July 30, 2010 |
Shirley Sherrod, the African American federal Agriculture Department official who was forced out of her job after a conservative blogger posted a heavily edited video of a speech she had made, said Thursday that she believed her experience provides a fresh opportunity for a discussion of race issues in the nation. "If the suffering I've endured and the joy I've felt gets that discussion back out there, we've got to deal with it," Sherrod said at a panel discussion, Context and Consequences, at an annual convention of the National Assn.
July 28, 2010
Whitman's stand on immigration Re "Softer tone ignites heat," July 25 Voters don't like being played for fools, and that's exactly what Meg Whitman has done. In ads during the GOP primary, former Gov. Pete Wilson pronounced her to be "tough as nails" on illegal immigration. Whether she fooled him too or not, his credibility is now as damaged as hers. Fortunately, about three out of four American voters support Arizona's immigration law, SB 1070. By opposing the Arizona law, Whitman can only be described as "soft as butter" on illegal immigration.
July 24, 2010 |
Short of announcing the discovery of a zero-calorie potato or juggling piglets at the state fair, a mid-level bureaucrat for the USDA wouldn't stand much chance of breaking into the national news conversation. That would have been true if not for the work of a furiously partisan Internet operator and a group of all-too-credulous media accomplices, namely some Fox outlets, that made sure this week that we all knew the name of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's rural development director for the state of Georgia.
July 23, 2010 |
They spoke as two black people who've felt the sting and stigma of racial discrimination. But Shirley Sherrod said that when she talked by phone with President Obama, she knew his racial history didn't match hers — that a biracial man born and raised in Honolulu couldn't know what it's like to grow up in the Deep South in an era of cross burnings and segregation. So Sherrod hoped to offer the president some insights, asking him during their seven-minute conversation to come to Georgia and tour some of the civil rights landmarks that shaped the experience of the Southern black underclass.
July 23, 2010
A lot of villains in this tale Re "An extraordinary apology," July 22 It's hard to decide whose conduct in the entire Shirley Sherrod affair is most reprehensible. There's Andrew Breitbart, who in his lust for another liberal scalp posts an obviously edited video for the purpose of destroying this woman, and when caught has the audacity to claim he had no such intention. Then there are all the TV talking heads, especially on Fox News, who immediately ran with Breitbart's lie and dialed up the hateful rhetoric.
July 22, 2010 |
He didn't reach her on the first try, but President Obama phoned former Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod on Thursday to apologize for her abrupt firing based on a 2 1/2-minute video clip that gave a misleading portrait of her views on race. Obama and Sherrod spoke for about seven minutes, in which he mentioned his own exploration of race in his first book, "Dreams From My Father," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said. Obama urged her to continue speaking up for poor people.
July 22, 2010 |
The White House has apologized to a former USDA employee it now says was fired before the situation involving controversial videotaped comments was fully reviewed. "A disservice was done, for which we apologize," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday afternoon, saying he spoke for the entire administration. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was attempting to reach the former employee, Shirley Sherrod, to speak further about the matter, Gibbs added. Vilsack said in a statement released overnight that he would reconsider the department's decision to demand Sherrod's resignation.
July 22, 2010
Nobody involved in the Shirley Sherrod scandal emerged with reputation intact — except, of course, for Sherrod herself. But although key players Andrew Breitbart, Tom Vilsack or Benjamin Jealous all deserve a measure of scorn, we're even more distressed by a political culture that, despite the promise of a "post-racial" society after Barack Obama's election as president, has clearly made little progress in coming to terms with the issues that...
July 21, 2010 |
A feud between the NAACP and the "tea party" movement engulfed the Department of Agriculture this week when the agency ousted an African American official for remarks that some have called racist. Shirley Sherrod, the USDA's director of rural development for Georgia, was pressured to resign Monday when a video surfaced in which she told an NAACP audience that she had not given a white farmer "the full force of what I could do" to help him save the family farm in 1986, when she worked for a Georgia nonprofit group.