Shirley Sherrod – What Have We Learned?
As I reflect on the events surrounding Shirley Sherrod, I can’t help but ask where has our integrity gone as a nation. In researching the definition of integrity I found several meanings. The one that stood out was the one citing integrity,as a state of being complete, wholeness,entireness,in an unbroken state. Integrity whose root is derived from the Latin word integral which means one, wholeness. In examining these meanings I look at how we as a nation are very broken, divided, separated and so very far from being complete and far from being one. The Shirley Sherrod incident brought to light how far we are from living out what we expound as our truth. The truth being that our value system never changes and that it is equally applied no matter what the situation or the circumstances. You do what you say you will do no matter what the situation or who in the higher order may be effected. A truth that is upheld by moral and ethical values that must be maintained no matter what. It simply means that until all the facts are reviewed we will not rush to judgment based on pleasing certain factions of the society in an effort to appear that racial values cut both ways; an appearance that in fact is farthest from the truth. We believe as a nation we safeguard integrity by putting it in the hands of those Representatives that we believe will uphold that integrity even when other aspects of the society fall short. It is their charge and duty to maintain integrity at the highest level no matter what the circumstances. This is what brings me the heartbreak. The fact that these Representatives did not remember their charge. is not only disturbing, and frightening, it is just downright disheartening. Our Representatives at the highest level falling so very short is totally unacceptable. For, if we do not have our integrity, we have no basis to determine whether our actions are sound and maintain a sense of oneness for the total good of the nation. The fact that these Representatives (Department of Agriculture, NAACP(National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People) and The White House, quickly reacted to information that comes from a source known not only to be unreliable but very bias in their reporting is an abomination. They were so busy passing judgment they forgot their responsibility. The one job that the American people look to them to fulfill and that is to maintain their integrity and not demean and ridicule the high esteem of their position. Would Curly, Larry, and Moe be less competent? The Heads of the Department of Agriculture, NAACP and The White House need to admit their fallacies, they simply did not discharge their responsibilities. Instead of being so quick to want the resignation of Shirley Sherrod they should question whether not they should be trusted with the responsibility their jobs symbolize to the American People. The authority that these Representatives have should carry with it full responsibility. The question is did these Representatives discharge their responsibilities, not whether Shirley Sherrod acted appropriately. When it comes to Shirley Sherrod the fact that she was slandered by Fox or any other name calling mongrels is irrelevant. This goes on all the time and will continue to go on. The shame of this situation is that the Representatives that represent this country at the highest level rushed to pass judgment without doing their job. The only redeeming thing in this whole situation is that Shirley Sherrod found her integrity while serving unbiasly to help one that happen to be of another race. On the other hand we as a nation lost our integrity through the failure of our Representatives to do their job which would have assured the world we are fair and that indeed we do have integrity. by Eva Watson, resident, Memphis, Tennessee