Talking Points Tuesdays – Pride

Shirley Sherrod

 

Pride: a feeling of honour and self-respect; a sense of personal worth   

Pride is something that is missing from many in our society and we this in many aspects of our lives. From politics to everyday life I am sure we all have examples of lack of pride. So it is a pleasant surprise when you can witness pride. For me an example of this would Shirley Sherrod.   

For those of you who do not know who Mrs Sherrod is; she is the Black woman who was falsely accused and fired for using her position of power at the USDA to deny help to a White Farmer. Eventually the truth came out and Mrs Sherrod was exonerated which led to Head of USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and the White House including President Obama personally apologizing to Sherrod.  Not only did Mrs. Sherrod receive apologies but she was also offered a brand new position or her old job at the USDA.  The new position was created because of this situation; in the new position it would be addressing questions of discrimination in the department (USDA).   

Mrs. Sherrod took time to review the offer and the situation; at the end of the day she respectfully declined the offers.  She has not ruled out working as a consultant with the USDA in the future.  When asked why she decided not to accept the job offer she stated,   

“A new process is in place, and I hope that it works; I don’t want to be the one to test it. … I think I can be helpful to him and to the department if I just take a little break and look to how I can be helpful in the future.”   

I respect Mrs. Sherrod decision as it would have been easy for to take the new job, but she stood her ground.  A couple of years ago I was in a situation where a co-worker made some insensitive comments to me which were ignorant and disrespectful.  That co-worker tried to apologize to me and offered me a gift; like Mrs Sherrod I fully appreciated my co-workers apology and gift but I respectfully declined his gift.  I did not feel comfortable accepting his gift as I felt in accepting the gift I was condoning his actions.   

Of course people have criticized Mrs Sherrod for trying to milk her “15 minutes of fame”; that is a ridiculous notion!  Without even knowing Sherrod this commentator decided that she should have just taken the job and gone away.  That would have been the easy thing to do but unlike some of the lame politicians who have no pride and sell them selves to the highest bidder; Mrs Sherrod decided her principles were more important.    

If more people showed more heart and pride maybe we wouldn’t have the silliness we have seen in politics; it’s time for people to start standing up for what is right and not for what is polling well in the latest CNN poll!   

As always….
If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!!

Shirley Sherrod would like to talk to Pres Obama

As I stated in my last posting WTF/WTH Wednesdays – Shame on the Obama Administration; President Obama should speak with Shirley Sherrod one-on-one and apologize for everything that has happened this week. Don’t get me wrong the apologies by Tom Vilsack (Head of USDA) and Robert Gibbs (Press Secretary) were appropriate, but when you have someone from the USDA telling Sherrod she had to resign immediately to avoid having Glenn Beck aka NUTBAG reporting on the story.  It says a lot about the sensitivity aka ‘Bitchassness’ in the White House; not necessarily calling out President Obama but I think this administration at times pays too much attention to Conservative talk Radio and FOX News.

On NBC’s Today Show Sherrod said she didn’t expect an apology from the president but she would like to talk to him “about the experiences of people like me, at the grassroots level,” she added “Let me help him a little bit.”

Mark Knoller noted this morning that the White House is considering whether Pres. Obama should call Sherrod to apologize.  Knoller believes the president will call Sherrod to personally apologize.

Sherrod also talked about the new job offer from Tom Vilsack; the new job is with the Office of Outreach and would involve dealing with discrimination within the USDA.

Sherrod stated she is reviewing the job offer but  “would not want to be that individual that … everyone is looking to solve the issue of racism in the USDA.”

She would not rule out taking the job before having a chance to review the complete job description.

In all honest I don’t blame her for hesitating in taking this job as it looks like she would become the poster child for fighting discrimination.

Side note, if Sherrod doesn’t take the job let’s hope she doesn’t collect some kind of unemployment benefits.  I can see Republicans (Glenn Beck) jumping on the idea that she had an opportunity to have a job and turned it down; as crazy as it sounds I’m just saying…

As always….
If there is something to be said, “Its On Broadway” to step up and say it!!!

WTF/WTH Wednesdays – Shame on the Obama Administration….

In the unfortunate situation concerning Shirley Sherrod there are plenty of villains to share the responsibility of this woman losing her job at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); Andrew Breitbart, Ben Jealous/NAACP, FOX News, USDA/Tom Vilsack, and the Obama Administration.

If you’re not familiar with the Shirley Sherrod story here is a quick recap:

After the NAACP released a declaration calling for the Tea Party to denounce the racism that has been present at their events.  Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart decided he wanted to show that the NAACP was just as guilty of having racism present at their events.  Breitbart posted a video from on his blog showing Shirley Sherrod at a NAACP event telling a story about how she once dealt with a White farmer who was looking for help in saving his farm from foreclosure.  In the video Sherrod talks about the White farmer talking down to her and how she took him to a White lawyer (one of his kind) to help him.

“You know, the first time I was faced with helping a white farmer save his farm. He took a long time talking but he was trying to show me he was superior to me. I know what he was doing. But he had come to me for help. What he didn’t know, while he was taking all that time trying to show me he was superior to me, was I was trying to decide just how much help I was going to give him.”

“I was struggling with the fact that so many black people had lost their farmland. And here I was faced with having to help a white person save their land, so I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do.”

“So I took him to a white lawyer that had attended some of the training that we had provided because Chapter 12 bankruptcy had just been enacted for the family farm. So I figured if I take him to one of them, that his own kind would take care of him.”

The video spread like wildfire amongst Conservatives as FOX News pushed the story non-stop stating that a USDA official (Sherrod) was caught on tape using her power in the USDA to with-hold assistance to a farmer because he is White.  With the video going viral the NAACP and Ben Jealous jumped in and decided they had to act quickly and denounce the statements on the video from Sherrod.  Finally Tom Vilsack head of the USDA issued the state that Shirley Sherrod has submitted her resignation and that he has accepted it.  He also expressed how the USDA could not tolerate Sherrod’s actions especially in light of the departments controversial past with Black farmers.

Pretty much a straight forward case of racism, right????

Not exactly, hours after Breitbart released the video the truth about the video started to come to light.  Apparently the video that Breitbart release was on a partial video; what Brietbart failed to show was that the story Sherrod was telling was about a woman who had evolved.  In the unedited version of the video Sherrod explains that she learned from the incident.  She realized that it was not about race; not about Black or White but about poverty.  She stated that she worked hard to save the White farmer’s land…

“Working with him made me see that it’s really about those who have versus those who haven’t. They could be black, they could be white, they could be Hispanic. And it made me realize then that I needed to help poor people – those who don’t have access the way others have.”

Of course when it was realized there was rush to judgment; everyone responsible for Sherrod losing her job issued statements of regrets and apologies.

  1. Andrew Breitbart said he never meant for Sherrod to lose her job, he was only trying to focus on the NAACP
  2. The NAACP/Ben Jealous apologized but offered a lame excuse as to why they would denounce Sherrod without having all the information.  They stated at times they are forced to respond to situations like this faster than they would like and that they were ‘Snookered’ by the edited video.  That is complete Bullshit as the NAACP waited an entire year before issuing a statement against racism in the Tea Party movement; they explained in that situation that they wanted to make sure they had all the evidence.  If that was the case, what makes Sherrod situation any different?  In my opinion the NAACP was feeling themselves as they had a successful week in calling out the Tea Party.
  3. Head of the USDA Tom Vilsack apologized and stated the decision to ask for Sherrod’s resignation was his decision and not the White House’s (YEAH RIGHT).  He also offered Sherrod’s job back to hr if she wanted it (she is thinking about it), he also admitted that he made his initial decision based off of limited information.
  4. FOX News simply shifts the focus from Sherrod to the Obama Administration once they found the video was edited.
  5. Robert Gibbs issued an apology on behalf of the White House stating that everyone involved rushed to judgment without all the facts.  Also stated the decision to ask for Sherrod’s resignation was done before the president was informed.

As I stated in the beginning, everyone shares the blame in Sherrod losing her job.  In my opinion the majority of the blame belongs to President Obama and his administration; I say this because ultimately the captain is responsible for the ship.  Say what you want about Breitbart, and FOX News; yes they pushed a false story but is that REALLY a shocker when it comes to fringe element of the Right-Wing?  The reason why this situation became a story was because of the reaction by the USDA and Tom Vilsack.  Sherrod stated that she was told that she had told resign quickly before this became a story for Glenn Beck to report on.

WTF!!!

So now this administration is scared of a NUTBAG like Beck??  Some will say well Vilsack made the call to ask for Sherrod’s resignation and that is correct, but you best believe that the White House recent troubles with FOX News concerning the New Black Panther Party had something to do with his decision.  Time and time again this year the White House has had confrontations with FOX News and ultimately at the end of the day the White House desire to go head to head with FOX lead to the USDA not wanting to give Beck the extra ammunition to attack a sensitive White House.  It’s not like Tom Vilsack is not an experienced leader as he was the Governor of Iowa; there is no reason why a proper investigation wasn’t done before a decision was made.  Vilsack’s handling of Sherrod is a reflection of the Obama Administration, the president has to step up and make sure the message is clear to everyone that behavior like this is not tolerated.

I remember back in 2009 when President Obama snapped at Ed Henry for criticizing how quickly he responded to an issue…

Where is that President Obama?  Where is that patience in handling an issue and making sure you get it right?  Shame on the Obama Administration for falling into the trap of FOX News and reacting based off of emotions; like Keith Olbermann I think President Obama owes Shirley Sherrod an apology.  It’s not good enough that Press Secretary Robert Gibbs apologized,

Shirley Sherrod should be hearing the apology from the President!

As always….
If there is something to be said, “Its On Broadway” to step up and say it!!!