July 20th, 2010
07:50 AM ET
11 years ago

USDA employee resigns over statements about white farmer

Washington (CNN) - A video clip showing an African-American woman who later became an Agriculture Department employee seeming to say she had not done her utmost to help a white farmer save his farm was taken out of context, she said Tuesday, and fails to include the point of her story - that people need to move beyond race.

Shirley Sherrod, the department's state director of rural development for Georgia, resigned Monday after conservative media outlets aired the video, in which she says she did not give the white farmer "the full force of what I could do" to help him avoid foreclosure.

"I was speaking to that group, like I've done many groups, and I tell them about a time when I thought the issue was race and race only," Sherrod told CNN's "American Morning" from her home in Albany, Georgia. The incident took place in 1986, before she worked for the USDA, she said. "I was telling the story of how working with him helped me to see the issue is not about race. It's about those who have versus those who do not have."

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Filed under: Agriculture Department • Shirley Sherrod • USDA
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. slipthalo

    I'm not saying what she did was right but this incident happened 24 years ago and faux noise and their cohorts are making so much about it now? The race issue in this country was far worse in 1986 than it is now – doesn't mean it's the best today but far better than back then. They're doing all they can to promote racism on faux as their listeners love to hear it.

    July 20, 2010 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  2. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    It is so unlike Fox news to go after a minority. (NOT!) This is what is to be expected when the foreign billionaire who owns Fox media wants to bring America down.

    July 20, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  3. Al-NY,NY

    what a dummy. Glad she resigned

    July 20, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  4. Cbass

    She should sue Fox news for defamation if her words were taken out of context. She needs to take action because it is the only way we are going to get truth back into our journalism.

    July 20, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  5. The Other Dale

    It's funny how Conservatives do outlandish, horrifying things openly in public (why, hello, Tea Party!), yet the Conservative Media has to edit, redub and flat-out lie in order to "catch" Liberals doing something wrong. Some day people are going wake up to all this. Unfortunately it won't occur until Conservatives nearly destroy America in the pursuit of lining their pockets.

    July 20, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  6. Mack K-FL

    what I heard that lady say was that the farmer personally insulted her so she just decided not to do all she could for him.I did not hear, "you're white so I'm not helping you." All the recent hysteria and witch hunts over race are producing a landscape where people look for accusations about race in contexts where it's not the central issue.

    July 20, 2010 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  7. Angus McDugan

    When will ALL Americans throw away excuses and stand on their own? I see some people in every group in American propping up on the crutch of blaming anyone else but themselves. How can you ever expect to better yourself and stand on your own if you don't step up and take responsibility for their future.

    Excuses only satisfy yourself.

    July 20, 2010 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  8. Walsh

    Not surprising at all. I am surprised the NAACP did not endorse her since they do more race baiting and name calling than even Jesse Jackson. The NAACP is irrelevant now and a once proud and incredible organization during the days of MLK now creates more controversy and racial hatred than it helps diffuse.

    July 20, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  9. gt

    sorry .. a typical government worker .. they need to stop..another black on white racism....you were caught ,,,, so bad so sad your gone lady...

    July 20, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  10. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    It seems like some wheres down the line that comments would have a statute of limitations from changing times .

    July 20, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  11. Jamey

    Hmm sounds more like the state empowered a small minded person to pick winners and losers, im sure this happens everyday just might not be on race. That is exactly whats wrong with bureaucracy and social programs.

    July 20, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  12. Patrick

    The problem is why is only conservative media picking this up instead of all main stream media. There are a lot of people who don't watch conservative media who never would have known about this.

    July 20, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  13. LISA

    Sherrod just showed adittude. Like an angry women. SHe is wrong. This is reverse racism.

    July 20, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  14. Pat F

    "Racial" remarks?? If she'd been white, saying this about a black farmer, not only would her remarks have been characterized as racist, not only would she be unemployed, she'd be facing Federal charges from Holder's Justice Department.

    But Holder's Justice Department does not "give the full force of what it can do" for anyone but Black Americans. I guess the only difference is that our Attorney-General is not quite dumb enough to say this in front of an open mike.

    July 20, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  15. Jerry

    The speech was from a couple of months ago, not eight years. Get the facts straight on this racist.

    July 20, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  16. Bob in PA

    Point or no point, if she failed to go beyond race in a public service position, she simply needs to go. By the way, I hear there is a great job opportunity for a lawyer in Georgia.

    July 20, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. billy

    just like racists everywhere excuses and justifications.

    CNN< If you do not challenge racism in ALL forms, what does that make you?

    July 20, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  18. New Age Independant

    Having watched the video and listening to her entire speech it's very apparent that she is incredibly racist. Keeps referring to the farmer as "white" and sending him to "his own kind", "took him to one of his own". She should have been fired. Those statements were not out of context. Her actions were disgraceful as were those who were applauding her actions and laughing.

    July 20, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  19. Liberals are poison

    The "fly on the wall" videos of Shirley Sherrod, Rev. Wright,
    Van Jones, NAACP, the New Black Panther Party and the rest of these race baiting hustlers have set back race relations decades. It's not only what this lady said, but the positive and joyful reaction by the audience. Blaming and finger pointing can only go so far when you sit around and not do anything positive to improve yourself or your family's
    situation. The world owes you nothing, grow up.

    July 20, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  20. David in Houston

    I dare each and every one of you to view this clip in its entirety...

    This is a non-story.

    Just another right-winger trying to set off a new racial controversy by taking a 10 second clip and using it out of context to set off an attack.

    It is utterly ridiculous the lengths which these clowns will go.

    July 20, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  21. Bob

    It should be clear to all that racism is not just one-sided. The hatred of another human based on skin color, gender or faith is racism. As the human race, we need to get beyond this hatred of others and focus on working together. Hate breeds hate and unfortunately, this woman's actions continued the vicious circle. I hope she has a change of heart moving forward.

    July 20, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |