Front Street

Friday, August 06, 2010

By Gigi

The Shirley Sherrod debacle appeared to have been analyzed from every possible angle. Shirley Sherrod, an African-American former Agriculture Department official was falsely accused of reverse discrimination and promptly fired and vilified by …everyone it seemed, until the real story came out. Conservative blogger and liar, Andrew Breitbart posted chopped up excerpts from a video of Shirley addressing the NAACP around March 2010. The chopped version was posted on YOUTUBE and was on continuous loop on the racist FOX news channel.

Everyone “condemned” her remarks and calls were made for her to resign, which she promptly did. Days, later upon reviewing the full unedited video in its entirety; everyone including the White House had to apologize. Shirley is planning to sue Breitbart, who didn’t apologize.

About 99.9% of members of any minority group can attest to having been treated badly by their white counterparts, but was written off as being overly sensitive, having a chip on their shoulders to real or imagined slurs, slights or putdowns. It’s getting old. This “acting superior” behavior is perhaps the most common trigger for racially motivated incidents. I’ve found in my own personal experiences that although minorities try hard to live by the rule that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”, it’s a lot harder to deal with attitudes that make you feel small and worthless and undeserving. These feelings go to a deep, dark place within that words can never reach…but where nasty creatures reside, waiting to be unleashed. And then, stuff happens.

When color or ethnicity is in the mix, ignorance becomes the true source of racism and it’s usually the less educated that lash back with greater viciousness at people different from them. The have-nots blame the minority for their situation and assume that whatever we have was acquired at their expense, since we are seen as straying from our assigned places in society due to special treatment, such as affirmative action. American society also speaks with a forked tongue about minorities moving forward. We are supposed to become productive citizens, learn English, reach the American Dream…however you define it, and succeed at every step, yet, when we do, Tea Party movements are formed.

The truth is, for some people, we will NEVER be good enough; for them, we will always be foreign and inferior because of our accents, surnames or color of our skin. “Acting superior”… happens everyday.