Context! For We, But Not For Thee
Such is now demanded by the NAACP in the Shirley Sherrod matter.
You remember her. She's the Department of Agriculture person who, at an NAACP meeting in March, told a story about how 20 plus years ago she had discriminated against a white farmer because he was white, but over the years realized she was wrong to discriminate on the basis of race.
In context, Sherrod at worst was a former racist who had realized the error of her ways.
But the NAACP did not waste time in demanding that action be taken against Sherrod because the NAACP had not seen the full clip, only the part where Sherrod related her racist past. (It appears that Ben Jealous, the President of the NAACP, was at that meeting, so he really should have known the context.) [added: @0.45 of the video Sherrod states that the President of NAACP was present - h/t J.S.]
Now the NAACP is backtracking because of context.
Media Matters and Think Progress, the ultimate out-of-context word and phrase manipulators, are hot on the case because Shirley Sherrod was taken out of context.
So how about some context for the handful (out of many millions) of people who have attended Tea Party rallies carrying racist signs?
How about considering that some of the people were not really Tea Party supporters but plants by the opposition designed to create controversy? Or that some of the photos were not even at Tea Party rallies? Or that some of the people were kicked out of the Tea Party movement? Or that some of the accusations of racist words being shouted are denied and the videos show otherwise? Or that numerous blacks who are active in the Tea Party movement deny that there is widespread racism? Or that the Tea Party philosophy of limited government and free enterprise is completely race neutral?
"Context for we, but not for thee," seems to be the philosophy.