Shirley Sherrod Helped 100s of White Farmers, Is Fired For Her Trouble?


    Jonathan Capehart writes:

    As the day wore on and the truth was revealed, my heart sank. The videotape that caused a firestorm had been selectively edited. Sherrod was relating a story of redemption from 1986 when she worked for a non-profit in Georgia. Sure, she didn’t want to help the white man before her too much because he displayed what she called a superior attitude towards her. But Sherrod went on to talk about how she spent the next two years trying to help the man save his farm. Sherrod said she learned from that experience. That it wasn’t so much about black and white as it was about helping the poor.

    But before all the facts were in, Sherrod lost her job. She told CNN that an undersecretary at agriculture told her that the White House wanted her out. The White House denies this. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the decision was his. Meanwhile, the wife of the now-deceased farmer told CNN that Sherrod saved their family farm.

    This is a travesty on so many levels. Yet my focus on is on how all this exposes why race and conversations on race almost never go well.

    What a pathetic, heartbreaking, unfair, absurd story. The White House needs to step in and make this right, ASAP.

    P.S. Oh, and hopefully there’s an especially hot place in hell for Andrew Breitbard.

    UPDATE: The NAACP weighs in:

    With regard to the initial media coverage of the resignation of USDA Official Shirley Sherrod, we have come to the conclusion we were snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart into believing she had harmed white farmers because of racial bias…Having reviewed the full tape, spoken to Ms. Sherrod, and most importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this story, we now believe the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans.

    UPDATE #2: Newsweek has an interesting take, and let’s just say the White House doesn’t come off well on this one. At all.

    • martinlomasney

      How can any government official take action based on the hatchet job by Breitbart.  How big a fool is Vilsack?  

    • TomPaine

      but there are so-called progressive bloggers who are almost as bad as Breitbart in misrepresenting issues and people and are rarely called out for these activities because some of us either share their views or are reluctant to critize our own allies.

      And no one contends that these bloggers are only going through a “transformational moment”.  

    • libra

      which, according to your Update #2, “doesn’t come off well on this one”?

      If you read this:


      it seems that the White House (as in: Obama and his political hacks) was (were?) not involved in pushing for her resignation. Beyond, that is, nominating Vilsack to the position where he could exercise his stupidity to its full extent.

      But, vill Vilsack get the sack that he so richly deserves for this snafu? I doubt it. Not Obama’s style. It takes something as drastic as McChrystal’s direct calumny, for Obama to cut “his people” loose. He’s as unlike Vilsack as they come.

    • Jim Webb Dem

      for the Obama administration to hammer Fox News and the whole Tea Party racist thing going on.

      Fox News really wants Helen Thomas’s seat in the White House Press room …. I say to put them literally to the “Back of the Bus” (last row in the press room). On each side of the Faux news Bitch (or bastard whomever shows up) make sure some one is sitting there with a Tri-Corner hat stapled with Tea Bags … and give the front row seat to conservative newsman Stephen Colbert.