USDA official resigns over Breitbart tape of NAACP speech

That was fast.

The Agriculture Department announced Monday, shortly after published its initial report on the video, that Sherrod had resigned.

“There is zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA, and I strongly condemn any act of discrimination against any person,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a written statement. “We have been working hard through the past 18 months to reverse the checkered civil rights history at the department and take the issue of fairness and equality very seriously.

Here’s Ed’s post on the vid in case you missed it this morning. It’s a great write-up, but The Anchoress adds an important wrinkle: Doesn’t it sound like Sherrod was building to a “but” before the clip cut out?

Doesn’t it seem like, after all of that sort of winking, “you and I know how they really are” racist crap wherein Sherrod–intentionally or not–indicts her own narrow focus, she was heading to a more edifying message? What did it open her eyes about? Was she about to say “I took him to one of his own, but it shouldn’t have mattered about that; my job was to serve all the farmers who needed help.”

Was she about to say, “I learned about myself and about how far we still have to go?”

Was she about to say “it’s not poor vs those who have, because we are not at war, we are just in the same human reality that ever was?”

Was she about to say, “poor is poor, hungry is hungry and the past is the past when a family can’t eat?”

I want to see the rest of the tape. I cannot believe Sherrod ended on “I took him to one of his own.” Either she said something much worse after that (which we would have seen) or she said something much better.

I assume Breitbart’s edit is fair to the spirit of her remarks; if it isn’t, rest assured that Media Matters or whoever will produce the full tape of the event and demand to know why essential context was bowdlerized. And speaking of Breitbart, didn’t he claim to have “tapes” — plural — of racism at NAACP events? Perhaps that explains his latest Tweet, written half an hour before I’m posting this: “Hey @ericboehlert & the mostly male Caucasian @mmfa ‘senior fellows’: Get some rest. Tomorrow’s gonna be long day & first of many in a row.” Hmmmm.