July 21, 2010 Vilsack Reconsiders firing Sharrod today and has come under fire for jumping the gun on requesting the resignation of a USDA employee from her position. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack acted inappropriately today by requesting that Shirley Sharrod step down from her job over a bad splice job of a video tape of speech she gave to the NAACP.
The tape was manipulated to show Sharrod disparaging white farmers but if you view the entire video Sharrod’s speech was more about how she overcame racism although her father was killed by the Klu Klux Clan years ago in Georgia.
Vilsack said to reporters yesterday that he had approved the request for Sharrod’s resignation and had no contact with the Whitehouse, while Sharrod indicated her supervisor said that her resignation was requested by the Whitehouse and a reference was made about Glen Becks’ show.
Sharrod said that her supervisor Cheryl Cook told her to pull over on the side of the road as Sharrod was on duty and told her to resign immediately by phone. Cook indicated the direction was coming from the Whitehouse office to avoid any bad publicity and a reference was made to Glen Beck. It is clear that the USDA didn’t have all the facts or the whole story until Sharrod appeared on CNN all afternoon as well as the media found the tape had been spliced to show only dialogue that would present her in a bad light.
The video was posted on a right wing Tea party site called big government dot com, and was spread on the internet on purpose to show the intolerance of blacks towards whites. This comes on the heels of the firing of Mark Williams, head of the Tea Party Express who showed extremely racial remarks in his Letter to Lincoln last week. The NACCP condemned Williams remarks and he was fired from the Tea Party movement on Friday.
It appears the media circus on this breaking story has turned around in the last few hours with pressure from the whole story being revealed on CNN and live interviews with Sharrod all day yesterday on the absurdity of her forced resignation.
Sharrod helped farmers both black and white in her career as a director of rural development in Georgia and one such white farmer and his wife spoke out against her forced resignation. The couple Roger and Eloise Spooner of Iron City Georgia said “we probably won’t have our farm today if it hadn’t been for her leading us in the right direction” said Eloise. Spooner indicated Sharrod was instrumental in getting them legal help to avoid foreclosure.
The USDA has been under fire for years on discriminatory practices against black farmers of the south
The NAACP yesterday condemned Sharrod then later recanted their statement and said they had been snookered by a manipulated video tape made by a Tea Party member who tried to illustrate the racism within the NAACP and that of blacks against whites.
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