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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Conservative Concern With Edit Points

This clip of now former Georgia Director of Rural Development Shirley Sherrod needs to be addressed for many reasons, not least of which is the obvious removal of context.

While there is clearly a message of race, financial distress, and how it is remedied coming from Sherrod, one has to take into consideration several factors. In regards to context, the clip showcases remarks that - at first blush - could be considered racist by those whom are explicitly searching for it. And while Sherrod is relating a story of that is predicated on race and how whites and blacks interact, there really isn't a clear ending to her story, as that was obviously cut out in order to further the conservative narrative that it's actually the blacks in America that are racist.

Secondly, there is no proof in this video that Sherrod denied financial assistance to the farmer in question. Granted, the use of the words "his kind" don't exactly help her case, but considering how the story is being framed and how this man allegedly spoke to her, one can almost understand why she chose those words. Was it a poor chose? Most certainly.

Now comes something that I didn't expect.

From the conservative blog First Things and highlighted by Allahpundit over at HotAir, it appears that there's actually the very first example of a conservative showing concern for how a video is being edited that is actually furthering their message.

Doesn’t it seem like, after all of that sort of winking, “you and I know how they really are” racist crap wherein Sherrod–intentionally or not–indicts her own narrow focus, she was heading to a more edifying message? What did it open her eyes about? Was she about to say “I took him to one of his own, but it shouldn’t have mattered about that; my job was to serve all the farmers who needed help.”

Was she about to say, “I learned about myself and about how far we still have to go?”

Was she about to say “it’s not poor vs those who have, because we are not at war, we are just in the same human reality that ever was?”

Was she about to say, “poor is poor, hungry is hungry and the past is the past when a family can’t eat?”

I want to know. Because it seemed like Sherrod was heading somewhere with that story, and the edit does not let us get there. I want the rest of the story before I start passing judgment on it.

And while the piece by The Anchoress quickly devolves into this preposterous notion that the NAACP are shining a light on specific elements of the Tea Bagger movement out of jealously of their alleged success, one has to wonder if conservatives are beginning to show a bit of intellectual honesty - albeit rather late in the game.

Then there's the fact that Sherrod has resigned, apparently due to the release of the heavily edited video. While conservatives are more than happy to insist that Ben Jealous "threw her under the bus" after this trumped-up non-troversy, I'm going to withhold judgement on this until Sherrod makes an official statement.

Fox"News" is all over this story this morning, so I'm sure that the conservative blogging realm is going to be cherry-picking this for some time to come.

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