Some people just don't know when to shut up. Shirley Sherrod is one of those people.
Fired unjustly by the Obama administration, Sherrod received plenty of sympathy from liberals and conservatives alike. Anybody who felt any sympathy for the woman directed his or her ire toward President Obama, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack or conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart.
Then Sherrod opened her mouth; she apparently forgot it was talking that brought about her predicament in the first place.
In an appearance on Anderson Cooper's "AC360" show, Sherrod teed off on Breitbart. Cooper quoted Breitbart talking about the speech she gave at a Georgia NAACP dinner last March in which the blogger said, "If anyone reads the sainted, martyred Sherrod's entire speech, this person has not gotten past black versus white." Cooper asked Sherrod if she had, indeed, gotten past black versus white.
"I know I've gotten past it," she answered. She could have stopped there, but nooooo. Would have been too much like right. Sherrod chose to elaborate, embellish and then embarrass herself.
"He's probably the one who's not gotten past it," she continued, "and never attempted getting past it. I think he'd like to get us stuck back in the times of slavery. That's where I think he'd like to see all black people end up again."
Just what did Breitbart do or say for Sherrod to reach that conclusion? Egged on by Cooper, she gave us a clue. Cooper asked Sherrod if she thought Breitbart was a racist.
"Yes, I do," she answered. "I think that's why he's so vicious against a black president."
In the words of that great American George "Kingfish" Stevens, "well, hol' de phone, Andy!" Isn't it possible that there are plenty of whites in this country that oppose Obama because of his politics, and not his race?
Granted, there are probably millions of whites that harbor racist attitudes toward blacks, just as there are millions of blacks that harbor racist attitudes toward whites. And blacks that harbor racist attitudes toward Latinos and Asians, and vice versa. But I'm not expecting the Shirley Sherrods of the land to speak out about racism "people of color" have toward each other.
It's also possible that many of those whites that oppose Obama would have much preferred to see former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice run for, and be elected, president.
Millions of whites might support Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas if he were to retire and run for president. And if that happened, you wouldn't hear word one from those who've been ranting about whites opposing a black candidate because of racism.
Indeed, you'd have seen blacks subject Thomas to an attack so vicious and vile that it would make what some in the Tea Party movement have said about Obama look like terms of endearment by comparison. Thomas would have been called an Uncle Tom, a Sambo, a handkerchief head, a lawn jockey, a house Negro and a sellout.
Most of those terms come from a time in this nation when blacks were still enslaved. Breitbart missed the mark when he said Sherrod hasn't "gotten past" black vs. white. It's not so much black vs. white that she needs to "get past." It's slavery, and the habit some blacks have of whipping out what I call "the slavery card."
Any white person disagreeing with these folks gets the slavery card whipped out on them. Blacks who disagree get the Uncle Tom card, or one of its variations.
I'm betting Breitbart's smart enough to know that's exactly what Sherrod did to him.
Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.