[updated x3 ] White House caves to Breitbart
by tarheel74, Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 12:58:25 PM EDT
I think many people have seen this video from Big Government being promoted by Fox, MSNBC which makes it look as if the USDA official Shirley Sherrod had in her offical capacity as a Federal employee refuse to help a white Georgain farmer.
Since then Tom Vilsack has asked Ms. Sherrod to resign from the USDA, and this was after "she had four calls telling her the White House wanted her to resign". Here's the full back story.
Twenty four years ago in 1986, Ms. Sherrod was then not an employee of the USDA, but an employee in the Georgia field office of a non-profit organization called Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund. The mission of the coop according to its website is:
Fighting To Save Black-Owned Land Since 1967 With Cooperatives
As a worker then she met a Southern white farmer Roger Spooner from Iron City, GA, who had fallen on hard times. However, this is how she characterized their initial interaction:
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
She admits, she did not help this man to her best effort, but only did what she felt was necessary and took her to a "white lawyer", thinking that he would get better help from there. When the farmer did not get enough help from the lawyer, she scrambled to save his farm and had this realization:
The story helped me realize that race is not the issue, it's about the people who have and the people who don't. When I speak to groups, I try to speak about getting beyond the issue of race.
Unfortunately for her a heavily edited version of her speech at an NAACP event was put up by the notorious race-baiter and internet propagandist Andrew Breitbart and promoted by Fox and MSNBC. Needless to say the spineless elites in this administration decided to throw her under the bus rather than actually have an inquiry.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Sherrod's resignation in a statement released to Fox News Monday nigh.
"There is zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA, and I strongly condemn any act of discrimination against any person," Vilsack said in the statement.
ROBERTS: So, the question I have is, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture came to you and said you have to step down, why didn’t you just say, wait a minute, you don’t know the full story. Here’s the full story, why should I step down?
SHERROD: I did say that, but they, for some reason, the stuff that Fox and the Tea Party does is scaring the administration. I told them get the whole tape and look at the whole tape and look at how I tell people we have to get beyond race and start working together.
ROBERTS: Many people at home might be thinking if you’re recounting an old story, why did you succumb to pressure to step down, why didn’t you fight this?
SHERROD: If I tried to fight it and didn’t have any support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, what would I do?
As for the so-called aggrieved party, you know the farmer, what do they say?
Eloise Spooner, 82, awoke Tuesday to discover that Sherrod had lost her job after videotaped comments she made in March at a local NAACP banquet surfaced on the web.
Sherrod, who is black, told the crowd she didn't do everything she could to help a white farmer whom she said was condescending when he came to her for aid.
But Spooner, who considers Sherrod a "friend for life," said the federal official worked tirelessly to help the Iron City couple hold onto their land as they faced bankruptcy back in 1986.
"Her husband told her, ‘You're spending more time with the Spooners than you are with me,' " Spooner told the AJC. "She took probably two or three trips with us to Albany just to help us out."
Spooner called Sherrod Tuesday morning.
"She's very sad about it," Spooner said. "She told me she was so glad we talked. I just can't believe this is happening to her."
As the body count under the bus keeps piling up, one has to ask is there no end to the spinlessness of this administration. They take our support for granted, yet they don't think twice about renouncing someone based on mere innuendos, without a proper investigation. How shameful!! Eric Holder had said that when it comes to race, Amercia is a nation of cowards. Well Mr. Holder, maybe you should make those comments to your boss and his henchmen, because what they did to this woman is nothing short of that. In the mean time, what are the chances of a White House beer summit with the race-baiting Breitbart, Ms. Sherrod, and Mr. Jealous (yes the NAACP too were quick to denounce her without inquiry)?
Notorious race-baiter Breitbart gave this statement regarding his role in falsely smearing Ms. Sherrod
I think the video speaks for itself. The way she's talking about white people ... is conveying a present tense racism in my opinion. But racism is in the eye of the beholder.
Racism is in the eyes of the beholder? Yeah right!!
I have updated the course of events as they were happening:
Like I had said in the comments below I have 4 issues with the way WH handled their role:
1. Why does the government cater to internet smears? Do they realize that if the same standards were applied to them, none of them would have a job.
2. There are some folks who wants to give the President a pass because he wants to stay above race, but in this case, the President is the employer. How can an employer fire someone purely based on speculation and rumors without an investigation? If she was wrongfully fired, then she has the right to sue the employer for wrongful termination, especially on the trumped up charge of racism.
3. Some even said that the USDA was justified because even the NAACP came to similar conclusion. I did not know that the NAACP was her employer, or that the NAACP was part of the government. The adminsitration fired her because they are cowardly and they would rather mollify the right wing smear machine than fight them.
4. Finally, I always hear unnamed WH sources (a perfect example of how craven they are) complaining about how progressives are not fighting for them. Why would any progressive fight for an administration that NEVER fights for progressives, except offer pablums and half-measures, and are willing to throw anyone under the bus to maintain its image?
Now reports on the WH reaction starts getting into the bizzaro territory:
But three Democratic sources said deputy chief of staff Jim Messina singled out the White House's initial response to the incident for praise in the regular 8:30 a.m. staff meeting Tuesday morning. The sources differed on the substance of Messina's praise, but concurred that he had praised the speed of White House communications in response to the flap, which was driven by a misleadingly edited video posted to Andrew Breitbart's Big Government website.
One source, who is unhappy with the administration's handling of the incident, paraphrased Messina's remarks: "We could have waited all day — we could have had a media circus — but we took decisive action, and it’s a good example of how to respond in this atmosphere."
But two other senior officials present at the meeting, who responded to a call to the White House press office, said the gist of Messina's words had been conveyed to POLITICO inaccurately, and that Messina — a top political operative and senior manager — was merely speaking in his capacity as deputy chief of staff for Operations and "cheerleader" to boost staffers' morale.
If Jim Messina thinks that the way WH handled this fiasco is an example of good communication, I shudder to think what would bad communication be from the WH. What incompetent twits!!
Finally for those wondering why I am not berating Breitbart and Fox, it's really quite simple, because I know this is what they do, race-baiting, fear-mongering, spreading smears, lies , propaganda and character assassination. I have no illusions about them, I don't read them and don't pay any attention to them. But when the administration wrongfully fires someone based on these lies and smears, without investigating the veracity of the claims, I have a big problem with that.
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