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Tom Vilsack

July 21, 2010 by staff 

Tom VilsackTom Vilsack, The saga of earlier employees of the USDA has Shirley Sherrod soon became a new kind of public relations nightmare for the Department of Agriculture is Tom Vilsack. When a video making racist comments Sherrod apparently at a dinner of the NAACP appeared on the Internet on Monday, Vilsack panic, and without investigation, without meeting Sherrod, without seeing the whole unedited tape had one of its members call Sherrod three times – “harass” her, Sherrod said – until he tendered his resignation. Why the rush? “You will be on Glenn Beck tonight,” said Rep. Sherrod said.

But the narrative spun by Andrew Brietbart soon began to unravel, and when it published the entire speech last night, it was clear that Brietbart Vilsack and had got everything wrong. In his speech, Sherrod spoke about how his father was murdered in 1965 by a white man who was never brought to justice. She vowed to stay in the South and devote his life to improving the lives of “black people only.” That’s why, as she relates in the original clip, white farmer went out to Roger Spooner a white lawyer for more than two decades. But he soon saw that the white lawyer does not care about the white farmer, either, and realized that was not black people who needed his help, he went to the poor of any race. “There is no difference between us,” he said.

Vilsack – having argued that, even if it was really cold stone Sherrod a racist perception of being a racist was damaging enough – soon became more open to his return after a call from the White House. “Of course, I am ready and will conduct a thorough review and consider any additional facts to ensure the American people that provide services in a fair and equitable,” he said in a statement in the morning. Yes, uh … you think?

We’ve all seen the video, and it is clear to everyone – even the Fox News host who apparently is in charge at the USDA these days – that Sherrod was the victim of an unjust decision. Vilsack now has to decide whether to reverse. Sound familiar? Major League Baseball, Bud Selig, commissioner found in the same place seven weeks ago after a blown call by umpire Jim Joyce torpedoed a rare perfect game for the pitcher Armando Galarraga. What was infuriating about the incident Galarraga was that human error was allowed to leave without indisputable video evidence. How can you let everyone know that the runner was out, but the ruling at first base was “safe”? It made no sense, and it was not fair. Selig never did overturn the call, however, there are too blown at each station, and call a do-over could have created a league on a path that did not want to travel.

But there is no slippery slope in the case of Sherrod. What, are you going to re-employ all the people you thought you were racist, but they were actually preachers of racial equality? Good! The only drawback to this woman back to work is that Vilsack would admit human error – such as panic and coward who had been at first. Better yet, the panic, cowardly, and stubborn.

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