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July 21st, 2010
05:47 AM ET

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[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said early Wednesday he will review the case of a former USDA worker who quit after a video surfaced of her discussing a white farmer. "]

Agriculture secretary to review resignation of USDA worker

(CNN) – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said early Wednesday that he will review the case of a former Agriculture Department official who resigned after a video clip surfaced of her discussing a white farmer.

"I am of course willing and will conduct a thorough review and consider additional facts to ensure to the American people we are providing services in a fair and equitable manner," Vilsack said in a statement.

Shirley Sherrod - an African American - resigned this week under pressure after the video clip first appeared on a conservative website and later on Fox News. In the video, she seemed to say she withheld services from a white farmer.

The video initially brought condemnation from the NAACP, which it later retracted after the context of the clip became clear.

The NAACP said in a statement Tuesday that it was "snookered by Fox News" and conservative website publisher Andrew Breitbart.

"Having reviewed the full tape by Shirley Sherrod, who is the woman who was fired by the Department of Agriculture, and most importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this story, we now believe that the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans," the statement from NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said. Read more

Sound off: We want to hear from you this morning. Add your comments to the LIVE Blog below and we'll read some of them on the show.

Filed under: LIVE Blog • Top Stories
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Karen

    Terrific story about Waveland, Mississippi. 🙂

    Kudos to such amazingly strong people.

    July 21, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  2. Pete

    Give back her job, period.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  3. art

    Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend- Martin Luther King

    July 21, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  4. Pamela Mathias

    Mrs. Sherrod should not have lost her job. The GOP and Fox News should be ashamed of themselves. They went after Mrs Sherrod with a vengeance, because of comments they purposely posted out of context to throw dirt at President Obama using her. #1 because she is black, #2 because she currently works in a government position. She was hired for that position before President Obama was even in office. But FOX News and the GOP would have it appear as if President Obama appointed Mrs. Sherrod to that position.
    We have all had thoughts we never followed through with. Mrs. Sherrod never followed through with her thoughts. If you listen to the whole tape you will see she did the right thing. Shame on FOX News and the GOP for destroying and innocent persons life. Mrs. Sherrod should be rehired, her boss should be fired for not investigating the facts, and FOX News should be sued for ruing her life. Talk about RACISM!!!

    July 21, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  5. Catcherbloc

    Hey Morning! i love you guys show and i watch it every morning. However, i am disappointed in the way Miss Sherrod was given the boot, because of a made up story of racism and it thought me a lesson of how people are so quick to jump an make a spin of anything they hear. Moreover, they are even more interested in making an "Obama" presidency fault and i can't understand how every little thing has to do with president obama? sometimes i get confuse and think that President Obama is a "GOD" because it seems like people wants him to clean every problem in America ranging from Economic to Social Life. Most importantly, President Obama was in the white house for a mere 1 year and a half, less than 2 years!! and he has done more than what the Republicans have done in "8" years.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  6. Marilyn Bates

    i am VERY concerned that Ms Sherrod was harrassed by the White House to resign. I am also VERY concerned that the media seems to be trying to ignore this.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:53 am |
  7. Marie

    Am I the only one concerned about the audience response to Shirley's initial racist comments? Why isn't anyone covering this?

    July 21, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  8. Glenna K. McGill

    RE: Shirley Sherrod Shame Shame. The first rule of management, when dealing with a concern/complaint on an employee is to gather all the facts from both sides and then make your decision. Shmae shame on us.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  9. joseph

    Good Morning I actually think it is much ado about nothing, being the fact of how she felt and her experience of 24 yrs ago. I think it is racially motivated how this whole thing is gaining so much attention. Why is it you cant speak how you feel. As far as the audience agreeing we as a black people have a lot of feelings that the Corporate World especially the White Corporate world. Will not like much as far as racism and everything stemming from that against black people has been swept under the Rug.

    There is more

    July 21, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  10. jr

    fire the incurious (sloppy!) reporters nationwide for the Sherrod story development...which, at its worst (24 years ago!?) is a misguided action by a young woman member of an abused minority whose appreciation of her error and subsequent change in character deserves as much creidt as history has given the lake senator byrd whose racist past included kkk membership and...well, read his speeches on the stump and in the congress.

    shame on the whitehouse, too...good thing it wasn't a re-phone issue.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  11. Adrian Gonzalez

    Shirley is just a victim of this war between the NAACP and Tea Party. NAACP does this all the time and now its comming back. Stop the maddness we are all Americans.
    Atl. Ga.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  12. chris

    She got what she deserved. if it was a hate crime or racist gesture from a Caucasian to a black person the NAACP would be going to town on the individual. In the tape tape it shows the audience cheering and applauding at her comments of racism. It wasn't until that this video was posted that the NAACP chose to send their apologies. Perfect example of how the world chooses to turn their shoulder or scared to confront reverse discrimination.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  13. Divine Odonwodo

    When I read the editted version of the story two nights, I hoped she ghets fired.
    Watching the entire tape and listening to the farmer in question on CNN yesterday, I realized how far some people will go to try and divide. If the reporter who did this hatchet job lived in Rwanda some years back, there's no telling what he will have done!
    If this lady does not get her job back and an apology, a great injustice will have been done!

    July 21, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  14. shirley c

    The real story here should be about how a blogger and a major news organization can distort a story and then avoid taking responsibility for causing all these problems. The white house should know by now that any story on Fox News should be fully checked before reacting. We should all be outraged about how an innocent woman could have had her career destroyed by a false and vindictive blogger and a major news outlet.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  15. Jennifer

    The fact that the USDA made such a hastily decision based on a YouTube video only shows the racist pressure this country is under. The company I work for never would have made such a decision with at least questioning the employee. No trial for Mrs. Sherrod. The United States has a lot of work to do!! Mrs. Sherrod, we have all made poor decisions in the past, it is a blessing that you were able to recognize your mistake, grow from it and help so many people. I think you should replace the lady that fired you. It appears that you have more interegity!

    July 21, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  16. Pauly

    I didn't say solely. Once again, you read what you want to, not what is actually written!!!! And for your info, Breitbart, Fixed News & the Tea Party all part of the GOP!!! You can't separate them ot their views!!!

    July 21, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  17. John Mark Miller

    Can you show me one instance of a Democratic Party or some other group associated with the Democratic Party slurring or maliciously editing a message in order to discredit unfairly some member of the opposition? When John Kerry's campaign was destroyed by the "boat people" – (forgot their name) I begain to think what Republican has ever had the same thing happen to him?
    I couldn't think of any. Am I just prejudiced?

    John Mark Miller

    July 21, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  18. Dan

    I am a teacher in a small town school in the arkansas delta and racism is live and well at my school. During the last school year I had a student stand up in my classroom and state " we black folk can't get nothing done because of you white folk". I am also bothered by the fact that my students believe it is appropriate to refer to their friends by the n word.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:49 am |
  19. Ronny

    sorry about the typos in my last post ... I was laughing so hard @ Pauly that I lost my concentration...

    July 21, 2010 at 8:49 am |
  20. stan williams

    Thank you for your outstanding reporting and getting at the truth in the Sherrod story. More reporters need to keep in mind that in depth analysis is important. I think that the following quote says it all:
    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
    Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
    Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it
    - Omar Khayyam

    July 21, 2010 at 8:47 am |
  21. Wendy Williams

    This whole ordeal reminds me of Trading-Places( the Movie with Eddie Murphy). Two Older wealthy gentlemen, make a one-dollar bet, and have a laugh, at other people's expense.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:46 am |
  22. Tom-Vermillion, Ohio

    @Pauly, aah yes, for they are they self-proclaimed 'rightious ones'. The only point of view is that of their own. A Mr. Beck associate has personally told me (elsewhere a few months back) that he wants whats 'best' for me and to take care of me. Now I ask, why on earth would I want that?

    July 21, 2010 at 8:46 am |
  23. Ronny

    Americans are unemployed due solely to the GOP? ... lol... You are so stuck on the blame game that it has made you delusion and makes all your 'statements" irrelevant and pointless.

    CheryLad – where was it reported that the pesron/people that editted the tape was working with Tea Party or a Fox News? I think it is nothing more than your attempt to join Pauly in playing the blame game. Shame on you.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  24. art

    By the time we've reached the age of two years old, we've learned 80% of what we know. Fascinating, yes? All the conversations within the home. The tv on in the background. We're like sponges, absorbing everything within our environment. Identifying with it....

    ...right and wrong...good and bad....

    It's loud in there, isn't it?

    July 21, 2010 at 8:32 am |
  25. Michael in TN

    After seeing Ms Sherrod’s speech in its correct context and listening to her over the last few days, I see a person who is empowered with the compassion to help all of her fellow citizens of the world, no matter what their color is. Unfortunately, we are now suffering from people like Mr. Breitbart and others from the right, who display passion in practicing a form of “Political Terrorism” which destroys innocent people’s lives. America has hit an all time low in our quest for racial equality! It is a shame that Mr. Breitbart and people like him who practice the Political Terrorism that is running ramped in our “once” great country, do so under the umbrella of “Freedom of Speech.” I am sure this was not what our founding fathers had in mind when the when they fought to have these freedoms.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:32 am |
  26. Pauly

    The GOP's bigotry & hatred isn't limited to blacks. They have a problem w/ non-Christians, including but not limited to Muslims, Hispanics, legal & illegal, gays & most everyone else who isn't white. wealthy & Christian. Hey, they are even biased against unemployed Americans even though they are unemployed due mostly to their policies & actions!!!!

    July 21, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  27. Cindy

    I agree with Sam. Please just review the tape. See the intensity of reaction of the NAACP members when she stated the highly charged statement of withholding the full extent of help
    then view the much less intense reaction when she finishes her story of growth of maturity.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  28. Cherylad

    First: this has nothing to do with the White House. Ms. Sherrod, of all people, should be VERY cautious of pointing fingers and making accusations without knowing the facts.

    Second: Let me get this straight: this website – working with the Tea Party – and Fox News created a tape and then passed it off to the American people as fact to try to get back a the NAACP for a feud they have going and DID NOT CARE at ALL that they were destroying an innocent woman??

    This people want us to trust them to run the country and deliver the NEWS? YEAH, RIGHT.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:14 am |
  29. Pauly

    The President had a "close relationship" w/ Rev Wright? Really. He may have belonged to his church for a long time but he didn't attend regularly. The church is in Chicago. Obama spent most of his time at the Capitol in Springfield, IL & then DC not in Chicago!!!

    I can't believe people are still trying to justify the editing of the tape. So what if audience members applauded. They heard the intro to the speech & the whole speech. And another thing, the speech was in front of a small county chapter of the NAACP in GA.

    Tea Party members gave Tancredo a standing ovation after his racist rant at the TEA Party national convention!!! Not much said about this on conservative blogs or in the media. Yet, they continue to deny any racial element in their party.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:12 am |
  30. St. Clair

    Shouldn't the individuals who altered the tape be held responsible for the fall out?

    July 21, 2010 at 8:10 am |
  31. Ronny

    And... Pauly continues the blame game .... good on you.

    Fact of the matter is .... both political parties are exactly the same. The country can't take much more of either one of them.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:09 am |
  32. Tom-Vermillion, Ohio

    The real story here is NOT Shirley Sherrod, it's Fox News, their contibutors and the consequences of their journalism tactics. Its HOW they report and their editing process. Start with Andrew Breitbart and while you are at it, dig into Glen Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh. Take a peak under these 'rocks' and all kinds of stuff will come slithering out. Yellow and tabloid journalism 'sells' and is good for ratings, however it can never be trusted when it comes to national debate on very important issues. Distortions muddy the waters so that nothing can be accomplished.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:08 am |
  33. Ustes Greenridge II

    all media is a distorted view of an individual!

    July 21, 2010 at 8:07 am |
  34. Dr. Stephen Spies

    Mr. Roberts: Did you (CNN) expend anywhere nearly as much time & effort trying to get involved in Gen. McCrystal's crucifixation at the hands of an "adversarial" news forum as you have with Ms. Sherod? Personally, I think not & wonder if that has something to do with race relations as well, a white, (WASP) 4-star General who has inarguably dedicated his life (at times at great personal risk) to the preservation of the nation that gave everyone, incl. Ms. Sherod, the freedom to be exonerated in the press. If not, why not? Could it have anything to do with the fact that the black & the victim is white? As a retired military officer, whose combat tour was in the jungles od SE Asia, and who was deemed medically unable to repeat that effort in Iraq or Afghanistan I know that dissent with higher authority must be secret, not public but the underlying issue remains the same, edited press "article" lead to blanket condemnation. Has anyone ever heard the unedited & unredacted statements made in the presence of. but perhaps to the Rolling Stone reporter. I wonder how Gen. McCrystal feels about thois. [Please excuse my failures in grammar & structure this was written on a Blackberry & that instrument isn't well known for editing capabilities.]

    July 21, 2010 at 8:07 am |
  35. MikeM

    The government owes her her livelihood back. They ought to pay her all her money through retirement plus whatever she would get in government pension. But I don't know how you go back to work for somebody who treated you like this.

    Fox News, the NAACP, the government and the guy who released the "sliced and diced" video ought to be sued. They owe her plenty for what they did to her reputation.

    Kudos to CNN for digging deeper.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:06 am |
  36. Ustes Greenridge II

    I think that the real racism is how her boss didn't even consider her record there, or how no one even researched the whole tape. Forget about the nut that splice the video...

    July 21, 2010 at 8:05 am |
  37. art

    Commonality is the key...

    July 21, 2010 at 8:04 am |
  38. Karen

    Re: Ms. Sherrod – How can NAACP blame FoxNews and get away with it? The speech was delivered at an NAACP meeting, they should have known context and full message from the start!

    Shirley Sherrod seems like a sweet lady. I don't think that changes her words. She may have had an awakening in "how" she did business, realizing need was the important aspect she should address rather than "who" she should provide help to (commendable on its own) but her language does reveal racial undertones even today. She refers to "his kind" in the speech, she professes to "know" the farmer felt (racially) superior to her even though he had to come to her for help, etc.

    I know the farmer and his wife are supporting Ms. Sherrod but somehow I missed the part when they were told premise of the story creating this firestorm was that he, the farmer, was racist and being put in his place before Ms. Sherrod's life changing transformation. I didn't hear any of that when Tony first talked to the farmer's wife. Do they agree with the premise of the story?

    July 21, 2010 at 8:01 am |
  39. joe bob

    I don't think she should take her job back. She should sue Fox, the NAACP and the Federal government. There is no excuse for what happened to her.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:55 am |
  40. jim germann

    i guess cnn didnt get the approval ratings of quinnipiac? ah,huh!!

    July 21, 2010 at 7:54 am |
  41. Pauly

    ACORN didn't register dead people & illegal aliens. Workers they hired chose to fill out their rolls w/ names whereever they could find them rather than actually signing up eligible voters. Most of the ineligible names were removed before the lists were submitted! Again, Mickey Mouse & others were never actually registered or voted.

    I didn't condone the Dems being scared by the right wing media & GOP into cutting ACORN's funding. BTW: an appellate court reinstated the funding. the damage was already done however.

    The New Black Panther Party has nothing to do w/ the President. Even the surviving Black Panther Party member have criticized these idiots!!! I never suggested that racism doesn't exist in other races. there are extremists in every race, party, group, etc. The diffrence is that the GOP embraces their extremists!!!

    July 21, 2010 at 7:53 am |
  42. Valerie

    The comments here are all very interesting. What this country needs is to have an honest discussion about race, but more importantly, we all need to stop and listen to what each other has to say without getting angry, cutting the other person off, and storming away without resolving anything. Why don't we ask each other this: why do you feel the way you do and how can we find some common ground where we can begin to understand each other? Secretly, that's what we all want, isn't it?

    July 21, 2010 at 7:53 am |
  43. Colin

    John Roberts said something this morning that - out of context - could be called racist. On the kid who traded for a Porche, Mr. Roberts wondered if the Bronco had a kilo of cocaine in the back to make it so valuable? Really? It's a Latino and so he must be dealing drugs?!? RACIST! Mr. Roberts was making a joke. There was no racism there. But someone could make the case. And if the car trader had been black - well - Mr. Roberts might be starting tomorrow's broadcast with an apology to save his job.

    You're clearly missing the point with the latest not-racism controversy. And it's disappointing but maybe predictable.

    In so many of these cases where "RACISM!" is screamed, the evidence is taken out of context. The NAACP says they won't kneejerk when the evidence comes from an opponent source, but it seems they still leave room to kneejerk when the source is someone like Al Sharpton. Why did hey need to qualify which evidence sources they'd be more careful about? Why not be more careful about any charge of racism?

    The cases of Don Imus, Trent Lott and the Tea Party (among many others) were never reconsidered in their larger context. In fact, Brietbart claimed last night on John King's show (a clip you neglected to play this morning) that his point in doing this was to get you to play the exculpatory evidence he had of the Tea Party racism. And - in that - he's right. You've ignored that part of this controversy and his evidence that the Tea Party isn't racist. (BTW, I'm not in the Tea Party...I've got issues with them...I just don't think they're racist)

    So, why is it when a black person appears to say something racist, it gets examined in proper context and reversed if unfair? But when a white person gets branded a racist...that's it: they're a racist.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:51 am |
  44. Ronny

    Jane- WI of course Pauly wouldn't remember any such thing. Pauly's sole goal is to play the blame game instead of to actually work towards a cure to what ails the country.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:51 am |
  45. Fred McGreger

    Why don't you talk about the misinformation of the conservative blogger and Fox News. We are all a victim of their lies political lies and misinformation. When do we finally stand up to the bullies.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:49 am |
  46. jim germann

    cnn needs to stop the race bating. Get sheila jackson lee on yours show and demand she renunciate her race bating comments at an NAACP event. That is why you have such animous,in the country. You allow ben jealous,to spill his garbage,over and over again.That is all politics,and you play along.Millions of americans,think the naacp and the media,promote that millions of peoplem,who disagree with this administration, they are called racists,and you allow it,over and over again. CNN is all race bating all the time, you seem to have,either an extreme bias,or you just are complicit with this. Anderson Cooper,actually did the first interview for CNN,thats import wasnt to say, see, they are racists. He wouldnt let ben jealous race bait.He asked him,about the first statement,that the Naacp released yesterday,that included the fact,that when shirley sherrod was at the point of the speech,where she was discrimination agains the farmer,the crowd(naacp event)was applauding the discrimination. Then, the naacp's 2nd statement,conveniently deleted the part about the naacp attendees, seeming to agree with the discrimination) He wouldn't answer that question. I am sure you wont ask him that question.God forbide,that the NAACP,would be playing racial politics.CNN wouldnt even consider that,or they,know what is actually going on.Call your political opponents racists,and try to ginny up the liberal base. Shames on CNN,for not keeping the NAACP honest,at all.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:46 am |
  47. s m shuler

    hello. is your own journalistic point of view preventing you from examining the fraudulent misrepresentation, defamation and downright lying of both the producer and the publisher of the initial news clip? are you (un)consciously protecting your professional colleagues?

    the beilburg guy (wrong name, i know) and fox news have each committed crimes and civil torts in demolishing this womans reputation.

    why are you attacking the govt for being misled by professonal reputational hit-men, and relying on the false news clip? this was a professional reputational assassination.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:46 am |
  48. Ronny

    mike sey .... If you believe Vilsack should resign over this – should not Obama resign because he agreed with Vilsack's decision?

    July 21, 2010 at 7:45 am |
  49. Sam

    I apologize for the typo in my post. It should be NAACP and not NCAAP. Sorry for the error.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:43 am |
  50. timmsa

    This whole tape was taken out of context.
    My question is where Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton?
    They are quick to jump on the band wagon when a white person makes a racist comment against a black person. Now that this whole thing has come about whether they were taken out of context or not, why has Jesse Jackson or Al Sharton stood up and taken sides on this one.
    Why have they not stood up and got their 15 seconds of fame?
    I will give you the answer, they are racist themselves.

    If they want true equality for all they should be standing up and defending or accusing this woman.
    I am not in any way racist, I think racism should never exist in any form.
    But I just think it is crazy for any race to take garbage about another race.
    White people can't make racial comments about black people with out getting back lash, but it is ok for black people to make racial comments about white "cracker", "Honkey"

    July 21, 2010 at 7:42 am |
  51. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Maybe our country concentrates on race too much and not enough on the mess were in .

    July 21, 2010 at 7:41 am |
  52. Carl Clark

    I am beginning to see that what happens after the LIE presented by Fox and it's friends is more important than the Lie itself. So if I present a lie and someone believes me, the believer of the lie is the one who falls under scrutiny and not me, the liar. Interesting. Not only is Fox and it's friends culpable in this episode but they are also culpable in the Lie presented about the misrepresentation about the San Diego office of ACORN and the prostitute fiasco. Come on CNN, focus on the Liar and nip this practice in the bud. Otherwise this will happen again and again and again.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:37 am |
  53. Pauly

    Dan, you're funny. I never suggested it wasn't ok for anyone to criticize any President for his actions or his policies. The difference is that much of the hatred for this President is based on nothing more than his race.

    Conservatives have tried to ease their biases somewhat by claiming he's not the 1st black President but the 1st bi-racial President. His skin color is black & unfortunately, that is what he's been judged on most of his life. And is the reason that the right wing media keeps attempting to cover their racism up by trying to associate this administration to any racism in the black community.

    The GOP even attacked Justice Marshall in Kagan's confirmation hearings. Never mind the fact that Sen Sessions, R-AL, own appointment to a federal judgeship was denied due to his racist views. So he ran for & was elected to the US Senate!

    If you listened to Sen Obama during one of the debates, he stated, "no one is for abortion. But elected officials are supposed to uphold the laws of the land." The Supreme Court ruled that women have a right to abortion!!!

    I'm sorry that your bigotry isn't limited to blacks but also gays. You on the right say you want govt out of your lives but you want to get into everyone else's lives. You have stated that Muslims want to change our way of life. Christians have been doing that since the founding of this country. If you on the right had your way, President Obama's parents never could have gotten married!!!

    July 21, 2010 at 7:37 am |
  54. Laura

    Miss Shirley is too good & decent to work in governmen where there is so much ugliness. The racist far right have gotten the federal leadership so rattled that they made a poor judgement call without having all the facts. Why would they even take seriously something coming from the hatemongering far-right without doing a complete fact check. Hire her CNN & start a show about race relations. This needs continuing dialogue. It's an absolute disgrace the hate mongering & racism seen even on the White House Facebook page coming from the far right. Good luck to Miss Shirley. God bless her for all she has done for farmers, the backbone of our country.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:35 am |
  55. Jane - WI

    Remember the inflammatory ad the NAACP ran when George Bush was running for President? The very deceitful "James Byrd" dragging death ad which implied that George Bush was soft on the accused murderers? The ads which ran (in Missouri I believe) claiming that if a white was elected, black churches would burn.
    Can blacks be racist? THese ads were racist, yet I don't recall the media focusing on the racism of the NAACP and other black organizations. The racism of Rev. Wright is another example of a story that journalists reluctantly had to cover, took a long time to pay attention to, and gave Barack obama a pass despite his close relationship with the guy.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:34 am |
  56. Jane - WI

    Just wondering where the concern of the media was to get to the truth of a story when it came to the supposed racial slurs that some black Congressmen claim were directed at them? So far, I've seen no proof that this happened. People who were there claim it didn't, while a handful of black Congressmen claim it did. Why did the media immediately back the Congressmen and believe them when there was no proof it actually happened? Where was the interest in "context" when it came to Trent Lott and his comments made at the 100th birthday party of Strom Thurmond? Why the over the top coverage of George Allen and his macaca comment (a word 99% of the public never heard of), and why no context of more of the video being shown? Why no interest in finding out if the NAACP claims about the Tea Party are valid, since they tarred the entire Tea Party movement?

    July 21, 2010 at 7:30 am |
  57. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    I think she deserves the job of the person who fired her .

    July 21, 2010 at 7:30 am |
  58. Sam

    If I may, I think most people missed the point of the clip that was posted. NCAAP had accused Teaparty of harboring racists and by association of being racist. The poster wanted to show that the same thing occurs at NCAAP functions. One can clearly hear the audience "appreciating" this lady's comments about maybe withholding the full extent of her help. It is at that point in the tape that the poster stops as taht is the point being made. The audience, all members of NCAAP, at a NCAAP banquet, seem to appreciate an example of discrimination against a white farmer. They did not, at that point in time, know that she would be following with the rest of the story about her growth in maturity.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:29 am |
  59. scott

    The American Public at large are the ones being snookered. If Oil is an addiction we must kick, so is YouTube. This story is a perfect example. We are a reactive, combustible society more interested in the heat the story generates than any potential light it may shine.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:28 am |
  60. mike sey

    This shameful episode reflects Americans vindictive rush-to-judgement mentality and sloppy journalism. The NAACP at least apologized. Vilsack should resign not only for his hasty action towards an employee but for sloppy and misleading presidential briefing. And Mrs. Obama should take her husband into the woodshed for doing unto other what others have done to him. Brightbart should be sued for Libel and shunned . And Rowland Martin and other pundits should take a long hard look at themselves and their reluctance to admit a mistake.

    Unfortunately, this attitude is a key ingredient of American foreign policy and causes untold misery .

    July 21, 2010 at 7:24 am |
  61. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    With the tight rope that our country walks on we can not afford careless mistakes with race .

    July 21, 2010 at 7:23 am |
  62. Lea james

    Yes NAACP acted too quicky but why are you grilling them and holding Brightbar as a hero?He did this to be deceiving – why is that not more important? We would all benefit from this woman 's testimony. I wish we could hear a white person's testimony of changed racist feelings followed by action so that maybe that too would allow others to see change can happen- racism exist we can't keep denying that. Thankfully the Naacp was not covering up what first appeared to seem racist just because it was from a black woman!

    July 21, 2010 at 7:22 am |
  63. Cindy

    The bigger issue is how the media on both sides proceeded to discuss and make opinion for the entire day yesterday without viewing the entire tape. Could it possibly be for rating purposes?
    Also, it is quite evident from the statement from NAACP this morning that they were snookered by FOX News (and CNN affirms) is an indictment against them. This statement shows how NAACP (CNN)are not interested in the full facts and more importantly not interested in the people who have worked for them only making sure they are politically correct and using race for political purposes.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:21 am |
  64. art

    If we can see another person as a racist, then we are seeing the racist through the filter of our own harbored racist within ourselves. We all do it. We're projecting our own unhealed attributes on one another.

    Perception can be very tricky when living in a mirror universe. Confucious spoke to this aspect of truth when he said- "When you see a good man think of emulating him; when you see a bad man, examine your own heart."

    It's the only way we're ever going to transcend racism.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:19 am |
  65. frankie

    I wish that America was such a place, that we could have heard Ms. Sherrod's beautiful redemption story, without the only reason her story making national news being the ugly political treatment of that story. A far-right blogger had saved and doctored this story for just such a purpose. We should be cautioned because racism is such a flash point that it causes some people to use it purposefully, some people to overreact to it, some people to be too afraid to be accused of it to act right, etc. We should listen to Ms. Sherrod and try to learn better.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:18 am |
  66. Ronny

    Yep.... Racism is alive and well only in the GOP ... lol .... and ACORN is (was) a stand up honest organization, was never registering dead people or illegal aliens to vote and the Democratic controlled cancelled their funding for no good reason, the new Black Panther doesn't preach about killing "crackers" and their babies AND there is no racism in the Democratic party.... lol.

    As I always said... as long as people's main concern is playing the blame game – nothing will ever get accomplished in America.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:18 am |
  67. Ben from Baltimore

    I am a white male and I think that Mrs. Sherrod should get her job back. The White House should NEVER believe a Faux Noise/Andrew Brietbart story without doing their own fact checking. She should sue Faux Noise and Andrew Brietbart for slander and defamation of character as well. Faux Noise has had a long history of racism as well.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:17 am |
  68. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Those bone heads needs to start investigating things before they take action they put this lady threw a bunch of grief because of there careless action's .

    July 21, 2010 at 7:13 am |
  69. Alessandro, from Pennsylvania

    I saw both versions of the video, and I am still disheartened to see that she used both race and class struggle in her decision to help or refer the poor farmer to some other individual/organization. While her actions may have helped the farmer, she admits that because of color, she didn't help him to the fullest extent possible. In this day and age, and given the economy's current state, we need to help one another out, not take shortcuts based on someone's different appearance.

    When I was treating Marines, Navy personnel, and Marine Recruits, I didn't care what color skin they had, what religion they practiced, or what background they had. I gave 110% to everyone. That's how I practice today.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:11 am |
  70. frankie

    Isn't Andrew Breitbart, who put up that video of Ms. Sherrod, guilty of defamation of character? He said himself on CNN that the video he put up wasn't about Ms. Sherrod. His rationales for putting up that edited video, disgusted me.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:09 am |
  71. gloria lewis

    Every last one of you in the media need to take a copy of this tape realisten and listen and listen because you are all guilty of what Shirley Sherrod ia sayint .The statement where she said she realise that is was not really a race issue as it is a problem of haves and have not is as true as john 3-16 .I have been saying this for years in this so call great nation if you do not have money or people in high places you are screwed ,at leastt she was smart enough to realise that with power and power you can make a difference so she did .
    Every last one of you selfish morons and the networks that employ you should be ashame of yourselves ,poor people support you bussiness we pay for cable yet you guys give all the publicity to the rich and powerful .You all need to take a good look at your souls what you do is worst than racium ,you have the gates close to poor people we all just sit around and dream and hope and watch all of you get more and more we actually help you get more while we suffer .Its forthis same reason this country is in the toilet and contine o go down .Every one of you can give yourself kudos and so when you are at home and someone break into your house and rob you just remember they felt they had no choice ,you guys limit their oppurtunities so they do what they have to do .
    I can say this to you i have contact everyone of you ,john king ,anderson cooper ,campbell brown , to name a few i have also contact the white house the president and a few of his advisors ,sent don lemon a certified letters ,sent oprah winfrey a certified letter in 2004 ,shaq oneal in 2005 ,have been trying to break ice from 2004 to present contact over 20 members of congress and senators ,every news media ,org you name it i did 6 years no one will listen .
    Which is excatly what Mrs Sherrod its about haves and have nots i tried over and over again to get anyone to help me get the message out there that if the necessary precautions were not put in place the economy was going to fall ,6 years later tons of letters emails and not a singel person cared to listen .Why i have no money or no big friends so millions loose their homes ,their jobs because i do not fit the criteria of people that matter .Everyone of your hands have the blood of the american people on it ,all of your are your bias you help destroy this country so wake up change the way you do bussiness you are the difference makers not the government .

    July 21, 2010 at 7:06 am |
  72. Pauly

    Dan. listen to the white farmer & his wife if you don't care to watch & listen to the speech by Ms Sherrod. They said they would have lost their farm w/o her help. Never mind the fact that she said the event she described, which was 24 years ago & long before she was a govt employee, opened her eyes that the issues weren't black & white.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:00 am |
  73. Dan

    So Pauly, let me get this straight. It was OK for the pathetic liberals, who are for gay marraige slaughtering of innocent human life (oh, I mean abortion) to attack President Bush for 8 years, but now that the Liberals have their man in office, it is not ok? You can't have the worlds both ways.
    Don't tell me the Liberals didn't attack President Bush. They did it consistently for 8 years.

    July 21, 2010 at 6:50 am |
  74. Mark from Boston

    Good morning All:

    I had no idea who Shirley Sherrod was prior to this week. When I saw her on television yesterday, I was surprised that it was the same woman who spoke at my aunt's retirement last year. When I watched her speech online, it was very similar to the speech she gave at the retirement.

    That being said, I would like to thank the Tea Party for showing me the error in my ways. Their divisive politics has made me finally decide to change my party affiliation TODAY from Republican to Independent. This is both a defining moment and en epiphany for me, as I'm sure it will be for many others.

    July 21, 2010 at 6:42 am |
  75. Dan

    Of course this wasn't racist. Just ask the NAACP.
    Now, let's reverse the players. IF it had been WHITE woman making these comments about a BLACK farmer, then it would have been racist.

    July 21, 2010 at 6:38 am |
  76. Pauly

    The Tea Party has been denying any racism in their "movement." The fact is that racism is alive & well in the GOP period!!! The right wing media has been attacking black individuals & organizations since the election of President Obama. Unfortunately, much of the rest of the media went w/ the stories before learning the facts.

    Remember the Republican campaign worker who said a black man carved OB on her cheek? Then there were the "edited" videos of ACORN. Lately, a certain media outlet has been trying to make a major conspiracy out of the New Black Panther case.

    Never mind that the criminal charges were dropped on Jan 7, 2009, before President Obama took office. Never mind that the 2 idiots were in front of a polling place that was in the middle of a housing project & 95% of the voters are black. Never mind that there is no evidence of them attempting to change anyone's vote ot to get anyone to vote a certain way. Never mind that the group has as few members as a basketball team. They were there for the cameras, not to sway any votes.

    Then the other day, "edited" video was posted to destroy Ms Sherrod & the NAACP. I would suggest everyone try checking on the facts, or at least listening to whole interviews or speeches, before ruining someone's life. I commend CNN for attempting to get the "rest of the story" out there. Unfortunately, the damage has already been done.

    July 21, 2010 at 6:37 am |
  77. joe

    Matthew R. Simmons – Chairman Emeritus of Simmons & Company International was on the Dylan Ratigan show on MSNBC on July 15th making some VERY inflammatory claims about a BP cover up, and possible government cover-up of the true scope of the oil disaster. He just was on and restated his claims in more detail.

    He is calling for "the arrest of BP executives", and stating that there is "a hole spewing 120,000 barrels of oil a day where the 1st BOP use to be". This man is not a fringe character and has been on many main stream media shows during the disaster. His Wikipedia page shows hes a member of the Council On Foreign Relations. Plain and simple he is exposing a massive cover-up by BP, and possibly the government about the real extent of this disaster, or fear mongering to further his/others agenda while calling for the "arrest" of BP executives. The truth is somewhere out there.

    Stories and interviews without softballs are crucial to the security and psychology of the United States, his claims need to be proven or disproven.

    July 21, 2010 at 6:35 am |
  78. Ronny

    Let me correct my last statement.... I'll retract my statement... concerning Sherrod... NOT the NAACP. The NAACP is and always will be a racist organization.

    July 21, 2010 at 6:33 am |
  79. joe

    wow. Why does the blonde reporter smile and act so happy near the Chernobyl of the sea? It is really annoying. 🙁

    July 21, 2010 at 6:33 am |
  80. dave

    Is there another oil cap in production in case this one fails? Or do we have to wait for failure to realize we need another fix

    July 21, 2010 at 6:30 am |
  81. Carl Mawhinney

    I appreciate CNN's new's about recent coverage of the NAACP and discrimination. I am white but my heart goes out to ANYONE that is falsely accused of discrimination by "narrow minded" high profile bloggers and editors. Thank you for keeping them honest.

    July 21, 2010 at 6:21 am |
  82. Ronny

    I'll retract my statement... when she gets her job back. I went by what was shown on CNN.

    July 21, 2010 at 6:20 am |
  83. Nikita

    My question is when is this non-sense going to stop, this woman was fired before the Secretary of USDA even looked into the matter. Of course Obama agreed to it, so sad they're not friends or none of this would've happened. She needs to get a lawyer, bring suit against the White house and teach them a lesson. You don't arbitrarily fire someone before you have all the facts, this is a new generation.

    July 21, 2010 at 6:14 am |
  84. Pauly

    Ronny, aka Melon, do you want to retract your comments from yesterday?
    July 20th, 2010 7:03 am ET

    Good Morning CNN!

    Let's hope for success in the oil leak in the Gulf.

    The black racist that made the speech before the NAACP was in MARCH and the NAACP did nothing about it until the video hit YouTube proves the NAACP tolerates racism – as long as it is a black racist against a white person. Hypocrite much NAACP? Did not the crowd cheer and applaud when she was making those comments? Sherrod beyond any doubt is a racist. More double standards in America.

    July 21, 2010 at 6:09 am |
  85. Mark Brennaman

    The media got burned once again by conservatives who place no value on truth. This should make clear the need to mistrust conservative sources as they seem to have an agenda separate and apart front honest discourse.

    July 21, 2010 at 6:04 am |