>Jumping to Conclusions: Let’s Not!

>“We look into mirrors but we only see the effects of our times on us–not our effects on others.” – Pearl Bailey

For the past few days, I’ve listened and read in disgust to media reports about Agriculture Department Employee, Shirley Sherrod.  Ms. Sherrod was asked to resign, which in my opinion, is the same as being terminated, for segments of a video of a speech that she made at an NAACP event. An edited clip of her speech was released, which significantly mislead the public-  After the clip’s release, all hell, broke loose.




I saw the video segment on the evening news and thought, “that’s only part of the speech, where’s the rest?” It turns out that the video clip was taken out of context, resulting in her superiors, white house officials, other public officials, and much of the public to jump to conclusions. Release of this clip initially resulted in attacks on her professional and person character, loss of her job, and a bunch of unwanted media attention. Fortunately for Ms. Sherrod, the full video was later viewed by her superiors and, while a great deal of damage had already occurred, the Department of Agriculture has back stepped, apologized, and offered her a new position within the agency. She even received a text and a phone call from President Obama.


This entire fiasco got me to think about myself as a parent, a spouse, a friend, and an educator. It’s really made me reflect on times that I may have jumped to conclusions about someone else’s actions. The lesson here is that we should not be quick to judge, as a matter fact, we shouldn’t be judging people at all. Period! We should be more open-minded before we form opinions about anything or anyone. While I consider myself to be pretty flexible, I’ve decided to re-commit to being even more open-minded and to continue to question what is being presented to me and think about my effects on others.

Edited Speach
Full Speech

3 thoughts on “>Jumping to Conclusions: Let’s Not!

  1. >Love it. I have made several commitments to myself, especially in regards to being a better educator. Not being quick to handle a situation with limited information is one thing that I have tried to do, not always successfully, but I recommit to consistently hearing full evidence before stepping in.

  2. >Have you heard the old adage. There is your story, their story and the real story. As an educator I have learned that the full story is often hidden. There is a reason why a student is not complying with the rules. You just have to explore it. It is unfortunate that the first thing usually is a write up.One thing I do not understand is why Mrs. Sherrod wasn't given the same job back. It sounds like political game playing to me.

  3. >Tunisha & Jackqueline- I agree. Educator's especially, must be open-minded and make certain that we have the complete story before making any decisions. From where I sit, a large majority of the students acting out, have serious underlying problems that have been either overlooked or just ignored.As you both know, today's youth are dealing with a lot more challenges than previous generations: incredible peer pressure, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, a lack of involvement in the home, or worse, no home at all… I think if the adults who rush to judgment took a moment to empathize with the student, they wouldn't be so quick to judge, "write up," suspend, etc.. Most adults aren't equipped to handle life's issues, so we cannot expect students to possess the necessary coping skills to handle such complex issues.Concerning giving Mrs. Sherrod her old job back… I don't know… Perhaps the public shame of how her superiors responded to the edited video, guilted them to offer her a better position. In the end- yeah! I think it's all politics as usual. Thanks for your comments.

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