Social Question

Cruiser's avatar

Should President Obama apologize?

Asked by Cruiser (40421points) July 22nd, 2010

We all now know the ugly truth about the railroading lies that caused the White House to demand the resignation of Shirley Sherrod.

Is Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s attempt to take the blame enough or should he be forced to resign and should President Obama extend a personal apology to her for the White House demanding her to quit her job?

And should Anthony Breitbart be shut down for his reckless reporting of this story?

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70 Answers

kevbo's avatar

Nah. Just make Biden wear one of those “I’m with stupidly” t-shirts.

josie's avatar

A whole lot of people who engage in the political industry of what is called “The Race Issue” owe apologies to all of us who are repulsed by it. Most people I know, in every walk of life, are pretty much oblivious to race by now. And my children (in their 20s) are even more indifferent to race. But nearly every Caucasion I know is resentful of the accusation that they harbor some latent racism that affects their attitudes and actions. I am too. And my children are even more resentful of it. And they think the Obama administration is an egregious practitioner of the art of race baiting. And they voted for him!
Anyway, there is money to be made and votes to be got in the modern practice of race card playing. Nobody is going to apologize as long as that is true, and even if they do, they will not mean it.

aprilsimnel's avatar

At the very least, there should be public apologies from the Secretary and President Obama. And I want to know who the people are in Vilsack’s department who advised him to sack Sherrod. They need to be held publicly responsible as well.

I read people’s remarks in other places before the facts were out, and they were dying to say something hateful and nasty about their fellow Americans in the wake of that “report”, eager to act as if all their privilege is being wrested away from them by those un-American types who just happen to have been born here, but are browner than they.

As for Breitbart, it’s a free country; he’s free to publish what he pleases. Fortunately, his targets are free to sue for libel. I can’t imagine what rabid fear and hatred he has in his mind that he’d be willing to risk such a lawsuit in the face of proof against his claims.

It’s as if the wound has burst. Good. I want to see the people who hate me. “Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.”

Hey, Breitbart, et al: We’re not inferior to you, no matter what you think deep down. Surprise!

whitenoise's avatar

No….

Breitbart, however, should and the one that fired her (for being too eager to fire without exploring enough of the details of her dismissal.)

Here is news that helps the ones that are not privy to the story.

janbb's avatar

According to today’s NY Times (p.A15), both the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack and the White House apologized profusely to Sherrod yesterday and she was offered a new job in the Department of Agriculture. A sorry tale all around.

kevbo's avatar

@janbb, can I hug your dog, please?

Ron_C's avatar

The guy that should apologize is Breitbart. He specifically asked for video to prove that the NAACP is prejudice. His supplier provided it. Breitbart did not apologize, he claims to be a victim as much as Ms. Sherrod. The only other person that needs to apologize is the Secretary of Agriculture, and he has. What we need to have is an administration that fights back and doesn’t fall for all of this right wing propaganda. Virtually nothing that has been said by the opposition party is the truth. All statements and votes have only one objective, to ruin the president.

There are no ideas on the right except to go back to the policies that got us in the economic trouble we have now. I for one am sick of it and the credence given to them by the progressive people of this country.

BoBo1946's avatar

Shirley said no! On CNN, she said it would not be necessary.

If he (Pres. Obama) had nothing to do with it and it was an independent decision by the Sec. of Ag., no! If he ordered it, yes!

Ron_C's avatar

@BoBo1946 I am pretty sure that the President has many more important and pressing interests to get involved in minor speeches of people many levels below. I don’t believe he does much micromanaging.

josie's avatar

From AOL news

“Vilsack said he had asked Sherrod to come back to work at a different position at the USDA. Sherrod said the position would be in the agency’s office of outreach to combat racial discrimination within its ranks.”

So here we go. Moving from one “racial arena” to another. No wonder I hate all of them.

kevbo's avatar

@Ron_C, I’m pretty sure you’ve never Googled “beer summit.”

BoBo1946's avatar

@Ron_C well, that is a given. Did not say he owed her one unless he ordered it. Did not i…

CMaz's avatar

Yes. Shit floats to the top.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

No, Vilsack has already made an apology for firing her without having all the facts. Breitbart should be next to apologize for running with such an ill-conceived, hastily-scripted and out-of-context story.

Cruiser's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly I am watching a copy of the White House press briefing and Gibbs tap dance over this whole ordeal. In it he mentions how President Obama was briefed yesterday morning over Shirley “then” perceived racist remarks and clearly he was also advised over “a” decision to request her resignation, so how can he not step up and now offer his personal thoughts and or apology?

janbb's avatar

I think Obama tries to walk a delicate line on racial issues. He seems to be damned whatever he does. In the Times it was suggested that he have a press conference with the Spooners (the white family she helped) and Sherrod. I’m sure they are trying to figure out how to handle this one and there is no great excuse fo the hasty reaction, but the blame fails mainly on Breitbart and all the “faux-news” that is promulgated.

BoBo1946's avatar

@ChazMaz ummm…mine always sinks! better get checked out! plus, it never stinks! loll oh, only when i come to Fluther it kind of does….geezzz

still working in yard…so dang hot, have to work a while, cool off…and go back. Should be finished Friday…

Cruiser's avatar

@janbb I wonder if Shirley drinks beer?

janbb's avatar

@Cruiser A “beer summit’ was defintely mentioned as a comparision. What do I have to do to get invited to one?

Cruiser's avatar

@janbb make some racist remarks about penguins and I’m sure you will get a call.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@Cruiser – Because an apology is unnecessary in my opinion. Some kind of a statement would have been nice, though. I don’t think that a quick briefing makes him responsible for the rash actions of another. To say the least, it’s micromanagement. To say the most, Obama has much more critically important matters to attend to.

Cruiser's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly, IMO a racial firestorm in our country is a pretty important issue and I think this a huge teachable moment in light of our country’s checkered racial past and who better to take the reins than our country’s first black President?

CMaz's avatar

If one of my managers makes a bad decision towards another employee. Epically one that causes that employee to get fired.
I am going to apologize. Do MY best to do damage control.

And, that manager is on my shit list.

Ron_C's avatar

@Cruiser you are right, it should have been a “teachable moment”. Unfortunately with the party of no on one side and the party of no backbone on the other, I doubt that much will be learned.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

The White House issued an apology yesterday. It was Gibbs doing the talking, but you can bet the order came from Big O himself. I heard that Sherrod wants to meet with Obama, and I hope he consents to that meeting.

This being said, Andrew Breitbart will never apologize, but I hope to god anybody who’s ever posted any of his deranged garbage in support of some right-wing rant will have the cojones to say, “I’m sorry. I was an asshole. I won’t ever do it again.”

That isn’t gonna happen, either.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@josie ‘Most people I know, in every walk of life, are pretty much oblivious to race by now’ – that has nothing to do with whether or not privilege is conferred onto a specific race, in our society. Which it is, btw, if you didn’t know.

josie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I know what you think you are saying, but on analysis that is all just warmed over civil rights rhetoric from the past. Please list the privileges that I, Josie, have received simply because of my race. I don’t know what they are, but I take it that you do.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@josie Depends, what’s your race? And this ‘civil rights rhetoric’ you’re sneering at is necessary still because if you don’t see that whites systematically have more representation, money and power (not whether or not you a single person have more power) then I can’t get into this.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I hadn’t even heard of Shirley Sherrod, so I did some checking. I only looked through this one article but I got the gist of it, and some really good points were made. One is Two days after Sherrod was fired from her job overseeing rural development in Georgia, both the White House and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack apologized to her. Vilsack also offered her another unspecified position with the department. One thing to consider is that, as stated in the article, plenty of white folks have lost their jobs due to false accusations of racism by the NAACP (or whomever.) Which makes me wonder; if Obama made a public apology to her, surely the rabid right would dig up an instance of a white being falsely accused and fired, and say “SEE!! Obama will aplogize publicly to one of ‘his own,’ while completely ignoring the plight of Joe White! Just one more bit of proof that he’s racist!”
The truth is known, she has been apologized to, and offered another position. Making an even bigger deal out of it might possibly do more harm than good…IMO.

josie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I’m Caucasion. I see the same world that you do, be assured. You can try to lump me into a class, and make me guilty of something, but you will be wrong. And I won’t act as if I am guilty of anything just because you think I should. I have never gotten in anybody’s way, and have been helpful to the needy when and where I could be. Whatever wealth and power and representation other white people have, they did not get it as a gift from me. And unless they are politicians, they proabably did not steal it from somebody else. I have, in this context, done nothing wrong.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@josie Am I trying to make you feel guilty for something? Please don’t attribute statements to me that I have not made. You sound off topic, to me – off my topic, anyway. I will also recommend you read this man’s blog – he’s a friend of a friend and I agree with him on most anti-racist matters.

Dutchess_III's avatar

As to your second question about Anthony Breitbart, from the same article: ”....... but he (Breibart) seems willing to say just about anything. Remember, this is the guy who, hours after Ted Kennedy’s death, label the Massachusetts senator a “pile of human excrement.” He does not seem to me to be the slightest bit interested in truth or the facts. He’s simply a right-wing attack machine….” I say YES! Vaporize him! It’s time somebody does something about the “right wing attack machine.”

Ron_C's avatar

I see this whole issue more of a class than a racial problem. The tea party people are protecting the elite so they are the equivalent of the Whig party, Some of the democrats are doing the same thing, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, for example.

The remaining progressive democrats (an ever shrinking group) still believe that all citizens should have a voice in government. My guess is that since American democracy is more controlled by money than idealism, money will win. Whoever wins the next time is more likely to be controlled by corporate America than democratic America.

This being said, the real problem is that corporate America doesn’t like the idea of “uppity black people” telling others how to work the system for personal justice. Corporations feel that the only considerations for justice are available on the “free market”. Ms. Sherrod was just the person they picked to put the NAACP in their place. The mistake the government made was react to blatant propaganda.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

And what do you know – he did!

Good for you, Mr. President.

janbb's avatar

Obama is a mensch despite what the Right has to say; not perfect, by any means, but a mensch none-the-less.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@janbb I hate it when I have to open a whole new browser to find out what you’re talking about!!
A mensch he is!!!

janbb's avatar

@Dutchess_III Think of it as added educational value!

ItsAHabit's avatar

“Vaporize him!” It doesn’t matter whether the target of this incitement to violence is Brietbart, the president, or a homeless person. It’s completely unacceptable and, I suspect, a violation of Fluther policy.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I think Obama has much more than that to apologize for, but whatever.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Dutchess_III Many things he has done to embarass, disrupt and destroy the country we are paying him to make better. And we’ll leave it at that. I’m not in the mood to argue.

whitenoise's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate. What kind of attitude is that? Raise a point and than not willing to elaborate, saying that such equals arguing? Why raise the point then, to begin with?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@whitenoise Exactly. That’s all it ever amounts to, is a bunch of vague insults with no actual argument to back it up. They run away the minute you ask for a concrete example of what they’re accusing him of. Every. Single. Time.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Dutchess_III and @whitenoise I just know it always turns into an argument. I have my opinions of Obama and you have yours. IMO, he has much to apologize for. I can pretty much sum it all up by just saying I don’t like the way he has taken advantage of his office and I don’t like his policies. His health care program is a joke. His wife takes advantage of his office by appointing 20 people to serve her, when other first ladies have had 1 assistant. He has insulted and degraded the very country he claims to love. That’s my opinion of him of course, and like I said you are entitled to yours.

jca's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate: regarding what you wrote about Obama’s wife having 20 people work for her, if you look at truthorfiction.com, you’ll see that’s fiction.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate But every single argument you pose can be rebutted! The 20 people “serving” Ms Obama were inherited from Ms Bush! And there are other first ladies who have had more. But…it’s only a big deal because it was Obama. Not a big deal when it was someone else.

IMO, “his” health care program is not a joke. It was a desperately needed program that other Presidents have tried to implement but failed. Probably because they accepted bribes from the Big Pharmas.

I’ve never heard him insult or degrade our country. And you’re right…it could go on and on because it’s just rhetoric and lies. Every single argument the republicans throw out there is proven to be false, and I don’t understand why they keep hanging on to them!

Dutchess_III's avatar

And here’s one from Snopes on the first Lady’s staffers….Why would you just ignore that evidence @WillWorkForChocolate? Why?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Dutchess_III I didn’t ignore anything, I had just received the info from so many different directions that I didn’t bother to check snopes. I hardly check snopes for anything anymore, otherwise, I’d never leave the house. It’s my fault for not checking it out, but it still doesn’t change my opinion of everything else I said. And his healthcare is so socialistic, it makes me want to vomit. He insults and degrades our country every time he opens his mouth to apologize for “our behavior”. He doesn’t speak for me and I have nothing to apologize for. And there’s also this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ic47GEwR9l4

Dutchess_III's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate It’s socialistic? More socialistic than, say, Social Security or our Public School system?

You really should start checking your facts, especially when they sound a little whacked out. Your party loses credibility every time the bring up some old, dead rumor as if it’s a fact. I’ll go check the video now…

Dutchess_III's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Interesting! And CNN at that! I’ll do some more looking into it, as to why the justification and logic is behind Amnesty bill. I’m not going to condemn it out of hand, without knowing the logic behind it.

Keysha's avatar

Why should Obama apologize for this, when he had no problem using an ethnic slur on public tv, and never apologize for doing so, to the ethnicity in question?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Keysha What are you talking about?

Keysha's avatar

@Dutchess_III Arisztid did a blog about it. He is Romani Gypsy, and that is the ethnicity in question. Here it is.

BoBo1946's avatar

He apologized. Case closed!

whitenoise's avatar

@Keysha
I feel, most Romani would not like to be referred to as Romani Gypsy.

I am sure you didn’t intent it the way you wrote it, though I feel your comment is not up to fluther standards.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Keysha OMG. How stupid is that. For crying out loud. Get over it.

Keysha's avatar

@BoBo1946 No, for that he did not. Glad you do not care, either.

@whitenoise Arisztid is Romani Gypsy, and we use it like that, as do many of his people, because if you just say Romani or Roma, no one knows who they are, and assume they are Romanian.

@Dutchess_III There are no words for the stupidity of your comment.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I’m doing some research now on the amnesty bill. The first one I found is from 2006.

You know, allowing undocumented aliens to become US citizens if they meet certain criteria would actually be a good thing. For one, they’d be paying into the SS system! I’m down with that, since it’s my generation who’s going to get hit with the first wave or real shortages.

It would create more tax payers, which is a good thing. Also, a good section of this country was theirs to begin with. Here’s the 2006 bill. You can do key word searches in it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@BoBo1946 She got off on the “he said the word ‘gyped’!” tangent. She said he never apologized for it.

@Keysha BoBo was talking about the topic of this question: “Should Obama apologize to Shirley Sherrod.” He did apologize.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Dutchess_III ditto….that confused me. I’ve not read all the threads. Don’t get a charge out of debating politics. There are no winners! Kind of like religion also.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I know! She’s a little confusing.

Hey! @WillWorkForChocolate Here’s a question for you! Thanks for prompting me with that CNN blurb. Shoot…I meant to include it in the question…

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes. But he might decide to do this in private. Perhaps he already has.

Ron_C's avatar

Obama apologized and offered Sherrod another job, Vilsack apologized, and the press secretary apologized. The only one that didn’t apologize is Breitbart, the guy that caused the problem. But that’s O.K. because Sherrod is suing him. It’s about time. People like him have been defaming honest people for a long time. It will be good to see him pay for his sins.

mattbrowne's avatar

Barack Obama is very wise. And he is a man of honor.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@mattbrowne Right ON!! So many Americans want to call that wisdom a shifty sham. It’s not.

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