MCJ Editorial: USDA official must be rehired; new law will protect consumers

Written by admin   // July 23, 2010   // 0 Comments

Shirley Sherrod

The firing of U.S. Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod for remarks she made during a NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner last March in which she admitted to holding racial bias and overcoming them as she helped a White farmer keep his farm in the early 1980s, was a mistake that never should have been made.

This becomes clear when one considers the source of the controversy, a right-wing activist who used a cleverly edited videotape of Sherrod speaking at the Freedom Fund Dinner. The 48-second tape only shows Sherrod admitting her prejudice.

Yet the fact the tape came from a questionable source and used by FOX News Channel—which to many Black Americans and other minorities is anything but a “fair and balanced” news organization, should have immediately raised red flags to the USDA and—especially—the NAACP, which made a “rush to judgment” in condemning Sherrod.

Fortunately, the NAACP—after finally getting the whole story—retracted its condemnation and apologized to Sherrod.

Given the tactics of the Conservative Right, the Tea Party Movement, Right-Wing radio and the aforementioned FOX News, we as Black Americans must stop reacting and, instead, must investigate and verify claims by the Right and its minions of so-called “reverse racism.”

Better yet, we should go one step further. We should simply ignore them and continue our pursuit of economic and social justice and equality.

Sherrod must be rehired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who then must make a formal, face-to-face apology for jumping the gun before all the facts were known.

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Congratulations to President Obama for another presidential victory with the signing of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act Wednesday.

The new law not only offers the strongest consumer financial protections in the nation’s history, it will also establish a consumer protection bureau that will write and enforce rules for banks on credit card and mortgage lending.

The protections the law offers is long overdue for Americans who have been battered and bruised by the Wall Street and housing market meltdowns.

Critics of the law will say this is socialism and too much regulation by the government.

Really now? The law’s opponents have obviously forgotten that when financial and mortgage regulations were lifted during the Reagan Administration, greed reared its ugly head, leading our country to this very day when, with the stroke of a pen, President Obama corrected the sins of the past.

Wall Street high rollers and lenders can still make money; only now both entities will be scrutinized more carefully and the American people given more respect and not looked upon as dupes by the wealthy and powerful in the finance world.


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