My Shirley Sherrod Sucker post…

Posted: July 30, 2010 by datechguy in internet/free speech, the courts
Tags: ,

has produced some reaction in comments and from some friends who were surprised at my reaction. For those who are unsure, two posts at other blogs make my point best.

The short version comes from Robert Stacy:

A government official successfully pursuing a defamation suit against a private citizen is quite nearly impossible.

Any responsible lawyer would provide three words of helpful advice to Shirley Sherrod: “Discovery’s a bitch.”

The long version is at the American Thinker:

This past Sunday, in his weekly column for the San Francisco Chronicle, “Willie’s World,” veteran black politico Willie Brown confirmed that “there is more to the story than just [Sherrod’s] remarks.”

“As an old pro,” Brown acknowledged, “I know that you don’t fire someone without at least hearing their side of the story unless you want them gone in the first place.” Brown observed that Sherrod had been a thorn in the USDA’s side for years, that many had objected to her hiring, and that she had been “operating a community activist organization not unlike ACORN.” Although Brown does not go into detail, he alludes to a class action lawsuit against the USDA in which she participated some years ago.

In the way of background, in 1997, a black farmer named Timothy Pigford, joined by four hundred other black farmers, filed a lawsuit against Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, claiming that the USDA treated black farmers unfairly in all manner of ways, from price support loans to disaster payments to operating loans. Worse, they charged that the USDA had failed to process any complaints about racial discrimination.

The notion that the Clinton Ag Department had spent four years consciously denying black farmers their due defies everything we know about Clinton’s use of race and should have made the media suspicious about Pigford’s claims dating back to 1983.

Flush with revenue in 1999 and eager to appease this bedrock constituency, the administration settled with the farmers — more realistically, their attorneys — for fifty grand apiece, plus various other perks like tax offsets and loan forgiveness. If any of the presumably racist USDA offenders were punished, that news escaped the media.

Is this all talk? Is there an actual suit that will be filed? Boy does this administration hope not.

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