A former USDA employee, who resigned after a video showed her making racist statements, insisted she went all out to help a white farmer.
The video was posted on a Conservative right wing blog and quickly picked up by Fox News. The video showed Shirley Sherrod, former USDA director of rural development in Plains, Georgia, speaking at a NAACP meeting.
The poor-quality video shows Sherrod telling her audience that the farmer she was working with "took a long time ... trying to show me he was superior to me." As a result, she said, she "didn't give him the full force of what I could do. I did enough."
To prove she had done her job, she said, she took him to a white lawyer. "I figured that if I take him to one of them, that his own kind would take care of him," she said.
Sherrod told CNN that shortly after Fox News aired the video, the White House began harassing her to resign.
"They asked me to resign, and in fact they harassed me as I was driving back to the state office from West Point, Georgia, yesterday," she told CNN. The last call "asked me to pull to the side of the road and do it [resign]," she said.
Meanwhile, the wife of the white farmer referenced in the video has come out in support of Sherrod. Eloise Spooner told CNN she credits Sherrod with helping her family save their farm.
It's amazing how swiftly the White House turned their backs on this black woman without hearing all of the facts. Had she been a white woman (or someone who is highly favored by Obama), the White House would have defended her and claimed she "misspoke."
According to CNN.com, Sherrod said Tuesday that those remarks were taken out of context and that the 1986 incident, which occurred before she started work for the USDA and was working at a nonprofit, helped her learn to move beyond race. She only tells the story to audiences to make that point, she said.
The NAACP, which initially criticized Sherrod's comments as "shameless" has now backed off from their condemnation of her.
The NAACP said in a statement Tuesday it was investigating "the recent revelations about the situation" and was attempting to speak with Sherrod and the farmer, as well as view the full video. The organization said it would speak further "following a full and comprehensive process."
Thanks to loyal reader Erika S. for the tip!