Tag Archives: Shirley sherrod

Shirley Sherrod files Defamation lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart

Seven months ago Shirley Sherrod lost her job when an incriminating video appeared on the website of conservative activist Andrew Breitbart. In the clip Sherrod was seemingly bragging on the fact that she showed racial preference to members of her own race. In the rush to judgment Sherrod was dismissed and as the facts unfolded she was fully vindicated. She was offered a new job which she declined and we had not heard from her until she filed a lawsuit against the one that started the chain of events: Breibart. Why did it take Sherrod 7 months to file? Breibart contends it is because he has been investigating a scandal in which Sherrod was allegedlly involved. Is the lawsuit justified or is it designed to intimidate Breibart? Tell me what you think.

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Shirley Sherrod Says No to Job with Dept. of Agriculture

Shirley Sherrod is going to be exploring other job opportunities. She said she might be willing to work in some kind of consulting capacity, but she is not willing to commit to a new job.   Sherrod said “I look forward to some type of relationship with the department in the future.”  At this point Sherrod will probably be a hot property on the speaking circuit, and a 9-to-5 job would probably not fit into her life. The Sherrod incident was embarassing for the department, and the job offer was a means of moving on. Sherrod however has decided to move on according to her own terms, and hopefully this matter is closed.

Does President Obama understand “the slave thing”?

President Obama was descibed as “exotic” during the campaign by conservative commentator Pat Buchanan. The use of the word was meant to define him as different from real Americans, but he does have an interesting background. He is the son of a mother from Kansas and a father from Kenya. He is a true African American, but does he really understand the black American experience? Does he understand discrimination? Does he understand how black Americans survived the Jim Crow south? Does he understand the “slave thing”?  I just have to wonder. Was he elected in part because he did not carry the baggage of slavery into the White House. Who does the president listen to? If he had a problem with Russia would he consult experts on Russia? If he had a problem with China would he consult experts on China? If he has a problem on race specifically black people who does he consult? Who knows. Axelrod or Gibbs? Why has this White House been so skiddish on the issue? Muareen Dowd wrote an excellent piece on this issue: You’ll Never Believe What this White House is Missing: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2010%2F07%2F25%2Fopinion%2F25dowd.html&h=d7caf 

This was a difficult week for the White House and some are asking did the Sherrod case provide a teachable moment? Yes, but one can only be taught if one knows something is lacking, and at this point what seems to be lacking is a diverse perspective.

Shirley Sherrod is having the Best Week Ever!

Unless you have been under a rock this week you have heard the Shirley Sherrod story. Over the past 2 days she has been on almost every television news show. Today I saw her on Morning Joe, the Today Show, The View and she is almost a CNN regular. She was wronged. The USDA chief has apologized to her and offered her a promotion. Now the president has called her to express his regrets. I had hoped he would have stayed out of this one but I guess that was wishful thinking on my part. “The President told Ms. Sherrod that this misfortune can present an opportunity for her to continue her hard work on behalf of those in need, and he hopes that she will do so.”  This time last week we did not know this woman existed, but this week she has become the oracle of goodwill. She is having the best week ever, and unlike 10% of the population she has a job offer on the table.

Ann Coulter Says Andrew Breitbart Deserves An Apology…He Was Set up

Ann Coulter was on Sean Hannity’s show trying to defend Andrew Breitbart. she claims he was “set up”. No he was not set up his mission was very clear…embarrass the NAACP, and if it took a little race baiting that was the price he was willing to pay. He does not deserve an apology. He is being criticized by his peers on the right and his enemies on the left and that is what he deserves, but Coulter is just looking for a way to make the villian the victor and few are buying her very biased assessment.

Should President Obama call Shirley Sherrod?

Shirley Sherrod was done wrong this week. Her words were misinterpreted and she was unfairly dismissed from her position with the USDA. In the past few days we have seen her appear on all the major networks, and she has eloquently shared her story. She has been offered a new position and she has not decided if she wants to go back to the agency. She was thrust into the spotlight and she does not seem inclined to leave anytime soon, but today was the first time she made me say “Now Shirley”. This morning  on the Today Show Meredith Vieira asked he if she thought the president should call her and she said yes. I hope he does not. If in fact this was a decision of the agency of which Sherrod was employed this should be handled by them. I would question would she expect a call from the president if he were not the first black president? I don’t know but I do not want a repeat of last year’s beer summit. The president needs to resist the urge to call her because that will just keep giving this incident media legs and as Sherrod has said it is time to move on.

Shirley Sherrod is a Casualty of the 24 hour news Cycle

When I was a child we had the big three networks: ABC, CBS and NBC. News came on at noon and at 5:30PM. Anything that happened overnight had to wait until noon and anything that happened after noon was on the evening news. This sounds so simplistic now, but it worked. Now we have more channels than I can count and we have information available 24 hours a day, but do we really have enough real news to fill the 24 hour beast? No, we don’t so we fill it up with stuff. We elevate the trivial and make it news. We jump through the hoops of people who have a clear agenda. How did this Shirley Sherrod debacle happen? How did Sherrod get thrown under the bus? She is a victim of the 24 hour news cycle. There is an old saying “get it first but, first get it right” and this antiquated notion does not fit into the 24 hour need to know or need to report culture. Is this a teachable moment? What have we learned? That question is yet to be answered, but in the time it took me to write this some new lie or false truth is probably being posted, tweeted or reported because we have got to keep feeding the 24 hour beast or we might really have to do some real investigating before we rushed to judgment.

Shirley Sherrod Not Sure She Wants her Job Back

Shirley Sherrod appeared on a number of the morning shows today, and she was asked if she wanted her job back. She said she did not know and she went on to say “If they had just taken the time to — even without looking at the tape — to look at me, to look at what I’ve stood for, to look at what I’ve done since I’ve actually been at the department, I don’t think they would have been so quick to do what they did and so insistent. To now come back and say, ‘Well, we’re willing to look at this,’ it definitely is a little bittersweet.” She went on to say “I didn’t make a lot of noise. … I worked for fairness for everyone.” If there is a victim in this situation it is Sherrod. Yes she was inarticulate in trying to make her initial point, and Fox news is still chewing on the first words she said, but Sherrod got caught in the cultural crossfire. When the NAACP issued their resolution last week they might as well have thrown down the gauntlet. For some on the far right this was the war they have been waiting for and NAACP effectively started it. Yes, the NAACP had every right to issue the resolution but one has to wonder did they see the long term impact of such an act or was this partially an attempt to garner media attention? Well if that was part of the agenda they can claim victory. I have not heard this much talk about the organization in this century. People are talking, writing, blogging, tweeting about them, but is it for the right reasons?  Have their actions over the past week brought them closer to their mission? “The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.” Did the resolution against factions of the tea party, the denouncement of Shirley Sherrod, and later the apology to Ms. Sherrod move them any closer to their mission? No, but it did get them some attention from the press and the right and what they are learning is it is not always good to be in the spotlight.

Tea Party Has NAACP and the Obama Administration on the Run

President Obama has avoided the issue of race since he launched his campaign for president. When we first saw the Rev. Wright tapes many called the president a racist by association. Last summer the President spoke out in defense of Henry Gates. The president had the temerity to say the police acted “stupidly”, but by the next day the administration was backing away from their statement. The administration has recently been criticized for  dropping some of the charges that were originally filed against the New Black Panthers. So we can safely say they are gun shy on the race issue. So along comes the Shirley Sherrod tape. They saw the snippet released on Andrew Brietbart’s website and their reaction was swift and immediate. She had to go and they did not take the time to get all the facts before they gave their verdict. She was not going to become the next Jeremiah Wright. Then we had the NAACP jumping in the middle of the fray. Ben Jealous, CEO of the NAACP,  appeared on  Anderson Coopers 360 tonight and in defense of their swift rebuke he said they responded to the allegations in the middle of the night, but did they take the time to really investigate before they released their statement? No they came out against the Tea Party last week and now the friends of that movement have them on the run. People like Andrew Briebart will be going over  NAACP activity with a fine tooth comb. They will be on the hunt for racist activity within the ranks of the NAACP and so what if people like Shirley Sherrod become collateral damage. She is small potatoes in the real goal, and that is not to expose racism, but to embarrass the NAACP. So the administration will continue running away from race and the NAACP will continue living in a glass house and hoping the opposition is fresh out of stones.