Shirley Sherrod

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Shirley Sherrod is a former government official, pressured to resign when a misleadingly edited film clip of her remarks was distributed, along with commentary portraying her as an anti-white racist. The media incident occured in the context of a liberal smear campaign, which has been relentlessly portraying the Tea Party Movement as racist against blacks. O'Reilly and Breitbart used the clip to score points against the anti-Tea Party smear campaign, arguing that not only is there no proof that the Tea Party Movement is racist, but that they had smoking gun proof of black racism against whites. Both quickly corrected their remarks when a longer clip became available, and it became clear that Sherrod was not promoting or justifying racism but referring to a decades old incident of her own insensitivity for which she had made amends.

  • While the excerpt showed Sherrod, an African American, telling the NAACP in a speech that she had discriminated against a white farmer as a nonprofit aid officer 24 years ago, the full speech made clear she was saying she had overcome that racial instinct and learned an important lesson.[1]
  • Beck defended Sherrod on Tuesday, saying that "context matters" and he would have objected if someone had shown a video of him at an AA meeting saying he used to pass out from drinking but omitting the part where he says he found Jesus and gave up alcohol.[1]


A black woman, Sherrod was United States Department of Agriculture's director of rural development in Georgia until July 20, 2010 when the Obama White House directed Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, to have her fired. According to Sherrod, the USDA called her while she was driving, told her to pull over to the side of the road and resign using her Blackberry.

In a video clip from a local NAACP chapter posted on biggovernment.com Sherrod regalled an audience with a story about how she didn't do her best to help a White farmer threatened with losing his land. In her story she said she "didn't give him the full force of what I could do" because "I was struggling with the fact that so many black people had lost their farmland and here I was faced with helping a white person save their land."[2]

NAACP president Ben Jealous wrote: "Racism is about abuse of power. Sherrod had it at USDA. She abused a white farmer because of his race. NAACP is appalled. Go to naacp.org."[3] The NAACP's initial statement regarding Sherrod's comments has been removed from its website. The NAACP and other mainstream media news organizations only days earlier slandered the tax protesting Tea Party movement as "racist."[4] President Obama later apologized to Sherrod.[5]

Sherrod is involved in the Pigford settlement where the government was sued for discrimination against black farmers. The settlement is riddled with fraud and several Republicans in congress seek to review the case. Obama is pressing for $2 billion in additional compensation for black farmers.

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