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Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons

Posted: July 20, 2010 11:53 PM

Re-Hire Shirley Sherrod Immediately.

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I am disgusted by the treatment of an unsung American heroine Shirley Sherrod at the hands of Fox News and Andrew Breitbart. This woman, who has helped countless farmers keep their land, was accused by Fox of racism based on manipulative editing of a tape of a speech she gave about how she learned that race should never matter in helping the poor.

For telling her tale of enlightenment, and discovering that racism is never the answer, in any community, she was lied about, misquoted, and ultimately lost her job she held in the US Department of Agriculture.

The Obama Administration must not be afraid of the far right. They fired a heroine. The farmers (who are white) whose farm she saved testified that she is the kindest, fiercest advocate of color-blind advocacy of the poor. Fear is the road to ruin, not just for the Democrats, but the country as well. The far right will burn in its own flames of hatred and lies, but only if we stop being timid, academic, scared, cautious.

The White House must admit that they got tricked by the far right, apologize to Ms. Sherrod and bring her back into the administration. The far right played dirty, caught us off-guard, but now we must correct what the wrong that has been done. Immediately re-hire Ms. Sherrod.

The far right has no fear of lying about a black woman who fought, twenty years ago, to save a white farm in the deep South. Why? Because we, our community, let them do this. Their lies killed ACORN, which made small mistakes that were lied about and killed. ACORN was a service to our community: our community is not black or white -- it is all who are under-served and disempowered. Now they smell blood. They think they can use the Karl Rove strategy of lying with impunity and never retracting.

If the Democratic majority loses in the mid-terms, it will be our responsibility. Then the people who brought us ten years of lies will come back to screw us. This is not about politics. It's about lying to gain political advantage and power -- against the interest of the people who our public servants must serve.

This firing must not stand. Shirley Sherrod must be reinstated today. The NAACP jumped the gun. They apologized and rightfully so. The White House and Secretary of Agriculture jumped the gun. They need to stop cowering to these slanderous journalists and stand up for the real heros and heroines of our times. This has to happen now, or we will vote for change in November.

Join our facebook page to get Ms. Sherrod her job back.

 

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