Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shirley Sherrod Must be Given her Job Back

I've been quite for a couple of days about this, but this is starting to boil my blood.  If you haven't heard, let me fill you in.

Prominent conservative site BigGovernment.com released an edited video of Shirley Sherrod, a black woman who worked for the Department of Agriculture, giving a speech.  The video was edited to make it look like Ms. Sherrod was telling a racist story in which she had doubts about helping a farmer save his farm, which she appeared to revel in.  Here is the edited video:



The problem is, that wasn't the case.  Instead, Sherrod was making a point that racism is wrong, and used the story to illustrate how she herself overcame racism.  In fact, Ms. Sherrod helped save the farm and is now friends with the farmer.

The full video (See 21:00):



Notice how long the actual video is?  Andrew Breitbart, the founder of Big Government, released the video, despite apparently knowing it was factually and maliciously wrong.  When the story broke, the NAACP denounced the comments, and Ms. Sherrod was fired by the Department of Agriculture.  Multiple sources have also stated that the Administration pushed for the firing.

Now the whole video has been released.  Andrew Breitbart, I call on you to apologize for the disservice you did to this woman.  To the Department of Agriculture and to the White House, I call on you to give Ms. Sherrod her job back.  To the NAACP, I call on you to apologize to Ms. Sherrod and in the future, you must confirm and obtain all facts before you act.

This whole thing disgusts me.

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4 comments:

Matthew Avitabile said...

Breitbart is a phony and needs to apologize

Alezend said...

She may have struggled with racism in the past and maybe still some prejudice but she seems to be a fair and position worthy individual. Her job should be returned if she chooses to take it. I only hope she does not mare this by continuing the media frenzy and allowing "reverend" Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton to turn it into another money making witch hunt, preying off the racial insecurities of black people and tensions of modern society.

Tourist said...

The story of Shirley Miller Sherrod is morphing from "anti white racist" to "human rights advocate"

She grew up in the racially afflicted south.

In 1965 her father, Hosie Miller, a black man and a deacon at Thankful Baptist Church, was shot to death by a white farmer in what ostensibly was a dispute over a few cows,

The all-white grand jury didn't bring charges against the shooter.

That summer, when she and several other blacks went to the county courthouse to register to vote, the county sheriff blocked the door and even pushed her husband-to-be, Lester Sherrod, down the stairs, she said.

She went on to earn her master's degree in community development from Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Sherrod returned to rural Georgia to help minority farmers keep their land. Because of discriminatory lending practices, black farmers were losing their farms in the late 1960s and '70s.
Sherrod co-founded New Communities Inc., a black communal farm project in Lee County, Georgia, that was modeled on kibbutzim in Israel. Local white farmers viciously opposed the 6,000-acre operation, accusing participants of being communists and occasionally firing shots at their buildings, Sherrod said.

When drought struck the South in the 1970s, the federal government promised to help New Communities through the Office of Economic Opportunity. But the money was routed through the state, led by segregationist Gov. Lester Maddox, and the local office of the Farmers Home Administration, whose white agent was in no hurry to write the checks, she said.

It took three years for New Communities to get an "emergency" loan, she said. By then it was too late.

With black-owned farms heading toward extinction, Sherrod and other activists sued the USDA. In a consent decree, the USDA agreed to compensate black farmers who were victims of discrimination between January 1, 1981, and December 31, 1999. It was the largest civil rights settlement in history, with nearly $1 billion being paid to more than 16,000 victims. Legislation passed in 2008 will allow nearly 70,000 more potential claimants to qualify.

USDA hired Sherrod as its Georgia director of rural development in August 2009. She was the first black person in that position; of 129 USDA employees in Georgia, only 20 are black, she said.
Despite her father's killing and the injustices that followed, the racial hatredshe has fought all her life, and now her quick exit from the USDA, Sherrod refuses to become bitter.

"I can't hold a grudge. I can't even stay mad for long," she said. "I just try to work to make things different. If I stayed mad, if I tried to hate all the time, I wouldn't be able to see clearly in order to do some of the things that I've been able to do.

"Even with this, I'm not angry. I'm not angry. I'm out of a job today, but I'm not angry. I will survive. I have. I can't dwell on that. I just feel there's a need to go forward."

Even Conservatives has shown a great respect for this black woman who has spent her life fighting discrimination.

And now the Secretary of Agriculture and the Administration is admitting that they should have taken the time to listen to her whole speech instead of just the doctored version posted on a conservative blog which seemed to show her saying she "held back" from helping a white farmer stay on his land.

Even The white farmer and his wife who are at the center of this controversy praised Sherrod for helping them fight to keep their farm from foreclosure.

Shirley Miller Sherrod can certainly hold her head up high

She is an example of the best qualities that all of us should emulate in our racially divided country.

Alezend said...

Very few today can really understand what racial division even is. There are some still stung by the harsh racism of the south and the very real horrors that transpired all over the country. But as we move into the future the racism towards many minorities ,some more so than others, is drastically reducing. There will always be racism and there will always be those who use it as a weapon of many forms. Minds are always slow to catch up to the shifting times and past mistrusts are hard to shake, especially with certain incompetent individuals saying every move left or right is driven by racism. Sure our nation has racial tension and levels of mistrust but to say it is racially divided is a conflict loving media driven conclusion based on the drooling, paranoid and otherwise malicious instigations of media figures.