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USDA Official Out Over Racist Comments

[Please scroll down for an update to this story.]

From the Atlanta Fox affiliate, Fox 5:


Ga. USDA Official Resigns Over Comments

By: GEORGE FRANCO/myfoxatlanta

Monday, 19 Jul 2010

ATLANTA – Racially charged comments have led to the abrupt resignation of an agriculture department official.

Shirley Sherrod was the top official who oversaw rural development in the state of Georgia. According to FOX News, Sherrod, the director of the USDA’s rural development agency, resigned over comments she made at an NAACP meeting.

FOX News obtained taped comments from an NAACP meeting that took place in Douglas, Georgia in March.

According to FOX News, Sherrod is seen talking about how she withheld help to a white farmer who was facing bankruptcy.

"I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do, I did enough," Sherrod said during the meeting.

In the video, Sherrod said she was struggling with the fact so many black people have lost their farmland and she was faced with having to help a white person save their land. Sherrod said she took him to see a white lawyer.

"I figured if I took him to one of them his own kind, [they] would take care of him," said Sherrod.

According to FOX News, the agriculture department announced Monday that Sherrod had resigned.

Undoubtedly, with full pension and other benefits.

"There is zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA, and I strongly condemn any act of discrimination against any person," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a written statement. "We have been working hard through the past 18 months to reverse the checkered civil rights history at the department and take the issue of fairness and equality very seriously."

Notice that Mr. Vilsack, who personally appointed Ms. Sherrod, cannot refrain from blaming the Bush administration. Again, this would seem to be a requirement of any Obama administration official whenever they pronounce on any subject.

As for the video clip, we too noticed it posted on YouTube a couple of days ago. But to be perfectly honest, as an example of the NAACP’s hypocrisy about racism, it pales in comparison to the NAACP having Reverend Wright as a keynote speaker mere weeks after his racist views had finally been exposed on a national level.

Moreover, the point of Ms. Sherrod’s anecdote was not quite clear. We sensed that she was actually trying to say that her racist reaction had been misguided. She says in the end of the clip:

“That’s when it was revealed to me that it’s about poor versus those who have. It’s not so much about white… it is about white and black. But it’s not, you know… It opened my eyes.”

Of course, none of this mitigates Ms. Sherrod’s original, obviously race-based, actions. Or, rather, inactions.

Still, if you are looking for examples of the NAACP’s rampant racism, you can do a lot better – starting with Mr. Wright’s bizarre opinings at their 53rd annual ‘Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner,’ back in April 2008.

  Update!

From an understanding Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Resigned USDA official says racial story misconstrued

By Marcus K. Garner

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The USDA’s rural development director for Georgia says she was forced out of her federally appointed job after a "snippet" of a speech she gave in March appeared to show her admission to only half-heartedly aiding a struggling white farmer because of his race.

But in a phone interview from her home in Albany early Tuesday morning, Shirley Sherrod told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution that the video posted online Monday by biggovernment.com and reported on by FoxNews.com and the AJC completely misconstrued the message she was trying to convey.

Sherrod, 62, insisted her statements in the video were not racist.

"For Fox to take a spin on this like they have done, and know it’s not the truth … it’s very upsetting," she said

Sherrod said what online viewers weren’t told in reports posted throughout the day Monday was that the tale she told at the banquet happened 24 years ago — before she got the USDA job — when she worked with the Georgia field office for the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund.

Sherrod said the short video clip excluded the breadth of the story about how she eventually worked with the man over a two-year period to help ward off foreclosure of his farm, and how she eventually became friends with him and his wife.

"And I went on to work with many more white farmers," she said. "The story helped me realize that race is not the issue, it’s about the people who have and the people who don’t. When I speak to groups, I try to speak about getting beyond the issue of race."

Sherrod said the farmer, Roger Spooner of Iron City, Ga., has since died

How convenient. Meanwhile, you can bet that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is desperately trying to track down his wife. (Just kidding.)

[I]n a statement released to Fox News, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Sherrod’s resignation.

"There is zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA, and I strongly condemn any act of discrimination against any person," Vilsack said in the statement.

If Ms. Sherrod’s statement recounted an incident from back when she was working for the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund, which is a 501c3 “charity,” it’s hard to see how Mr. Vilsack can justify her firing.

Perhaps the next time we hear from Ms. Sherrod she will be announcing a lawsuit for wrongful termination.

An AJC reporter called Sherrod’s Albany home Monday evening but was unable to contact her until she reached out shortly after midnight.

"They were just looking at what the Tea Party and what Fox said, and thought it was too (politically) dangerous for them," she said of the agriculture department

What does the Tea Party have to do with this, exactly?

Sherrod, 62, was appointed to her position in by Obama’s administration in July 2009 to manage more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs, and more than $114 billion in federal loans.

The AJC is trying to recover the full video footage of Sherrod’s speech to the Douglas NAACP.

That’s real journalism.

She said the circumstances made it absurd for her to have made any racist comment.

"There were some white people there. The mayor (of Douglas) was there," Sherrod recalled. "Why would I do something racist if they were there?"

Hilarious. But sad, too.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, July 20th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

29 Responses to “USDA Official Out Over Racist Comments”

  1. canary

    Racist’ NAACP Member Shirley Sherrod Resigns After Making Bigoted Remarks Against White Farmers

    a video has surfaced showing an Agriculture Department official regaling an NAACP audience with a story about how she withheld help to a white farmer facing bankruptcy — video that now has forced the official to resign.

    Shirley Sherrod, the department’s Georgia director of Rural Development, is shown in the clip describing “the first time I was faced with having to help a white farmer save his farm.” Sherrod, who is black, claimed the farmer took a long time trying to show he was “superior” to her. The audience laughed as she described how she determined his fate.

    “He had to come to me for help. What he didn’t know while he was taking all that time trying to show me he was superior to me was I was trying to decide just how much help I was going to give him,” she said. “I was struggling with the fact that so many black people have lost their farmland and here I was faced with having to help a white person save their land — so I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do. I did enough.”

    The Agriculture Department announced Monday, shortly after FoxNews.com published its initial report on the video, that Sherrod had resigned.

    “There is zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA, and I strongly condemn any act of discrimination against any person,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a written statement. “We have been working hard through the past 18 months to reverse the checkered civil rights history at the department and take the issue of fairness and equality very seriously.

    07/19/2010

    http://www.politikditto.com/20.....errod.html

    Shirley has a degree in Sociology
    Shirley served for “Southern Rural Black Women’s
    Initiative for Economic and “Social Justice.
    NAACP member.

  2. Rusty Shackleford

    “Notice that Mr. Vilsack, who personally appointed Ms. Sherrod, cannot refrain from blaming the Bush administration. Again, this would seem to be a requirement of any Obama administration official whenever they pronounce on any subject.”

    After reading “The Ruling Class”, the codespeak from the left has been clarified. All those who desire/need anything from this regime have to speak the rhetoric that appeals to the Washington, uh, “leaders”.

    However, there is a limit. Not that will get anyone harmed in their clique, but will have them removed from the public eye. But well-taken-care-of just the same. Reward for carrying the water of the ruling class and being part of it all.

    This is little different from the cronyism that has plagued mankind since the dawn of time. Those who are “in” vs those who are “out” and I find it remarkable that those who are black, who supposedly are familiar (they say) with some level of ostracizing cannot see themselves for the cronies/lackeys/toadies they are when they are.

    I despise despotism in all its forms but right alongside of it, I despise cronyism. The enablers, the butt-kissers, the yes-people. It’s disgusting. Perhaps it’s human nature but I don’t recall ever succumbing to it, in fact, it cost me dearly in the military for not “going along to get along”. I was not part of the “in” group in the military, either. Nor in high school and thus, learned to think individually early and effectively.

    But Rush was right, as was the article: People desperately want to belong. They never really do “leave high school”.

    Pathetic.

  3. ..claimed the farmer took a long time trying to show he was “superior” to her.
    I wonder what this evil white man did to try to show Ms. Sherrod that he was “superior”. Maybe he was clean, dressed well, and spoke proper English without a cracker dialect? Maybe he didn’t judge her for the color of her skin? The bastard!

    I also wonder why she resigned. She is obviously in lock step with the Obama regime and the Holder Justice Department. Maybe she can get a gig with the new black panthers killing cracker baby farmers before they can grow up “superior”, while collecting full retirement benefits generated by tax money.

    • mlrm

      The farmer’s wife, in discussing that comment. grinned and laughed and said that was just his way. Cone on, this is really about percieved sexism as much as racism. And the Farmer, his wife, and Ms. Sherrod all grew, learned and became better happier people by their association.
      Now that’s what life should be about.

  4. proreason

    I’m struck by Ms Sherrod’s use of “I”. She actually imagines that her power somehow is generated by her own self…it’s “the full force of what I could do”, not “the full force of the government”. She must use “I” or “me” 10 times a minute. She attributes nothing to her position, but everything to herself

    The fact is that she was appointed to a position where she had some power over other people’s lives. It has nothing to do with her. Listen to her. In private business, her highest level of achievement would be supervising grocery checkers, if that. Speech capability reveals a lot. She is not a highly capable person.

    I disagree with Steve a bit on this. Ms Sherrod is profoundly racist. The comparison to Rev Wright is of course true….but Wright and the other natinal race baiters are essentially cartoon racists. This lady isn’t as clever as the reverends and isn’t capable of the virulent speech that they are, but when you hear “I took him to his own kind” repeated multiple times, it’s clear that racism is a dominant factor in the lady’s life.

  5. NoNeoCommies

    The real story here is that the racist NAACP absolutely knew what kind of person Sherrod was and still did nothing about it until they noticed they had painted themselves into a corner by calling the Tea Party racist.

  6. Reality Bytes

    Does this mean there are Typical Black People after all?

    An Oldie but Goodie from our feckless leader:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch#!.....re=related

  7. TerryAnne

    I feel the same way about how she uses the term “white people” in her statements published in the article (the updated article). She makes it clear that there is a difference and that she feels that whites are inferior to her.

    *edit* – somehow this was supposed to be in response to pro’s above comment but yet it landed down here. Operator error…

  8. wardmama4

    It’s on CNN now that Ms Sherrod says that ‘members’ of the Administration ‘harassed’ her and demanded she resign. She claims that the ‘members’ were worried she would be on Glenn Beck tonight. (Glenn, always the gentleman – offered to let her come onto the show – so that indeed she would be on Glenn Beck tonight – double entendre noted)

    http://tinyurl.com/29sfqr7

    • BannedbytheTaliban

      Typical democrat, everyone is to blame but her. I was miss-quoted…its on tape you say…you didn’t listen to the whole tape…it still is racist you say…you took the meaning out of context…there is no context that could explain it away you say…well I’m not really a racist, you should believe what I’m telling you now and not what I said in what I assumed was confidence…that makes me a liar you say…George Bush made me do it.

  9. Liberals Demise

    I’ll bet she has Vilsacks’ position by next week if dingleBarry has anything to do with it.

  10. mlrm

    Please correct your facts.
    The original web posting specifically stated that the discrimination against the white farmer was done while Ms. Sherrod was an Obama appointed USDA official.
    When the NAACP audience members are responding to her comments in a manner similar to those amening at a traditional black service, they already knew that Ms. Sherrod had had the Lord open her eyes. They knew that she was struggling with her own limitations and they knew she would conquer them.
    The best thing is that now we can all celebrate Ms. Sherrod for what she is: a true American heroine and an example to our youth to struggle and perservere to find truth and do right.

    • Steve

      “The original web posting specifically stated that the discrimination against the white farmer was done while Ms. Sherrod was an Obama appointed USDA official.”

      I’m not sure what original web posting you are talking about. I have not seen the Breitbart post.

      “The best thing is that now we can all celebrate Ms. Sherrod for what she is: a true American heroine and an example to our youth to struggle and perservere to find truth and do right.”

      I will point out that we were the first to note that Ms. Sherrod was speaking about a conversion.

      But as we have noted above and elsewhere, it’s a conversion from racism to class warfare.

    • proreason

      mirm: can I check with “my kind” before agreeing that Ms Sherrod is a true American heroine rather than someone “proving she is superior to me”, or have you racists forbidden that now.

    • tranquil.night

      “When the NAACP audience members are responding to her comments in a manner similar to those amening at a traditional black service”

      I’m sorry but I just can’t let this strawman go unplucked. Firstly I’d like to comment that you don’t seem like you’d know the first thing about a traditional black service because you write like a twenty-something white Daddy’s girl or traditional Liberal male. But this is like saying that not only did Barack Obama disagree with the disgusting rants of his pastor of 20 years’ but he just straight up didn’t hear them. It’s just complete farce.

      The crowd was clearly reacting favorably to her story without expectation of clarification or redemption. The audience’s enthusiasm even trips up and moderates said ‘clarfication’ in the second video: “It’s not so much about white… it is about white and black. But it’s not, you know… It opened my eyes.”

      As Steve said, from racism to class warfare. Is she not saying to the NAACP here “Hey – don’t publicly hate whitey but instead fight the white power system by advocating ‘social justice and equality’. It isn’t about race, but it still is!” – which all is just ruling class lingo for support our President and the Democrats. The irony is this got her thrown under the bus! The NAACP had the full tape – it was their event – and condemned her too!

      But that’s a different comedy. Point is here is that individuals like Shirley Sherrod, those at the NAACP and I suspect you mlrm do believe blacks are discriminated against just a whole hell of a bunch every damn day everywhere. ‘Chelle Obama outlined this in great detail when she gave the keynote at the same NAACP conference that resolved to condemn and smear a grassroots movement with unsubstantiated charges for political reasons.

      I know, I know: “How about a little context?” Well here’s some: who fired Ms. Sherrod before any major broadcast news outlet (yes Fox included gosh darnit) even picked up the story?

      Another context question: As an official representative of the US Government and all the people you work with and for – why tell such a volatile story to such a volatile group? If the interest and intentions in speaking at this venue were indeed legitimate, it sounded like Ms. Sherrod has quite a tragic if not inspiring tale to tell when done correctly. Why then such a radical example to express such an innocent point?

      “a true American heroine and an example to our youth to struggle and perservere to find truth and do right.”

      A line straight from the Democrat underground. See, personally I can’t stand that we’ve been trying to pin the racism tag back on you at the Left. Not because it is inaccurate but because the race card is only one in a grander sinful deck you use for much more insidious and deceitful ambitions.

      It won’t stand here. Get out of our house.

  11. mlrm

    Dear Steve:
    Ms. Sherrod is not a class warrier. She is a women devoted to helping rural farmers keep their family farm. Since when is helping small family farmers keep the land that their families have farmed, sometimes for generations, “class warfare”?
    The farmer’s brothers all lost their family farms.
    Ms. Sherrod is literally part of the American heartland.
    Let’s try to celebrate good, not look for deviciveness.

    • proreason

      mirm, let’s try celebrating the good right now by repudiating the NAACP’s claim that Tea Partiers are racist, even though the Black Caucus members’ strident efforts to cause a racial incident on the mall not only failed, but their lies about it have also failed..

      That would be a great start, don’t you agree? From the heartland, we await your ackowledgement of this indisputable truth.

  12. mlrm

    Dear Pro reason:
    Yes of course, you are free to consult with anyone you want in helping you form your opinion. I don’t know who “your kind” are. My kind are people who search for truth in a complex and confusing world.

    • proreason

      Then perhaps you should consider Ms Sherrod’s multiple usage of “his kind” in reference to the white farmer, and her multiple claims that she somehow knew that he was attempting to prove he “was superior to her”.

      “my kind” doesn’t use language like that or imply racist intent to other people. That’s the language and mind-reading that racists use.

  13. mlrm

    Dear Pro reason:
    Ms. Sherrod was talking about how she felt 25 years ago. Her fsather had been murdered by a KKK racist and she had vowed to God on the night of his murder that, instead of escaping the deep south, and the risk of death, she would fight for justice for her people. Her success in bringing justice to “her people” brought a poor white farmer to her. She believed that “his kind” would help him. But as his struggles continued she saw him not as a white man and his white women, but only as people struggling to make it in a difficult world. She realised that her misconceptions about race were just that. She credits God with her enlightenment that race was not the criteria by which to judge people.
    I think it is a beautiful story that all Americans should celebrate. I do.

    • proreason

      Well she has good cause to be a racist if that is true, doesn’t she?

      But personally, I’m not confortable celebrating racists for any reason, nor con artists who have scammed millions of tax dollars.

      But that’s just me. Obviously, many people admire the criminal in the White House, a many who hasn’t had a close associate in his life other than racists, America-haters, communists and radicals. I guess if people are capable of ignoring that, they are capable of ignoring Ms Sherrod’s obvious racism and the fact that she is a scam artist.

  14. proreason

    But hey, let’s pretend that the lady is not a racist and not a con artist who has squeezed millions out of the government by abusing the position of authority she didn’t earn.

    Let’s pretend that she is, instead, an innocent person like George Allen, a good man and a patriot who once, ONE TIME in his life used the word macaca, a word that nobody, probably not even Mr. Allen knew the meaning of, and a word he clearly intended as an light-hearted and affectionate joke.

    So, based on that comparison, Ms Sherrod will appear 111 times on the front page of the Washington Post as a racist of the worst kind, and be deprived of an office and a livelihood that he worked 50 years to achieve.

    That would be fair, wouldn’t it?

    • mlrm

      I am only looking at Ms. Sherrod.
      Let’s pretend nothing but only deal with verifiable facts. But what the voter rejection of Allen has to do with Ms. Sherrod puzzles me. What you and he think was a light hearted joke was not found to be such by the voters.
      BUT, you are right. Ms. Sherrod should lose her job, do a Palin, write a book, go on the lecture circuit and be on the cover of magazines spewing her far out dogma of God given racial redemption.
      I’m glad we, in our hearts, can at least agree on that.

    • Liberals Demise

      Watch out pro…..they are starting to fall on their swords and you might get cut in the fall.

    • proreason

      I wasn’t going to waste any more time with this but can’t resist pointing out that anybody who thinks that Wapro’s smear against George Allen was not malicious, and the the voters were able to make a fair assessment in the teeth of 111 hit pieces over nothing, is hardly a rational observor.

      It’s ok for that to happen, but not ok to play a clip of a person making obvious racist remarks. Ms Sherrod is a minor league racist compared to the Reverend Wright’s and Obamy’s of the world, but she is certainly more of a racist, and far less truthful, than George Allen.

      But it’s not enough just to argue that the incident is old and perhaps not indicative of her feelings today (which we don’t really know). Oh no, that’s not enough. We have to “celebrate” her life. A racist and a scam artist. We have to celebrate that.

      But hey, these are the kind of people who voted a communist, racist criminal into the highest office in the land. Ms Sherrod’s crimes are mild compared to that.

  15. mlrm

    Luckily I have no swords so when I fall down I get up again.
    In the words of the great Adam Ant: “They’re never going to keep me down.”

    • Liberals Demise

      Isn’t he in a straight jacket locked up in a rubber room?
      He’s a full blown nut!!

  16. proreason

    Looks like the Media Matters troll has given up.

    It’s good to know that Soros is still hiring. Even money paid to low-level obamabots is fuel for the economy. A restaurant somewhere will have another customer today.

  17. CanuckCrusader

    So when does the USDA give Earl Butz a posthumous apology?




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