Sunday, June 26, 2022

A hasty and embarrassing rush to judgment by the White House and NAACP

By Ruth Ferguson
NDG Editor

The election of President Barack Obama was heralded as the beginning of a post-racial era in America. Perhaps the White House did not get that memo. Once again, the Administration’s hyper-sensitivity to appear fair to all was on full display with their overreaction to a conservative media driven attack on an African American federal employee.

Monday Fox News broadcast a short clip showing former USDA’s director of rural development in Georgia Shirley Sherrod indicating she was less inclined to provide assistance to a White farmer facing foreclosure. As this spread across the Internet it prompted a swift reaction from the White House and the NAACP.

The White House’s reaction was so swift and harsh that Sherrod was informed via a telephone call with the USDA’s deputy undersecretary to pull her car over and submit her resignation via Blackberry. Sherrod complied.

The NAACP eventually joined the party by issuing a statement indicating they applauded Sherrod decision to resign. Saying they had no tolerance for discrimination of any sort. Sherrod’s comments were made at an NAACP event.

Now, we would like to hope the President and his staff is busy trying to figure out how to put millions of Americans back to work, keeping their eye on BP’s efforts to stop the Gulf oil leak and managing two wars. However, surely someone could have taken the time to watch the entire video rather than rely on the “fair and balanced” job we all know Fox does.

Had someone bothered to watch the entire video – which was filmed in 1986 by the way – they would have discovered that Sherrod shared the true lesson she learned. Sherrod did in fact help the White farmer and said it lead her to realize that is it not a black and white issue but a poor issue.

This entire incident was retaliation by supporters of the Tea Party – which clearly includes the Fox Network – for the fact the NAACP’s outcry lead to the ouster of a prominent Tea Party official recently.

To the credit of the president of the NAACP, Benjamin Jealous, the organization did issue an apology and retracted their earlier statement once the full facts came to light.

In the NAACP’s released comments they suggested this incident should be a “teachable moment for activists and journalists.” Given the fact the Secretary of the USDA thus far has refused to reinstate Sherrod, one might suggest it is a teachable moment for President Obama and his staff as well


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