(h/t Heather at VideoCafe
Aren't we all so very grateful for privileged white men who have never known what it's like to be an oppressed minority to inform us what is or is not racism? It's so nice not to have to worry my pretty little mind about things like this, but just let those smart white guys tell me when to worry.
On Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz is charged with looking at the way the media covers news events of the day. Since it was the major story of the week, it was no surprise that the Shirley Sherrod case came up from discussion.
But, as with David Brooks on Meet the Press, the discussion really wasn't about the failures of the media in covering the case. Both Joan Walsh and Jane Hall try to make that point and get interrupted by Kurtz and Matt Lewis, eager to keep pointing the finger at the White House. In fact, they push even further the same false equivalency theme, with Lewis (who writes for Breitbart's BigGovernment.com) claiming that the real victims are Andrew Breitbart and the Tea Party.
They even go so far to ask if Shirley Sherrod had the right to call Andrew Breitbart a racist and is the media giving her "a pass" for using that kind of language.
WALSH: The woman's father was murdered by a white farmer, and there were witnesses. And the white justice system never found the murderer guilty. She's entitled to talk about race any way she wants to.
LEWIS: Any way she wants to?
WALSH: That's not giving her a pass.
LEWIS: So if you've had a bad experience in your background, you can say just anything you want?
WALSH: Yes, any way she wants to. A bad experience in your background? I'm talking about murder. Murder, Matt.
And the fact of the matter is, the woman turned out to be the antithesis of Andrew Breitbart, who told a story of racial reconciliation and healing and forgiving white people, and going on to help white people --
LEWIS: I just don't think any of us should get --
WALSH: -- and going on to -- the issue in this country --
LEWIS: I just don't think any of us should get a pass to talk about --
WALSH: -- is class as much as race. I'm not giving her a pass. But I think the idea that she shouldn't be able to say Fox or Breitbart is racist preposterous. She gets to say that because it's true, and because from her vantage point it's especially true.
KURTZ: Well, in fairness, it's certainly debatable.
Excuse me, but WTF, Howie? There is nothing fair about that statement. This is a woman who has endured INSTITUTIONALIZED racism her whole life--watching the murderer of her father go free by a white grand jury, who organized and was then denied the ability to create a cooperative for black farmers, who ultimately lost her family farm because of Lester Maddox denying loans to black farmers, who was part of the largest successful civil rights violation lawsuit in the US, whose husband was a leading member of non-violent coordination in Georgia during the Civil Rights movement of the 60s, as the visibly seething Joan Walsh points out. Shirley Sherrod has lived with and tried to rise above the oppression and bigotry that you can't even contemplate, taking responsibility to make the world better for those who come after her.
But privileged Caucasian Howie Kurtz, sitting comfortably in his DC digs with his Republican fundraiser wife, can decide that it's "debatable" whether Shirley Sherrod, who has spent her life trying to help those who are poor and oppressed (rather than navel-gazing on the role of the media), knows racism when she sees it.
Howie Kurtz is earning scorn from both the right and the left for his grasp of the Sherrod firestorm. I'm sure he'll say that it proves he's right, since he's angered both sides of the aisle.
But Howie, it just proves that you're wrong, and EVERYONE can see it. Except you.
Transcripts below the fold:
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