killers was overturned. She mentions "the justice" (sic) "who wrote his opinion justifying overturning the conviction…" But what does she, tellingly, not say?

She never mentions, strangely, either the one-vote margin that overturned the conviction of Bobby Hall's killer by a 5-4 vote. Nor does she say exactly which Justices composed the 5 votes that overturned the conviction of Sheriff Claude Screws. Any one of whom, voting to keep the Screws conviction intact, would have provided some form of justice to the Sherrod family by reversing that Supreme Court 5-4 vote in the other direction.

Not once does Ms. Sherrod ever connect the presence of a New Deal Justice of the Supreme Court -- one of those five votes that rescued the racist Sheriff Screws -- to the Ku Klux Klan.

Nary a word from Ms. Sherrod about Hugo Black, the man who can easily be said to have rescued Bobby Hall's murderers. Much less is there a solitary thought from Sherrod about why Black was on the Supreme Court in the first place.

Justice Hugo Black, you see, was two things. Like Ms. Sherrod he was a committed liberal activist, a progressive of the day. He was a staunch supporter of FDR's New Deal as the Senator from Alabama. But Hugo Black was also something else: a "Gold Passport" lifetime member of the Ku Klux Klan. Which is to say, a committed racist.

He continues on providing "context", which has been a hot word lately in relation to Breitbart.

The reason I found the last three pages to be the most interesting of his whole article is something that Dan Riehl brings up over at Riehl World View. (In a semi-related area.)

In rebuttal to a piece written by Joan Walsh of Salon, in a piece she titled "The civil rights heroism of Charles Sherrod", where she states:

Andrew Breitbart sure picked the wrong people to symbolize black "racism."
If there's anyone more clueless about our civil rights history than Breitbart, as well as more abusive to it, I'm challenged to think of who it might be. He tests my commitment to nonviolent social change, but I'll share the work of Charles Sherrod to remember my values.

If I get a chance to talk to Charles Sherrod, I'll let him tell you what he thinks, in his own words, here.

Riehl responds:

Okay, Joan, though I do confess to being somewhat puzzled by the first quote I stumbled upon, especially as it came relatively recently - a full year after America had installed its first black administration in the White House.

Charles Sherrod: "We must stop the white man and his Uncle Toms from stealing our elections."

Gee, Joan, can you tell me what's so heroic about telling a room full of young black minds not even out in the world, yet - that if they ever embrace political, or socio-economic ideas that don't jibe with your hero's, the one elevated in a room before them, that they will be denounced as race-traitors? That is what Uncle Tom means, after all. What REALLY is heroic in that? It looks to me like what your hero does is build up their black identity to an extreme, then sends them a message that, if they don't vote, or act the way he wants them to, he and his community make them outcasts, stripping that very identity from them as traitors to their race. Is that the message heroicCivil Rights leaders are passing on to young blacks today? It sounds like it to me, Joan.

Charles Sherrod is Shirley Sherrod's husband.

Read both pieces in their entirety, Lord's at American Spectator and then Riehl's at Riehl World View.

The left is so busy continuously throwing the word racism out at anyone that dares criticize Barack Obama's polices, that dares to disagree with Obama that they completely ignore racism when it comes from anyone that is not a conservative white man or woman.

They ignored it with Jeremiah Wright (Barack Obama's former pastor and mentor) when videos of his racist rants exploded on the Internet, they ignore it when it comes from Charles Sherrod and continue to yell at the top of their lungs about Breitbart and they ignore the very basic facts that Jeffrey Lord points out about progressive activists and racism decades ago.

They would rather join Lord in his deliberate game of semantics with the word "lynch", than acknowledge one very simple thing.

Some of the very worst of racism has come from progressive activists throughout history.