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OPINION

Sorcerer's Apprentice

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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The White House wanted to inject race into the 2010 mid-term election campaign and now they've done it.

The lesson of the 1940's "Sorcerer's Apprentice," segment of "Fantasia" is: It is very difficult to control something like this it once it begins to spin out of control.

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Since 1909 the NAACP has been, according to its website, "the nation's oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization." I don't disagree with that assessment.

That's why about a week ago, when the group acceded to the will of the Democrat geniuses in Washington to use an attack on the Tea Party movement - accusing its adherents of "race-baiting and racism" (also from its website) - it seemed to me it was nothing more than a blatant ploy to try and energize a distinctly disinterested part of the Obama coalition.

My first thought was: The NAACP is better than this. It means too much to millions of Americans than to allow itself to be used as a pawn in a political chess match.

Alas.

Yesterday, the Apprentice's broom overfilled the racial buckets when a clip of a speech given by a woman named Shirley Sherrod, who, according to the AP "until Tuesday was USDA's director of rural development in Georgia" became a viral hit.

In the clip, Ms. Sherrod appeared to be regaling the audience - a local NAACP chapter - with a story about how she didn't do her best to help a White farmer because she felt he thought he was "superior" to her. In her story she said she "didn't give him the full force of what I could do" because "I was struggling with the fact that so many black people had lost their farmland and here I was faced with helping a white person save their land."

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In the unedited version of Ms. Sherrod's remarks she makes it clear this was a learning experience for her and has became a teaching opportunity because she came to realize that "that helping farmers wasn't so much about race but was 'about the poor versus those who have.'"

But, not before the White House told the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, to have her fired which the Department did by calling her while she was driving and, according to Sherrod, telling her to pull over to the side of the road and resign using her Blackberry.

An anonymous White House official denied it had anything to do with demanding the resignation of Ms. Sherrod, which I believe as much as I believe the Obama health care bill will improve health care.

Also, not before the head of the NAACP, Benjamin Todd Jealous, "welcomed the resignation because the group opposes racism of all kinds."

The wife of the farmer who was the subject of the story said that, in fact, Ms. Sherrod worked very hard on their behalf and had help them save their farm.

By last night Mr. Justice was blaming a conservative site run by Andrew Breitbart for posting the incomplete version of Sherrod's speech and was calling on the White House to reinstate her.

That goes under the heading of "too little, too late." (One was tempted to use the line: "justice delayed is justice denied," but one demonstrated dominion over his baser instincts.)

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The ugly reality is, the White House threw caution to the winds and convinced Mr. Justice to use - misuse - his organization to do the Administration's dirty work.

You can see where this is leading. The White House wants to so poison the political well, that any time a White politician criticizes the President it will be branded as "racism."

At a time when too many people have lost faith in their government's ability to deal with the very real problems that real Americans are really facing, intentionally planting the seeds of racism into what will already be the heated debate of the final three months of the election season is very, very dangerous.

Like the Sorcerer's Apprentice, getting the enchanted brooms to do Mickey Mouse's work was much easier to start, than to stop.

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