July 21, 2010 by USA Post
Shirley Sherrod, WASHINGTON – Yahoo News – The Obama faced a flurry of criticism on Wednesday by the expulsion of a black employee of the Department of Agriculture for his comments about race. The woman says she is not sure he would return to work now, even if asked.
The Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said he would reconsider the decision of the department of Shirley Sherrod asked to resign. Sherrod, director of rural development in Georgia, was asked by department officials to leave their jobs on Monday after conservative bloggers posted an edited video of her saying that she initially did not support a white farmer so he could take 24 years ago, when she was working for a nonprofit group of agricultural assistance.
Sherrod says the video completely distorted his speech, describing how he came to realize that the white farmer needed his help and she said that it intended to promote racial reconciliation.
Sherrod said she resigned under pressure from the White House, the USDA said the search of the resignation was Vilsack’s decision alone.
Vilsack decided to reconsider after talking with the White House last week, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the call.
But in national media interviews Wednesday, Sherrod said he did not know if he would return to work, even if asked, because it is unsure how he would be treated now.
The incident is a setback for the administration and the NAACP Obama. Both changed their position after condemning Sherrod based on the edited video for the first time Monday night. It is the latest in a series of race-related brouhaha to attract national attention since President Barack Obama became the first black chief executive.
A year ago, Obama called for a summit of beer “in the White House between a black student at Harvard and the white police sergeant who arrested him after a confrontation outside the house of black. The government also faces criticism by the Court Supreme then candidate Sonia Sotomayor comments about the virtues of having a Latin “wise” in the dock. And there was controversy over the Justice Department dropping an investigation into allegations that new members of the Black Panther Party threatened white voters at a polling place in Philadelphia the day Obama was elected.
Stacked Black leaders on Wednesday to criticize the expulsion Sherrod. The Rev. Jesse Jackson called on the government to apologize and give Sherrod work again if she wants. The Congressional Black Caucus, an influential bloc that represents 42 members of Congress, requested that Sherrod be reinstated immediately, saying Vilsack overreacted.
Soon after, the Rev. Al Sharpton said black leaders should refrain from calling an apology from Obama, saying that creates the impression that black leadership has been broken. “We are just greasing the rails on the right to run a train through our ambitions and aims to have human and civil rights in this country,” said Sharpton.
The incident comes as the NAACP and the tea party conservative movement have been trading charges of racism.
The two-minute, 38 seconds clip released on Monday by BigGovernment.com was presented as evidence that the NAACP was hypocritical in its recent resolution condemning what it called the racist elements of the movement the tea party. The website owner Andrew Breitbart, said the video shows the civil rights group remit the same type of racism that says you want to delete. Biggovernment.com is the same team that won fame last year after airing video of workers at the community group ACORN, posing as agents of advice to a prostitute and her boyfriend.
In reaction to the video on Monday, the USDA asked Sherrod to resign and the NAACP issued a statement repudiating his comments, which were made at a local event of the NAACP. Sherrod then aired the media on Tuesday, saying he was unjustly attacked and that the totality of his remarks, delivered in March in Georgia, it is not racism, but part of a larger story about racial reconciliation and learning from their mistakes.
People who knew Sherrod rushed to defend, including the white farmer’s wife she discussed in the speech.
“I probably would not have (the farm) today if it were not for us in the right direction,” said Eloise Spooner of Iron City, Georgia “I wish she could get his job back because it was good to us, you I say. ”
Both the NAACP and the USDA pulled back on their criticism after details of his speech and watch the full video, the NAACP published on its website last week.
Vilsack called the Rev. Jackson on the case, and said the minister has not yet made a decision when he spoke Tuesday.
Jackson said the case is still “most serious” that the controversy last year by the arrest of a black Harvard student away from home. In this case, Obama sat in the White House to discuss beer with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who said it was racial profiling, and the white officer Sgt. James Crowley, who arrested him.
“With each passing hour this case becomes more intense, and as the president moved quickly in the case of Gates-Crowley, who should move quickly in this case,” said Jackson. “The politics of fear can not overwhelm the politics of truth, and she has the truth on their side.”
In the clip posted on BigGovernment.com, Sherrod described the first time a white farmer approached her for help. It was 1986, and worked for a nonprofit group of agricultural support in rural areas. He said the farmer came as a “superior” to her and debated how much help to give.
“I was struggling with the fact that for many black people had lost their agricultural land, and here I came to help a white person save their land,” said Sherrod.
Initially, he said, “I did not give the full force of what he could do,” she was only given enough help to maintain appropriate progress. Finally, he said, his situation “opened my eyes” that whites were fighting like black people, and helping farmers was less about race, but was “of the poor against those.”
In the full video of 43 minutes, Sherrod tells the story of the death of his father in 1965, saying he was murdered by white men who were never charged. She says she is committed to staying in the South the night of the death of his father, despite the dreams we always had to leave his rural village.
“When I made that commitment I was making that commitment to black people and black people only,” he said. “But you know that God will show you things and will put things in your path so that you realize that the struggle is really poor people.”
Sherrod said the authorities were not interested in hearing his explanation, when asked to resign. She said she was on the road Monday when USDA Deputy Under Secretary Cheryl Cook called and told him to stop and submit his resignation on your BlackBerry because the White House wanted her to be.
“It hurts me that did not even attempt to try to see what is going on here, did not care,” said Sherrod. “I’m not racist. … Anyone who knows me knows I am in favor of equity.”
Sherrod appeared on “Good Morning America on ABC, CNN and NBC’s Today” show.
Full video released by the NAACP: http://www.naacp.org/news/entry/video_sherrod
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