When Andrew Breitbart gave the video of Shirley Sherrod the old shell game treatment, scrambling her words around until he had her saying shocking things, he couldn't have known what a good deed he would be doing!
Shirley Sherrod triumphantly returns to the US Department of Agriculture not as a salaried employee chained to their bidding but instead as a contracted employee heading up a study to learn more about discrimination by the US government toward minority farmers. Sherrod will actually be even more closely tied to the work she loved before, helping to bring fairness to farmers in minority communities. For example, imagine if there had been a Shirley Sherrod speaking for the 4000 Cajun farmers in Louisiana who are now about to have their entire year's crops deluged by Mississippi runoff after the floodgates were opened this weekend, just so Exxon Mobil Company doesn't have to worry about getting damp. Perhaps there would have at least been someone pushing back saying, "Hell no you aint."
Sherrod will be a contract employee leading one of three field programs designed to bolster relations between the USDA and minority farmers and ranchers. Support for the programs is among several recommendations contained in a sweeping, two-year study released Wednesday that examined decades of discrimination claims by African Americans, Latinos, women and Native Americans.
As a contract employee, Sherrod will actually be a little more free to move about without so much supervisory scrutiny. Contractual agreements are usually what happens when a corporation or organization has fucked up really badly and has caused people not to trust them anymore. They can still get a talented worker to perform for them. They just aren't so bound at the hip as before.
You may recall US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reacted from the hip when Breitbart's crap film surfaced and fired Shirley, keeping a closer eye on the department's reputation in the papers than actually trying to find out who really said what, and whether Breitbart's video was an actual expose or just another one of his many faux shlocku-dramas, sort of Frankenstein's Monsters of the video world.
To his credit, Vilsack later expressed a kind of contrition about his stupidly firing Sherrod, and the 2-year study to which Sherrod is being assigned was after all his work in the first place.
Welcome Back Shirley!
Go fuck yourself, Breitbart.