When Asked, Don’t Tell

Larry Levin, Publisher/CEO of the St. Louis Jewish Light

Larry Levin

In March of this year, a black USDA official gave a speech in which she admitted that a quarter century ago, as an employee of a nonprofit, she had helped a white farmer in need less than she would have helped a similarly situated black farmer. She gave this talk to explain how she later came to understand the error of her ways. In other words, she was trying to provide a lesson about how she had grown as a human being.

Andrew Breitbart, a well known conservative blogger recently used this as a basis to brand her as somehow forever tainted, and in the absence of support from her federal government employers, she resigned.

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So here’s the message Breitbart is delivering: If it will affect your present, lie about the past. Better to have no one discover your poor judgment 24 years ago than to be excoriated for it today.

Is this the direction we want people to go? To be disingenuous about the bad things they did before, as though they never happened? To keep them hushed and not share the benefit of their personal growth experiences?

I for one vote to get off that bus.