Saturday, July 24, 2010

1: Race for the Funds?

This is a blog on a new, controversial topic currently in the news:
Shirley Sherrod, race, racism, and funding in the United States Department of Agriculture.
(Blogs 1-5 of "Can Credit Consumers Survive the Credit Reporting Industry?" are available on the first page of this blog.)

Shirley Sherrod, a black woman, serving as United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Director of Rural Development in Georgia appeared on videotape at a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) meeting on April 29, 2010. In the now controversial videotape, Ms. Sherrod freely confessed to anti-white racist bias so strong that it prevented her from providing "the full force" of assistance to a white farmer, that is, prevented her from doing her job at a Georgia non-profit agricultural agency with ties to the Georgia State and Federal Agriculture Departments.

Ms. Sherrod stated that she could not listen to the farmer's explanation of his problem easily, interpreting it as "taking up my time...(sic, acting) superior to me". Ms. Sherrod also admits she referred the farmer to "one of his own", a white attorney who charged fees for 6 months without providing foreclosure prevention assistance.

Ms. Sherrod presented this episode as a personal growth experience, later seeing the issue as one of "those who have vs. those who don't" rather than of race. At another point in the tape Ms Sherrod stated that she made that "commitment (sic, working at the agriculture agencies) to black people and to black people only".

Questions arose while viewing this videotaped speech. Why was Ms. Sherrod relating this story? Was Ms. Sherrod undergoing a performance review, being investigated on similar or other issues or complaints, now as a Federal agricultural employee?
Was Ms. Sherrod seeking the support of other colored people and the NAACP in anticipation of a problem soon to be made public?

CNN picked up the story from BreitbartTV and CNN reversed the racial issue with Ms. Sherrod's discussion of whether she resigned or was asked or forced to resign by the USDA and the Obama administration.

CNN started a flurry of negative media attention against supposed "right wing" .coms and news commentators. CNN asked Ms. Sherrod if she planned lawsuits against Breibart and, and publicized Ms. Sherrod's demand for apologies from USDA, Obama adminsitration, and BreitbartTV.

What CNN should have asked about and what may be in the media news soon is the USDA Pigford Farm Settlement, a $1.15 billion payout to black farmers. $13 million of the settlement is earmarked for New Communities, Inc., Ms. Sherrod's farm commune, $150,000 for Ms. Sherrod personally and $150,000 for her husband Charles Sherrod, a member of a black community organizing group.

Steve King, (R-Iowa) on the Ben Shapiro Show, said that settlement is under investigation for providing funds to more black farmers than are known to exist. 75%-99% of the $1.15 bilion class action suit claims may be fraudulent.

(Return to first page for Blogs 1-5 "Can Credit Consumers Survive the Credit Reporting Industry?")