Golden Press

We fight racism everyday, Even within ourselves


Shirley Sherrod, a voice of reason and action, has not only stunned America, but may be the largest topic in black media since Barack Obama’s nomination for president. She has broken her silence and is telling the truth of the unedited version of the tape that led to her forced resigning.

During a NAACP Banquet Sherrod gave a speech that shared her experiences working with farmers and land. Sherrod also shared how she did not do everything possible to help a white farmer 24 years ago before working for the Georgia State Director of Rural Development.

A video of her speech was edited by blogger Andrew Breitbart and posted.  The edited version portrayed Sherrod as a racist and caused her to lose her job.

Two days later she received an apology from Tim Vilsack, secretary of agriculture, and the White House.  Sherrod could not look pass the mistreatment and decided to speak out.

Sherrod is a forceful woman who has been seen on CBS, the Today Show, written about on The Root.com, and made an appearance at the 35th National Association of Black Journalists Convention along with her many other media appearances.

Her media appearances brought focus back to another story concerning farmers around the United States. Since 1997 thousands of black farmers have continued to fight for a settlement owed to them by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. No workers have been fired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture concerning this case and hundreds of black farmers have lost their land, home, and are still without money.

The court battle better known as the Pigford case, has been an ongoing with protests and lobbyists on Capitol Hill. The Pigford case has fueled Native Americans and Hispanics to sue the government claiming discrimination.

Barbara Lee, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, stated over the past 20 years, the number of farms operated by black farmers has declined nearly 50 percent.

I am pleased that Sherrod has decided to step out and admit she has had to overcome her own racist beliefs to help a white farmer. Not too many people are willing to admit they have struggled with racism or that they are racists. I hope as media outlets we can come back to facts and use our ethical codes and moral values to report truth.

While America will be pushing issues under the big red, blue, and white carpet like most minority stories the Sherrod story will not fade. Her speaking out has shed light on another story that is untold in the media.  It is the story of the Black Farmers vs. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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August 16, 2010 - Posted by | Politics

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