Immoral Equivalence

July 22nd, 2010

A follow-up to yesterday’s piece Que Sherrod Sherrod, inspired by Standing up to the Breitbarts: Obama needs to stand up to ‘reverse racism’ ploy (Eugene Robinson, Washington Post 7/22/10), Andrew Brietbart Declares Himself Democrats’ ‘Public Enemy No. 1 (Huffington Post 7/22/10), and MSNBC’s (especially Rachel’s)  further reporting (watch the video clips below).

Gene Robinson makes an important point

About why the Sherrod video had bigoted whites so out of joint.

As I’ve said before,  that’s not “normal” racism, it’s the reverse,

And everyone knows reverse racism is a whole lot worse.

But It doesn’t make you less racist

That the other guy is racist to insist.

That’s something people who suspect they’re racist do

To convince themselves it’s OK for them to be racist too.

It’s especially helpful if you’re the first to condemn:

“They” do it to us, so why not do it to them?

It also helps, moreover,

If you say it over and over.

For closet bigots, the Sherrod video was heaven-sent:

It showed that black and white racists were morally equivalent.

It confirmed what they’d suspected all along

And further proved that blacks in authority don’t belong.

Moral equivalence? Oh, these poor whites have it bad,

Just like when a racist white farmer murdered Shirley’s dad.

It happened when she was seventeen.

Georgia’s courts didn’t bother to intervene.

The killer’s identity was undisputed.

He was arrested, but not prosecuted.

That’s what happened in the South when whites killed blacks back then.

Is that what Tea Party racists want to go back to again?

Sherrod lived under segregation for a good part of her life,

A black woman, and civil rights activists’ wife.

She went with her husband to meetings day and night,

And became an activist in her own right.

Did she count how many insults and death threats she received

For standing up for what she believed?

Can any of us really understand

Who didn’t live through that hell firsthand?

Even if the charges against Sherrod had been true,

Can you honestly say that’s something you would never do?

To help a poor white farmer, but not give it all you’ve got,

In memory of the killer a white jury released after he was caught.

Do you have the moral authority to judge,

To condemn Shirley Sherrod if she’d held that grudge?

Would you have blamed her if she’d chosen revenge

The unpunished death of her murdered father to avenge?

She thought of holding back those 24 years ago–

If she didn’t give her all, who would know?

But instead she lent a helping hand

And worked hard to save that white farmer’s land.

She told her story as a message of salvation,

Her own, and someday our entire nation.

For that, she was unfairly pilloried

And made the subject of a political screed.

You and your kind, Andrew Breitbart

Are from Shirley Sherrod a breed apart,

Not because of the color of your skin,

But because of what you’re willing to do to “win.”

You claim you’re sorry for what “they” did to her,

And to your own principal role don’t bother to refer.

You blame others for a “rush to judgement”

As if you’re the one that sits in judgement.

You lie, you smear, you misrepresent.

You sir are far from Shirley Sherrod’s moral equivalent.

I have to admit that I am too,

Though not, Mr. Breitbart, as far as you.


Here’s Countdown’s update on the Shirley Sherrod situation, inlcuding Sherrod’s statement that she’s seriously considering suing Andrew Breitbart and an interview with Gene Robinson.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Here’s Rachel’s “Response Ability” report on candidate and president Obama’s respective responses to repeated accusations of reverse racism. (Check out the still-operative website she refers to, As Rachel suggests, it does not appear to have been recently updated.)

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Here’s Hardball’s update, featuring Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) on what it’s like to grow up black in the South. As Chuck Todd (subbing for Chris) points out, today is the one year anniversary of Gates-Gate.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Here’s Breitbart’s statement that he “feels sorry” for Sherrod, not for what he did, but for what “they” did to “go after her” and “rush to judgement.” You have got to be kidding me.

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One Response to “Immoral Equivalence”

  1. Newsericks » Blog Archive » Laredo Says:

    […] But hey, when it comes to getting political power, you do whatever it takes. […]

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