In the wake of former USDA official Shirley Sherrod’s firing for a speech she gave in March, new details have emerged that call into question the punitive actions of her superiors, including the Obama administration.
Shirley Sherrod, a black woman who served as the USDA’s rural development director for Georgia, says she was “forced out of her federally appointed job” after a “snippet” of a speech she gave in March appeared to show her admitting to lackadaisically helping a struggling white farmer because of his race.
Sherrod has from the beginning said that her comments were taken out of context. She asserts that she was using an anecdote from more than 20 years ago—well before she was in the Obama administration—to explain that people, regardless of their race, are essentially the same and deserving of unwaveringly equal treatment. Nevertheless, conservatives called her a liar and she lost her job.