The Obama Administration has just jettisoned another black employee from their ranks. Shirley Sherrod, former United States Department of Agriculture Director of Rural Development in Georgia, was given the boot after remarks at an NAACP banquet. Now the White House will tell you that she resigned but I can guarantee that she wasn’t planning on quitting her job when she went to work today. Journalist extraordinaire Andrew Breitbart provided the video tape that caused the firing. You might remember him from his handy work with taking down Acorn with a fake white pimp.
For full disclosure: I have used videos from his site on my blog.
Apparently Sherrod was videotaped talking to the NAACP about a job she held two decades ago with the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund. She talked about how a white male farmer was rude to her and because of that she didn’t do her best in helping him. Her exact quote - “I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do.” She later admitted that the incident “opened her eyes.” And that she realized that we need to move beyond race. Again from her own mouth - "The story helped me realize that race is not the issue, it's about the people who have and the people who don't."
Well before the close of business she was out of a job and pundits were giving their two cents on the subject. Unfortunately none of us had enough information to make an intelligent decision. What we received was half a video tape with half the story. We missed what Sherrod was trying to say about how her views on race have evolved. All we saw and heard was - “I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do.” Instead of her speech in complete context we received an edited version. Whatever happened to investigative journalism? Oh well, it wasn’t hard to figure out what happened next.
The mainstream media debated the story without all of the information (which they stupidly admitted to) –
The NAACP denounced her without all of the information (when she was speaking at an NAACP event) –
“Since our founding in 1909, the NAACP has been a multi-racial, multi-faith organization that– while generally rooted in African American communities– fights to end racial discrimination against all Americans. We concur with US Agriculture Secretary Vilsack in accepting the resignation of Shirley Sherrod for her remarks at a local NAACP Freedom Fund banquet. Racism is about the abuse of power. Sherrod had it in her position at USDA. According to her remarks, she mistreated a white farmer in need of assistance because of his race. We are appalled by her actions, just as we are with abuses of power against farmers of color and female farmers. Her actions were shameful. While she went on to explain in the story that she ultimately realized her mistake, as well as the common predicament of working people of all races, she gave no indication she had attempted to right the wrong she had done to this man. The reaction from many in the audience is disturbing. We will be looking into the behavior of NAACP representatives at this local event and take any appropriate action. We thank those who brought this to our national office’s attention, as there are hundreds of local fundraising dinners each year. Sherrod’s behavior is even more intolerable in light of the US Department of Agriculture’s well documented history of denying opportunities to African American, Latino, Asian American, and Native American farmers, as well as female farmers of all races. Currently, justice for many of these farmers is being held up by Congress. We would hope all who share our outrage at Sherrod’s statements would join us in pushing for these cases to be remedied. The NAACP will continue to advance the ideals of America and fight for freedom, justice and fairness for all Americans.”
NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous issued the above statement.
The United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (who is less qualified than Sherrod for his current position but I digress….) accepted *wink* *wink* Sherrod’s resignation –
“Yesterday, I asked for and accepted Ms. Sherrod’s resignation for two reasons. First, for the past 18 months, we have been working to turn the page on the sordid civil rights record at USDA and this controversy could make it more difficult to move forward on correcting injustices. Second, state rural development directors make many decisions and are often called to use their discretion,” he said. “The controversy surrounding her comments would create situations where her decisions, rightly or wrongly, would be called into question making it difficult for her to bring jobs to Georgia.”
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack issued the above statement.
Sherrod’s only relief was the woman whose husband she was supposed to have discriminated against. Say What?! Yes!! Eloise Spooner, the wife of the farmer that was allegedly discriminated against, came to her defense and said that she kept them from losing their land. She also called Sherrod “a friend for life.” So a woman was fired for discriminating against a man that she ended up helping?? To make matters worse. Glenn Beck came out in support of Sherrod. When an online title for a story says WTF? Glenn Beck Defends Shirley Sherrod- It's Possible "This Woman Deserves Her Job Back" Sherrod either needs to slit her wrists or start drinking heavily.
Yesterday I blamed Sherrod for this misstep (with only half of the info provided to me by the mainstream media) and I have to apologize for that. She isn’t a career politician like most of Obama’s appointments. You know, people that tell you what they think you want to hear because they are trying to get your vote. She was trying to be truthful and honest and tell her story. Too bad that she didn’t realize that Conservative forces were pissed off at the NAACP and were looking for payback. So for telling the truth she got canned. And to add insult to injury the NAACP retracted their previous statement denouncing Sherrod. Ben Jealous new statement says the NAACP was “snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart into believing she had harmed white farmers because of racial bias.” The NAACP reminds me of the “Yugo.” When they send literature to my house I just throw it in the trash. Sherrod was speaking at an NAACP banquet. How did Fox News trick them when they were in the audience? Everybody at the banquet and headquarters needs to fall off a cliff!! What about the journalists that went on national television debating a doctored tape as if it were the gospel? Whatever happened to fact checking? Rushing to be the first person to deliver the story is reckless and irresponsible. If Roland Martin spent more time investigating the facts instead of sending out tweets about the celebrity parties he is attending, maybe we could have the real story. And add the fact that the Obama Administration runs from racial issues like Usain Bolt at the Olympics. So this woman never stood a chance. And how did Senator Robert Byrd get to keep his job when he admitted to being in the Klu Klux Klan. Does forgiveness and redemption only extend to career politicians? U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who is being called to resign for something the Bush Administration did, was right about one thing. This country is a “nation of cowards” when it comes to discussing race.