When we think of the Internet, we admire the advancements in technology and how life has been made so much easier. We surf the web with ease because in this Information Age, everything is just a click away. It's had advantages and disadvantages. Many have gained employment and shared good information. Unfortunately for Shirley Sherrod that wasn't the case.
Recently, Shirley Sherrod, former USDA State Director, overseeing the rural development in Georgia, lost her job fueled by misinformation. A snippet of a speech she had delivered in previous months, spitefully surfaced and was misconstrued as racist.
The Obama Administration denounced Sherrod and within 48 hours became apologetic along with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak.
Vilsack says he acted alone when firing Sherrod. Yet, Sherrod begs to differ. She felt the pressure coming from all angles throughout the nation's capitol.
Tom Vilsack has offered Sherrod another position, but not the same position. At the time of this report, she has accepted the apologies of Vilsack and the Obama Administration. It is questionable as to her response and next course of action, if any, regarding the job offer.
According to The Washington Post, Vilsack has been quoted saying, "This is a good woman. She's been put through hell. I could have done and should have done a better job. I'll learn from that experience. I want this agency and department to learn from this experience, and I want us to be stronger from it."
At the root of the chaos is Andrew Breitbart, a blogger and conservative activist, how initially posted the video snippet of Sherrod's March 27th speech, given at an NAACP event.
The White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, while giving his daily briefing to the media yesterday appeared startled when CNN brought to his attention that Sherrod was watching on a split screen. His apology did not appear as polished from that point on.
A snippet or video clip, some 24 years old, when Sherrod worked for a non profit agency set up to aid black farmers was the fuel to this fire. However, it didn't tell the story in it's entirety. Sherrod was making a point based on her own personal development over the years. The same white farmer that she was hesitant to assist 24 years ago, Roger Spooner, even spoke on her behalf. After all, she did eventually help Spooner keep his farmland. Sherrod said, "there is no difference between us."
The NAACP released the full speech Tuesday that brought clarity to the matter.
The White House aides denied any pressure being applied on Vilsack in regards to Sherrod's dismissal. Apparently, she doesn't feel the same. The tides have turned and Sherrod's ordeal has went from vilification to sympathy. Meanwhile, Vilsack has met with the Black Caucus on Capitol Hill Wednesday to again apologize and listen. The abrupt dismissal of Sherrod has raised race issues once again in the White House.
By: Benjamin Janey