This morning, we broke video of a USDA official, Shirley Sherrod, recounting for attendees at an NAACP awards dinner how she withheld help from a white farmer seeking the agency’s help in saving his farm.
Fox News is reporting that Ms. Sherrod has resigned. From Fox:
“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.
Sherrod explained in the video that, at the time, she assumed the state or national Department of Agriculture had referred the white farmer to her. In order to ensure that the farmer could report back that she was indeed helpful, she said she took him to see “one of his own” — a white lawyer.
“I figured that if I take him to one of them, that his own kind would take care of him,” she said.
The video clip was first posted by BigGovernment.com. The clip is dated March 27 from an NAACP Freedom Fund banquet.
So, the USDA has issued a statement. We’re still waiting to hear from the NAACP.
Presumably, they will denounce the racism in the video has strongly as the Obama Administration has.
Ex-USDA official insists she was told White House wanted her to quit
(CNN) — While officials say the White House didn’t ask for Shirley Sherrod’s resignation, the former black Agriculture Department employee insisted Tuesday that the push for her to step down came from the Obama administration.
But Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said he asked her to resign without interacting with the White House.
“When I saw the statements and the context of the statements, I determined that it would make it difficult for her to do her job as a rural development director, and compromise our capacity to close the chapter on civil rights cases, I didn’t want anything to jeopardize her job in terms of getting the job done and getting people to work in Georgia,” Vilsack said.
“I made this decision, it’s my decision. Nobody from the White House contacted me about this at all.”
Sherrod stepped down Monday as the department’s director of rural development for Georgia after conservative media outlets aired a video in which she said 24 years ago she shirked from helping a white farmer avoid foreclosure because of his race.
An official from the White House confirmed Vilsack’s statement that it didn’t influence USDA or Sherrod in the controversy.
“It was the secretary’s decision, as he has said,” the official told CNN.
Sherrod said on CNN’s “Rick’s List” that she was told differently