Larry Mantle |

48-hours of whiplash in the story of Shirley Sherrod




From conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart to the NAACP, Fox News to the Ag Department, the case of Sherrod is simply amazing. The speed with which these events unfolded is breathtaking, and the lack of simple fact-checking disheartening.

On Wednesday morning’s “AirTalk,” we talked with listeners and Los Angeles Times media columnist Jim Rainey about how this story of a “racist” USDA mid-level administrator took on a life of its own.

The ultimate irony is that Sherrod lost her job for making supposedly racist comments at an NAACP banquet where she was making just the argument conservatives highly appreciate. Sherrod was talking about her own early career biases and how difficult it was to let go of them and to treat people fairly, regardless of race. She told of how she needed to get past the grievances she had for what African-Americans had suffered, so that she could see how white people had needs too. That’s the level of openness and self-critique we’d hope to see more often, coupled with the “let’s get beyond past American sins to see people as individuals” attitude that’s right at home on conservative talk radio.

What do you make of this 48-hour explosion of events? Aside from the media fiasco, what does this say about our continuing struggles to maturely deal with racial issues?