Thursday, July 22, 2010

Eric Holder Was Right....And The Obama Administration Are The #1 Cowards

It's a shameful, awful tale. Shirley Sherrod is the type of public official that we need in this world. Frankly, on things racial, she is the kind of PERSON we need in the world. Not one who pretends that we are all colorblind or denies her own prejudices. The type of person who recognizes her prejudices, thinks through them, fights against them and talks openly about her struggle to try to provoke the same kind of dialogue with others.

She must have been what Eric Holder was wishing for when he famously said that we "in many ways continue to be a nation of cowards" about race. She is not a coward. But we are a nation of cowards sometimes.

And coward number one in this sordid saga is President Barack Obama. He's a coward for firing Shirley Sherrod without ever speaking to her. He's a coward for cowering to half-witted criticism from the right-wing blogosphere about reverse racism. He's a coward for failing to speak publicly about what truly could have been a teaching moment. And he's a coward for hiding behind Tom Vilsek. Spineless. Shameless. I'm too incensed for words to describe. This is not the man I voted for.

Let's get a few things straight. Shirley Sherrod is a Presidential appointee. She serves at the pleasure of the President and no one else. Only he can appoint her and only he can fire her. And he fired her (aka demanded her resignation) based on a snippet of a speech posted to a blog. He didn't speak to her. He didn't investigate her record. He didn't even consider that there was no substantive evidence of her having ever failed to perform her duty in public office. He didn't speak to the supposed victim. He did it all wrong. And for what? To prove to Fox News that he likes white people? To shame.

Does Obama get credit for reconsidering? Hardly. Everybody from every end of the political spectrum had declared him wrong before he did and he spent 24 hours "fully supporting" the decision of his Secretary of Agriculture...aka his decision that he was still being too cowardly to own.

Does he get credit for personally calling Ms. Sherrod? That's like a thief that has been caught apologizing in court for a lighter sentence. Sorry doesn't begin to cover it.

I've had my differences with the President on a number of things. I was critical when he didn't fight harder for a health care bill that would truly control costs. I've been upset at the lack of any real cohesive plan to deal with the deficit. I've not been happy with his chief of staff. But these are policy differences. Good, honest people can debate policy. I liked the President, I voted for the President.

But, Mr. President, this week, you are official a coward on the issue of race. We deserve better.

No comments: