The lynching of Shirley Sherrod

It is wrong when an entire Tea Party movement is smeared with the false
charge of racism. It is wrong when Shirley Sherrod is smeared by a
right-wing media that distorts the truth and tries to destroy this
woman through character assassination. It is wrong when the president
of the United States and the secretary of Agriculture cower in fear of
righ-wing media and execute the lynching of Shirley Sherrod.

Let’s see if MSNBC can rise to the occasion of recognizing that not all
Tea Partiers are racists and that criticizing Fox News and Glenn Beck
is not enough. In this matter it was unconscionable for the White House
to execute the lynching before learning the facts or trying the case.

Let’s see if Fox News can act like a professional news organization and offer a detailed apology to Shirley Sherrod and a detailed critique and criticism of any in the conservative media who doctored the tapes and the truth to promote the hatred that gave rise to the lynching.

Let’s see if the White House can learn that surrender to hate is not good politics, and that it was absurd and ridiculous and cowardly to abuse Shirley Sherrod, to literally force her to the side of the road, to execute the lynching in time for the demagoguery of the Glenn Beck show.

Let’s see if the cable news industry can learn to check the facts and seek the truth, before imitating the behavior of white-robed Klansmen waving the hangman’s noose in our new era of electronic McCarthyism.

There is racism, far too much of it, and it should be condemned with facts, and truth, and integrity, and fairness to those who should not be tarred from any end of the political spectrum by any institution of government, politics, business or media.

While our politics and media far too often treat the subjects of their attention as the petty cash of their demeaning warfare, we are talking about real people chopped like hamburger in the meat grinder of media demagoguery and political opportunism, and ratings calculated by the hour, when truth and facts and integrity are so often thrown under the bus of our vast wasteland of opportunism without honor.

I freely confess I do not know the full truth on the matter of Shirley Sherrod, but until we ascertain the facts she should be restored to her job, and I suspect, in the end, she will stand far taller than those who perpetrated the lynching of Shirley Sherrod.

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