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A black USDA official in Georgia has resigned after publicly admitting she didn't help a white man trying to save his farm to the "full force" of her power and instead referred him to "one of his own."
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he had accepted Shirley Sherrod's resignation, saying there was "zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA."
The NAACP, which recently condemned racism in tea party groups , also issued a statement Monday night saying: "Racism is about the abuse of power. Sherrod had it in her position at USDA. According to her remarks, she mistreated a whit
Shirley Sherrod, who resigned Monday as the department's director of rural development for Georgia, told CNN she had four calls telling her the White House wanted her to resign.
"They asked me to resign, and in fact they harassed me as I was driving back to the state office from West Point, Georgia, yesterday," she said. The last call "asked me to pull to the side of the road and do it [resign]," she said.
The Obama administration announced a $1.25 billion settlement Thursday to resolve charges by thousands of black farmers who say that for decades the Agriculture Department discriminated against them in loan programs. Cabinet officials exhorted Congress to approve the deal by setting aside money for the farmers, who have fought through three administrations to secure a measure of justice. In the starkest cases, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, farmers lost their property after local administrators slow-pedaled loan applications, leaving them unable to plant key crops.
Originally posted by ~Lucidity
The fact that a black man is now president has changed people and their attitudes about themselves and toward each other, and not always in positive ways. And that goes for people of all races.
Originally posted by LiQuiD_FuSioN
If this were a white man saying this sort of thing,
Originally posted by zroth
Now America's leaders have its employees living in fear like all corporations in this country and to make things worse...everyone becomes a YES MAN because they fear retribution for going against the grain.
Right and wrong have died in the country. On-board or off-board are your choices.
Sherrod said Tuesday that the incident with the farmer in 1986 occurred before she started work for the USDA and was working at the nonprofit Federation of Southern Cooperatives. She said the experience helped her learn to move beyond race and she tells the story to audiences to make that point.
To prove she had done her job, she said, she took him to a white lawyer. "I figured that if I take him to one of them, that his own kind would take care of him," she said.
But that lawyer failed to help, she said. "I did not discriminate against [the farmer]. And, in fact, I went all out to frantically look for a lawyer at the last minute because the first lawyer we went to was not doing anything to really help him. In fact, that lawyer suggested they should just let the farm go." She was able to find an attorney to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy to help the family stay on the farm, she said.
Meanwhile, the farmer referenced in the clip told CNN he credits Sherrod with helping his family save their farm.
"I don't know what brought up the racist mess," Roger Spooner told CNN's "Rick's List." "They just want to stir up some trouble, it sounds to me in my opinion."
Spooner says Sherrod accompanied him and his wife to a lawyer in Americus, Georgia, who was able to help them file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which ultimately saved their farm.
"If it hadn't been for her, we would've never known who to see or what to do," he said. "She led us right to our success."
Spooner's wife, Eloise, remembered Sherrod as "nice-mannered, thoughtful, friendly; a good person."
She said that when she saw the story of the tape and Sherrod's resignation on television, "I said, 'That ain't right. They have not treated her right.' "