Shirley Sherrod Was At USDA In 2009

March 7, 2012 by staff 

Shirley Sherrod Was At USDA In 2009, Shirley Sherrod says that she was forced to resign from her position at the USDA after her comments were taken out of context. The NAACP has retracted its initial statement condemning those comments and says they were “snookered.” They are calling for the administration to reconsider Sherrod’s ouster.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the woman Sherrod allegedly discriminated against considers Sherrod a “friend for life” and insists that she worked tirelessly to save her family’s farm.

82-year-old Eloise Spooner says Sherrod “kept us out of bankruptcy.”

“Her husband told her, ‘You’re spending more time with the Spooners than you are with me,’ “Spooner told the AJC. “She took probably two or three trips with us to Albany just to help us out.”
Sherrod also told the AJC that the incident took place 24 years ago, and that she told the story in order to emphasize the need to move beyond race. “The story helped me realize that race is not the issue, it’s about the people who have and the people who don’t,” she said.

Shirley Sherrod, a USDA official in Georgia, has resigned after publicly admitting that race played a factor in her decision to limit how much aid would be given to a white farmer.

Sherrod, who is African American, made the comments during a local NAACP banquet on March 27, according to information displayed on the video. A clip of her speech first appeared Monday morning on and aired that evening on Fox News.

Her resignation as the agency’s state director of rural development was quickly accepted by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. He cited a zero-tolerance policy and told CNN that he was working to “reverse the checkered civil rights history at the department.”

In her controversial speech, Sherrod discussed the first time she was “faced with having to help a white farmer save his farm.” She claimed that during the conversation, the man “was trying to show me he was superior to me.”

“I was struggling with the fact that so many black people had lost their farmland,” Sherrod told the crowd. “And here I was faced with having to help a white person save their land.”

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