July 21st, 2010
10:40 AM ET

On the Radar: Let's talk about race

Twenty-four hours of Shirley Sherrod - What a difference a day makes for the former U.S. Department of Agriculture official who resigned under pressure after a video clip surfaced of her discussing how she treated a white farmer more than 20 years ago. Initially the comments, given at a recent NAACP dinner, seemed to suggest Sherrod withheld services from the farmer. But Sherrod defended herself on CNN, saying there was more to the story, and the full tape should be shown. The white farmer also defended Sherrod. He called accusations that she's racist "hogwash."

And on Wednesday morning, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack pledged to review whether the department had treated Sherrod fairly.

Sherrod said that decision is "bittersweet" but hinted that she has moved on and doesn't want to go back to work for the Agriculture Department.

Protesters slam school plan as "resegregation" - Police in Raleigh, North Carolina, arrested protesters, including the state NAACP chief, at a school board meeting Tuesday. On the agenda: discussion of a new busing system that critics say would "resegregate" schools. The Wake County school board plans to return to neighborhood schools and discard efforts to balance schools based on students' economic backgrounds.

"This board cannot and will not permit these distractions to divert our attention away from our priority, and that is of increased achievement for all students," said school board Chairman Ron Margiotta.

The Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, was arrested before entering the school board building. He led a crowd chanting, "What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!" as critics descended on the building.

Tea Party - There will be a big "tea party" Wednesday on Capitol Hill as the newly minted congressional Tea Party Caucus holds its first official meeting.

The movement has been dogged by accusations that its agenda is racist. Conservative media outlets tied the Sherrod video to the NAACP's recent resolution calling on the Tea Party to repudiate racist elements within it.

Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart was the first to post the video. Breitbart spoke to CNN's John King on Tuesday. Publishing the video was "not about Shirley Sherrod," the blogger said. "This was about the NAACP attacking the Tea Party, and this is showing racism at an NAACP event. I did not ask for Shirley Sherrod to be fired."

Filed under: Civil Rights • On the Radar • Tea Party
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. TexVet

    Leopards don't change their spots....Shirley you NEED to move on!

    July 21, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. Shameeka

    It's always about race!No story otherwise.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • TexVet

      Shameeka, excuse me, but she's the one that was telling the story about the "white" farmer at a NAACP meeting!

      July 22, 2010 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |

    i feel for her,it was a good thing she did for the farmer but what if things had'nt worked out at the last minute she could have ruined his livelyhood.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. Smith in Oregon

    As a black man who is hung like a little white boy, can't we stop talking about race.
    We have a black President!
    Black athletes are some of the wealthiest of American citizens.
    Oprah, is the most powerful lesbian in the world.
    I don't think there is a race problem any more!

    July 21, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Sheila

      Smith in oregon, your statements are very childish and ignorant. While I don't agree with most things the NAACP does, it is crazy to think thta just because black athletes are wealthy that they have any pull. They are wealthy individuals and until they pull their money and do something for the black community as a whole, blacks will continue to struggle as a group. And Oprah, well, she's too busy in Africa. And whehter she's a lesbian or not has nothing to do with the issue. Race is a very big issue in American and it's people like you that make whites look more ignorant everyday. White people are afraid of being the minority so they continue to do things that are detrimental to the well-being of all in America.

      July 21, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mobilian Mommy

      The main reason we STILL have racial issues in this country is because the REAL history of race has been swept under the rug. We need to have an open dialogue on race to cure our nation of the ignorance of racism. It is hard for me to comprehend a person (in 2010) using the fact that we have a bi-racial President as evidence that racism no longer exists. The truth of the matter is that most whites, who voted for Barack Obama, consider him to be different from the majority of blacks in America. As a bi-racial man, raised by his white grandparents (who also had issues with the fact that they had a black grandson) and educated in some of the nation's best schools including Harvard Law, Barack Obama's experiences are not the same as the average black person in America. He is not evidence of the end of racism. If he was raised in the projects, received a QUALITY education at a public school, got a scholarship to Harvard but chose Howard instead, then I would be somewhat open-minded to the thought of us rising above the ugliness of racism. Oprah Winfrey had to build her own media outlet to generate her level of success. Her successful media mogul status is not evidence of the end of racism either. Whites have always enjoyed letting blacks entertain them. I am, however, proud that some very open-minded and educated white people have been speaking out against the likes of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. In order for us to achieve racial equity, we (blacks and whites) must stand united against these ignorant imbeciles.

      July 21, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jersey

    The point that the comments were made at an NAACP event where they all laughed and cheered when she said she wasn't putting in the full effort for the white farmer will be conveniently ignored by the media while the media plays up the NAACP unfounded accusations that the Tea Party is racist.

    July 21, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sheila

      Jersey, the tea party participants are racists. They are full of fear and ignorant. They are very misleading and as long as they represent the likes of glen beck and sarah palin, this country is headed for the biggest downfall in the history of the world. Whites would rather destroy this country than to work with the people they brought over and allowed in. It was fine for the mexicans and cubans to be here as long as they were "doing jobs that blacks didn't want to do," but now that they've taken over population-wise, you want to single them out as illegal aliens. White people are sick individuals. And for their sakes they'd better pray there is no God because they have some explaining to do. They lie about history, think they're priviledged and above the law. The children in the white community have no clue of the astrosities that have been communted upon mankind by the white race. It's just a seriously bad state of being when you're blinded to truth.

      July 21, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      My brother-in-law is a Tea Partier who openly tells people that the only bad thing about Hurricane Katrina is that it didn't kill enough blacks. He says that the Tea Party is the answer to "black problem." However, the NAACP is as racist as a group can get, and people who deny that are simply trying to avoid anymore racially charged arguments. The NAACP only exist because of racism and it is in the best interest of the NAACP leaders to continue pointing our racism in everything, so that they organization continues to have a purpose and they continue to have jobs.

      July 21, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. truthie

    Michael, either you or your brother in law is a liar.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jan

    Historically, the NAACP was founded by both blacks and whites who were tired of seeing American citizens legally mistreated with absolutely no legal means of defense and through no fault of their own. Through the years, I've witnessed, read, and studied many issues of injustice which were righted time and time again with the help of a NAACP that includes protestors of all races, faiths, and walks of life. I don't get the "racism' label. Just because people speak passionately from mocha lips, doesn't make them racist. What really hurts is being laughed at and not listened to, and not trying to come up with a workable solution for ALL children to have access to a good education. I stand behind the NAACP on these grounds. I also continue to pray for an equitable resolution to Wake County's woes (once a flagship school system in NC) for all children, regardless of zip code!

    July 22, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Roxanne

    We will never stop talking about race as long as black folks in the US are treated like third class citizens. I will talk about it until employers do their research before firing someone and then have some class and fire them at work in the office and not over the phone while they are on the road home!

    July 23, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |