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What else does racism in America look like? Discussing Sherrod.

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I just finished reading an excellent article by Milton Lee Norris, "What Shirley Sherrod Really Said."

The article offers some profound insights on racism in America, and the writing is top shelf. Mr. Norris is a more than competent wordsmith and knows his territory well. Poignantly, perhaps, too well.

It is sad that in this day we still have among us humans who have experienced the "sting of racism," to borrow a phrase from my better, Milton Lee.

I am a white male who can't possibly know what it feels like to experience the racism directed at Black America. I hesitate to use the politically accepted term "African American" as almost everyone in my circle of friends is black and would get upset with me if I called them African American.

Your humble respondent is, however, one of the few White Americans to perform security duties in National Capitol Public and Assisted Housing as a Special Police Officer ( circa '92 ) in the last twenty years.

I still don't have the black perspective on racism, but I do certainly know what it's like to be reviled for the colour of your skin. My much more frequent experience was people of all socio-economic levels rising above their bias and treating me as they would be treated.

I was also a guard at the oldest Black owned bank in America, and was blessed to meet it's President, Mr. Mitchell. The Industrial Bank on Georgia Avenue.

So rule number one, when one refers to "the Black community" one is referring to a vastly diverse group. Economically, socially, ethnically, educationally and any other descriptor you can imagine. The only common thread is complexion.

Most of my friends, black and white, are on the left of the spectrum politically, yet my hyperactive 72 year old surrogate dad and hunting/fishing buddy is not only a black man from the deep south, glad to see a black president in his lifetime, but is also a conservative republican who voted against Barack Obama.

I find it troubling that we are making high level decisions on personnel in our government based on what Glenn Beck is going to do. Ironically, Glenn agrees.

More troubling still is the patronising of Shirley Sherrod. I have listened to her entire speech many times, and studied the transcript.

At the risk of enraging my audience, I find the apologists for Sherrod more troubling than those for Breitbart.

To be sure, calling the NAACP racist because they called the tea party racist is recursive stupidity. Stupid is not a valid or well reasoned response to Stupid.

In the case of the story of Mr. Spooner, context was inarguably truncated to create a conclusion contrary to fact; as well Breitbart was negligent in my estimation by not realising current events were not under discussion.

Breitbart is a sensationalist and a partisan. Calling him a racist is inaccurate, in my opinion. Here Mr. Norris and I must begin to agree to disagree.

In the case of Sherrod, we may indeed have more racially tinged inappropriate remarks to work with than we do with Breitbart.

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Doug Beatty is a semi-retired free lance writer living in Delaware. His interests include current events, politics, small boats, fishing, hiking, hunting, cooking, sewing, and outdoor activities in general. He has one child, a U.S. Marine and (more...)
 
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What else does racism in America look like? Discussing Sherrod.