NAACP condemns USDA official's racist remarks
What will the tea partiers complain about now?
The NAACP, as it should, has condemned the racist remarks of Shirley Sherrod, the black USDA official in Georgia who said race affected her actions in dealing with a white farmer wanting the agency’s help.
A clip of her speech at an NAACP meeting earlier this year lit up the blogosphere on Monday. She quickly resigned as the USDA official in charge of rural development for Georgia.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the right things, too, accepting her resignation and citing the agency’s zero-tolerance policy for racism.
And NAACP President Benjamin Jealous, in a statement Monday, condemned Sherrod’s “shameful” actions.
Part of his to-the-point statement:
Racism is about the abuse of power. Sherrod had it in her position at USDA. According to her remarks, she mistreated a white farmer in need of assistance because of his race. We are appalled by her actions, just as we are with abuses of power against farmers of color and female farmers. Her actions were shameful. While she went on to explain in the story that she ultimately realized her mistake, as well as the common predicament of working people of all races, she gave no indication she had attempted to right the wrong she had done to this man.
To his credit, Jealous also talked about the reaction of the crowd at the NAACP event, calling their support for Sherrod’s remarks “disturbing. We will be looking into the behavior of NAACP representatives at this local event and take any appropriate action.”
The swift reaction of the NAACP to Sherrod’s remarks give the group credibility in its call for the tea party to denounce the racists in its ranks.