Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thrown Under The Bus

I don't know who is worse... the Republicans or the Democrats who knuckle under to them all the time. Which is why we have a Senate and a House controlled by Democrats that still has to struggle to pass legislation.

In the latest outrage, a woman was forced to resign from her job today for remarks she made 24 years ago in 1986 that were largely misconstrued. This angers me because Republicans, Tea Party advocates, and sympathizers damn near have to say "nigger" in public before they are asked to step down from a job or position and in many cases, they still don't.

Shirley Sherrod, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Director of Rural Development in Georgia, has resigned after publicly admitting she didn't help a white man some 24 years ago trying to save his farm to the "full force" of her power and instead referred him to "one of his own."

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack accepted Shirley Sherrod's resignation, saying there was "zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA." But Sherrod, in an interview with CNN, said her remarks to the NAACP were being intentionally misconstrued by conservative groups stoking racial tensions.

"I was speaking to that group, like I've done many groups, and I tell them about a time when I thought the issue was race and race only," Sherrod told CNN. She said the incident she described in her speech occurred some 24 years ago, when she worked for a non-profit aid group. "I was telling the story of how working with him helped me to see the issue is not about race. It's about those who have versus those who do not have."

The farmer's wife, 82-year old Eloise Spooner, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday that Sherrod helped save their land. Spooner, who considered Sherrod a "friend for life," said that "the federal official worked tirelessly to help" the couple hold on to their farm as they faced bankruptcy in 1986, the Atlanta newspaper reported.

Her husband told her, "You're spending more time with the Spooners than you are with me", Spooner told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "She took probably two or three trips with us to Albany just to help us out."

Sherrod said she was on the road Monday after an event in rural Georgia when USDA deputy undersecretary Cheryl Cook called her and told her the White House wanted her to resign. "They called me twice," Sherrod told The Associated Press in an interview. "The last time they asked me to pull over to the side of the road and submit my resignation on my Blackberry, and that's what I did."

Some ultra-conservative website found this story and published it recently after the NAACP accused the Tea Party movement of racism last week. This happened 24 years ago, but they found it. The woman was speaking about how this incident changed her way of thinking. The man's wife even said that she wound up helping them keep their land. But, no one wants to hear that... nobody wants to look deeper than a soundbite.

I expect the Republicans and the tea party crowd to run wild with this, but why are the Democrats and the White House asking this woman to resign? Why do they allow the right-wing to dictate to them their course of action? Why do they throw people under the bus who are the most vulnerable?

I don't see Republicans backing away from those loonies in South Carolina or from Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, or Glenn Beck. When these people get too looney, they simply act like they are not there and to date, they haven't denounced or thrown any of the aforenamed under the bus.

I'm going to chill right now because I'm just disgusted with both political parties. My message to the Democrats... Grow a pair! Find some guts! Stop throwing people under the bus!


A.Smith said...

My favorite part of this story is how one of the FIRST vocal critics was the NAACP and those bastards had the whole tape THE WHOLE TIME.

Took 'em 25 million years to finally determine the tea party has some racist undertones and 3 seconds to throw this woman under a bus for comments taken out of context at an event FOR THEM! ::shudders::

I hate people sometimes.

And now the WH is running the other way (even though by most accounts, the push to resign really came from there) and the Secretary of Agriculture, Vilsack, is acting a damn fool.

Ms. Sherrod is owed way more than an apology.

SLC said...

And now......
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today he is reconsidering his department's decision to fire a Georgia official in wake of new details about her controversial speech to the NAACP.

Forced to submit a resignation via blackberry on the side of the road.
Even if they don't offer her back her position, they owe her an apology and whole lot more.

Joanna said...

For anyone interested, go to the Color of Change website to send a letter to President Obama demanding the reinstatement of Shirley Sherrod.

Arlene said...

I totally agree Keith. Democrats need to stand up straight and mean what we say. "Grow a pair," man up, some action that shows we believe what we say. If we were operating from a position of KNOWING that fairness is right we wouldn't back down to the likes of Fox News and the Glenn Becks out there. Democrats, in my mind, punk out because they don't truly want change. If we were operating in 1810 or 2010 some lives would be the same. But for me, I don't want to go back to 1810. I'd probably be picking cotton by day and teaching by night. My star gazing would have a totally different purpose.

Here's a tidbit you may hear more about soon. My son is on City Council in little Reidsville, NC. They're about to have some issues with the director of their teen center who makes racially derogatory comments to the teens on a regular bases. There was testimony before the council with direct quotes from the guy. Letters had been sent to council before complaining about this, but the "good ole boys" on the council see nothing wrong with the his behavior. When it came to a vote to dismiss the guy, the vote was split along racial lines. This mess in the town known as an ALL-AMERICAN CITY! Now the local NAACP branch here will have to take action. Pray. I keep you informed.


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