Gutless Wonders Surround the President

Who are the people representing President Obama? Where did he find them? Why does he keep them around?

Never before have I seen a group of people so gutless, so easily frightened by “white people,” so quick to throw their own under the bus to appease their enemies.

Of course I’m talking about the firing of Shirley Sherrod (photo above, left). But I could just as easily be talking about Van Jones (photo above, right). Or ACORN. Sacrificial lambs all. Unjustly abandoned because right-wing propagandists spread lies to discredit them.

You want to read something shameful? Here’s a passage from David Corn’s report in Mother Jones magazine:

On Monday, as Sherrod was driving across Georgia, she says, she received a series of calls from Cook. The department, Cook told her, wanted her to resign immediately because the dust-up was “going to be on Glenn Beck tonight,” according to Sherrod. No conversation. No investigation. No discussion. You’re falsely accused. You’re gone.

So it’s Glenn Beck who determines the administration’s policy now?

If I were President Obama, I wouldn’t keep Cheryl Cook and her boss Tom Vilsack around for a minute longer.

Yes, I am aware that the agriculture secretary apologized to Ms. Sherrod when the truth emerged, and I understand he has offered to rehire her. But that isn’t the point. By displaying such utter lack of loyalty and courage, he showed he isn’t fit to be invited to dinner, much less occupy one of the most important posts in the land.

I’m sure that by now you’ve heard the story.

A career smear artist – the same guy who came up with the fake video that led to ACORN’s downfall – published a video on his web site that showed Ms. Sherrod telling NAACP members how she had been tempted to withhold her full support from a farmer because he was white.

Fox immediately picked up the story (as it always does in cases like this), declaring it an example of “reverse discrimination” in the Obama administration.

But within hours, the rest of the story came to light. David Corn describes it this way:

As CNN  and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quickly sussed out – by interviewing Sherrod and the farmer in question and his wife – Sherrod was speaking about an incident that happened 24 years ago, when she worked for a nonprofit in Georgia that assisted farmers. Sherrod was referring to her own journey in moving beyond depending on skin color to assess interactions — to realizing that the poor/wealthy divide was more significant than the black/white split. The farmer’s wife, Eloise Spooner, has said that Sherrod ended up working fiercely to help her and her husband hold on to their farm.

Sherrod had not denied USDA assistance to a white farmer due to her own anti-white racism. Her story was one of racial reconciliation – that is, the opposite of what BigGovernment and conservative bloviators (Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and others) said.

What makes Ms. Sherrod’s story even more remarkable is that her father had been murdered by a member of the Ku Klux Klan. This woman who was so vilified by the smear machine is actually – in my opinion, anyway – a shining example of racial tolerance and Christian forgiveness.

You will recall that the same kind of thing happened with ACORN and Obama’s former environmental adviser Van Jones.

You must have seen the video that torpedoed ACORN. Two young sneaks taped ACORN officials supposedly advising them how to run a prostitution ring and import under-aged sex workers into the U.S.

The video was vigorously promoted by the right-wing propaganda machine, and politicians and government officials rushed to distance themselves from ACORN.

The Census Bureau severed its ties to ACORN, a community organizing group that helps low-income Americans get jobs and register to vote. Robert Groves, the census director, was quoted as saying that ACORN, one of thousands of unpaid organizations promoting the 2010 census, had become “a distraction.”

By the time the facts were revealed – the tape was edited and the ACORN officials were actually trying to obtain information to pass on to police – ACORN was pretty well demolished.

The same campaign of lies was launched against Van Jones. Right-wing propagandists dug up old video clips to paint him as a radical black activist who was involved in race riots. Glenn Beck even falsely accused him of being a convicted felon who spent time in prison.

And – once more – the Obama administration caved. Van Jones was out.

When is the president going to realize that he is dealing with the kind of schoolyard bullies who beat up kids and steal their lunch money? When will he wake up to the fact that appeasement doesn’t work with these guys? When is he going to stand up and fight like the champion I still believe he is?

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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