COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The story of Shirley Sherrod captured national headlines recently. At first it seemed to be an example of blatant racism, but it turned out to be a beautiful story of racial harmony here in the south.
The first video clips from a speech the USDA official gave were vilified by conservative media as racist, and in a rush to judgment, even the NAACP blasted her. The Agriculture Department quickly forced her to quit her job. But the video of the full speech revealed that Sherrod was actually encouraging people to overcome racial prejudices and to serve people in need, no matter their color.
President Obama and the Secretary of Agriculture apologized to Sherrod. But Sherrod's biggest supporters may have been Roger and Eloise Spooner - a white Georgia couple that Sherrod helped to save their family farm. Mr. Spooner called the allegations of racism "hogwash".
Even more compelling was that Shirley Sherrod's father had been murdered by a white man who was never brought to justice. Yet she has dedicated her life to helping poor south Georgians... black and white.
Both Sherrod and the Spooners really wanted to do the right thing, even if it wasn't the easy thing. We hope that's the moral of the story that America remembers. That's my perspective. I'd like to hear your thoughts.