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Farmer's wife says fired USDA official helped save their land

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Filed: Timeline

By Marcus K. Garner and Christian Boone

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The wife of the white farmer allegedly discriminated against by the USDA's rural development director for Georgia said Shirley Sherrod "kept us out of bankruptcy."

Eloise Spooner, 82, awoke Tuesday to discover that Sherrod had lost her job after videotaped comments she made in March at a local NAACP banquet surfaced on the web.

Sherrod, who is black, told the crowd she didn't do everything she could to help a white farmer whom she said was condescending when he came to her for aid. She said the video was selectively edited but regardless a White House official was adamant that she resign.

"What he didn't know while he was taking all that time trying to show me he was superior to me was, I was trying to decide just how much help I was going to give him," Sherrod said in the video, recorded March 27 in Douglas in southeast Georgia.

But Spooner, who considers Sherrod a "friend for life," said the federal official worked tirelessly to help the Iron City couple hold onto their land as they faced bankruptcy back in 1986.

"Her husband told her, ‘You're spending more time with the Spooners than you are with me,' " Spooner told the AJC. "She took probably two or three trips with us to Albany just to help us out."

Spooner called Sherrod Tuesday morning.

"She's very sad about it," Spooner said. "She told me she was so glad we talked. I just can't believe this is happening to her."

Sherrod told the AJC the damning video was selectively edited. She said the video posted online Monday by biggovernment.com and reported on by FoxNews.com and the AJC completely misconstrued the message she was trying to convey.

"For Fox to take a spin on this like they have done, and know it’s not the truth … it’s very upsetting," said Sherrod, 62, who insisted her statements in the video were not racist. "I was struggling with the fact that so many black people had lost their farmland, and here I was faced with having to help a white person save their land. So I didn't give him the full force of what I could do. I did enough."

Sherrod noted that few news reports have mentioned that the story she told happened 24 years ago -- before she got the USDA job -- when she worked with the Georgia field office for the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund.

"And I went on to work with many more white farmers," she said. "The story helped me realize that race is not the issue, it's about the people who have and the people who don't. When I speak to groups, I try to speak about getting beyond the issue of race."

Responding to what he knew of the video Monday evening, Atlanta NAACP chapter president R.L. White recalled many years of unfair treatment against minority farmers when he told the AJC that the footage, at face value, "does suggest unfair treatment."

"The playing table should be leveled," said White, who wasn't at the March event. "Everyone, regardless of race, creed or color, should be treated same way, regardless of the race of the administrator."

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Sherrod's resignation in a statement, saying the department has "zero tolerance" for discrimination. Sherrod told CNN that Cheryl Cook, deputy undersecretary for Rural Development, called her three times on Monday to eventually demand her resignation on behalf of the White House.

"They were just looking at what the Tea Party and what Fox said, and thought it was too (politically) dangerous for them," Sherrod said of the agriculture department.

The release of Sherrod's statements came a week after the NAACP issued a resolution calling some elements of the National Tea Party racist for comments made against President Barack Obama and African-American congressmen during the health care debate.

Sherrod was appointed to her position in by Obama's administration in July 2009 to manage more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs, and more than $114 billion in federal loans.

The AJC is working to recover the full video footage of Sherrod's speech to the Douglas NAACP. A production company, DCTV3 in Douglas, recorded the event at the local NAACP chapter's request and is waiting for permission to release the full speech.

"We broadcast it on cable," DCTV3 program director Johnny Wilkerson said. "Somebody probably picked it up and recorded it, then put it on YouTube. That's probably why the video looks so shabby."

Sherrod said the circumstances made it absurd for her to have made any racist comment.

"There were some white people there. The mayor (of Douglas) was there," Sherrod recalled. "Why would I do something racist if they were there?"

Mayor Jackie Wilson told the AJC she did introductions at the banquet but had to leave for another event before Sherrod's speech.

Wilson said she did not hear of any controversy in the weeks following the banquet, adding she was shocked to learn of Sherrod's resignation.

"She's not someone I know extremely well, but I respected her and thought she was doing a good job. And she seemed to be a fair person," said Wilson, who was city manager before becoming mayor 2 1/2 years ago. "I just hate that this kind of thing happened in Douglas."

Eloise Spooner told the AJC she intends to stand up for her friend.

http://www.ajc.com/news/farmers-wife-says-fired-574027.html

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Filed: Other Country: Canada
Timeline

Wait a minute. You're trying to tell me that a conservative blog cherrypicked quotes and didn't bother with the whole story? I am shocked. We all know that conservative blogers are beyond reproach and their integrity is never to be questioned as they always tell the whole story.

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Filed: Timeline

Wait a minute. You're trying to tell me that a conservative blog cherrypicked quotes and didn't bother with the whole story? I am shocked. We all know that conservative blogers are beyond reproach and their integrity is never to be questioned as they always tell the whole story.

;)

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Listen to the words that came out of her mouth. She decided to help him in spite of his race.

http://www.breitbart.tv/video-proof-the-naacp-awards-racism/


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



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The woman is 82, she doesn't know what she's saying - clearly they can no longer be friends after they have found out what an evil bigoted ###### she is!


Refusing to use the spellchick!

I have put you on ignore. No really, I have, but you are still ruining my enjoyment of this site. .

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
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Personal attack has been removed. Come on, people, there are better ways of making your points than resorting to personal attacks and insults.


“...Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive--it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?”

. Lucy Maude Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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Another Member of the VJ Fluffy Kitty Posse!

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I don't quite see how one can defend bullying this woman in the way the partisan right has done. Of course, someone may yet prove me wrong. All that has happened is that VJ racists have surfaced to applaud the 'outing' of a black bigot - I mean really?

Edited by Madame Cleo

Refusing to use the spellchick!

I have put you on ignore. No really, I have, but you are still ruining my enjoyment of this site. .

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Colombia
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I don't quite see how one can defend bullying this woman in the way the partisan right has done. Of course, someone may yet prove me wrong. All that has happened is that VJ racists have surfaced to applaud the 'outing' of a black bigot - I mean really?

You mean those that 'contextualize' white racism in other terms?


Wishing you ten-fold that which you wish upon all others.

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You mean those that 'contextualize' white racism in other terms?

That's how I see it, but then I'm only some dumb librul feminist, what do I know?


Refusing to use the spellchick!

I have put you on ignore. No really, I have, but you are still ruining my enjoyment of this site. .

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That's how I see it, but then I'm only some dumb librul feminist, what do I know?

That's right missy. :lol:

Sit when peeing, don't use that cone thingy.


Wishing you ten-fold that which you wish upon all others.

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Filed: Other Country: United Kingdom
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That's how I see it, but then I'm only some dumb librul feminist, what do I know?

No, sorry. You cannot be a feminist unless you're a stay at home mom who bakes cookies all day and gets the dinner on the table, promptly for when "hubby" gets home; and then serves at his beck and call while he sits on couch with his feet up reading the financial papers.

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That's right missy. :lol:

Sit when peeing, don't use that cone thingy.

Now that's an experiment I haven't tried :rofl:


Refusing to use the spellchick!

I have put you on ignore. No really, I have, but you are still ruining my enjoyment of this site. .

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