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President Obama calls Shirley Sherrod

By Ed O'Keefe

Updated 4:07 p.m. ET
President Obama has expressed his "regret" to former U.S. Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod over her ouster, the White House said Thursday.

The president reached Sherrod around 12:35 p.m. ET and "emphasized that Secretary Vilsack was sincere in his apology yesterday, and in his work to rid USDA of discrimination," the White House said Thursday.

"The President told Ms. Sherrod that this misfortune can present an opportunity for her to continue her hard work on behalf of those in need, and he hopes that she will do so," the statement said.

Obama spoke with Sherrod from his private office on Thursday after twice trying unsuccessfully to reach her on Wednesday evening, according to a White House aide. Staffers tried to reach her again this morning and Obama spoke with her when she returned the call, the aide said.

Sherrod did not indicate to Obama whether she plans to rejoin the government, according to the aide. She received a written offer from USDA at 8 a.m. Thursday, according to a department spokeswoman.

But Sherrod expressed reluctance to rejoin the Obama administration earlier Thursday during a series of television interviews.

"I'd like to talk to him about the experiences of people like me, people at the grassroots level, people who live out here in rural America people, who live in the South. I know he does not have that kind of experience," Sherrod told NBC's Today Show.

“We love him, we want him to be successful, because we feel he thinks in some ways like we do, and we think that’s good for the country," she said later. "Yes, there are issues out there that we are faced with, issues of poverty. The other thing, I want everything to reflect, I want a good reflection for him as the first black president."

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack offered Sherrod a position dealing with civil rights and outreach, but she doubted she would take the job.

"I would not be that individual that the department, everyone is looking to to solve the issue of racism in USDA. It takes a lot more to get that job done," she said, noting that other USDA officials have not lost their jobs for discriminating against minority or women farmers.

Sherrod also told CNN's "American Morning" that said she would like to "get back at" Andrew Breitbart, the right-wing blogger whose posting of the video snippet triggered the political storm that led to her ouster. Asked whether she would like to see Breitbart's Web site shut down, Sherrod replied: "That would be a great thing...he's doing more to divide us."

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

QUESTION: If you're a federal government employee, has the USDA's handling of Shirley Sherrod reaffirmed your confidence that you can be heard by managers in this administration? Or has it made you feel less secure and more careful about what you might do or say? E-mail your answer to federaleye@washingtonpost.com and include your full name, home town and the agency for which you work. We might include your response in Friday's Washington Post.

By Ed O'Keefe  | July 22, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Administration  
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Comments

Here we go - the racist from the Dept. of Agriculture wants Obama to puclicly promise to help Black Farmers......as we already know, she (and Obama) could care less about the farmers that aren't black. Watching the tape of her speech at the NAACP where the crowd was clapping and laughing while she described how she dumped on the White farmer (at her own admission) makes it clear what Obama's real goal is and the name Josef Mugabe comes to mind.

Posted by: Realist201 | July 22, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

She still just doesn't get it. Not only did she bring all this on herself by her racist comments about "his own kind," now she refers to "people of color." Should we again call blacks colored and wouldn't that be condemned as racist? Furthermore, everybody is a person of color (yes, white is a color) unless you want to get technical since black is the absence of color!

If Shirley Sherrod does meet with the president usurper, let her ask him about his Kenyan birth certificate.

Posted by: davidbenariel | July 22, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

It will be good for this nice lady to take her new position. At least to show her support to President Obama. This will help our community to avoid other charges from the right wing (Breitbart) who thought he was bringing race to destroy the relation between blacks and whites. His website should be shut. You are not a Racist, but a hard working black woman. Make a good decision, and accept your new position at USDA.

Posted by: jmhendje | July 22, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

I think that she should sue Brietbart, Fox, and Vilsak so that others will learn from her experience.

Posted by: red27 | July 22, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Realist201: "as we already know, she (and Obama) could care less about the farmers that aren't black."

And that's why she kept in touch with a white farmer, monitored his situation, and when things weren't going well she personally stepped in and helped that white farmer keep his farm, right? All over a period of several years, and she still maintains a personal friendship with the farmer and his wife.

Right? *That* kind of not caring for white farmers?

Posted by: hitpoints | July 22, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Ms Sherrod tells it like it is. The USDA has harboured overtly racist field agents for decades. They should have been disciplined and/or fired. The crime of preferential treatment shown the majority (Caucasian) must be redressed and that is why there are programs like affirmative action.

It is not reverse discrimination, it is the necessary correction of mistakes made. Ms Sherrod is not espousing reverse discrimination, she is supporting equal justice under the law.

Equal justice under the law.

To confuse and distort this truth is to support bigotry and prejudice with the express purpose of denying the legal rights of fellow American citizens. It is reprehensible and racist.

Posted by: right_as_rain | July 22, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Judging from the bizzare comments heretofore, it sounds like some people did not bother viewing the entire speech by Mrs. Sherrod. The racism that some people still cling to was part of a narrative on what her attitude was 24 years ago. She also goes on to say that she came to understand that injustice was not a race issue but a class issue that involved poor whites, blacks, hispanics, everyone. She used this personal narrative as Jesus used parables to teach. Mrs. Sherrod wanted people to learn that they, like she, can overcome their prejudices. The nods and grunts that were heard earlier in her talk are ways that some people express their understanding of what she was relating to them. It is just like saying "yeah, I know where you are coming from" with a nod; it doesn't necessarily mean that they approve of her past attitude. The late Sen. Byrd was a member of the Klan in his youth, but just as with Mrs. Sherrod, he too overcame his racist attitudes and became one of the champions of the downtrodden in this country. The dialogue about race will continue as long as there is a need for it. Race relations in the US have improved since the 1960s but issues remain. To cease discussion about race is a futile attempt to deny the existence of a problem, and instead, allow it to fester.

Posted by: adelef_2000 | July 22, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I found Sherrod to be refreshingly honest about how she initially thought (do enough), then retracting it saying the poor should be helped. All people will take the extra step to help their own kind. A perfect union is when the extra step is taken for everybody, until then we must require people to do enough and call on the carpet those that incite prejudice. It is not only race but gender, religion, ethnicity, political view, etc. that are attacked. Wake up America, your being played while the rich lower the American dream taking more of your end. Some old advice should be taken.

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."
- Abraham Lincoln

Posted by: jameschirico | July 22, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Friends, the fact that Ms. Sherrod says she wants to be sure the Obama administration is fully committed to fighting against discrimination for the black farmers--is a racist statement in itself. There should be NO discrimination against ANY farmers, black, white, red, yellow, man or woman, etc. The fact that the Department of Ag is still trying to rid discrimination from its workforce in this day and age is appalling. Also, I support Mr. Breitbart's RIGHT to have his website--remember free speech? He stated last night in a news interview that his reason for posting the clip was so that viewers could see the blacks in the audience agreeing with Ms. Sherrod when she said she didn't give the white farmer the full help of the power she could wield. His point is well taken--the audience liked the fact that Ms. Sherrod admitted that she discriminated against a white farmer. Later in the clip, she gives the lesson of how she had to overcome her own racist beliefs. THAT is what we should ALL be working on--ridding ourselves of the baggage we carry regarding racist attitudes. Martin Luther King, may he RIP, said it best, "I have a dream" -- and whether blacks know it or not, most of us white Americans (I'm 12.5% minority) have the same dream the good Dr. King had--to be judged by the content of our character, individually, not because we appear to be "white" and people then stereotype us because of that. That's no different than what happens to blacks. This would have been quite a different country if Dr. King had lived, and if Senator Bobby Kennedy had lived. I mourn for them both.

Posted by: beadinglady | July 22, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Sherrod should turn down her new offer at the USDA, it is a demotion. To ask her to oversee racism in the USDA, is to make her a snitch and hated by her peers in the dept. This offer is an abomination and the White House must be tickled pink.

Posted by: edwardviggiano | July 22, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

She saw the hate in bigotry,chose to go to the human side.We will always have the dark side.In the form of clans,lodge member,corporation. Donation are made to whoever keeps the flame going. To keep the poor white,poor dark skin people from joining a voting block.Poor white are spook about blacks,he is going to take your underpaid job ,or wharever backbreaking job you have. Not all whites live off the fat of others.Only the dark side does. The media has become a carrier for the dark side,not just bigotry but a media station for a continues war in the middle east

Posted by: sunnyday1 | July 22, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

The story of our times has just occurred and it demonstrates the utter determination, passion, and commitment of leftists. It should be a warning to all and induce a recommitment of patriots standing for freedom.

The ends of leftist ideology is totalitarianism, strangling and coercive regulations on people and theft of their property - tyranny by any other name. Egalitarian ideologues (redistributionist, socialist) are Terminators (of freedom). And, though defeated in battles never die, morphing into alias (socialist, progressive, liberal, green etc). Nevertheless the philosophically based oppression contains the same prosperity killing, larcenous policies.

Here we have a committed leftist " yes it is about the poor, verses those that have," Sherrod says. She admits "it is about black and (read: vs.) white but" more about (class conflict).

Sherrod (subtle racism - "sent him to his own kind") was immediately thrown under the bus by the NAACP - without looking at the tape in their possession. And incredibly, thrown under the bus by the White House - instead of blaming the leftist White House who did the firing - she blames Fox News, who did not report the news story until after the firing.

Patriots need that kind of commitment.

Posted by: corneliusvansant | July 22, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Shirley certainly is making the talk show rounds isn't she? Poor black woman so mis understood. I'm sure George Bush had something to do with this travesty.

Posted by: theBozyn | July 22, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I see the Bigots are out in full force this morning, must fans of Fraud News, and the Scum Sucking Andrew Breitbart. You CLOWNS feel better about yourselves attacking Ms. Sherrod, real tough guys. Fox News and Breitbart are going pay dearly for LYING on this Lady, and I will one of many people happy to see that happen.

Posted by: austininc4 | July 22, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

beadinglady | July 22, 2010 8:59 AM: The First Amendment right to freedom of speech is not absolute. There is no right to slander someone's reputation. The US Supreme Court has ruled many times that the 1st Amendment won't shield you for slander or libel. Mr. Breitbart's careless and calous disregard for Mrs. Sherrod in his crusade to vindicate the Tea Party against the NAACP caused this woman and her family to suffer vicious indignities that even Sarah Palin has never experienced. There are many villans in this drama but the biggest are Breitbart and Fox.

Posted by: adelef_2000 | July 22, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I love the Teabaggers with no sense of nuance but a whole world of feeling victimized and bad for themselves all the time. EVERYBODY 1-2-3 WE ALL FEEL BAD FOR THE POOR WITTLE TEABAGGERS WHO GOTS THEIR WITTLE FEELING HURT!

I hope she goes after Breitbart with both barrels. He really needs a whooping.

Posted by: brandonesque | July 22, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

For those of you who still don't get it, please re-read the comment from "beadinglady". I couldn't have put it better.

Let's all work together to GET RID OF OUR DISCRIMINATORY BAGGAGE!!!

And if you don't believe you have baggage, but you still think Ms. Sherrod DOESN'T get it, then you need to challenge yourself to be more enlightened. Her comments reflect the model we all need to be able to practice. She overcame; so, so can we!!

By the way, I'm a 57 year old white man - if that makes a difference to any of the readers.

Posted by: MyOhMy2 | July 22, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: beadinglady | July 22, 2010 8:59 AM
He stated last night in a news interview that his reason for posting the clip was so that viewers could see the blacks in the audience agreeing with Ms. Sherrod when she said she didn't give the white farmer the full help of the power she could wield. His point is well taken--the audience liked the fact that Ms. Sherrod admitted that she discriminated against a white farmer.
======
The audience agreeing with her hunh? I challenge you to go back and listen to the beginning of the story. The point where she sets the tone by talking about how her father was killed 40-odd years ago. If you bothered to not throw out talking points or simply use standard logic, you would see that the audience responded to the story. Considering that they had an agenda, wouldn't the audience already know what her topic was?

Using your logic, the NAACP invited her there to talk about when she was a racist, the audience responded in kind to her racism, and I assume then booed her once she, in the mold of a speaker, brought the point home about where ALL alike? Did you miss the "amens" when she brought the point home? Do you now believe that the audience members are bipolar since they apparently agreed with both racist language as well as the help she gave to the white farmer?

And that's your logic? Really?

Posted by: dcis1 | July 22, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Free speech and free thought go out the window when Political Correctness and Pandering kick in. I'd like to know whose casual comment in the White House triggered the firing mess. And who decided to back-pedal at full speed. Reactive and ineffective, that's our government at work.

Posted by: Thinker1 | July 22, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

So many cynical and negative perspectives and criticisms. Obama's administration is the problem; NAACP is the problem; Teaparty is the problem...

People - WE are the problem; not "THEM!"

Posted by: MyOhMy2 | July 22, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Let's face it; the media will run with ANYTHING that foments controversy for ratings or eyeballs. Politics, entertainment, sports or just plain ordinary folks suddenly "newsworthy"--the media cares more about the business of media than public enlightenment or social progress. Sherrod is a victim of media greed and there are many more. When is mainstream media going to apologize to the heirs of Michael Jackson for its atrociously biased coverage of him for the last 20 years of his life?! Indeed, in many cases, the media engages in groupthink until all of them are expressing it the same way: "Weird!" "Bizarre!" "Strange!" "Freak!" You're mean, ornery and act like a bully. Members of the media, change your ways before it's too late.

Posted by: SoCalGal2 | July 22, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Andrew Brightbart is like so many other bloggers- he doesn't really care about reporting the truth but rather stirring up controversy. He happens to do it as a right winger but there are those that do it on the left as well.

Now that seems to be the role of many bloggers so now the legitimate reporters have even more of a responsiblity to get things right and to actually report and investigate stories. So many of them have become just lazy.

Shirley Sherrod is being castigated for being honest and the Breitbart's of the world don't even want to give out her full story. But in this case the NAACP, Depaartment of Agriculture, CNN, the White House and others are just as guilty. One simple phone call to Sharrod and a second to the farmer she helped would have given them the information they needed to castigate Breitbart and set the record straight. They were all to lazy to make the call.

I think that if President Obama is looking for a teachable moment this one is a lot better than his beer drinking with the policeman and the professor.

This is about a person beginning to look at themself in the mirrow and think about racism and prejudice from both sides. Black people are not immune from the hatred of white people that they have been taught and many view everything through that lens. Shirley Sherrod admitted that and did something about it. She was trying to tell others to do the same. There are many white people who are still racist or have racist thoughts and they would do well to do what Shirley Sherrod did and look at themselves in the mirrow and think about how they can overcome those feelings.

This is truly a teachable moment if the President really wants one.

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Posted by: itkonlyyou189 | July 22, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

beadinglady: please read "adelef's" comment above. You make some good points; however, you appear to miss a key main point (which is what caused this debacle in the first place) by adopting a misguided interpretation of the audience reaction to Ms. Sherrod's speech. As an African American, I think people often misread our culture: As "Black folks," it is not uncommon that we sometimes react to statements with a sense of humor. The audience simply "acknowledged" Ms. Sherrod's dilemma with humor knowing that all of us have to confront our own biases. In this case, Ms. Sherrod was communicating that she overcame and resolved her "past" prejudices. Americans understandably want to put the past behind. But, if we do not remember our past (by denying it), we are condemned to repeat it. Black people have suffered much throughout American history, so much so, that sometimes humor is the only way we can deflect the pain associated with the present effects of past discrimination based upon our Nation's history. That said, there is yet a tremendous silver lining in all of this: the Farmer Ms. Sherrod helped, demonstrated remarkable humility and courage by using the "moment" to stand up for civility by announcing to the world Ms. Sherrod's display of dignity and respect to his family. This is what being American is all about, overcoming our differences. Thank God for the Farmer and Ms. Sherrod's revelation. This is a "teachable moment" for America. The moment has passed, and, hopefully from which we have all learned.

Posted by: DZPost | July 22, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Ms Sharrod thank you for still fighting the fight and holding USDA, President Obama and NAACP accountable.

Posted by: GoldCoast | July 22, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Just a sad case. This administration is a joke. This lady should sue the administration, like they are sueing Arizona. Fox News is a disgrace, Breibart is another Daily Kos, both are garbage. The last two US Presidents have been awful. Just a nightmare.

Posted by: xfactor211 | July 22, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Racial division, hasty decisionmaking which lacked any kind of due diligence or consideration for the parties involved...that's all folks. No intelligent discourse on race relations in America, no forward movement...tomorrow a new headline will break, the apologies will be swept under the carpet and forgotten and nothing will have changed. Hopefully the divisive remarks below and I'm sure that will come above won't taint our children and become apart of their history as well.

Posted by: Atthispoint | July 22, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Is this ladies 15 minutes of fame up yet? Meet with the President? Who does this lady think she is. The President of the United States should be spending his time keeping America safe, creating jobs, helping clean up the oil spill, not meeting with some wanna be famous bureacrat.

Posted by: KCV257 | July 22, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Is hasty decision making wrong? Especially when you're dealing with a war; greed on Wall Street; environmental disaster; etc, etc, etc...

Oh, and yes, racial devisiveness because some people still believe that Obama is biased just because he happens to be non-white. Just as I imagine some Blacks believe past white presidents were biased just because they happened to be non-black.

I get the feeling that many Americans are just plain dissatisfied because you think all the major world problems should be solved in TV sitcom time frames? AND all the world's major problems need to be solved by someone else - not me. Talk about a lack of accountability.

Re-read some of the comments on this blog and look for those that are saying that it is in all of us to make a positive difference. Think about your own motivations for blaming someone else for your problems. Then take some personal accountability and try to make the world a little better place to live in - YOURSELF! And try to do a little less blaming of others.

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Posted by: itkonlyyou189 | July 22, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

It seems like everyone is missing the point. Fox news should be held to a higher standard by it's viewers..but it won't. People who watch ( and believe everything on Fox )Fox news don't want to hear BOTH sides. The Sec. of Ag. should be be held responsible ( and he to took the responsiblity). Why don't we exspect the saame from the station that started this whole thing?

Posted by: bake2061 | July 22, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

the hubris exhibited by her in her speech is now on full beams. At some point, the black community that loved Rev. Wright but eventually threw him under the bus because he threatened the presidential candidacy of Obama will be done with this woman. She told her story (using phrases like "his people" that would rain down condemnation on a white administrator using such a phrase about black people) in an effort to extoll her righteousness--that she had surpassed racism. Quirky thing about that, you can't tell that story without admitting you were racist. That's the fact that will not go away. Is she racist now? I hope not. But the hubris on display in her speech has now turned to a request to speak with the President. Go away, you've done enough damage, dearie.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | July 22, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse


Shirley, enough already.
You are getting carried away and wanting to cash in big. Wanting to talk to Obama might lead into having a bear with him.

Why don't you get to work instead of stand in the unemployment line?

Posted by: swavde | July 22, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Sherrod's fame is going to be fleeting; I hope she realizes that.

If I were advising her, I'd tell her to get her career back in order first (on decent terms, of course, in light of what has happened). Because her work is the thing that will last.

Traipsing around the morning talk shows suggesting that the President needs to talk to her strikes me as the wrong thing for Ms. Sherrod to do. She currently occupies the moral high ground; she shouldn't blow it for the sake of chatting up George and John.

Posted by: Itzajob | July 22, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

She got what she had coming, that uppity Black Woman. Who does she think she is letting some Whate folk keep their farm. Next thing y'no them poor White folks down South's gonna be voting for "That One" and "Bite Me" in '12. Georgia may turn Blue. They may even forget Carter!

Posted by: glenglish | July 22, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

She got what she had coming, that uppity Black Woman. Who does she think she is letting some White folk keep their farm. Next thing y'no them poor White folks down South's gonna be voting for "That One" and "Bite Me" in '12. Georgia may turn Blue. They may even forget Carter!

Posted by: glenglish | July 22, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I have moved from feeling sympathy for Sherrod to feeling that she's milking this thing. Her behavior over the past 24-36 hours has shown a complete lack of graciousness and instead she's coming across as a greedy thing, trying to ride this tide to a big pay-off. Take the job or don't, Ms. Sherrod, but remember that there are people far worse off that you. You got an apology within 24 hours for a wrong done you and you need to move on with this. Get over yourself.

Posted by: Jayne | July 22, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Sure, let her and Obama have an Apple Cider Summit.

Posted by: ashrink | July 22, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Do you think she has a book deal yet?

Posted by: mike83631 | July 22, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Just a suggestion for Shirley Sherrod, here in Texas (and 36 other States, but not Georgia) we celebrate Juneteenth. Somewhere around June 19, 1865 word of the Emancipation Proclamation arrived in Galveston. It was already 2 and a half years old. It wasn't the Proclamation itself, it was 'General Order #3' dumbed down for poor folk.

"[the Emancipation Proclamation] involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor."

This version is a lot simpler than the 13th and 14th Amendments and 18 USC 242 that the lawyers came up with.

If you see the President, Ms. Sherrod, tell him the poor are none too pleased at how the USDA treats their hired hands. But also tell him we are not too pleased with the Republicans who wanted you fired for taking a farmer to see a lawyer.

Posted by: gannon_dick | July 22, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jayne

I have moved from feeling sympathy for Sherrod to feeling that she's milking this thing. Her behavior over the past 24-36 hours has shown a complete lack of graciousness and instead she's coming across as a greedy thing, trying to ride this tide to a big pay-off. Take the job or don't, Ms. Sherrod, but remember that there are people far worse off that you. You got an apology within 24 hours for a wrong done you and you need to move on with this. Get over yourself.

*************************

Really, Jane? I suppose you know how it feels to be forced to quit your job with an accusation that is the TOTAL 180-DEGREE OPPOSITE of what you said and who you are? I suppose YOU would just say, "OK, oh well....my career just went into the toilet and I guess I should start on my resume and look for work in this lovely economy".

Gimme a break! You, and anyone else with at least half a brain would be very angry...AND milking it for all you could to get back at those involved!

Also, even though Faux News may not have gotten her fired, they sure as heck drove lots of nails into that coffin as soon as they could!

Realist201
davidbenariel
corneliusvansant
theBozyn
swavde,et al

Thanks for clearly demonstrating how, as YOUR OWN David Frum pointed out, "conservatives have a unique capacity to ignore unwelcome fact."

ESPECIALLY YOU, corneliusvansant!!!
So-called patriots with THAT kind of 'commitment'....should be, well....committed, to a happy place, with nice soft walls and special jackets, so you can't hurt yourselves...or others.

Buy a clue, BIGOT!


Posted by: postgettingworse | July 22, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Folks, let's be honest. The healing cannot really begin until Miss Shirley is allowed to meet with President Obama. She needs to educate our young President on what it truly means to be black in America.

For my part, I am beginning to feel absolutely giddy at the prospect of the upcoming White House summit.

The fun and mischief presently being contemplated by the professional victim Sherrod family has only just begun. Or as the sage fight promoter Don King once observed in defending rapist Mike Tyson; "Where there is a whole lot of money, there is a whole lot of love and forgiveness." I say, let the victim games begin and let the Sherrod's have access to what is only their fair share of the federal stash.

And so it goes...

Posted by: pgould1 | July 22, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Dear Postgettingworse: I'm sorry you have so much trouble reading, but you might want to note that, not only was Ms. Sherrod offered her job back within hours of her firing, she was offered a far better job. I fail to see how that remotely puts her career in the toilet. Perhaps you can explain. Or maybe you can spend the time helping Ms. Sherrod down from the cross she seems to have climbed up onto.

BTW, finding fault with Ms. Sherrod's behavior doesn't make me a bigot, but name calling on your part just makes you look pretty small and pathetic.

Posted by: Jayne | July 22, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they could trade jobs. She couldn't be a worse president.

Posted by: jiji1 | July 22, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I am not a USDA employee; however, I have been told by some of the employees that work there the horror stories about the racist's that are swarming the whole Department and their nasty behavior's towards minorities within the organization and outside the organization.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | July 22, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

First meeting with Henry Louis Gates, now calling Shirley Sherrod. Is this really what a president should spent his time on? And if so, has he ever talked to any non-blacks who had some grievance about real or imagined government discrimination?

Posted by: cpwdc | July 22, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"Watching the tape of her speech at the NAACP where the crowd was clapping and laughing while she described how she dumped on the White farmer (at her own admission) makes it clear what Obama's real goal is and the name Josef Mugabe comes to mind."

Wow realist201, you sound like a FoxNews Captive. You need to step out of the echo chamber, take your meds, and actually listen to that speech. Most of the world heard a far different, and frankly heartwarming message. I feel sorry for your condition, and hope you get well.

Posted by: B2O2 | July 22, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Those of you whining that Ms. Sherrod wants Obama to be "fully committed to black farmers," are you reading a different news item from the one I'm reading? In no way has she said anything of the sort.

Why do you, like Fox and Breitbart, just pull your "facts" out of thin air, just make up stuff? You know you didn't read that but you want it to be true. Well, sorry, you don't get to do that. Only in your dreams can you do that. In the waking world, you have to realize (note the root word "real") the truth, especially when it's flat-out staring you in the face.

Posted by: MadamDeb | July 22, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I think that she should sue Brietbart, Fox, and Vilsak so that others will learn from her experience.

Posted by: red27 | July 22, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse
----------------------------------------------
I agree. Faux News has become just a tabloid like the Inquirer. All should be sued for defamation and slander. That would put an end to all of this, or at least slow it down and make them check their source and the context before they give a false narrative, as in this case.

Posted by: denise4925 | July 22, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if they talked about how Obama is in a downright IMPOSSIBLE position on race. He's got to walk the same tightrope that Jackie Robinson did in 1947. That is, to ignore the relentless racism-motivated attacks of millions of ignorant goon-citizens, all while doing a very difficult job during trying times. The media - most of whom deal with educated people so don't have direct contact with the many racist jerks still in this country - seem to forget about this tightrope task.

If he ever slips and compensates too far in any direction, he's a villain. Oh, and by the way we expect him to clean up all the messes created by the former player at his position - all within one baseball season, please - and carry the team to the World Series. All while having things thrown at him by the hooded idiots in the stands. But neither he nor anyone in his Administration must ever show any frustration with the stuff being thrown by the klannies. For that would obviously be... racism!

The Fox/Tea-klanner crowd has a nice no-lose scam going here, don't they? And the mainstream media is only too happy to turn the other way and not notice.

Posted by: B2O2 | July 22, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

First, let's stop using reverse racism as a item of discussion because its not real, its a right wing plot and as for administrations as fodder for comedy the last administrations secret meetings, backroom cronyism, and overt lying are far and away beyond what this administration has tried to do in the way of compromise with the right's slavering hyenas.

Posted by: vicwhiskey | July 22, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=730286969&v=app_2392950137#!/video/video.php?v=446245436969

I wrote this piece the other day before this even happened b/c Im just tired of this racism from them and Us for each other
Im the Poet from SC, Patricia Robinson.

Posted by: lifeteller7 | July 22, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Pres O for calling Ms. Sherrod and let this be a teachable moment for you
Fox media is out to destroy you because of one thing only, u r black.

They are running scared because they will be the minority in 10-20 years and want the country to fail no matter the cost.

Posted by: K2007 | July 22, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised the King of Clowns knows how to use a phone!!

Posted by: jimkearney19761 | July 22, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama had and should have called Sherrod to apologize but it doesn't mean their messaging problems are over -

http://disenchantedjourno.blogspot.com/2010/07/thought-of-day-told-you-so-obama-called.html

Posted by: DJOURNO | July 22, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

This is further evidence of the hateful bigotry within the Republican party. Fox news, as usual, jumped on the edited Ms. Sherrod clip, hungry to find something to fire back at the NAACP. As always, their aim is as bad as Dick Cheney's. What a sorry group of "Americens" (as Georgie Bush would pronounce).

Posted by: alexl3 | July 22, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

There will be those who decry this as racism. Balderdash! Secretary Vilsack is guilty of stupidity. For a Cabinet level government official to make an employment decision that quickly and based on the notion that a statement will appear on a cable newsertainment program is outrageous. If that wasn't enough, the firing was based on assertions from someone with no responsibility for Ms. Sherrod's supervision or knowledge of her work.

This isn't racial, folks. It's Blazing Saddle's William J. Le Petomane finally come to Washington: "We have to protect our phoney baloney jobs here, gentlemen! We must do something about this immediately! Immediately! Immediately! Harrumph! Harrumph! Harrumph!" Looking at leaders in Washington today is roughly equivalent to being on a grand ocean cruise only to realize the captain is Daffy Duck.

Ms. Sherrod was owed an apology. I hope for her sake and ours it included an apology for stupidity.

Posted by: riskexcellence | July 22, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

no

Posted by: K2007 | July 22, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

There is one issue that has not been discussed about this situation. Federal employess are bound by the Hatch Act. This act prohibits Federal workers from a public expression of partisian views. She crossed the line when she refered to 8 years of the Bushes in the White House. anShe can hold these views but not express these in a public forum. Ms. Sherrod did not make racest remarks but she did viloate the Hatch Act.

Posted by: jamesdurham1 | July 22, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Nice job of reporting, Ed. It's too bad some of your readers are filled with so much hate and rage they're unable to fully grasp the overarching meaning of the Shirley Sherrod story. Maybe you should just tell them what this is all about, Ed. It's about REDEMPTION.

Posted by: jimorogers | July 22, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I advise Mrs. Sherrod to take the opportunity that GOD has given her to leave the plantation of the federal government. She has served well there and now needs to go forward in the world to do much more. This morning on MSNBC, Larry O'Donnell offered her the co-anchor position of his new fall 10pm show. She needs to review opportunities like that and leave the bureaucracy to what it deserves. In the USDA Office for Civil Rights, you will just be another slave.

Posted by: wiltonwallace | July 22, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Maybe i missed it, but was Ms. Sherrod offered reinstatement in her former position? I read that she was offered "a position". Why not just return her to duty if she was released without due process let alone any good reason related to how well she did her job?

Posted by: Cabeachcomber | July 22, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

THE RACE ISSUE DIED A LONG TIME A GO SO WHY DOES IT CONTINUE TO SURFACE IN MOST DIALOGUE? AFRICAN AMERICANS NOW HOLD SOME OF THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS POSITIONS IN BOTH GOVERNMENT AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR SO WHY NOT BE HAPPY AND STOP TRYING TO ALIENATE THE THE VERY PEOPLE WHO HAVE PROVIDED THESE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOU. I SAY CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Posted by: jackwbarnes1 | July 22, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I can tell which of you watch the clowns on fox. Betcha (palin talk) your comments include "I could care less", which of course should be "I could not care less".
I am one of the sane people are upset with our President trying to passify the evil and mean right wing. Suggest watching last night's rant by Keith Olberman.

Posted by: errandannie | July 22, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

That's right shut start shutting down websites. Move to Russia China or any other country that stiffles free speech. She gave this speech at a NAACP meeting, they had the full speech. When you are incompetent blame others. Typical liberal distorted view of the world.
She violated the Hatch act!
Can't wait until November

Posted by: 292x1 | July 22, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I happened to see Mrs. Sherrod, on the View and she was so lovely. She was an intelligent, articulate, together individual, who received a very raw deal. I hope and pray she comes back in some capacity, whatever she wants to do though, is what she should do.

Fox News, and the ignoramus blogger, make me sick, but the White House, must stop being bullied by them both. What the heck are they thinking and please, do your homework. I hope everyone, learned something from this dreadful experience. Women, as a whole, deserve a lot more respect too. You need us in positions of power, more than you know. Can I get an Amen?

Posted by: bugily | July 22, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

another day, more silnce from WaPO about the Journolist conspiracy to keep only GOOD BO stories in the headlines and label conservatives as racist!

sherrod should have been fired and left that way.

Posted by: morphy | July 22, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh we have this inept administration jump the gun and fire Ms. Shirley before they have done any research. We have the Ag Secretary fall on the sword for this inept administration and he did not do his homework. We have the racist NAACP who is too stupid to view the tape that is in their possession. We have Ms. Shirley who definitely has a racial perspective on life than needs some soul searching when you review the entire tape. And whose fault is it? Why of course it is Fox news that reported the story after Shirley was fired. I am so sick of these stupid inept evil radicals who make one mistake after another and want to blame it on someone else. I cannot wait to vote these know nothings out of office.

Posted by: greatgran1 | July 22, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

There are many opinions as to why the race card has moved to the forefront of politics these days. However, the one aspect that strikes me is the (remember the capaign "something to the effect: we are not red or blue etc but red,white blue, we are all Americans") total quiet from the President on this issue. If our President is really an American and a leader who loves his country, he would have used the bully pulpit to tell both sides of the issue to stop the race baiting, we are all Americans and this is beneath us. On the other hand, it sure fits the Chicago style politics and those of the far left.

Posted by: awunsch | July 22, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

From what little I know about her I find her to be racial in her comments, but not racist.

Try to make the distinction baggers.

Posted by: JRM2 | July 22, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

We have "truth in advertising" but not in news?

Posted by: JRM2 | July 22, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Checking out the coverage of the Sherrod incident has been aluminating. I think I now understand what it means to be racist, and it came to me while listening to Glen Beck, and Rush Limbaugh. I even have a name for it. It's called FOP (FEAR OF PAYBACK)

It dawned on me that people like Rush and Glen truly believe that a person who is BLACk with slavery and Jim Crow at their roots, couldn't possibly have a fair attitude toward a white person...And there is NO Way a BLACK person can govern fairly (unless the black person thinks like them).

Now that might sound peculiar but it has helped me understand this madness we are experiencing. If my theory has any truth to it at all, I would like to tell all white people that I have roots of slavery and Jim Crow. I heard the stories when I was a child, but as those stories were told, we were also told that... just because white people act that way, does not mean we should hate them, they are not ALL like that my mother would say. I was always taught to LOVE EVERYBODY, NO MATTER WHAT COLOR THEY WERE.

Our Parents HAD to bring us up that way, it was the ONLY way. So now I look at racism as FOP (fear of PAYBACK), and those who fear, may have some (using Glen Beck's words) DEEP-SEATED reason to FEAR! (that's what you need to purge)

Mrs. Sherrod is the Angel we've been waiting for... I personally think that this incident falling on the anniversary of the Beer Summit is no accident. All of a sudden she appears, directly from the ashes of ancestors long past. She's here with a message, that we all can get through this, TOGETHER. CHANGE is on it's way...I hope the President realizes the precious gift he has been sent.

Posted by: edbeebop | July 22, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse


and I thought it was "FOX NEWS' that got her fired.........

Posted by: paulann1 | July 22, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse


This lady has a problem.........when she said ...............She sent this farmer to ..........."his kind".........what kind was he?.....did she or her audience not see anything wrong in saying this?

If a white person had said " I sent him to one of his kind" what would have happened?

I am so sick of this one sided thing...

I think we need equal rights..

We do not have it ....not in America.

We have black this and that ...if we had "white" anything it would cause a war.
Why is this?
**

Posted by: paulann1 | July 22, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse


This lady has a problem.........when she said ...............She sent this farmer to ..........."his kind".........what kind was he?.....did she or her audience not see anything wrong in saying this?

If a white person had said " I sent him to one of his kind" what would have happened?

I am so sick of this one sided thing...

I think we need equal rights..

We do not have it ....not in America.

We have black this and that ...if we had "white" anything it would cause a war.
Why is this?
**

Posted by: paulann1 | July 22, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse


You don't think she and Sheila Jackson Lee are friends do you?

**

Posted by: paulann1 | July 22, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

I really hope that the president has learned a lesson from this incident. He and his administration are way to quick to take the word of the biggest set of liars and spin masters the U.S. has ever known.

Whenever the Republicans/conservatives come up with something new, it is best to see who the author is, fact check it and put the pieces together BEFORE any kind of formal response. Vilsack should be embarrassed to the point of resigning. How can we ever trust anyone so quick to judge his own employees?

As for Andrew Breitbart, my question is; when does freedom of speech become shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater? Someone needs to open a can of whoop ass on that S.O.B.

Posted by: biggerjake | July 23, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

America could use more stand up citizens like Shirley Sherrod. Perhaps Tom Vilsack should redo his resume?

Posted by: btafmax4 | July 23, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The silver lining in this episode is the outing of the right wing Republican agenda to demonize any black organizations (NAACP, ACORN) or individuals ( Prof. Gates, Attorney Gen. Holder, Etc ) linked to the administration. If the real structural issues of race, socio-economic inequality and gender discrimination can not be addressed by a mixed race President then, in effect, those issues are without merit. If those issues are denied voice and funding they escape national attention and corrective action. No doubt, the forces of conservatism and wholehearted celebration of our racist past will continue to look for avenues to keep the the country divided along racial lines and, attempt to sabotage a real effort to give voice the the voiceless majority regardless of race. Mr. Obama please do not let the right wing crowd set your agenda. Don't be reactive. Do the right thing and history will judge you correctly.

Posted by: loveforall | July 25, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Shirley Sherrod is by no means racist. Having read the full text of her speech and watched her through three network interviews, she comes across as big hearted and very open minded. If anyone had earned the right to be bitter and distrustful of the justice system it should be MS Sherrod. How many moderate whites (as opposed to the wing-nuts that populate the right wing media) will remain fair minded after watching their father shot by a black neighbor while walking to his car in the presence of witnesses after a land dispute and not as much as get the killer indited by an all black jury? As for those who have the luxury of living their lives without fear of bodily harm don't deny the real existence of die hard bigots who hid behind contrived controversies to divide the country. For some it's just politics; for millions others it's a daily struggle for life itself in today's America.

Posted by: loveforall | July 25, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

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