Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Shirley Sherrod Story

The Shirley Sherrod story is the kind of political posturing that I tend mostly to ignore, but I’m going to comment on it for a couple of reasons, the first of which is the incredible cowardice displayed by the Obama Administration. I doubt that Obama himself participated in the decision to fire this lady, but these are the people he chose and over whom he presides, and it is he who sets the tenor of their actions. Nothing describes their reaction to this incident other than sheer cowardice, and they reacted so badly that I believe their action is unrepairable.

The greater point is that Ms. Sherrod’s story illustrates a tenet that I have long held, one also illustrated in a couple of my favorite movies, Remember The Titans and Driving Miss Daisy. The movies are fictional, of course, but Ms. Sherrod’s story is real and the point is this,

When persons of different race are placed into circumstances in which they are required to get to know one another, human nature overcomes bigotry.

I’m sure that it doesn’t always work that way, but it does very many times. I have seen it often, and I have seen it at times that one would never in a million years have predicted it. Human nature is natural, it is built into us, and bigotry is learned behavior, it is not part of our natural makeup. Bigotry was taught for the purpose of perpetuating slavery, so why on earth would we unlearn the slavery part of that equation and fail to unlearn the rest of it?

It took courage for Shirley Sherrod to stand up and tell her story, and even greater courage to stand with such grace against the smear merchants she faces now. We can become a better people from it, if we will.

1 comment:

bruce said...

A lot of political posturing, going off half-cocked, not getting the whole story before (re-)acting, politicians & groups acting machievellian [sic], blah blah.

It does seems as if SS is acting above it all. Good for her.

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