Archive for Thursday, July 22, 2010

‘Unique’ position offered to wrongly ousted USDA worker

July 22, 2010


Protesters rally outside the Department of Agriculture building Wednesday in Washington, D.C., in support of Shirley Sherrod.

Protesters rally outside the Department of Agriculture building Wednesday in Washington, D.C., in support of Shirley Sherrod.

— The White House did a sudden about-face Wednesday and begged for forgiveness from the black Agriculture Department employee whose ouster ignited an embarrassing political firestorm over race. She was offered a “unique opportunity” for a new job and said she was thinking it over.

With lightning speed, the controversy moved from Monday’s forced resignation of a minor U.S. Ag official in Georgia to Tuesday’s urgent discussions at the White House amid a rising public outcry and then to Wednesday’s repeated apologies and pleas for Shirley Sherrod to come back.

Sherrod said she resigned under White House pressure after the airing of a video of racial remarks she made at an NAACP gathering about events that transpired more than two decades ago. But Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said repeatedly on Wednesday that the decision had been his alone.

“I asked for Shirley’s forgiveness and she was gracious enough to extend it to me,” he said after reaching her by telephone.

Sherrod, in a phone interview with The Associated Press, said, “They did make an offer. I just told him I need to think about it.”

The controversy threatened to grow into more than a three-day distraction for Obama’s administration, with important midterm congressional elections nearing and partisan feelings already running high. President Barack Obama said nothing publicly about the developments while administration officials tried to simultaneously show his concern and to distance him from the original ousting.

It all began with the airing of a video on a conservative website of Sherrod’s remarks about not doing all she could to help a white farmer. After she was told to resign — with the NAACP declaring its approval — the situation grew more complicated when the rest of the edited video was released by the NAACP and Sherrod insisted her remarks were about reconciliation, not the stoking of racism.

‘An injustice had happened’

By Wednesday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was apologizing to Sherrod “for the entire administration” and saying that officials did not know all the facts when she was fired and should have investigated more. He said he didn’t know if the president would talk to Sherrod himself.

The president had been briefed, Gibbs said, and “he talked about the fact that a disservice had been done, an injustice had happened and, because the facts had changed, a review of the decision based on those facts should be taken.”

Said Vilsack, who also met with the Congressional Black Caucus, “This is a good woman. She’s been put through hell. … I could have done and should have done a better job.”

“Shirley and I talked about a unique opportunity at USDA,” he said. “With all that she has seen, endured and accomplished, it would be invaluable to have her experience, commitment and record of service at USDA. I hope she considers staying with the department.”

“I accept the apology,” Sherrod said on CNN after watching Gibbs talk to reporters on television. But she said the apology took too long.

Sherrod, appointed to her job last July, was asked to resign after conservative bloggers posted a video of her saying she didn’t initially give a white farmer as much help as she could have 24 years ago, when she was working for a farmers’ aid group. Sherrod said she used the story in her speech to the NAACP to promote racial reconciliation and that the edited video distorted her remarks.

Like the administration, the NAACP reversed its stance on Sherrod and called for her to be rehired.

The incident was the latest in a series of race-related brouhahas to garner national attention since Obama became the nation’s first black chief executive.

A year ago, Obama convened a “beer summit” at the White House between a black Harvard scholar and the white police sergeant who arrested him after a confrontation at the black man’s home. The president also faced criticism over nominating to the Supreme Court judge Sonia Sotomayor, who had once remarked on the virtues of having a “wise Latina” on the bench. And there are complaints about the Justice Department’s handling of allegations that New Black Panther Party members threatened voters at a Philadelphia polling place on the day Obama was elected.

Black leaders piled on Wednesday in criticizing Sherrod’s ouster. The Rev. Jesse Jackson called on the administration to apologize and give Sherrod her job back. The Congressional Black Caucus, with 42 members of Congress, called for Sherrod to be reinstated immediately.

However, the Rev. Al Sharpton said black leaders should refrain from calling for an apology from the Obama administration, saying that creates the impression that black leadership is fractured. “We are only greasing the rails for the right wing to run a train through our ambitions and goals for having civil and human rights in this country,” Sharpton said.

Racism charges

The episode comes as the NAACP and the conservative tea party group have been trading charges of racism.

The two-minute, 38-second clip posted Monday by was presented as evidence that the NAACP was hypocritical in its recent resolution condemning what it calls racist elements of the tea party. The website’s owner, Andrew Breitbart, said the video shows the civil rights group condoning the same kind of racism it says it wants to erase. is the same outfit that gained notice last year after airing video of workers at the community group ACORN counseling actors posing as a prostitute and her pimp.

In the clip posted on, Sherrod described the first time a white farmer came to her for help. It was 1986, and she worked for a nonprofit rural farm aid group. She said the farmer came in acting “superior” to her and she debated how much help to give him.

“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,” Sherrod said.

Initially, she said, “I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do” and only gave him enough help to keep his case progressing. Eventually, she said, his situation “opened my eyes” that whites were struggling just like blacks, and helping farmers wasn’t so much about race but was “about the poor versus those who have.”

The story moved from the Internet to Fox News Channel on Monday night. Host Bill O’Reilly showed a brief portion of Sherrod’s speech where she talked about withhholding “the full force” of her efforts.

“Wow,” O’Reilly said after the clip aired. “That is simply unacceptable and Ms. Sherrod must resign. The federal government cannot have skin color deciding any assistance.” Fox’s Sean Hannity aired the same short snippet of Sherrod’s speech and said that “this was racist.”

“This was at an NAACP dinner and this was racist,” Hannity said.

By Wednesday, Fox’s focus shifted to accusing the Obama administration of rushing to judgment.

‘She was good to us’

People who knew Sherrod were quick to defend her, including the wife of the white farmer whom she discussed in the speech.

“We probably wouldn’t have (our farm) today if it hadn’t been for her leading us in the right direction,” said Eloise Spooner of Iron City, Ga. “I wish she could get her job back because she was good to us, I tell you.”

In the full 43-minute video, Sherrod tells the story of her father’s death in 1965, saying he was killed by white men who were never charged. She says she made a commitment to stay in the South the night of her father’s death, despite the dreams she had always had of leaving her rural town.

“When I made that commitment I was making that commitment to black people and to black people only,” she said. “But you know God will show you things and he’ll put things in your path so that you realize that the struggle is really about poor people.”

Sherrod said officials showed no interest in listening to her explanation when she was asked to resign. She said she was on the road Monday when USDA deputy undersecretary Cheryl Cook called her and told her to pull over and submit her resignation on her Blackberry because the White House wanted her out.

“It hurts me that they didn’t even try to attempt to see what is happening here, they didn’t care,” Sherrod said.


Hoots 6 years ago

When she made the statement I took him to "One of His Own Kind" that was enough. I say that regardless of what was left out. Other comments she made were obviously racist in nature. I can't see why anyone would get away with that alone. She should be gone.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

" I say that regardless of what was left out."

Why, because blissful ignorance makes it easier to be comfortable with your own blissful racism?

Hoots 6 years ago

So if you said to a co-worker of another race "You need to hang out with your own kind" or made the reference of "Your Own Kind" in any way...that would be OK? I think you'd get your ass fired. You would be labelled a racist. She made a very racist comment by any standard. Do you even understand the word racism by using it to describe me? Wow, I'm surprised you can build a complete sentence.

ksjayhawk74 6 years ago

We can now quote you as saying "You need to hang out with your own kind".

We don't need to read anything else in your statement to come to the conclusion that you are a racist who who believes in segregation...

Hoots 6 years ago

If anything was segregationist it was the way SHE referred to people unlike herself. I made the point that anyone who says that has a problem. You are either dyslexic or have some reading difficulty. Just another troll.

ksjayhawk74 6 years ago

It doesn't matter. You did say "You need to hang out with your own kind".

You also said "I say that regardless of what was left out. Other comments she made were obviously racist in nature."

So you do believe in segregation because you said "You need to hang out with your own kind" and the context of what you were talking about is irrelevant.

jafs 6 years ago


I don't think Hoots will get the point though, but nice try.

independant1 6 years ago

The tape, with Sherrod's comment, was not aired on Fox till after Sherrod was forced to resign and it became news.

Maddy Griffin 6 years ago

As he should. Just goes to show you can't trust Faux Noise for anything close to the truth. It's a shame Vilsack was sucked into this along with the rest of the Administration. tsk tsk.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

I'm not the type of person to sue at the drop of a hat, but this is a clear cut case of libel. Maybe Ms. Sherrod will be able to retire early, if she has a good lawyer. Does Brightfart, I mean Breitbart, have a lot of money? You know FOX does. Why doesn't FOX try and hire some real reporters? Do they get all their news from the blogs? Hoots, you need to read everything she had to say. That's like calling "To Kill a Mockingbird" a racist book, because it has the "n" word in it. She saved these white people's farm, even after her father was murdered by some white guy who was never brought to justice. Are you capable of reading a whole story? It's morons like you that Breitbart and Fox count on. Or for that matter, the Tea Party, extreme religious groups of any kind, and the far right of the Republican party. They all want people who only read the first few lines. Don't look at the whole story, it will only confuse you.

independant1 6 years ago

The tape, with Sherrod's comment, was not aired on Fox till after Sherrod was forced to resign

Maddy Griffin 6 years ago

But it has been aired everywhere else.I first caught wind of it from Russel Simmons "Global Grind". If Faux Noise is all some peope watch, they got the wrong story. Breitbart should be fired. This is not the first time he's pulled this.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

Then sue Breitbart. But FOX sure jumped on it, didn't they?

independant1 6 years ago

Everybody jumped on it, not one broadcast news outlet risked losing out on the breaking story, taken off the blogs. over and over all day long, it was hard to escape the drone. What did you expect from the media? PAR score

Kirk Larson 6 years ago

If I take a video of you and edit it to make you appear to be saying something you weren't and you lose your job over it, I'd say you have a case.

Mixolydian 6 years ago

OMG! Brightfart! That is soooo funny! Really, it's genius political commentary. Did you really come up with that all on your own or did you hear it somewhere? I like how you mixed it in as if it it were a mistake on your part. Oooopsie..I meant Breitbart. Silly me.

You are so funny.

So very very funny. ooohhoooo, I'm going to be reading your posts. Funny guy. That was great.

Ha! Brightfart!

I especially like your ending, Fox only wants people to read the first few lines or else you will be confused. That's brilliant as well..Obviously you're referring to the NAACP, Vilsack and Obama, but you didn't even have to say it to make the point.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Just like the ACORN "pimp and prostitute" debacle, Andrew Brietbart and Fox have shown themselves more interested in creating fictional "news" that stirs up racial divisiveness than in accurate reporting.

Mr_B9 6 years ago

Is there something wrong with you? How does the ACORN "debacle" have any racial overtones? Because those incompetent ACORN idiots just happened to be black. FYI, that is called investigative reporting. Not only was Brietbart's piece accurate it was also responsible journalism. For the sake of our country we need to move forward together as one and live in the 21st century. Can't you see Obama and his Klan are trying to pit us against each other. If we cannot move forward as one than we need to send the divisive race baiters back to the back of the bus.

Mr_B9 6 years ago

I see your point. You think ACORN educating the fake pimp and prostitute how to manipulate tax laws is OK. Is that the kind of rubber mouthed rhetoric you teach your children? By the way ACORN lost their funding. HMMMM I was approached by ACORN in KCMO 2 years ago. They wanted to know if I was a registered voter. I said yes, in Kansas. They told me no problem, would you like to also be registered in Missouri? I said that sounds illegal to me and they quickly walked away and went to another target. That was the end of that conversation. So do you think your being a proponent of ACORN and their criminal activity is really something you should be proud of? While your rubber mouthing you forgot to tell us all how much you agree with the Black Panthers 2. Let me lend you a hand. They intimidated voters outside a Philadelphia poll on Election Day 2008. Their leader Samir Shabazz shouted over a microphone at a street fair: “You gonna have to kill some of they babies,” referring to “crackers” (White people). "This list goes on infinitely and YOU want to bring this back." I thought until recently race issues werepretty much behind us. It will never be behind us as long as you scab pickers keep playing the race card. Our biracial president had the perfect opportunity to curb racism but he blew that. As far as FOX News goes Bill O'Reilly and Fox both admitted publically they jumped the gun concerning Ms. Sherrod. Seems pretty stand up to me. The real problem is you have no leg to stand on and it infuriates you. So my question is, Whats wrong with you?

jaywalker 6 years ago

So it was a 'debacle' to you becaaaaause......?

(cue the crickets)

jaywalker 6 years ago

Don't ya just love the drone.....

tomatogrower 6 years ago

Let's see, didn't Dan Rather's career go south after the debacle about Bush's military career? And weren't several CBS reporters fired? What do you want to bet that no one at Faux News will even be reprimanded. Their fans have short term memory loss. They first showed this woman to be a racist, now she someone the Obama administration is picking on. Twist the story. The faux news followers will just follow along like little lambsies. Just tell them what they are suppose to think, and they will. War is Peace, and so on.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

That's because you're an idiot who believes anything Fox tells you.

Steve Miller 6 years ago

She meant what she said, if it were the other way around, you can bet that person would have stayed fired.. Not hard to see what's going on, typical obamatic's.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Yep, I'm sure she did mean it. And if you watch the entire speech, you'd see that her message was as far from racist as you can get.

But you probably won't because the truth might contradict what you want to believe. So just tune in Fox, and turn up the volume-- they're sure to tell you whatever you want to hear.

Steve Miller 6 years ago

It's stunts like this that kep the american blood boiling....

Maddy Griffin 6 years ago

Do you ever get dizzy from your own spin?

Liberty275 6 years ago

""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.""

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

That was just the beginning of the story-- have you heard the rest? Do you even care to?

Liberty275 6 years ago

I don't need to. Nothing that follows changes the fact that she allowed race to cloud her judgment while working on behalf of the US government. If David Duke apologized and saw the errors of his ways, would you feel comfortable with him being employed by the government in a position that affected the lives of black people?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"Nothing that follows changes the fact that she allowed race to cloud her judgment while working on behalf of the US government."

If you don't watch the rest of the speech, you don't know that. The facts are that she did end up helping him (there's even an interview of this farmer where he says she saved his farm,) and the whole point of the story was that she discovered that the problem for small farmers was being poor, not their race.

The whole point story was about her learning to look beyond race, despite having grown up black in the South where everything is about race.

But like I said, I'm sure you're desperate for any way to justify your own racism, even (especially?) if it requires swallowing more Fox lies.

jafs 6 years ago

Taking bits of information out of context is not a good way to understand what really happened.

Bozo is correct - her talk was about how she overcame her tendencies to look differently at black and white people - it was about overcoming racism.

And, for what it's worth, her father was killed in the South by white men who were never brought to justice.

impska 6 years ago

She was not working for the U.S. government at the time. That ought to have been clear if you had read the article.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

And then she went on to save their farm. The farmer has even come out in her defense. What really gripes you is that she fought for poor people. She saved this farmer's farm, and some corporation was allowed to snap it up for little money. Her story was that of how she forgave, and didn't hold this farmer's attitude and the murder of her father against anyone. She even forgave the farmer for having an attitude, which was personal. I'll bet you couldn't do it.

I do know that when I worked in customer service many years ago, if someone came in with a bad attitude, black or white, I helped them, but I didn't give them extra attention. When someone came in and was nice, I bent over backwards. I guess I am prejudiced - against rude people with bad attitudes. Fortunately there are more nice people, than rude people.

Liberty275 6 years ago

"You know, the first time I was faced with helping a black 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 white people had lost their farmland. And here I was faced with having to help a black person save their land, so I didn't give him the full force of what I could do.

Liberty275 6 years ago

I think a tiger never changes his stripes; he just lays down in the mud to hide them.

Now, you dig up a single negative thing I have ever said about any race. Any. Do it. I'm a firm believer that no human should ever be subject to different treatment based on anything, including the color of their skin, the language they speak, the god they worship, the people they choose as a mate, etc.

You don't want to go down this road.

independant1 6 years ago

You're racist! Resign you racist pig. Pull over to the side of the road and do it now.

independant1 6 years ago

before you remove, it's called satire.

jafs 6 years ago

The rest of the speech goes on to detail how she overcame that tendency, and the facts include the fact that she helped that farmer and his family save their farm, and they became good friends.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

All of you white racists are out in force, trying hard to find an example of a black racist so you can justify your own bigotry.

But Fox and Brietbart suckered you again, and you will not find what you're looking for in this woman.

Maddy Griffin 6 years ago

Tell 'em Bozo! Talk about lame-stream media!

Liberty275 6 years ago

LOL. I post her unedited words, you post ad homs. Is your position that weak on this?

Tell us, what does it take for a person acting in a blatant racist manner on behalf of the government need to do to gain your trust?

Liberty275 6 years ago

Anything else she said is irrelevant to the description of the action she took that day while working on behalf of the federal government. She could have been lifted into the sky the following day and turned into a female Jesus then rained down holy manna into the farmers field and it wouldn't matter.

jafs 6 years ago

That's a pretty extreme position.

The fact that she overcame that tendency, and did in fact help that farmer save his farm, and realized that we have to look beyond race means nothing to you?

By the way, her father was killed in the South by white men who were never brought to justice.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

That's real Christian of you. Sarcasm intended, since Christianity is about forgiveness and redemption. She save the farmer's farm, Liberty, how did she not do her job?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

You're just furiously backpedaling, L275. You got caught lapping up Breitbart's and Fox's latest lies, again, and now you don't have the cojones to admit it.

ebyrdstarr 6 years ago

Small point, but she wasn't working for the federal government. She was working for a nonprofit.

jafs 6 years ago

Thank you.

If that's true, it's not a small point at all.

ebyrdstarr 6 years ago

This fact is in the article. She only started working for the federal government within the last few years.

independant1 6 years ago

all the outlets aired this stuff, it's competitive, whoever plays it first and the most wins. Even the NAACP piled on with a statement. Gotcha journalism at it's best. Whoever gets the goods wins the prise for the most viewers/hits. And it's going to continue, there'll be more you can bet on it. It's not a right or left thing, it sells, they make a living doing this stuff.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

How do you explain Axelrod's puppet throwing the woman under the bus without hearing her side of the story?

Steve Miller 6 years ago

The flap began after conservative website blogger Andrew Breitbart posted a speech she gave in which she spoke of not offering her full help to a white farmer.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

And like everything Breitbart does, it's carefully edited to whip up racists like you into a frenzy, which sells lots of ads on Fox.

independant1 6 years ago

and a liberal supporter or reporter always tells the truth? never attacks, never takes a comment out of context etc. etc. etc yeah right

verity 6 years ago

What does your comment have to do with this story?

Sounds like a third grader---he did it too.

independant1 6 years ago

If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics. (Will Rogers)

verity 6 years ago

Oh good grief. Just because Will Rogers or someone else famous said it doesn't mean it's the truth. I didn't think Mr. Rogers was that great before, but your constant quoting of him has made me realize he was even less great that I thought before.

independant1 6 years ago

Ain't nothing to life but satisfaction. (Will Rogers)

I can't get no satisfaction. (Rolling Stones)

verity 6 years ago

At least you're entertaining when you get creative.

Amy Heeter 6 years ago

This just gets better as it goes along.

independant1 6 years ago

If one beleives verbatim what's reported in the news, well unhappily you're ill informed to say the least.

My fav news is on the scandal rags, read it while in grocery store checkout line.

Liberty275 6 years ago

And those who repeat his words are also lying.

What about the people that repeated her words? Are they liars too? You show me that the transcript does not say what I wrote and I'll concede the point.

jafs 6 years ago

Publish the rest of the transcript, and you can understand that part in the correct context.

Otherwise, you completely miss the point.

Liberty275 6 years ago

The transcript is easy to find. Google it.

At what point are we allowed to stop quoting a person to show what they said? Following your logic, we could never make a point without quoting every last word a person utters or pens without listening to cop-outs like "you are taking it out of context".

I think a paragraph of voluntary admission that fully describes an action is enough to establish accuracy.

Further, the entire argument is about the ethics of the person in question. I don't believe a person's ethics change. Words change. People don't.

I think you would be better off admitting her racist diatribe without dismissing it and point out that she probably had every reason in the world to hate white people. She would still be as responsible for her racist views, and therefore unfit for government employment, but at least you would show a streak of honesty for your own sake.

ebyrdstarr 6 years ago

"I don't believe a person's ethics change. Words change. People don't."

What a depressing and hopeless view of humanity you have. People can't change? Can't learn from their mistakes? Can't grow and improve? Good grief, why even bother with life at all if we can't do these things.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

L275 was clearly speaking primarily of himself.

jafs 6 years ago

Quoting the beginning of that talk without including the rest is misleading.

The point of the talk is how she overcame any racist tendencies she might have had, and went on to help that very farmer, who became a good friend, and has advocated for her in this debate.

And, I do think it's understandable that she may have had a problem with white people, being a black woman from the South whose father was killed by white men who were never brought to justice, and I think it's admirable that she was able to overcome that.

jimmyjms 6 years ago

When you edit a video to create an entirely false perception of reality, that is libelous.

jafs 6 years ago

Maybe, but they didn't really edit it (like cutting and pasting), they just published a small portion of the speech.

jimmyjms 6 years ago

THat's stupidity, LO. First of all, she didn't treat the white farmer differently, she thought about it.

The video most definitely presented it as thought she had failed to deliver the full force of service to the farmer, which she did not. Similarly, Breitbart and the rest of these infotainers framed this as proof-positive of a racist agenda on the part of the Obama administration, even though this incident occurred 23 years ago, and before Ms. Sherrod worked for the federal government.

Nice try, though.

jafs 6 years ago

That's an interesting question.

It is extremely common these days in politics to publish partial small bits of information without including enough to understand things in context.

This is clearly a bad thing to do if we want our political discussions to be productive.

If it's not illegal, it should be changed anyway, since it doesn't serve us very well.

jafs 6 years ago

How is that?

You think that the current atmosphere in politics is good?

That the practice of selecting a few words or sentences out of context and then using them to attack politicians is good?

You don't think we'd be better served by understanding things in context, so that at least we know what we're arguing about?

This happens on this forum all the time, and is quite frustrating - I don't know why people think it's valuable to take something out of context, misunderstand/misrepresent it, and then argue about that.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

Sure, but that's what a free press is for. Didn't the press do it's job and clear this up fairly quickly? But Brietbart and O'Reilly didn't bother clearing it up. Of course, these guys consider themselves journalists, until they do something like this, then they say "We're just bloggers." or "We're really just entertainers." Where is their apology?

jafs 6 years ago

I never advocated for silencing speech - I advocated for presenting the context and not taking things out of context and presenting misleading soundbites.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

" but any rules put upon speech is silencing speech."

But as you've pointed out, depending on who is doing the silencing and the circumstances under which it is done, it isn't always a violation of the 2nd amendment.

jafs 6 years ago

You are aware that various forms of speech like slander and libel are illegal, I'm sure. As is inciting to riot, etc.

Do you think there should be no restrictions at all on any kinds of speech?

jafs 6 years ago

Well, at least that's consistent.

jafs 6 years ago

Well, I suspect you don't really want to understand, but...

When everyone is judged based on character and performance, then race will be irrelevant - that is the goal of organizations like the NAACP.

We don't hear much from native Americans because we successfully destroyed their culture and decimated their population, forcing them onto government reservations.

Other cultures which came here voluntarily, like Asians, do not suffer as a culture from the repercussions of slavery and the ongoing mistreatment of black people afterward.

Maybe you should talk to some black people whose grandparents were slaves if you're really interested in understanding why the experience of black people in this country is different from other minorities.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Legal slavery in American ended 145 years ago. I don't think you will find a lot of folks living today who had a grandparent that was born before 1865.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Way to ignore reality in an attempt to score a point.

jafs 6 years ago

Care to respond to any of the substantive comments in my post?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Actually, de facto slavery continued right up to WWII.

jafs 6 years ago

If you're really trying to understand, then don't mischaracterize what I've written.

Your post seems quite hostile to black people.

What I'm saying is that given the history of slavery, lynching and beating of black people, and the general mistreatment, including not granting equality under the law, that it's understandable that there may be some residual effects of that in the black community today.

Take your ethnicity, whatever it happens to be, and imagine that your great grandparents had been slaves, that you knew personally of friends/family members who had been lynched, that you knew of many of your group that had been falsely accused and jailed, that you knew many who had committed crimes against your group and gotten away with it, etc.

Do you think that would have no effect on you today?

I haven't advocated for cash for life for anybody.

jafs 6 years ago

Like I thought, you don't really want to understand - your mind is made up.

However, the obvious difference between the Irish immigrants and black Americans is that the Irish came here voluntarily and weren't enslaved.

If you think that's not a meaningful difference, that's your prerogative.

I think you're quite wrong, of course.

Of course this country needs to overcome the past and move into the future. But, to put that all onto the black community as if they should just "get over slavery, etc." is absurd.

jafs 6 years ago

Are you not aware of the fact that until about 50 years ago, blacks in this country did not have legal equality?

It's not just about slavery, it's about the ongoing and continual oppression of black people since then as well.

jafs 6 years ago

Like I said in my first post.

You're not really interested in understanding.

That's ok - just be honest about it.

And, I have no "chip" - I'm white and have never suffered personally from racism.

Just so I'm clear - your position is that slavery and the ongoing mistreatment of black people and denial of equality under the law is irrelevant, and that they should act no differently from immigrant groups that came here voluntarily and were never enslaved, beaten, lynched, etc.

And just "get over it".

I think that your attitude is more the reason that things don't change in this country than mine.

jafs 6 years ago

Thank you.

You too.

An interesting tidbit - the show "What would you do" is on ABC right now. The most recent segment involves 3 teenagers breaking into a car and vandalizing it in a parking lot for hours.

When the teenagers are white, there are few interventions and only 1 call to 911. When they're black, there are many interventions and 10 calls.

They're doing exactly the same thing.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Wow, the current regime has owned up to having acted stupidly.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

Too bad Breithart and O'Reilly and Fox can't do the same. But that will probably never happen.

Mr_B9 6 years ago

tomatogrower (anonymous) replies… Too bad Breithart and O'Reilly and Fox can't do the same. But that will probably never happen.

If you took the time to watch any news you would see that Fox and O'Reilly did acknowledge they made a mistake. Even (lefty) MSNBC reported their acknowledgment this morning on the Cup of Joe program.

I have an idea, maybe you should dig for facts before spewing pointless opinions all over the postings and maybe you should own up for acting stupidly.

Mr_B9 6 years ago

You are correct about Breithart. That should have been your original post instead of attacking Bill or Fox. At least they did what was right concerning Ms. Sherrod. Thank you for your correction.

Amy Heeter 6 years ago

Ancient history. Today many things are different. Overall much better, however our government can't control the thoughts of indiviuals. Nor should they want to. Even those screaming for equality hold some reservation. The proof is in the tape. Everytime slavery and reperation is brought up I know the conversation is going down hill. Apologies are not given unless true remorse is felt. Why apologize if you really do not feel sorrow for what you have said or done.

Boosh 6 years ago

Enough already. The real story here is not a race story. The real story to be had here is the utter failure of journalism, and broadcast journalism in particular.

There is a lesson to be learned here and I hope all people with a journalism degree take it to heart.

And yes, I am looking at you...

Alia Ahmed 6 years ago

An interesting piece by Willie Nelson who's known Shirley Sherrod for some years due to Farm Aid.

Hoots 6 years ago

I think if you look at the way she refers to people who are not like herself then you might get the point. She obviously puts people in catagories and thinks differently of them depending on color. The phrase" I sent Him to One of His Own Kind" speaks to her thought process. Those were her words and not an edit. With those words she told me she places people in boxes. If you said "Your own Kind" to a Co-worker you'll probably get slapped and then called into your bosses office to find out what your malfunction is. I don't agree with the way the story was edited. There was plenty wrong without doctoring the video.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

This is pointless, because all you want is some mirror image of your racist self, even though it's nowhere to be found. But here goes.

"The phrase" I sent Him to One of His Own Kind" speaks to her thought process."

That was her thought many years ago when this incident first started, at a time in the South when that was how the world was viewed. The whole point of the relatively long story (most of which you've apparently chosen not to hear) was to describe the evolution in her thinking-- an evolution that entailed her helping this white farmer save his farm, and coming to the realization that the main problem for small southern farmers was poverty and powerlessness, not race.

But as I said-- what you're looking for is justification for your own bigotry, not the full story or truth.

Olympics 6 years ago

Hoots doesn't accept evolution in any of its forms.

Mixolydian 6 years ago

Brietbart states that he knew the entire video's content and didn't post the shortened clip to allege that Sherrod was a racist. Certainly if you've seen the entire video, it's a great story and I've got a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Ms. Sherrod after having seen it..

Breitbart's point, and the one that Fox news and O'Reilly completely muffed, was that the video was posted to draw attention to the NAACP crowd that enthusiatically applauded her story of not helping the white farmer because he supposedly took a superior attitude towards Ms. Sherrod. At least that's what Brietbart claimed in a CNN interview I've seen. I've never been to his website.

Listening to Vilsack on the day of the resignation would lead you to believe that he also knew of the entire tapes contents but forced her out based on the perception what was in the video clip.

The whole thing is just weird and indicative of the baseless and wreckless use of racism accusations that pass for political discourse nowadays.

What I think is interesting is Ms. Sherrod's claim on the day that she was forced to resign was that she was repeatedly told it was at the direction of the White House. She still maintains that even to today.

That means that either:

  1. Ms. Sherrod is lying. Which I don't believe.
  2. Vilsack is lying,
  3. Vilsack and Obama are lying.

Hoots 6 years ago

Obama kiised and made up this

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"was that the video was posted to draw attention to the NAACP crowd that enthusiatically applauded her story of not helping the white farmer because he supposedly took a superior attitude towards Ms. Sherrod."

Breitbart is an idiot, but he's certainly welcome to his own interpretation.

I saw a good deal of the video, and the reaction of the audience was mostly one of a crowd sharing a (not so funny) inside joke-- namely the fact of whites in the South going out of their way in asserting their superiority over any blacks they interacted with.

Amy Heeter 6 years ago

Everybody catagorizes people. They may not make it public, they may only do it unconsciencely, but people do it.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

It's kinda funny how high Axelrod's puppet jumped when Fox News said "frog".

jaywalker 6 years ago

Can only imagine the comments that piled up on this one, I opined on it yesterday on another string when I had heard the whole story, and I'm glad she's been offered her job back. It's a shame that 'journalistic integrity' has become an oxymoron. could have prevented this if they'd aired the entire clip instead of paring it to fit their agenda. It's true that her actions two decades ago were regrettable, but obviously she has learned from the experience and has changed. I've even heard that she's good friends with the farmer and his family that she slighted. Her message to the NAACP is the type of thoughtful introspection and evolvement we should all hope for, regardless of past foibles.

Hoots 6 years ago

Do you think Robert Bird ever changed his stripes? She may have. I have no way of knowing for sure. It just seems people in government often show us what they think we want to see. I've seen people act one way out in the world and have a completely different persona behind closed doors. No one has ever checked how much of this story of hers is fact or fiction. People in government make up stories all the time. I was in Vietnam or some other untrue story. She ended up getting her 15 minutes of fame. She's already been on several talk shows and probably will be for the next week. She'll come out of this smelling like a million bucks.

jaywalker 6 years ago

"The whole thing is just weird and indicative of the baseless and wreckless use of racism accusations that pass for political discourse nowadays."

Worth repeating. Thank you, Mix.

getalifestalker 6 years ago

I agree with that and second your repeating it.

Hoots 6 years ago

I wish people would look back at history and realize that from the beginning of time this group or that group has been chewed up and spit out by culture after culture. It has taken place in every corner of this planet and continues to this day. We as a culture used Africans for crops, the Chinese and Irish for railroads, women in the sex trade, the Native Americans for their land, and on and on. Many peoples on this entire planet have relatives with a tragic storied past and some live it day in and day out in 2010. The world has been a messy place for a very long time. No one and no group has the market cornered on sorrow and disappointment.

Boosh 6 years ago

And the Fourth Estate is tasked with bringing these injustices to the light of day, not cloud it with their own agendas (no matter what that may be).

Mr_B9 6 years ago

Poor deathpenaltyliberal got his/her feelings hurt. Boohoo. Mudslingers are a dime a dozen and really never have a point of their own. Now give me my dang prize.....

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Is she at least gonna get a beer out of this whoop-de-do?

K_Verses_The_World 6 years ago

Trouble in the city, trouble in the farm You got your rabbit’s foot, you got your good-luck charm But they can’t help you none when there’s trouble

Mr_B9 6 years ago

Has anyone thought about this.... Remember when Tony Hayward came out of his meeting with Obama and said "that BP had not forgotten the SMALL PEOPLE." I cannot prove this but I suspect he was only repeating a phrase he heard from Obama. I am not saying this is fact but I do think it is a possibility.

beatrice 6 years ago

Why has invictus been allowed back?

notaubermime 6 years ago

Two factual errors in this sentence: "FOX did not report this story until after Obama had asked for this lady's resignation."

First, FOX posted a story and the video on their website hours before Sherrod resigned. They also claimed that they were already seeking comment from the USDA and the NAACP.

Second, Obama did not ask for her resignation, Vilsack did. Whether Obama ordered Vilsack to do that or not is unclear, but the direct action that you state never happened.

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

It is now abundantly clear why the New York Times did not report this story, as Breitbart nastily charged.

Yes, Mr. Breitbart, it was liberal bias on the part of the Times to thoroughly investigate this story, see it in its correct context, and realize it is not news deserving their and their readers' attention.

I would hope that Breitbart is irrevocably discredited, but then the right wing does not operate with or require facts as the basis of their positions, so I'm sure he will continue to be a folk hero journalist reporting those stories that the liberal New York Times has decided is not news based upon the facts of the event.

ivalueamerica 6 years ago

The poor judgement was to trust a Tea Party Member.

jafs 6 years ago

So if the government ignores the voices of the right-wing, they are wrong for doing so.

And if they listen to them, they're wrong for doing so.

Sounds like a no-win situation to me.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

Read the following link. Do you think Breithart will sit down with her. He sure had a backhanded way of saying the post was wrong. He just said she wasn't a government employee when she refused to help a white farmer. So, he still can't admit she saved the farmers farm. So he is still clueless. So he is still a low life coward.

cato_the_elder 6 years ago

I thought that Sherrod had signed a free agent contract with the Charlotte Bobcats and was playing in the NBA Summer League.

beatrice 6 years ago

Yes, the Obama administration blew it by acting too quickly. Darn. And to think, all of us on the Left really thought he was perfect (or so the Right would like you to believe).

At least he was able to admit the error and attempt to make amends rather than just staying the course and refusing to change his mind. Personally, with as much going on in the world and our nation right now, I am glad the President didn't spend a LOT of time on this matter. Yet sometimes quick decisions can backfire on you. Oh well. How many decisions is he making a day? Again, in this instance he realized the error and took steps to correct it.

The people who should be blamed and who dropped the ball are those in his administration, because they should be fully knowledgable of a subject before briefing the President. It should always be that way, in every administration.

At least this wrong decision won't take us into war for a decade or have lasting consequences that effect the nation. All this does really is give fodder to the talk heads on tv and radio.

funkdog1 6 years ago

What's so hillarious about this situation is that when it comes to racial equality, Sherrod is ten times the more honorable person any of you people berating her could ever hope to be.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Axelrod's puppet may have had to settle for only 9 holes of golf instead of playing his usual 18 while dealing with this tempest. Tsk, tsk.

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