Thursday, July 22, 2010

Context, and Cost

Oops, my bad
(by R.P.Edwards)

“I killed the man…”
The snippet
That got the fellow…hung
The portion of the damaged tape
The trial…quickly done
But as the rope was lowered
The coffin…filled with him
The tape, repaired
Brought great despair
“I killed the man…at gin”

“So I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do,” --the charge nailed to the cross upon which Shirley Sherrod, former Georgia Director of Rural Development, was to be crucified.

I must admit, when I heard the “snippet” of what Ms. Sherrod said at a NAACP meeting it caused me some discomfort.  Not a big fan of bureaucrats as it is (unelected, part of the woodwork…for years) this “proof” of administrative tilt was but fuel for the fire. 

Then, I heard a slight addendum… “Twenty years ago (twenty-four actually.)” “Huh?” And now, as context is achieved, we discover that the lady was slandered.  Indeed, she was giving a lengthy speech; a sermon of sorts, and the troubling words were part of her “before” period (kind of like the Apostle Paul when, in his BC days, he hated Christians).  Later--in her own words--“God helped me to see that it’s not just about black people.  It’s about poor people.”

You see, context…is everything.  What did the words mean at the time?  What was the overall message?  Indeed, in my brief season of research (about an hour or so), I went from a general headline, to Alan Colmes' radio take (if you can believe that) and then to a lengthy YouTube video of the actual NAACP meeting (link below).  I must admit, I was touched by the hardship she described of her childhood years (father murdered; justice denied.  Mother threatened. Cross burning) and then--older and carrying this baggage--she was put in a position where she could discriminate against the race that had treated hers so badly.  But…God.

Now, when I began this offering it was my intent to tie in prospective jurist, Elena Kagan, because, frankly, she will, ultimately, help decide current law based on the U.S. Constitution.  From what I’ve heard, her “take” will lean left, which, to me means “Context? Who cares?”  [Case in point: Prayer/God in schools.  Understanding that Scripture was an integral part of education when the Constitution was written, the “know-betters” have twisted the first and fourteenth amendments to say it’s now unconstitutional.  Outrageous!]  Anyway, enough of that.

I do, however, encourage the reader to follow the link below and watch much of the “meeting” in question.  It’s nearly complete (there’s a slight edit midway).  You’ll find Ms Sherrod genuine, compassionate, devout and, although I don’t know how some people of faith can so willing rally behind our current president (considering some of the positions he holds), I truly believe “this woman” is the real deal, and nothing like first portrayed.

Another of her quotes of note:  “Young people, I want you to know that when you’re true to what God wants you to do, the path just opens up and things just come to you. ...God is good.  I can tell you that.”

She concluded with a saying, “Life is a grindstone.  But whether it grinds us down, or polishes us up…depends on us.”  To this writer…Ms Sherrod…is shining brightly.

YouTube video of NAACP Meeting


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