On the Tamara for Georgia show, we discussed the Ilhan Omar ‘manufactured scandal’ in the context of the initial silence of the Democratic Party in the segment I participated in this week. David Slavin, one of the panelists, recalled the Shirley Sherrod story that brought back an embarrassing memory for me as a CNN iReporter.
Ilhan Omar and Shirley Sherrod share a story
Manufactured scandals are dangerous. Between the time it is constructed and found out to be a fraud, it can damage lives, cause the loss of one’s jobs, or even put one’s life at risk.
With one tweet, my irresponsible Congressman, Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), put his colleague, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s, life in danger. For that, he should be held accountable. But more importantly, for those who read the tweet, accepted it at face value, and ran with it, bear some responsibility. Words against another human or organization placed on the airwaves, online, or in print has consequences.
Just like Crenshaw retweeted a clip that misrepresented Ilhan Omar’s speech, so did Breitbart back in 2010 with President Obama’s then Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture. Breitbart released a clip that gave the impression that Shirley Sherrod was a racist.
Many Progressive bloggers like me made sure to get into the onslaught because after having elected a Black President, we did not want any possibility or semblance of reverse racism to enter the discourse.
I was then one of CNN’s very active iReporters, and I screwed up royally. I fell into the trap and responded with a very harsh iReport that made it on air at CNN. When the truth came out about the context of Shirley Sherrod’s statement, I released a very apologetic iReport stating how wrong I was and begged the CNN iReport producers to get it out which they did as I recall.
Since that embarrassing incident, I’ve tried very hard not to repeat that error. The large volume of gullible reporters and bloggers got Shirley Sherrod fired for the firestorm it caused.
We cannot allow these manufactured scandals and smears to be successful. It is our job to stamp it out when they occur. That is one of the reasons I ride the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar smears and misrepresentation