An Open Letter to Joe Scarborough



On The Media and the Shirley Sherrod Affair


Yo Joe!

It is disgraceful the way you and your minions interpreted the events that led to the firing of Shirley Sherrod by the Agriculture Department; it vindicates Ishmael Reed’s indictment of white controlled corporate media for trying to undermine Barack Obama’s presidency in his new book “Barack Obama and the Jim Crow Media,” the return of the Nigger Breakers.” 

You unfairly placed the blame for this tragi-comic blunder squarely on the President, who has so many monumental issues to deal with he cannot pay attention to the details of every decision that is made in government.  That’s not his job, and in any case it’s not possible for any human being to be on top of everything in a bureaucracy as large and complex as the federal government!  That’s why the President delegates authority to members of the Cabinet.

Yet the same people – people like you Mr. Scarborough – who are saying this morning that the President should have known that the tape was doctored to mislead the public, had little or nothing to say about the doctored “evidence” the Bush Administration used to dupe Americans into supporting a bogus war of choice – a war that has been estimated will cost taxpayers three trillion dollars by economist Joseph Steiglitz, a Nobel Laureate and Columbia University economics professor. 

The spin that you, and that long time unapologetic racist and shameless hypocrite Pat Buchanan, are putting on this incident is designed to mislead the public to make political points.  That’s why you completely avoided the real issue.  The government’s hasty and unjust decision was driven by their desire to quell the racist hysteria manufactured by the inflammatory rhetoric employed by the verbal arsonists on the far right who dominate the talk show formats on radio and television and appeals to a frustrated, untutored, racist white mob. 

These talk show hosts have fired this demographic up to the point that they disrupted town meetings wearing guns when congressional Democrats tried to explain the president’s program for providing health care to millions of Americans who have none.  This was all driven by the blatant lies promoted by right wing media who endlessly broadcast the Alaskan Barbarian Sarah Palin’s claim that the health care bill would create ‘Death Panels,” and the mainstream press refused to show that all this was driven by a massive disinformation campaign conducted by verbal arsonists in the right wing media in league with Republican members of Congress!  

            This is how the Nazi’s used broadcasting to create the hysteria that led to the holocaust!  If you think this is an exaggeration read: “The Real Neo Nazis,” which I am working on and will be posted on this site later today.  The spin being put on this incident is possible because there is so little Afro-American input on the show.  Jonathan Capeheart is by no means the most astute commentator in black America; in fact he is a milquetoast  intellectual lightweight who offers up banal platitudes and pedestrian observations that seemed designed to never make waves.  Capehart’s philosophy of dealing with white folks was exposed when he recently explained that the reason President Obama is so calm during crisis’s when everybody else is losing their heads – a trait which I regard as a virtue – is because he is afraid of appearing to be “an angry black man.”  

Capeheart made it clear that this is also his modus operandi too – which perhaps explains why he is so presistently dull and grins at Pat Buchanan’s racist fulminations.  However if white Americans knew more about the experience of their black countrymen – a tawdry tale you would rather forget and pretend never happened – then you would know that this amounts to “putting on old massa,” a technique employed by African American slaves to never let the slave masters know what they were thinking if it might piss him off.  The evidence of this is revealed in a folk saying that has been found in slave narratives from all parts of the country: “Got one mind for white folks to see/ got another mind that I know is really me/ and he don’t know my mind!”  To my surprise and dismay, almost a century and a half after the end of slavery young black people are still employing this strategy to get on with their white bosses and colleagues.

The racial atmosphere in American has become so poisoned by the right wing media bloviators that the Obama Administration and the NAACP felt they had to act quickly to nullify this incident before it became an issue the verbal arsonists on the right could use it to plunge the nation into racial conflict.  Already NAACP President Ben Jealous has received over a hundred death threats just for stating the obvious: The Tea Party Movement harbors dangerous right racist elements like The Conservative Citizens Council and the avowed neo-Nazi group “Stormfront.”  Why did you not expose this connection Mr. Scarborough? 

Why don’t you regularly feature updates on the activities of these armed terrorists if you want to really do something helpful, give us some news we can really use.  Frightened by the hysterical charges of the WABC radio and FOX television crowd, white Americans are arming themselves at record numbers and our history tells black people to beware. The administration is trying their best  to prevent another Oklahoma tragedy, what role do you imagine that you are playing in this evolving American disaster Joe? 

Had the Administration not acted quickly to quash this issue you and your phony Irish crony Patrick J. Buchanan would have been leading the pack screaming that our President was coddling a black racist!  Don’t even bother trying to deny it, because your history as the publisher of that scurrilous right wing rag “The Florida Sun” demonstrates that you are fully capable of such demogaguery.   That racist right wing propagandists in mass media could provoke the government into taking such precipitous action against an innocent citizen, and a splendid one at that, is the real tragedy of the Shirley Sherrod affair.


She saved the people she is accused of injuring!



Yours Truly

Playthell Benjamin


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