Shirley Sherrod was wrongly fired, falsely accused as a racist, and is a victim of a sick political trick. Everyone involved in the media, Obama Administration, or blogosphere who pursued or supported her persecution and dismissal owes her a full, unreserved apology. She should be offered immediate reinstatement to her old position or a better one, and compensation for her public disparagement. Here’s why the apologies are in order:
First and foremost, it’s simply the right thing to do. Ms. Sherrod never said things the way that she was alleged to have done, nor was her spirit or intent as portrayed in that video. Regardless of his political orientation, Mr. Breitbart was responsible for the video he displayed and knew (or should have known) the context of its portrayal. His apology should be the first, the clearest, and unqualified.
The NAACP’s apology should be next. If I have to explain why, you would not understand anyway.
As for the Obama Administration, it does not matter whether or not the President knew or approved of the pressure applied to get rid of Ms. Sherrod – it’s happened too many times before (Rev. Wright, Blago, Gregg Craig, Morris Davis, Daschle, Summers, McChrystal, et cetera) – he clearly was the impetus behind the shove and even if he knew nothing until now about the matter, President Obama carries the most responsibility to set things right.
Assuming, of course, that he’d like to start doing his job.
You don’t have to agree with Ms. Sherrod’s politics, to understand that she did not deserve anything like the attacks and malice poured on her for this incident. What will be telling, is the character of how the different players respond to this responsibility to make things right.