The White House has issued an apology to Shirley Sherrod for her firing from the Department of Agriculture. CBS News reports as follows.
“Stating that “a disservice was done,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs today apologized to former USDA employee Shirley Sherrod over her firing after a conservative news outlet posted an out-of-context video of comments she made two decades ago.”
The original clip that played on Breitbart News from the Shirley Sherrod video was 2 minutes and 36 seconds. It seemed pretty damning evidence of open racism. Within a day of its release, Shirley Sherrod was out of a job. Sharrod claimed that her resignation was demanded by people close to the President.
Now the full video has been released. It is 43 minutes and 14 minutes long. It tells a completely different story. The short video left the listener wondering if the white farmer who sat in Sherrod’s office lost his farm. Not only did he keep his farm, but was able to do so with the personal effort of Shirley Sherrod. It was indeed correct that Sharrod initially viewed the white farmer in a prejudicial light. But it was clear in Shirley Sherrod’s speech that helping Roger Spooner was a transformative experience for her.
Shirley Sherrod is an excellent speaker. She has lived through major changes in American society. She endured the loss of her father at a young age. He was a law abiding decent man who died an untimely death that could have left Shirley Sherrod crippled by bitterness. The 43 minutes Sherrod spoke were full of living history, wise advice and love, not only for her own race but for humanity as well.
Sherrod is a woman of deep religious faith who expressed the heartfelt belief that Providence opened her eyes with transformative experiences. Anyone who listened to the Shirley Sherrod video clip and doubted her commitment to racial equality should listen to the entire speech. If you approach it with an open mind, you will be drawn into her wisdom and her life experiences that are an integral part of living American history.
One may contest Sherrod’s economic ideas. One might not share her enthusiasm for President Obama. But she came by her opinions through a rich and sometimes painful life that has clearly left her a better person. Racism is alive and well in America. it is a human condition, afflicting people of every race. Shirley Sherrod confronted her own prejudice and overcame it. She is no racist. Any bigotry in her soul probably died when she met with Roger Spooner. Shirley Sharrod should get her job back. Her full speech, all 43 minutes and 14 seconds of it should be part of training for civil servants all across America. Thank you Shirley Sharrod. You have helped us all by sharing your story with us.