USDA rethinking official's removal in race controversy


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today he is further reviewing the case of Shirley Sherrod, who resigned under pressure Monday as part of a growing racial controversy. The conservative website, run by Andrew Breitbart, on Monday posted an edited video of Sherrod, who is black, telling a story about a 1986 incident where she didn’t help a white farmer as much as she could have. But the full video shows Sherrod’s story was meant to illustrate the importance of moving beyond race. In it, she describes how she first steered the white farmer to a white lawyer who could help him, and later on, further helped out the farmer when he was facing bankruptcy.

Breitbart has a history of hyping inflammatory videos that later turn out to be highly edited and slanted. Now Sherrod has been caught in the middle of Breitbart’s grudge against the NAACP. The NAACP, meanwhile, has retracted its earlier condemnation of Sherrod and said it was “snookered” by the edited video.

As for Sherrod, she’s not sure she would come back to USDA even if Vilsack’s review exonerates her.

After the jump, Sherrod’s full remarks (she starts talking about the white farmer about 17 minutes in), and Breitbart’s widely shifting response to criticism yesterday.





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