After Shirley Sherrod was fired for a video clip that suggested that she had failed to help a farmer because he was white, the full speech has been released, and it shows that far from acting in racial malice, she overcame understandable bias to help a white farmer keep his land.

This is a perfect illustration of the worst aspects of insta-news. Ms. Sherrod was condemned without a fair hearing, based on half-facts instead of the full truth. She should be restored to her position immediately.

The media and the blog-a-sphere should also learn something from this: we shouldn’t toss around charges of racism lightly. Clearly, Ms. Sherrod was wrongly tarred as a racist. Similarly, last year in the final days of the health care debate, the Left attempted to de-legitimize those protesting the legislation as racists, claiming that they had yelled racial slurs at black Members of Congress. Yet there is absolutely no proof that this happened – and video suggesting that it probably didn’t happen.

Similarly the Left has tried to tar Tea Partiers as racists. That’s simply an unfair, blanket statement about a group that has the support of millions of Americans. The beliefs of the Tea Party movement should be debated on their merits; it shows a complete lack of seriousness and intellectual laziness on the part of the Left to devolve into the worst kind of name-calling.

Charges of racism are among the more grave in our society. They shouldn’t be tossed around lightly.