Power of Story
Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   No comments
General News

Government Racism: A Case Worse than Shirley Sherrod's Firing

By       Message Dave Lindorff     Permalink

Related Topic(s): , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Well Said 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 7/30/10

Author 63
Become a Fan
  (81 fans)
- Advertisement -

By Linn Washington Jr.


The telephone at the DC area home of Marsha Coleman-Adebayo began ringing non-stop after the story broke recently about the hasty firing of U.S. Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod on false charges of being a racist.


- Advertisement -

Outraged callers wanted not just to express sympathy over Sherrod's mistreatment but also to offer continuing support for Coleman-Adebayo, whose epic battle with a federal agency over despicable employment discrimination and retaliation produced America's first civil rights law of the 21st Century.


Over a dozen years ago Coleman-Adebayo, an MIT-trained PhD, faced an onslaught from officials at the Environmental Protection Agency because she had spoken out about racism within that agency as well as about the EPA's coddling of a U.S. corporation whose regulation-skirting mining practices in South Africa were seriously injuring workers there.


- Advertisement -

The gross mistreatment of Coleman-Adebayo by EPA officials so incensed both a conservative white Congressman and a progressive black Congresswoman that this unlikely pair collaborated on passage of the Notification and Federal Employee Anti-Discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (NOFEAR).


That legislation makes federal agencies more accountable when found guilty of discriminating against employees or of trying to silence whistleblowers.


While simple fairness should have protected Sherrod (USDA officials refused to allow her to rebut the false charges before they forced her to resign), NOFEAR could cost the USDA plenty, should decide Sherrod sue over her treatment (she has already announced plans to bring a libel suit against her initial tormentor, Andrew Breitbart, the maker of a deceptively edited video clip of her speech to the NAACP).


- Advertisement -

"What happened to Ms. Sherrod happens to thousands of federal employees daily," said Coleman-Adebayo, whose NOFEAR Coalition is demanding an investigation into the Sherrod firing.


"Sherrod was a political appointee, so I think it's unlikely that her firing was done without some consultation with the White House," said Coleman-Adebayo, brushing off claims by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, a former Democratic governor of Iowa, that he alone had decided to pull the plug on Sherrod.


"How far did this firing go up the political chain of command? We think an investigation will find a cover-up," Coleman-Adebayo said during a recent interview with ThisCan'tBeHappening!


While the circumstances surrounding the firing of Sherrod and the bashing of Coleman-Adebayo differ, these two classic cases of workplace abuse over racial issues share similarities that give the lie to the "convention wisdom' of conservatives regarding workplace discrimination complaints.


First of all, both Coleman-Adebayo and Sherrod sued federal agencies over charges of employment discrimination and won"Sherrod as part of a class-action lawsuit by black employees against the USDA, and Coleman-Adebayo as an individual against the EPA.


Courtroom success in employment discrimination lawsuits is rare, contrary to the vapid contention of FOX News talking-heads and Tea Party-types, who regularly make the false claim that so-called "activist judges" and/or "liberal-dominated" juries routinely dump bundles of dollars into the bank accounts of minorities who make allegedly trumped-up claims of workplace racism...

For the rest of this article by LINN WASHINGTON in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent journalist-run online newspaper,please go to: ThisCantBeHappening!



 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 1   Well Said 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Israel's Gaza Atrocities Recall America's Atrocities in Vietnam

Supreme Court Junket King Scalia Dies While Vacationing with Wealthy Patrons at Private West Texas Getaway

Something's happening here: Clinton's Crumbling, Bernie's Surging and a 'Political Revolution' May Be in the Offing

The Case for Impeachment of President Barack Obama

Barack Obama: Manchurian Candidate Version 2.0