order non hybrid seeds LandRightsNFarming: FW: We Rise:The Courage to Hope: How I Stood Up to the Politics of Fear” by Shirley

Sunday, November 4, 2012

FW: We Rise:The Courage to Hope: How I Stood Up to the Politics of Fear” by Shirley

To: LawrLCL@aol.com; alesialucas@yahoo.com; prayap@aol.com; alovely@comcast.net; glovely@comcast.net; gail.lewis777@gmail.com; philglewistsy@gmail.com; tikiornt@gmail.com; Anthony.Lucas@dcsc.gov; Lisa.Lucas@dcsc.gov; joseph.a.foster@bellsouth.net; curtis.foster@att.net; thea@ruralco.org; rncott1@aol.com; sunday_5@hotmail.com; lepstein8@gmail.com
Subject: Re: We Rise:The Courage to Hope: How I Stood Up to the Politics of Fear" by Shirley
From: jpfenterprises1@aol.com
CC: tanyaw.jordan@verizon.net; nofearcoalition@gmail.com; batiste.f@bteks.com; davis4000_2000@yahoo.com; angusfarms@hotmail.com
Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2012 09:29:33 -0500

I remember this incident very clearly. I remember hoping that she would refuse the new job...thinking, that when she refused the new position, she would move forward with grace. I thought at the time, that the purpose of what happened to her was to teach us something.. to bring to light just how dreadful some politicians could be... even the ones that we "trust." I knew in my gut, that she should get out and get away from those people. It's crazy that the NAACP didn't ask her about the situation before jumping on the bandwagon with the others who rushed to judgement. Anita could probably relate to the lies and betrayals afforded to successful black women in prominent positions. I would bet that this wasn't the only treachery that Mrs. Sherrod had to deal with. I wish her the very best. May God continue to bless her and her family. 


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Sent: Sun, Nov 4, 2012 7:41 am
Subject: We Rise:The Courage to Hope: How I Stood Up to the Politics of Fear" by Shirley

we must rise above economics, fear, politics, and race alone. it is called justice, dignity and respect for the human condition.
important: read the last line of the article below.

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it". __Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends" -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Subj: The Courage to Hope: How I Stood Up to the Politics of Fear" by Shirley Sherrod with Catherine Whitney

Nov 02, 2012 10:29 PM EDT
The Washington PostPublished: November 2

By Kevin Boyle,

In the summer of 2009, the U. S. Department of Agriculture named Shirley Sherrod its director of rural development for the state of Georgia. It was a routine appointment, one of thousands the Obama administration made that year, except for two things. Never before had an African American held the position. And Sherrod had spent 40 years working on behalf of Georgia's rural poor, sometimes in opposition to the very programs she would be running. That made her selection an audacious act, a sign — small as it was — of change.
Thirteen months later, she was very abruptly, very publicly fired.
(Atria) - 'The Courage to Hope: How I Stood Up to the Politics of Fear' by Shirley Sherrod
The triggering event was a video posted by the late conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, featuring a tiny fraction of a speech Sherrod had recently given to a local branch of the NAACP. The clip seemed to show her bragging about having turned away a white farmer who'd come to her for help, a blatant case of reverse discrimination. Within a few hours the story was all over Fox News. In response, the NAACP denounced her actions as "shameful." And the White House insisted that she tender her resignation.
Only later did anyone bother to listen to the rest of Sherrod's speech. It turned out that the incident she'd described had taken place not during her tenure with the USDA but 23 years earlier, when she worked for a nonprofit organization. It was true that when the white farmer first came to her, she'd tried to pass his problem off to a white lawyer, thinking that "his own kind would take care of him." When that didn't work, though, she got him the help he needed.
"Well," she'd explained in a segment Breitbart had left on the cutting-room floor, "working with him made me see that it's really about those who have versus those who don't, you know. And they could be black; they could be white; they could be Hispanic. And it made me realize then that I needed to work to help poor people — those who don't have access the way others have."
The most powerful portion of Sherrod's new memoir, written with Catherine Whitney, fleshes out the story she sketched in her NAACP speech. She is herself the product of a farm family, born and raised in the fiercely segregated world of southern Georgia in the dying days of Jim Crow. Her experience with the system's terrible power was deeply personal: In 1965, when she was 17, her father was murdered by a neighbor who, because he was white, was never held accountable for his crime. The tragedy could have shattered her family. Instead it pushed them into activism. The summer after her father's death, her mother and sisters joined the first mass marches in their county; that autumn they played a major role in desegregating the local schools.
It was through their activism that Shirley met Charles Sherrod, who had come to Georgia four years earlier as a field secretary for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, the vanguard organization of the civil rights revolution. When they married in 1966, Shirley Sherrod married the movement, too.
- Over the decades, her commitments expanded. For 17 years, from 1968 to 1985, the Sherrods ran a cooperative farm that they hoped would be a model for democratic economic development in black communities. When that venture collapsed, because of the USDA's refusal to give the couple a desperately needed loan, Shirley took a position with a nonprofit that helped African Americans hold on to their land. But white farmers started showing up at her office, too. Through those encounters, she says, "I [began] to see that the greatest struggle for farmers was poverty, and it didn't matter what color your skin was." By the time the Obama administration came calling, Sherrod had spent two decades working on behalf of the rural poor, black and white.
None of that mattered to Breitbart, who latched onto Sherrod's speech not to attack her personally — by all accounts he had no clue who she was — but rather to retaliate against liberal criticism of the tea party's racial dynamics. Thus was she sucked into the mire of Washington politics, her reputation, her livelihood, her career all shattered by a few minutes of manipulation.
But Sherrod refused to remain a victim. The morning after her firing she went on CNN to deny that she'd discriminated against the farmer she'd mentioned in her speech. So did the farmer, Roger Spooner, who said that in fact she'd saved his land. With that, Sherrod's response rocketed around the media. Rachel Maddow picked it up, as did The Washington Post, the New York Times, "Good Morning America," "Today," even "The View." The president of the NAACP apologized for his rush to judgment. President Obama called to express his regrets. And the secretary of agriculture offered Sherrod a new, more powerful position, which she refused. It was time, she said, to move on.
That she has done. Last year the Sherrods bought an abandoned plantation close to where their cooperative farm had been. They plan to turn it into a conference center for racial reconciliation, dedicated to the ideals that have shaped their lives. It's a noble vision, a stirring way to end a sorry episode. But it also obscures a profoundly troubling aspect of Sherrod's story.
Breitbart's cynical maneuver, and the administration's panicked response, had driven her out of government service. Maybe in the grand scheme of things, her position wasn't all that important. But the fact that she was in it — a woman raised in the Georgia countryside, steeped in the struggle for racial justice, deeply committed to the plight of the poor — mattered. It also matters that she's gone: another sign of change, of hope, destroyed by the brutal spectacle we call politics.