Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Shirley Sherrod and the "scary" topic of race...

Okay, I kept seeing Shirley Sherrod's name in my time line on Twitter and I was curious about who she was and why her resignation was so important.

Now, as I was watching Nightly News this evening, they showed the clip that apparently started all the talk and my first thought was "Oh damn, lady! Why would you say that?!" Her losing her job, in that moment, after seeing that snippet, made sense. If I had seen a clip of a white woman making that same comment regarding a black farmer, especially with all the hell they've been going through, I would say "Heck yeah, she should resign!" The way this clip was shown makes one question her [Sherrod] ability to perform her job without prejudice. Now we all see that the comment was apart of something benevolent, not malicious. I've been busy today so I only just now found out what the ruckus was. My opinion on this? Give Sherrod her job back.

Fact is, she was explaining how working with this white farmer caused her to overcome her initial prejudice. She says in the video that she realized she "couldn't live with hate..." and that "we have to work together...it's sad that we don't have a room full of whites and blacks here tonight be[cause] we have to overcome the divisions that we have..." Sounds like someone reformed, to me. So why is the Department of Agriculture's Secretary, Tom Vilsack, sticking with this whole resignation? Why would the White House continue to back the decision, but say that they had nothing to do with the decision? The entire situation that Sherrod was discussing is something that happened long before she began working for the Department of Agriculture. So it's not like she carried her prejudice into the new job, right? Why stick to this decision when it has turned out to be a bad one, born of a sliver of an entire speech?

And the farmer, whom Sherrod helped, the one who was the topic of her story, supports her? He and his wife are appreciative of the work Sherrod did to keep them out of bankruptcy? Vilsack, White House, it is okay to admit a mistake and rectify it. Give Sherrod her job back.

Let me also say that the whole issue of race in the age of Obama is pretty crappy. Why? Because every time a case of race or racial discrimination pops up, folks want to say that the President has to be sensitive about the way it is handled. Now, in theory, this may be fine, maybe even accurate. But my problem is this: why the hell is it suddenly so important for our President to be sensitive to such issues? Shouldn't this have been required, expected, long before now? Every president should be required to handle race in a sensitive manner. You mean to tell me that the first bi-racial (or self-identified Black) President is incapable of handling race? So every white president prior to administration was automatically deemed capable? Were former presidents reminded almost daily of race and held to the fire when dealing with such a sensitive issue? I don't think so...to be fair, I cannot recall ever seeing this much coverage on the way The White House handled race. I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

Oh! And to the NAACP? You stay losing! How can she be giving this speech, in its entirety, at an NAACP function, but the NAACP jumps on the bandwagon against Sherrod? The organization just can't seem to get right...


  1. The NAACP stay losing!! That is an understatement. I have a suggestion. Why not fire the head of the NAACP (or so Julian Bond wants us to think) and give the job to Sherrod. She seems to know more about civil rights than the current bozo.

  2. Hiya Ojo!

    I don't understand what the deal is with the NAACP, but every time I hear or read anything about the organization, it's about something foolish! I was too done with them when I saw that news story about a chapter in California taking on Hallmark over a card. Did you hear about that?


  3. Well, I hope this isn't taken with any offense, but personally I wish we'd see a day when nobody was even talking about race-- about what race they are or someone is or how it affects their thinking or what have you. I know it's hard to get past and we probably never will, but it would be nice to move on to thinking about other issues that move us forward.

    Tossing It Out

  4. Hi arlee!

    No offense taken at all =) It's a nice thought but I don't think that will ever happen. We all live life by labels and categories. We separate and come together for the same reasons. The thing about this particular situation is that Sherrod was talking about getting past the label of race and she was penalized for it. People won't be able to get past it if discussion doesn't occur...


  5. Well, it appears that I came across your blog a few months too late. Anyway, I do commend the ones responsible for actually viewing the tape in its entirety therefore taking a wrong & once again making it right. For the most part, it was corrected.

    I followed you on Twitter as well. I'm @minusthebars

  6. Wow, I had no idea this was going on. I'm going to take a closer look.

    On a lighter note...welcome to the a to z challenge. I look forward to reading more. =)
    Edge of Your Seat Romance