There appears to have been little careful examination. In her telling, she was pushed to resign immediately–so immediate, she says, that she was told to pull off to the side of the road and do it because the story was going to be on Glenn Beck that evening. (Sherrod also says the White House was involved in her dismissal; Vilsack has said it wasn’t.)
If what she says is true, it’s an extraordinary rush to judgment that could tarnish not only the reputation of Vilsack’s leadership, but also of the NAACP, which was also quick to condemn Sherrod before later admitting it was “snookered.”
We pay our leaders to think clearly. To examine all the facts before they make decisions. To act quickly and decisively, but not so much that fairness goes out the window. In the Sherrod affair, Vilsack–and the NAACP–should have issued statements that they were investigating the matter, and only made a decision after gathering all information possible and considering the full weight of the issues. Instead, the review is coming now, when it may be too late.
The reporter takes a small slap at the blogosphere in her essay. She fails to note “conservative blogosphere.” I challenge her to find that kind of false reporting from the top liberal blogs.
Note from Joe: The full video and transcript of Sherrod’s speech can be found here. Read it. Watch it. It’s an amazing discussion about race in America. Here’s an excerpt:
But where am I going with this? You know, I couldn’t say 45 years ago — I couldn’t stand here and say what I’m saying — what I will say to you tonight. Like I told you, God helped me to see that it’s not just about black people — it’s about poor people. And I’ve come a long way. I knew that I couldn’t live with hate, you know. As my mother has said to so many, “If we had tried to live with hate in our hearts, we’d probably be dead now.”
But I’ve come to realize that we have to work together and — you know, it’s sad that we don’t have a room full of white and blacks here tonight, ’cause we have to overcome the divisions that we have. We have to get to the point where, as Tony Morrison said, “Race exists but it doesn’t matter.” We have to work just as hard. I know it’s — you know, that division is still here, but our communities are not going to thrive — you know, our children won’t have the — the communities that they need to be able to stay in and live in and — and have a good life if we can’t figure this out, you all. White people, black people, Hispanic people, we all have to do our part to make our communities a safe place, a healthy place, a good environment.
Sherrod did the rounds on the morning shows today. She’s got an amazing story. I don’t think we’ve heard the last of her. And, that’s a very good thing.