Shirley Sherrod Lied About “White Farmer” In NAACP Speech

Shirley Sherrod Lied About “White Farmer” In NAACP Speech

Shirley Sherrod’s ‘redemption’ story isn’t the redemptive after all.

In her 2010 speech to the NAACP, she repeatedly said things she knew were false in order to portray white people in a negative light.

Take her story about the ‘white farmer’ Roger Spooner.

Sherrod said in her now-infamous NAACP speech that she didn’t help him because he was ‘acting superior’ to her. She said (emphasis added):

The first time I was faced with having to help a white farmer save his farm, he took a long time talking, but he was trying to show me he was superior to me. I know what he was doing. But he had come to me for help. What he didn’t know—while he was taking all that time trying to show me he was superior to me–was I was trying to decide how much help I was going to give him.

In her book The Courage Hope, she gives two different reasons that she felt he was ‘acting superior’ to her…except she was wrong.

In one part of the book, she says

Mr. Spooner began by speaking loudly, and at first I thought he was acting superior to me, but I later found out he was hard of hearing and he always talked like that.

In a different section of The Courage To Hope, Sherrod says it was him talking about his service in World War II.

During his first visit with me, Roger talked nervously about his service to his country. I didn’t perceive it as nervous talk because I didn’t know him at the time. I perceived it as a white man showing that he was asking me for help but at the same time showing me he was superior. He talked about having been on a submarine and his service to his country. Referring to the foreclosure, he said, “I don’t believe my country will do this to me.

This was confirmed in chat my Eloise Spooner in The Washington Post in 2010:

Maryland, Md.: When you first met Shirley Sherrod it’s been reported that she thought you were showing her that you’re superior to her. Is that what you were doing?

Eloise Spooner: That’s what the tape said but he’s (Roger) really not. You just have to get to know him. He’s hard of hearing and he talks loud. After she got to know him, she changed her mind, I think.

In my exclusive audio interview with the Spooners, this was also confirmed.
First Thought: if I said that I thought an older black man was ‘acting superior’ to me because he 1) talked loudly and 2) talked about his war service, not only would I sound racist: I’d BE racist.
Talking loudly and about a war record are two mighty thin threads to use to decide someone is uppity.
But not only did Shirley Sherrod decide he was acting superior, but in her official duties she decided to not help him as much as she could on that basis. Think of that. Yes, she later changed her mind. Not based on race, however. Based on ‘rich and poor.’
Second Thought:  note that in both explanation, Sherrod says she later figured out that he wasn’t actually ‘acting superior.’ Later.
She doesn’t say how much later but we know that we worked with the Spooners in the 1980 and then lost track of them.
So she knew the truth about Spooner   BEFORE the 2010 speech.
But when you watch her 2010 speech, she doesn’t say ‘I later realized that it was just my own paranoid racism that made me think this World War II vet with hearing problems was acting superior.’ 
Watch the video of the speech. Watch how she talks about him.
She acts. She mugs for the crowd.
She says “I knew what he was doing.”
Except he wasn’t doing it.
Shirley Sherrod clearly knows better–that Roger Spooner really WASN’T acting superior–why is making the NAACP audience believe he was?

There’s an obvious answer. And it’s not pretty.


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