USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack – has apologized
The NAACP has retracted its original statement condemning comments made by a former Agriculture Department official who resigned after a video clip surfaced of her discussing a white farmer…
“Having reviewed the full tape by Shirley Sherrod, who is the woman who was fired by the Department of Agriculture, and most importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this story, we now believe that the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans,” the statement from NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said.
Here’s the full unedited video of her speech before the NAACP – months ago btw.
Jealous later posted on his Twitter account that he “Spoke to Ms. Sherrod earlier today and personally apologized. Plan to meet with her face-to-face the next time I’m in Georgia.”
The organization also urged Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to reconsider Sherrod’s resignation from her post as the department’s director of rural development for Georgia.
Breitbart originally posted the video, which was quickly picked up by Fox News.
In the video, Sherrod can be heard telling an audience at a March 27, 2010, appearance before a local chapter of the NAACP that she had not given a white farmer “the full force of what I could do” to help him save the family farm…
Sherrod defended herself in a number of interviews Tuesday, saying her controversial comments were taken out of context. She had, she said, used a personal experience from nearly a quarter century ago in which she confronted her own racism and learned to move beyond it.
She insisted she “went all out” to help the man keep his farm and said she resigned only under pressure from the Obama administration…
I’m editing this all together Tuesday night, 20th July. So far, this article on CNN has the most complete narration of what occurred. They deserve the world of credit for following the story. Digging up the truth of Ms. Sherrod’s speech. Digging up the cowardice of the administration hack in charge of the USDA, Tom Vilsack.
I don’t doubt that by Wednesday morning there may be sufficient pressure from the press – and ultimately the White House – to reverse the injustice committed by a bureaucrat on a loyal civil servant.
Cowardice in the face of loudmouthed blather from right-wing nutballs is not justification for terminating someone fighting on behalf of poor people. Ever!
It’s already silly enough, criminal enough, the amount of free publicity American media dedicates to what isn’t much more than an organizing campaign from creeps hovering at the edge of the Republican Party – from Dick Armey to the John Birch Society – to capture that Party.
Worse than treating these fools as media darlings is the response from the White House, the Obama Administration and our favorite political amoebas, the Democratic Party. Spineless as ever, they dash about trying to put out fires that aren’t much more than a sparkler in the dark of a July night – afraid their political careers will go up in flames.
UPDATE: Tom Vilsack has apologized and offered Mrs. Sherrod a job back in the USDA.