Shirley Sherrod is my hard-working grandmother.

She grew up in the South, worked hard to gain a senior position within a historic administration, and in a matter of days, is a living example of the stupidity of 24-hour news, out-of-context grainy YouTube clips (read: ACORN and Rev. Wright), and as one commenter put it, a victim of ‘reverse reverse discrimination’.

That last line is tragic comedy waiting to happen.

First, let’s examine what happened.

The NAACP passes a resolution, which JJP wholly supports, to demand the Tea Party denounce racist elements within their organization by its leaders. They use an effective news cycle and social media campaign to get out the message.

Pundits, all day and all night, debate everything under the sun, from whether the NAACP is a racist organization to defining why a Nazi depiction of our commander-in-chief is beyond surreal. A video is mashed up and released, ultimately fueling the voices to force action.

A leader of the Tea Party Express, by all accounts an association affiliated with the larger movement, ultimately is denounced by another leader based on a blog post he makes satirizing an open letter from ‘us Coloreds’ to President Lincoln on behalf of Ben Jealous.

A grainy video surfaces of Ms. Shirley, giving a speech to a crowd about how she was reluctant to help a white farmer losing his land and espouses the anecdotes associated with being a Black child of the South ironically working with a Souther farmer.

Fox News picks it up, CNN blasts a ridiculous headline, she resigns (read: gets politely fired) and the NAACP subsequently throws her under the bus.

Now, and this is truly the lesson of today, CNN posts a headline, not even referencing her name, but only by her skin color and position as a government worker, that the wife of the farmer who she supposedly discriminated against owes everything TO SHIRLEY! In fact, they become good friends and that Shirley actually saved her and her husband’s farm!

And the kicker: the got damn video was from 1986 BEFORE Shirley was working for the government at a non-profit. Think about that. 24 years ago. And not even that, according to Shirley, it was a part of speech explaining how despite the fact that her father was murdered by a white southerner, using race to judge people is wrong.

Now, Ben Jealous and the NAACP are ‘investigating the situation’ (and have subsequently retracted their statement), and the Obama administration looks like a bunch of jack-asses who were counting the number of special guests Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity would have on their program to trumpet the existence of Black power and racism within his own administration.

Lordy. Lordy. The Tea Party has us shook y’all. This is crazy.

I remind you, the words of Rudyard Kipling:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

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