Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Wednesday accepted full responsibility for the ouster of USDA regional official Shirley Sherrod and said he offered her a more senior position in the department, which she is considering.
The White House earlier apologized to Sherrod, saying it acted before knowing all the facts. Sherrod, who is African-American, was essentially fired amid charges of racism stemming from an edited video tape released by the conservative Internet publisher Andrew Breitbart.
Vilsack's statement came as pressure mounted on officials to give Sherrod her job back. "This was my decision and I made it in haste," Vilsack said of Sherrod's ouster.
"For the last 18 months we have focused on a long history of civil rights claims against the Department of Agriculture -- tens of thousands of claims...I made it a goal that we would try to reverse that history, [and that I] would not tolerate discrimination in any way shape or form." He added, "I did not think before I acted, and for that reason this poor woman has gone through a very difficult time."
This is a step in the right direction of justice. I don't know if Mrs. Sherrod will accept or reject the job offer but at least the Obama administration recognized the offer should be made regardless.
I wish I could say this incident would definitely lead to the White House taking a different tact when dealing with these right wing assholes but unfortunately I don't think it will. The only time anything will change is if their outrage is met with our outrage and we stop bitching and moaning online and instead take to the streets and the phone lines and the emails just like they do.
Its all up to us now.