Coulter: No "Post-Racial America" Under Obama

To some the election of 2008 signified that we were living in a "post-racial America."

But the events of this past week in which the Obama administration fired a black USDA employee for allegedly making racist remarks, and then apologized to her when it was revealed that a right-wing website had posted an edited video that took her comments out of context, indicate that is not quite the case.

As conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart defended his posting a doctored video of a black USDA official talking about race, conservative author and commentator Ann Coulter this morning blamed the Obama administration for making racially-tinged statements.

"I don't think it has been 'post-racial' for a second with this administration," Coulter said on "The Early Show."

"You had the president calling Sergeant Crowley [the Cambridge, Mass. Police officer who arrested Henry Louis Gates at his home] saying he was acting stupidly. Up to now you had them not prosecuting the New Black Panthers on the grounds that they won't prosecute a voting rights case against blacks. You had Sonia Sotomayor saying she was a 'wise Latina' and ruling against white firemen who didn't get promotions because of their race - I mean, it's been nonstop, nonstop, nonstop."

Coulter also blamed "liberal journalists, hundreds of them, chit-chatting about how to protect Obama.

"You know, they're openly saying, 'We're in trouble, we need to distract from what's going on. Let's just randomly call the conservative racist.' Liberals use this all the time to distract from what's going on," she said.

"Speaking of distractions," Democratic analyst Tanya Acker said, "I find it very ironic, I mean with all due respect to Ann, to get a lecture on race relations from someone who said that Jews need to be perfected."

Acker said the public should not be distracted from what happened, describing the issue as distorted reporting of a speech given by the USDA's former head of rural development in Georgia, Shirley Sherrod.

"The woman whose father was murdered by a white farmer - for which there was never any indictment, any prosecution - was telling a story about racial redemption," Acker said, before Andrew Breitbart and others ran an excerpt that made it appear she was speaking positively about discrimination.

"Look, I expect doctored journalism, I expect selective editing from the Breitbarts and the Hannitys," Acker said. "What I think is really problematic here, what you're seeing is that the mainstream press is sort of being cowed by this right-wing journalism.

"So you've got folks on the right making these things up, taking things out of context, and then saying, 'Gosh darn it, why isn't the rest of the media reporting on this?' And then people jump on that, and this poor woman was crucified for two days until we found out what really happened."

"These things happen on both sides - cow-towing to another side," said "Early Show" anchor Erica Hill. "How much of it is the fact we live in a society where everything is so immediate that people don't take time to check the facts?"

"I would contest that it happens on both sides," Coulter replied. "Things taken out of context? I never said Jews need to be perfected. I accurately described the New Testament."

With the issue of selective editing or "doctored journalism," Coulter listed "MSNBC describing 'white men bringing guns to Obama rallies' where they only show the gun[s], you don't see the black man with a gun," or a picture on the left-leaning Center for American Progress' website showing a self-proclaimed racist at a Tea Party rally that doesn't show him being rejected by other attendees.

Hill mentioned footage fun by Fox purportedly showing certain crowds at anti-adminstration rallies and Sarah Palin book signings, actually taken at different events to suggest larger turnouts.

Coulter countered with the incident, reported by CBS News and others, that black Congressmen were called the "N-word" as they passed through a crowd protesting health care reform in March. "That is a lie, that is a despicable lie, that never happened. Why hasn't CBS News apologized for that?"

[Earlier this year Andrew Breitbart defended a video he posted of black representatives at the Capitol, taken an hour after they say racial slurs were hurled at them, as being indicative that no racial slurs were used. that the lawmakers were lying, Breitbart said afterwards.]

When asked if there is any way the left and right can have a meaningful conversation about race, Acker said, "Certainly. It really depends on who's trying to have the conversation.

"I think there are plenty of well-meaning Americans who want to try to deal with the issue of race in a responsible way without the name-calling, without trying to defend racism on either side. It's a matter of having that conversation and the respectful and productive way and in a productive forum," she said.


More Coverage of Shirley Sherrod:

Sherrod: I'd Like to Talk Race with Obama
Sherrod: I'd Consider Legal Action Against Breitbart
Sherrod: Administration Too Sensitive to the Right
Sherrod Story Shows Ugly Side of 24-Hour News
Washington Unplugged: Analysis, Reaction
Vilsack: I Will Have to Live With My Mistake
Breitbart: Video Was Meant to Target the NAACP
Case Exposes Raw Wounds About Race
More Coverage in Hotsheet Blog

  • David Morgan

    David Morgan is a senior editor at CBSNews.com and cbssundaymorning.com.

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