Obama owes Shirley Sherrod an apology and her job back
The right attacks, Obama throws another innocent African American under the bus.
I wrote a few weeks back that President Obama seems to have issues with race. Now I am damn sure of it. He does not know how to address it. He chooses to run away from it at any given chance. He seems content in letting the far right use it against him. It was bad enough that "Fux" News and the Big Government blog targeted Shirley Sherrod. It was even worse that the NAACP fell for it. But the worst of the Sherrod story is that the White House responded so quickly and with such obvious cowardice -- demanding her resignation -- without even reviewing the doctored video tape.
Sherrod, now a former employee of the USDA, said in a talk more than 20 years ago that she realized while working with white farmers that she needed to get past her own issues of race. It was working with these white farmers that enabled her to do just that. "Fux" News and Andrew Brietbart's "Big Government" blog took this video and made it appear as if Sherrod said the exact opposite -- that white farmers needed to receive help from one of their own and she did not feel obliged to help them. They took a near 45 minute video and edited down to one and a half minutes, pulled together cherry picked quotes while entirely ignoring the context and nature of what she was actually saying.
Within hours of the release of this fraudulent video, the White House was, according to Sherrod, calling for her to resign, shrieking from the terror of her story being told by Glenn Beck.
“Shirley they want to you pull over on the side of the road and text your resignation, because you are going to be on Glenn Beck tonight,” Sherrod said in a televised interview.
I understand Obama’s got a lot of pressure on him. But damn man, man up!
Are you so afraid of Beck and the far right that you are willing to throw anyone under the bus? It was bad enough that it happened with Van Jones, but this woman is a victim, a simple hard-working public servant whose musings on race in this country are perhaps even more gracious and rspectful than anyone serving public office -- and I would include Obama in that equation unfortunately.
- NAACP needs an overhaul to keep from embarrassing itself
- Shirley Sherrod and “liberal journalist” hoax, Fox News' latest boogeyman
- Jobs bill doesn't actually create any jobs. Thanks GOP.
You can’t lead from a position of fear. That’s quite simply the problem with this administration.
In the clip below, the White House is still evading the issue. Secretary Tom Vilsack was not the person calling her, telling her to resign. It was someone within the administration. It was probably Rahm Emanuel. But even if was the evil Rahm causing trouble again, the buck stops with Obama.
When the Congressional Black Caucus bucked the administration, saying he was tone deaf to their calls for a "Black Agenda," I defended Obama. After all, he is the President of the United States and cannot be perceived as paying special attention to one segment of that population.
But the reality is, the "Black Community" was disproportionately targeted and affected by the mortgage crisis and the recession.
Back when Van Jones was apparently forced to resign due to Glenn Beck and Fox News' repeated attacks, once again I defended the administration. Jones, despite his brilliance, had become a distraction.
When folks criticized Obama for his slow and tepid response to the British Petroleum oil leak, once again I found a way to excuse their response. His plate, entering office, was legitimately piled high with crap. Dealing with the dysfunctional Minerals Management division may not have been a high priority.
But in this case, there is no excuse.
As African Americans, we are forced to walk a very delicate line. Of understanding and working inside a society where we will be judged unfairly, but we must also keep some measure of self-respect and awareness as we do that. We must defend ourselves against racism when we can, and we must stand up for what we know is right.
The administration had no reason whatsoever to believe what they saw coming from Fox News. Ever since it appeared Obama might have a chance of winning the White House, the channel has done nothing but try to convince White America that they are under attack by minorities and liberals in general. But they did not care enough to find the facts before acting.
What can this situation teach us about who is running our country?
Obama is a man willing to allow the right wing to destroy an innocent woman's reputation, her career and life, as long as he doesn't have to take on the uncomfortable topic of race.