Agriculture Secretary Vilsack apologizes to Shirley Sherrod, offers her a job

When you screw up, say you screwed up, apologize, and attempt to repair the damage, Kudos to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who screwed up big-time yesterday by firing Shirley Sherrod on the basis of a sharply edited right wing video. He did the right thing today. The following is from Politico:

“POLITICO Breaking News:

“Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has personally apologized to Shirley Sherrod, the employee who was forced to resign Monday after videotapes surfaced of her making remarks that initially sounded racially discriminatory. Vilsack said Sherrod was “extraordinarily gracious” in accepting his apology and said he offered her a job that would take advantage of her “unique experiences” working with black and white farmers in Georgia. Sherrod, he said, wanted to think about it before answering. “This was my decision and it’s a decision I regret,” Vilsack said, saying he received no White House pressure to force Sherrod to resign. Vilsack plans to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus later Wednesday to discuss Sherrod.”

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3 Responses to “Agriculture Secretary Vilsack apologizes to Shirley Sherrod, offers her a job”

  1. Jack Marshall Says:

    Too kind, I think, Bob. This is political damage control as much as the original firing was. Following on the heels of the NAACP-Tea Party clash, Vilsack was clearly under instructions to dump the potential embarrassment represented by Sherrod without delay—or process, or due diligence, or fairness: you know that nobody gets canned from the government that fast, unless someone powerful is pushing it. I can’t believe, nor should you, that both the NAACP and the USDA coincidentally threw Sherrod under the bus on the same day for valid employment reasons. The reinstatement is purely in response to bad public vibes.

    Meanwhile, I can blame Fox, and you can blame Fox, but the NAACP and the Administration are estopped from blaming Fox. For over a year both have claimed that the network is untrustworthy and “not legitimate” it can’t now claim that it reasonably relied on Fox’s video. That’s laughable. Does anyone really believe that?

    Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for the firing Justice hack who decided not to prosecute the Black Panther thugs blocking the polling place. Now THAT’s racist.

  2. Ethics Bob Says:

    Not kind enough, Jack. There’s no way of proving that this was sincere or damage control. Or both. They both would sound the same. A cynic would say damage control, an idealist would say sincere Take your pick.

    I watched Vilsack’s press conference, and I thought he seemed sincere and remorseful. And that’s consistent with my impression of him as a person. But hey, I can’t prove it.

  3. Jack Marshall Says:

    I’d reason this way: the manner of the original firing screamed pure, cynical, politics, and rather brutal politics at that. That’s the context for me. If you can see a reason to assume this highly politically-motivated administration is suddenly motivated by something else, I could be persuaded otherwise.

    Vilsack’s a middleman. He may well be sincere: he probably didn’t want to throw Sherrod under the bus just because Eric Holder was raising doubts about the racial fairness at Justice. But from a macro view, this just looks like Rev. Wright in reverse. I don’t see much integrity here.

    But I’m glad someone has faith!

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