Focusing On the Wrong Sherrod?

Last week, the Obama Administration’s knee-jerk firing of U.S. Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod for comments that were misconstrued as being outright racist created a media firestorm.

The full extent and context of Shirley Sherrod’s comments — which were initially seen in an edited version — were later made public and exonerated her of the initial criticism.  It forced President Obama to personally apologize to her, and she may be getting a new federal position before long.

While Shirley Sherrod may be in the clear right now, it turns out that her husband might now have some explaining to do.  And his recorded comments may reopen some of the questions about what may lurk behind Shirley Sherrod’s original comments.

Charles Sherrod gave the keynote speech at the University of Virginia Law School’s “50 Years After the Sit-Ins” conference on January 30, 2010.  In his address, the former civil rights-era Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee activist and current Albany State University professor made four suggestions to those assembled as a way of “passing the torch.”

In a speech that is available in its entirety on YouTube, Charles Sherrod first suggests “we must stay faithful.”  Then “we must reclaim our schools and our neighborhoods” from “racketeers and drug culture.”

After that, Charles Sherrod appeals that “we must find a way to leverage the $900 billion we spend on consumables each and every year.”  Economic empowerment is one thing, but he appears to begin losing his temper over the topic.  As evidence of this, he ends up this suggestion by saying:

Find a way that we can trust each other so that our monies can work for our total liberation.  We have ideas, inventions [and] athletic talent, but our labors and our monies and our contracts usually end up in the white folks’ hands and pockets.  When will we trust our own?  When will we feel responsible to save ourselves?

That’s when he gets into his fourth and final suggestion and into the really controversial stuff.  That suggestion is:

[W]e must stop the white man and his Uncle Toms from stealing our elections.  We must not be afraid to vote black.  And we must not be afraid to turn a black out who votes against our interest.  We’ve got to stay tough…

He then speaks about a new community radio station the government awarded in his area that will allegedly allow black residents to overcome media efforts that scare white people into heading to the polls and defeating the black agenda in each election.  This new station will supposedly give blacks a similar tool with which to respond.

Project 21 members are speaking out about the comments of Charles Sherrod and how it may relate to last week’s Shirley Sherrod controversy.

Joe Hicks:

JoeHicksTestifyingwithWborder.jpgShirley Sherrod, the former Department of Agriculture employee, can’t be held responsible for what her husband says, but you can’t help wondering about the kinds of conversations these two might be having in private about race issues.

Since liberals are “sensitive” about black people being labeled bigots, let’s put Charles Sherrod’s comments into “context.”  They were captured from a speech given earlier this year.  Sherrod, a long-time activist, said “We must stop the white man and his Uncle Toms from stealing our elections.”  Okay, there is no “context” imaginable that makes this kind of racial garbage acceptable.  Imagine a Klansman making a reverse version of this comment and one will quickly understand the double standard that often gets applied in these circumstances. And although his wife, Shirley, has been promoted to the status of a near-saint by the nation’s liberal elites, her comments made in subsequent interviews and in the NAACP video tell another tale.

Sounding like Jesse Jackson, she tells CNN that Andrew Breitbart “… would like to get us stuck back in the times of slavery.”  In the video, Sherrod told her NAACP audience “It’s not about white… [then she catches herself, and says] it is about white and black.”  In her CNN interview, she regurgitates the stock left/liberal claims of racism against the nation’s populist uprising against Obama’s policies.  She says “You know, I haven’t seen such mean-spirited people as I’ve seen lately over this issue of health care.  Some of the racism we thought was buried.  Didn’t it resurface?”

So, let me get this straight.  Shirley Sherrod appears to believe that almost any opposition to this President’s policies is by definition racist — since Obama is black.  This Shirley/Charles team is quite the married couple.  Both are classic examples of black racialist views that are pandered to and excused by fawning liberal elites.

(Joe Hicks is a member of the Project 21 national advisory council and host of the “Hicks File” at  He is also vice president of Community Advocates, Inc. and the former executive director of the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.)

Deneen Borelli:

Professor Sherrod’s racist comments add another chapter to the ongoing debate about racism in America.

Sherrod’s use of color-coded politics has no place in today’s society and it’s especially disappointing that his twisted logic was communicated at an educational institution.

(Deneen Borelli is a fellow with the Project 21 black leadership network, a frequent speaker at tea party rallies and a Fox News Channel contributor.)

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