What was perpetrated this week by a particular brand of conservatism was neither conservative nor amenable to any type of Christianity seeking to align itself with the Right. I am, of course, referring to the Breitbartian tactics employed against Shirley Sherrod. As you’re all well aware of by now, a video of Sherrod was circuited by Breitbart which implicated Sherrod in a past racist action in her position as a government employee. What failed to be considered at the time the story broke was the failure of Breitbart to divulge the full content of Sherrod’s speech to the NAACP, a speech in which she lamented her own racist attitudes and overcame them through economic solidarity with the white farmer she was assigned to assist, rather than racial polarity as Andrew Breitbart would have us believe.

Thankfully, respectable conservative journalists have succeeded in labeling this tactic as it truly is: a pernicious attempt to use the highly charged issue of racism in what amounts to race-baiting.

Whereas I hoped I would encounter a mainstream, populist conservatism which would have soundly condemned Breitbart’s malicious actions, there’s been silence. Hannity and Beck, rather than condemn this type of┬ámaneuvering, have no less used this situation to highlight seemingly absurd actions of the Left and NAACAP, omitting any possibility that they may have been complicit in contributing to the fallout the story precipitated.

For readers of Mere-O tempted to endorse, carte blanche, the motives and actions resonant with movements associated with Andrew Breitbart, take a step back and recognize that the Christian faith bluntly puts a halt on deceptive actions meant to inject unnecessary emotion to an already delicate and volatile situation. Let’s be able to call a lie for what it is. Let’s be able to call out, prophetically, the actions of those supposedly representing our values with humble temerity. Any attempt on the part of Christian conservatives and conservative Christians to somehow present a defense of this week’s action is not only wrong, but blithely falling prey to a political culture aimed towards the destruction of one’s opponent.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Posted by Andrew Walker

Andrew T. Walker is an Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

3 Comments

  1. Well done. We all need to put our allegiance to our faith ahead of our political ties, especially when we are tempted to ignore the shortcomings of our political associations.

    Reply

  2. Andrew: To be fair, Breitbart did not participate in the editing of the video in questions nor did they know the video was edited. Indeed, Breitbart is guilty of failing to sufficiently investigate the materials they publish – but that is a sin of omission.

    Wrong was done and Breitbart was a part of it, but we should be fair in where the blame goes and for what.

    Reply

  3. John,

    You have a point, for sure. Still, I’m not keen to believing that individual’s omission in certain actions denies at least their (implicit) complicity.

    Breitbart has done tremendous good in allowing Conservative journalism to prosper. Still, actions like those of the past week are far more damaging than they are helpful.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Andrew

    Reply

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.