Shirley Sherrod ‘Not Sure’ She Wants Her Job Back

By Kate McCarthy

Jul 21, 2010 7:22am

Although Secretary Tom Vilsack is reconsidering his decision to oust Shirley Sherrod, she told me she might not even want her job back because she is unsure how she would treated.

“Because of all the publicity surrounding what happened…how would I be treated once I’m back there? I just don’t know,” she said on “GMA.” “I would have to be reassured on that.”

Sherrod, the Georgia director of rural development for the Department of Agriculture, was forced to resign after Andrew Breitbart, a conservative blogger at, released a video of her alleged racist remarks at an NAACP event.

“I was struggling with the fact that so many black people had lost their farm land. 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,” she said in the video, describing an incident from 24 years prior.

Bretibart posted the video days after the NAACP had denounced members of the Tea Party for what it called racist comments.

Initially both the NAACP and Vilsack released statements condemning Sherrod’s story. But after additional information came to light, the NAACP and Vilsack flipped.

NAACP president Benjamin Jealous said his organization had been “snookered” by the conservative blogger and urged Vilsack to reconsider Sherrod’s ouster. Vilsack did.

"I am of course willing and will conduct a thorough review and consider additional facts to ensure to the American people we are providing services in a fair and equitable manner,” Vilsack said in a statement released at 2 a.m. this morning.

Sherrod said she has not heard from Vilsack or President Obama and told me she found out about Vilsack’s reversal at 5:30 a.m. when someone read her the statement.

“I’m a bit disappointed that things happened in the way they happened. It doesn’t take away my support for the administration,” she said. “When I accepted the position at rural development, always in the back of my mind was doing the very best that I could to have that be a good reflection on [Obama] and what he was trying to do.”

If she could do it again Sherrod told me she might not tell her story about the white farmer the same way but her message would be the same.

“The message I was getting out there to them is the same message I want everyone to know, anyone I would speak to…I use my life, I grew up in a segregated society, to show how I could move beyond that,” she said.

Watch my interview with Sherrod here:

George Stephanopoulos

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus