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"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

...............................................................Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Rosa Parks Moment

When Andrew Breitbart and the Fox Empire of Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes launched their smear and destroy campaign against Shirley Sherrod, she did something none of the politicians, none of the aides, none of the chattering class in the enabling millionaire sheep media of The Village had the dignity, the honor, the courage to do.

She said, "enough."

And she said it with a quiet character that put to shame all the screechers and bloviators and rightwing echo chamber and quavering political class and self-important media types who were first knee-jerk demanding her head and then scrambling to point fingers at the White House for throwing her under the bus.

Maybe so.

But Andrew Breitbart and the rightwing screed machine are the bus drivers.

And Shirley Sherrod was the woman who refused to go to the back, sit down, shut up and be abused.

As much as the words of her speech—in its entirety, where she gives a pointed history lesson on how race baiting and division came to be and how it still poisons the most vulnerable among us—as much as her words are a teachable moment....

Even more so is her quiet refusal to give the white-sheet right wing power over her. Her father was murdered by the Klan, her anger would have been justified, understood. But she rose above the rabble on the right.

I'm hoping that's what Tom Vilsack sees in this moment. This is more than a woman fighting for her job.

Some are likening this to Harper Lee's powerful To Kill a Mockingbird, and it's hard not to totally agree regarding my lifetime favorite book. But I think another's story applies more strongly here.

This is a Rosa Parks moment. And I think Rosa would be proud. As the granddaughter of a German immigrant who endured indentured servitude to be an American, I know I am proud of Shirley Sherrod.

She understands my family story as much as her own.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

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