Video: Sherrod says incident didn’t occur at USDA

posted at 1:36 pm on July 20, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The USDA political appointee pushed into resigning over a tape from a 2009 NAACP awards dinner now claims that the incident she described in the speech didn’t occur at the USDA but almost a quarter-century earlier at a nonprofit. Shirley Sherrod tells CNN that she tried to explain the anecdote to the Obama administration, but that the White House was too frightened of “Fox and the Tea Party” to listen to her explanation:

Sherrod told CNN on Tuesday the incident she discusses in the clip took place more than two decades ago, and she recounted it to an audience to make the point that people should move beyond race.

“I was telling the story of how working with him helped me to see the issue is not about race,” she said. “It’s about those who have versus those who do not have.”

Sherrod said Tuesday that her remarks were taken out of context.

“I was speaking to that group, like I’ve done many groups, and I tell them about a time when I thought the issue was race and race only,” Sherrod said on CNN’s “American Morning” from her home in Albany, Georgia. The incident took place in 1986, while she worked for a nonprofit and before she joined the Agriculture Department, she said.

Be sure to note the word only in Sherrod’s explanation.  As I wrote yesterday, it did appear that Sherrod was starting to make a point in the clip about eschewing ethnic identity politics in order to focus on poverty. However, she then doubles back and says, “It is about white and black” as well as poverty. The point of her story wound up being that it was about both, a view that puts her outside of the mainstream — and apparently outside of the Obama administration’s comfort zone for honesty.

The larger point here, though, is not so much Sherrod’s speech but the embrace that her message had at the NAACP.  No one in this tape is heard objecting to her admission of giving short shrift to a client based on his skin color. Even the NAACP wound up pointing that out as “disturbing” in their initial response to the Sherrod tape:

Racism is about the abuse of power. Sherrod had it in her position at USDA. According to her remarks, she mistreated a white farmer in need of assistance because of his race.

We are appalled by her actions, just as we are with abuses of power against farmers of color and female farmers.

Her actions were shameful. While she went on to explain in the story that she ultimately realized her mistake, as well as the common predicament of working people of all races, she gave no indication she had attempted to right the wrong she had done to this man.

The reaction from many in the audience is disturbing. We will be looking into the behavior of NAACP representatives at this local event and take any appropriate action.

We thank those who brought this to our national office’s attention, as there are hundreds of local fundraising dinners each year.

I think the NAACP and the White House acted wisely in this case. It’s impossible to argue with that statement, and kudos to them for resisting the urge to circle the wagons.

Greg Hengler notes that this isn’t CNN’s only bite at the apple for this story. John Roberts and Kiran Chetry do a passable job in presenting the argument, but later, Tony Harris goes into full softball mode:

Sherrod and others can complain about Fox News and the editing of the tape, but two points should be remembered. First, Andrew Breitbart made it clear to me last night that this was the entirety of the speech he had in his possession. He also wants to find the whole speech and is trying to get it. Second, this has a lot more substantiation and evidence of racism than what the Journolist attempted to cook up against Fred Barnes and Karl Rove, among others — or for that matter, what the NAACP has to accuse the Tea Party movement as a whole of being racist.


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Thank God for Glenn Beck, the reasoned voice of Conservatism.

Not a partisan hack like Breitbart….

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 5:16 PM

You seem to overlook the strong, I say strong probability that Beck and Breitbart are teaming this story.

petefrt on July 20, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Tom Vilsack is taking responsibilioty for firing her, CNN has a tape of him saying it was him, not the WH.

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 5:53 PM

Are you mad that Glenn agrees with me?

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 5:24 PM

No, the only one “mad” here is you.

I’m just laughing at someone from the Left suddenly falling in lovey with a Faux News guy when it suits her political agenda.

Does this mean you believe everything else Beck says is true as well?

Del Dolemonte on July 20, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Beck’s FNC show today confirms to me that the Sherrod clip is but an opening salvo from Breitbart aimed at mainly at MSM, which after all is his favorite target anyway… and that Sherrod and NAACP are incidental casualties. We’ll know more, of course, after Breitbart releases the next installment.

Stuff that Beck and Breitbart have said from time to time leads me to believe they often work closely together on breaking stories. This time, Tucker is probably in on the action too.

petefrt on July 20, 2010 at 5:57 PM

No, the only one “mad” here is you.

I’m just laughing at someone from the Left suddenly falling in lovey with a Faux News guy when it suits her political agenda.

Does this mean you believe everything else Beck says is true as well?

Del Dolemonte on July 20, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Who is the someone from the left?

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 5:59 PM

CNN has a tape of him saying it was him, not the WH.

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 5:53 PM

LOL, of course they do. After all, CNN is an official stenographer for O’bama and nothing more.

CNN isn’t at all interested in what is true about this story and what isn’t, only in trying to make sure their Dear Leader doesn’t look like a fool.

Del Dolemonte on July 20, 2010 at 6:00 PM

I think Breitbart will be on Fox Biz at 7pm ET

LurkerDood on July 20, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Who is the someone from the left?

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 5:59 PM

So, are you saying it’s a complete coincidence that you have the same handle here as a longstanding far-left agitator, and just HAPPEN to have the same inability to cope with details (like the meeting OBVIOUSLY not being 1984)?

I find it unlikely that two commenters would come up with the nick “AprilOrit” independently.

Merovign on July 20, 2010 at 6:10 PM

LOL, of course they do. After all, CNN is an official stenographer for O’bama and nothing more.

CNN isn’t at all interested in what is true about this story and what isn’t, only in trying to make sure their Dear Leader doesn’t look like a fool.

Del Dolemonte on July 20, 2010 at 6:00 PM

But he did in fact make the tape – it’s him, CNN didn’t prop someone up in Vilsack drag in the tape…

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 6:10 PM

LurkerDood on July 20, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Tanks! IMO, this story is still in its infancy, and growing like a weed.

A key question Beck left hanging, for today at least, is why did the WH react so hard and so fast. I agree with him that none of the obvious possibilities seem to adequately explain it. I think the Examiner article drives more to the heart of it: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/Examiner-Opinion-Zone/Shirley-Sherrods-Disappearing-Act-Not-So-Fast-98846149.html

petefrt on July 20, 2010 at 6:10 PM

Del Dolemonte on July 20, 2010 at 6:00 PM

And btw, I am hardly from The Left.

I am also not a foaming at the mouth Far Right wingnut loon suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome either….

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 6:12 PM

Tanks! IMO, this story is still in its infancy, and growing like a weed.

A key question Beck left hanging, for today at least, is why did the WH react so hard and so fast. I agree with him that none of the obvious possibilities seem to adequately explain it. I think the Examiner article drives more to the heart of it: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/Examiner-Opinion-Zone/Shirley-Sherrods-Disappearing-Act-Not-So-Fast-98846149.html

petefrt on July 20, 2010 at 6:10 PM

I think it was Vilsak, he’s a Far Left loon and was doing what Far left loons do….

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 6:15 PM

And btw, I am hardly from The Left.

I am also not a foaming at the mouth Far Right wingnut loon suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome either….

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 6:12 PM

“Hey Norman, I caught Walter!”

“On Golden Pond”, 1981.

Del Dolemonte on July 20, 2010 at 6:18 PM

I didn’t hear anything on Glen Beck that said he “exonerates” her conduct here.

What Beck said – was that he’d like to see more with context. He’s using this incident to point out how the President and the media use their power to shut down people and move them out of the way – without any kind of due process.

Beck’s agenda on this is his … and it’s a good one.

However, until I see a tape of the woman “closing the story” as she claims she did – I’ll still rely on the existing evidence at hand … and that is (1) a Video of her making racist statements and (2) TWO admissions from her that she didn’t do everything she could to help the white farmer. Her most recent admission? Today – to the Atlanta Constitution Journal. Read the story – she admits that she didn’t help the white farmer to the best of her ability.

So this is pretty damning.

You can guys can wait on the tooth fairy – I have some moonshine to drink.

HondaV65 on July 20, 2010 at 6:25 PM

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 6:15 PM

Then you believe Vilsak is telling the truth and Sherrod is lying? Obviously, one or the other has to be ‘making it up’.

petefrt on July 20, 2010 at 6:31 PM

What Beck said – was that he’d like to see more with context. He’s using this incident to point out how the President and the media use their power to shut down people and move them out of the way – without any kind of due process.

Beck’s agenda on this is his … and it’s a good one.

However, until I see a tape of the woman “closing the story” as she claims she did – I’ll still rely on the existing evidence at hand …
HondaV65 on July 20, 2010 at 6:25 PM

Agree. Betcha that Breitbart’s larger agenda on it too.

petefrt on July 20, 2010 at 6:34 PM

NAACP is putting the unedited speech on their website…

Can hardly wait.

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 6:40 PM

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 6:15 PM
Then you believe Vilsak is telling the truth and Sherrod is lying? Obviously, one or the other has to be ‘making it up’.

petefrt on July 20, 2010 at 6:31 PM

You mean Sherrod’s suopervisor just below Visak. That is who told her it came from the WH…that’s the liar.

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 6:42 PM

This sroty is like a weed.

The full tape is coming out and we will soon know who sold Breitbart the edited tape.

Everyone will be scrutinized in this one – and rightfully so.

it’s going to be a blood bath…

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 6:44 PM

I rest my case. You guys want a one party system in America which is the most Un-American thing this side of hell. You guys, like Rush and the DKosers would rather innalilate and smear your opponents then bring this Nation together, and for that you should be ashamed, or better yet, deported.

AprilOrit on September 29, 2007 at 1:44 PM

Let’s tell the truth here. When someone says “I want my country back”, what they are saying is their America would never elect a black President.

AprilOrit on July 22, 2009 at 12:51 AM

You are not a Republican, you are a Conservative so do yourself a favor and join The Constitution Party already and leave us alone. This is the Republican Party – not the Conservative Party.

This Far Right Mob idealogy needs to stop.

AprilOrit on February 11, 2009 at 6:30 PM

And many more.

Okay, I take it back, you’re a “New York Republican,” known throughout the rest of the country as a “Democrat.”

Seriously, has anyone here compared the positions of the NY GOP to the rest of the country? I remember the first time I saw the NY caucuses, you could literally change a few words in their position paper and transplant it into a Democrat caucus in a Western state and no one would know the difference.

Part of this is just the fact that there are vaguely defined but roughly consistent “liberal” and “conservative” movements in this country, and you don’t like either one.

Part of it is that you can’t help yourself from calling people names, like racists or bigots or loons or deranged, when they’re on a different part of the spectrum from you.

You like to claim victim status, but I’ve noticed that you OPEN with the insult a lot – perfect, whiny, passive-aggressive nonsense.

So, you can call yourself whatever you want, but what you are is what you do.

Merovign on July 20, 2010 at 6:46 PM

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 6:15 PM
Then you believe Vilsak is telling the truth and Sherrod is lying? Obviously, one or the other has to be ‘making it up’.

petefrt on July 20, 2010 at 6:31 PM

Sherrod got phone calls from 3 different people – none being Vilsak – telling her to resign. All of these people claimed it came from the WH, which it did not.

It had come from Vilsak – according to him. he is claiming on the tape to CNN – that it was his Far Left loon decision to get rid of her.

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 6:48 PM

Merovign on July 20, 2010 at 6:46 PM

And I stand by my posts.

The GOP stands for small government which I believe in.

I do not believe Government should legislate social issues – that’s for

The Constitution Party

– join ‘em – they will welcome you with open arms.

The GD Government has no right telling me, you are anyone what they can do in their social lives – if it isn’t against the laws of the land.

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 6:51 PM

Merovign on July 20, 2010 at 6:46 PM

If you would like to pull up more posts you will see that I supported John McCain, not Barack Obama. There are many posts from that time about my twin brother and my older sister defecting against our family – and my parents – and joning Obama’s campaign.

So what’s your point? Yes, I live in the greatest city in the universe and I am damn proud to be a authentic 100% USDA New Yorker and a generational New York Republican.

I willl not be ashamed of that becuase you believe we are not sincere to the Party….

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 6:57 PM

April quit being a pompous ahole.

CWforFreedom on July 20, 2010 at 7:07 PM

You seem to overlook the strong, I say strong probability that Beck and Breitbart are teaming this story.
petefrt on July 20, 2010 at 5:49 PM

This.

Breitbart NEVER reveals all of a story at once – he releases a little at a time, then draws in his prey. He waits for them to incriminate themselves – always in print and/or on tape – then he releases another bombshell that catches them in another bad position. This goes on and on, until finally, the other guys are totally and irreversibly discredited.

In this case, I think that Beck is the “good cop”, Breitbart is the “bad cop”, and Carlson is the “intrepid reporter”. Brilliantly started, and it will be a joy to see the execution of this play.

Somebody pass the popcorn…..

TeresainFortWorth on July 20, 2010 at 7:12 PM

I willl not be ashamed of that becuase you believe we are not sincere to the Party….

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 6:57 PM

I only expect you to be as ashamed as you claim “conservatives” should be because they are not “sincere to the Party…”

Okay, that’s a lie, I don’t expect that.

Again, you tell everyone else where they belong, then you yell “don’t you tell me where I belong!”

Typical weak passive-aggressive mind games.

Oh, and I’m *really* not who you think I am, which is vaguely amusing.

Merovign on July 20, 2010 at 7:29 PM

April quit being a pompous ahole.

CWforFreedom on July 20, 2010 at 7:07 PM

Perhaps you should mind your business. I did not address you.

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 8:06 PM

I willl not be ashamed of that becuase you believe we are not sincere to the Party….

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 6:57 PM
I only expect you to be as ashamed as you claim “conservatives” should be because they are not “sincere to the Party…”

Okay, that’s a lie, I don’t expect that.

Again, you tell everyone else where they belong, then you yell “don’t you tell me where I belong!”

Typical weak passive-aggressive mind games.

Oh, and I’m *really* not who you think I am, which is vaguely amusing.

Merovign on July 20, 2010 at 7:29 PM

Look – I am not really interested in fighting with you.

You started on me – assuming you know my story.

I answered you in my defense – that’s all I got. I want to enjoy my evening and I wish the same for you.

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 8:08 PM

Merovign on July 20, 2010 at 7:29 PM

I am happy Glenn Beck saw the story as I did and I hope this woman gets her job back, period.

She was treated unfairly & trampled by this administration.

It just shouldn’t be.

AprilOrit on July 20, 2010 at 8:10 PM

Something stinks here. The Bamster has stuck by others that have done far worse, or just stonewalled. Why was this lady given the bum’s rush? Why wasn’t she given a chance to explain? They seem to have wanted her, or the organization she works for, out of the news asap. Why? Is it because of what the group she works for is doing? Is there something else on her bio that they want to keep buried?

Also interesting that her boss seemed terrified that ‘she would be on Glenn Beck’. Does the White House gather in the situation room every night at 5pm for Beck? Is he rattling them that badly?

slickwillie2001 on July 20, 2010 at 8:51 PM

Let’s tell the truth here. When someone says “I want my country back”, what they are saying is their America would never elect a black President.

AprilOrit on July 22, 2009 at 12:51 AM

BullSh#t, BullSh%t, 1000 X BullSh*t.

docob on July 21, 2010 at 1:29 AM

First, Andrew Breitbart made it clear to me last night that this was the entirety of the speech he had in his possession. He also wants to find the whole speech and is trying to get it.

Maybe he should have tried before he released the selectively-edited version. This incident does not make Breitbart look good.

Second, this has a lot more substantiation and evidence of racism than what the Journolist attempted to cook up against Fred Barnes and Karl Rove, among others —

Wait, one guy on Journolist came up with that idea and it was shot down by the others. Why lie about it?

or for that matter, what the NAACP has to accuse the Tea Party movement as a whole of being racist.

Good grief, do you even read your own site?

Allahpundit posted this regarding the NAACP’s Tea Party statement:

The text’s not online yet but it sounds like they scaled back the accusation from the entire movement to simply certain unspecified people within it.

Why do you display such dishonesty about issues regarding race?

orange on July 21, 2010 at 12:16 PM

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