Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Shirley Sherrod Has Her Say About Obama, Fox News and Andrew Breitbart

4 years ago
  0 Comments Say Something  »
Text Size
SAN DIEGO – Andrew Breitbart was invited to appear at the National Association of Black Journalists convention here on Thursday. Word was that he initially planned to attend. He didn't; Shirley Sherrod did. "I wish he had come here," the former USDA official said of the man who posted the video clip that triggered a week of political and personal turmoil. "I really would like to talk with him."

"He'll definitely hear from me," Sherrod said, adding that she "definitely" plans to sue the conservative blogger for circulating a small excerpt of her remarks to an NAACP event that purported to show her racism toward a white farmer. "He had to know that he was targeting me," she said of Breitbart.

In its unedited entirety, her speech told a different story, one of her father's murder in her native Georgia by a white man who was never brought to justice, her pledge to remain in the South to help blacks and her realization that "It's not about race. It's about those who have and those who do not." With Sherrod's help, the white farmer kept his land, and he came forward to defend Sherrod against the attacks that led to her firing.

Apologies, a new job offer from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and a phone call from President Barack Obama followed. Sherrod said on Thursday that she is still considering the position of deputy director of the office of advocacy and outreach at the USDA. She has questions. She said there are "real problems" of discrimination within the USDA, and not just with black farmers, many of whom are still awaiting the settlement awarded for decades of unfair treatment from the agency. (It won't be long, she said, before "we don't have any black people helping to produce the food we eat.")

But while she hasn't given USDA an answer, Sherrod has some advice, going all the way to President Obama. She wondered if those civil rights activists who were beaten and shot at -- such as her husband, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee organizer Charles Sherrod, in the audience looking on -- "try too much to shield that hurt and pain from young people." She has invited the president to accompany her through southwest Georgia, so he can see the struggle is not over, whether it's over land or equity in the schools and justice system. There's progress as well, she said, adding, "He needs a little lesson." The president or any visitor will see, she said, that while we "don't get along the way we should, we get along better than we used to."

In an answer to a question about the continuing need for organizations such as the NAACP and NABJ, she said, "You don't know what it's like for people in remote areas of rural Georgia who continue to have things happen to them." She said all races need someone to turn to.

In a speech to the National Urban League on Thursday, President Obama talked about Sherrod, and the "bogus controversy" that led to her firing. He called her "an exemplary woman whose experiences mark both the challenges we have faced and the progress that we've made."

Speaking in front of this group of journalists, Sherrod spoke positively of efforts by CNN and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to get the complete story. (CNN anchor Don Lemon was on a panel that questioned Sherrod from the stage; an excerpt from his report on her life was shown.) But she said Fox News will "never get an interview from me." She said, They had their chance to get the truth and "they were not interested."

After initial reports ran, Sherrod said she received lots of hate mail, including calls on her home and personal cell phone numbers. What sustained her, she said, was support from people she has worked with -- from every ethnic group -- throughout the country. Their e-mails that "made me proud." They were beginning to mobilize, she said, even before the complete videotape of her speech was released.

In their work, she said, she sees the progress the country can make if we treat each other the way we need to be treated. "I truly believe we can come together," she said.
Outbrain - The Most Trusted Content Discovery Platform

Get Your Content Discovered.

Promote your content on premium websites

Learn More ›

Outbrain Amplify:
Get your content discovered

Your content will be promoted on the web's largest and most respected media properties, including, Slate and ESPN. We make sure it's seen precisely when people will find it most interesting.

Learn More

Outbrain Engage: The solution for a modern publisher

Outbrain Engage is a full stack software solution that empowers an entire media organization to more effectively manage its online content and programming experience.

Learn More

The world's largest content discovery platform

We bring together premium publishers and marketers of all sizes (including many of the world's leading brands) into the world's largest and most vibrant content marketplace. Learn more about Outbrain ›

561 Million

The global audience reached by Outbrain each month*

190 Billion

The total recommendations we serve consumers monthly


Of the world’s leading brands use Outbrain

* Audience reach according to comScore, September 2014. Leading brands via Ad Age DataCenter / Kantar Media, 2014.

Andy Blau
We selected Outbrain not only because the revenues were higher than others, but because its engine drives better recommendations than others.
Andy Blau
Senior Vice President, Group General Manager
Time Inc.
Dan Horowitz
It's less about buying traffic than it is about reaching the right people with relevant headlines to get them to your content.
Dan Horowitz
EVP and Senior Partner
Fleishman-Hillard Digital
Katrina Craigwell
Our goal is always to deliver content that adds value to the conversations being held by the end user. Outbrain allows us to do just that.
Katrina Craigwell
Global Manager of Digital Marketing
Bailey Foote
The fact that we’re able to drive these kinds of transactions with consumers at scale and with increasing efficiency has made Outbrain paramount to our marketing strategy.
Bailey Foote
E-commerce Manager
The Line
Neal Moore
You cannot leave it to chance that someone will find and engage with your content. Outbrain can put your content in the midst of the world’s most prestigious publications.
Neal Moore
Zach Zavos
Having links to our content appearing directly on premium publisher sites helped us establish our brand.
Zach Zavos
Conversant Media
Mike Brito
Outbrain is one of those [critical] components helping us deliver the right messages to the right contingent at massive scale and in real time to counter a crisis.
Mike Brito
Group Director

A global footprint of service

We operate offices in 11 global territories and we partner with publishers and marketers in over 55 countries, including the U.S., UK, France, Brazil, India and Japan. Come join us ›

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Follow Politics Daily

  • Comics
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>