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July 20th, 2010
09:39 AM ET

Race remarks cost USDA official her job

An African-American Agriculture Department worker resigns over her handling of a white Georgia farmer's case when she worked for a nonprofit group in 1986. It came to light when Shirley Sherrod talked about the case at an NAACP banquet earlier this year. Were her remarks a teaching moment that backfired, or evidence of racism?

Sherrod says her comments were taken out of context – that the point of her story was to unite people.

Watch her interview with Tony Harris below, then tell us what you think. We'll share some of your comments on air in the CNN Newsroom, 11:00am – 1:00pm ET.


Filed under: CNN Newsroom • Tony Harris
soundoff (501 Responses)
  1. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Where do we as Americans draw the line on the statute of limitations for comments this is the N.A.A.C.P. gone bezerk changing times have changing actions this lady no way no how deserves to be punished for something she said 24 years ago reinstate her position and apologize .

    July 20, 2010 at 9:48 am |
  2. grrace

    Ms. Sherrod should not resign or be asked to resign. She was talking about a case that she, obviously, worked very hard to NOT be influenced by some initial eternal conflicts. In the end, she tried to do everything to help this person...

    July 20, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  3. Dan

    Let's reverse this situation. If it was a white woman making these remarks it definately would taken as racist; however, as Michael said, that's 24 years ago. Give her the position back.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  4. Vernon Kerr

    What is it about human nature that makes us feel that because we have suffered some great wrong, we get a free pass from the social mores of the rest of the world? "We suffered years of slavery and then years of degrading segregation, so therefore we have the right to be prejudiced against the white race." Or, "We suffered the holocaust, therefore we have the right to treat the Arabs as something less than human."

    July 20, 2010 at 10:12 am |
  5. Lois

    I surf the net and listen to the cable network shows just to find out what the hot news topics are; but, I've learned a long time ago to not totally believe the spin of any particular story in today's environment.

    I've found that every network reporter and/or individual interprets the story through their "prism". Sometimes they take the time to further investigate, sometimes not, seems to depend on whether they or the network agrees with the perspective they've depicted.

    If its a topic important to me, I listen to the "spin" from different networks or sites to get different perspectives, and I go to the source, if possible (even if it means reading documents or court case rulings myself).

    I was a bit surprised at your indignation that a snippet was used that intentionally or unintentionally misrepresented or distorted the "whole" truth, citing that has happened to you and others at your network.

    Don't you realize that in a 24-hr "quick to get the story" environment, all of you do that to people every day?

    July 20, 2010 at 10:14 am |
  6. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    I am a white person and I am disgusted with the actions taken against this lady from 24 years ago she made a mistake termination is not appropriate

    July 20, 2010 at 10:14 am |
  7. Seth Zora

    Based on the farmers wife, there is no way the USDA can get themselves out of the corner they are in now. I think they owe Sherrod more then her job back!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  8. Mark

    Great television Tony!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  9. dale laidlaw

    I "thought" I was really busy this morning, but when I saw you begin your interview with Ms. Sherrod, I just stopped. The farmer's wife did Ms. Sherrod great credit, and even if she does not regain her job as USDA head in Georgia, because of YOUR interview, she has been vindicated.

    Thank you.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  10. Darryl C. Price

    What they've done to Mrs. Sherrod, is absolutely horrible. I've been a Democrat all of my life and have been an NAACP member for nearly 30 years. Unless something is done to make this right and to restore this woman's good name, I will not be supporting President Obama's re-election bid, nor will I be supporting the NAACP going forward. So much for our (so-called) first black President.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  11. Jerry Brown

    Now let's see if Candy, Anderson, Rick etc. will give this character assassination of Shirley the same weight they would give it if the Bush folks had done the EXACT same thing to Shirley.

    Only then can CNN earn the respect and trust of the American people.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  12. Jayne

    After hearing the entire story, it goes to show how low organizations will go to serve their agenda. They have no regard how they can destroy a person's life. Shame on all of you and the administration for calling for her resignation without giving her a chance to explain. When are we going to start acting like decent human beings?

    July 20, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  13. Mike Douglas

    I watched your program. And I felt the Government overreacted because part of the interview was played on a conservative talk show.
    They need to give this woman her job back and quit overreacting.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  14. Clyde

    Great Job: You guys again did it right by bringing the truth to the forfront. Clyde

    July 20, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  15. Erika

    The comments made by Sherrod are inappropriate – regardless of whether or not they were made 24 years ago, or 24 minutes ago, and regardless of race. If this was a white (wo)man making these comments about a black farmer, they would be called a racist. Yet, in all honesty, Race should not matter. This is just another example of the news trying to make racial remarks worse than they are. FORGET THE RACIST PART OF THE REMARKS! Let's just think about the rest of what she said.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  16. Barbara Perry

    I am a white Republican woman and I am appalled at the way this women was treated. Her story was about her personal evolution which is terrific to hear and inspiring. She was talking about something that happened 24 years ago to make a very good point. Why can't her boss get the facts first? The irony here is unbelievable. I hope they give her, her job back and apologize.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  17. Steve Jennette

    I am 57, white, and a strong supporter of President Obama. I am, however, after just watching your interview of the parties involved, very disappointed in our government. I hope Ms. Sherrold received something comparable to the bail out that the former GM president received from us taxpayers. She is a hero.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  18. Iley Joseph

    Help me understand how she is forced to leave, before an accurate investigation. Then to find out she was asked while driving from the white house representatives... Then to hear from the wife/family who praises her for all her help... This is an injustice.... to Sherold.... I can not believe I am watching CNN report on Sherold as though she was guilty, but with non-factual information. Then to announce the wife as a widower.... very embarrassing... Please help Sherold get her job back.... I am dealing with something similair to this with the giant company Verizon.... If you want to knoe please contact me – 4436695498 Iley Joseph, thanks.....

    July 20, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  19. Jerri Hampton

    The White House needs to correct this upsss.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  20. Precious Jewel

    She did the best she could, give her the JOB back! 24 years have passed, give it up!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  21. Lupita Topete

    I believe that her words were taken out of context. What she meant by not providing the most that she can do for the Spooner's simply means that there was no need to go the full capacity. Obviously they were able to keep their farm so she did something right. I am a black woman and am disheartened that the NAACP has not contacted her to find out her side of the story.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  22. Wisam

    Don't know what is going on in this world. How are we supposed to describe or identify each other? White or black references are not necessarily racist. The context is what is important. In this day and age we may be too sensitive to these references.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  23. Nicole

    The most important lesson from this horrid story is that Sherrod learned from her mistake in judgement. Will the NAACP and the White House learn from theirs??

    July 20, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  24. Anne Winston

    The NAACP has targeted the tea party and now they target this lady.
    When are we going to learn to GET THE WHOLE STORY before jumping to conclusions??? I wonder how much time the NAACP and Martin investigated before jumping to conclusions??

    Secondly when are we going to learn as Sherrod explained it is not about race but POVERTY!! White farmers suffered just as much as black farmers. However, the govt. uses RACE to divide us. However, people still fall for this trick. COME ON PEOPLE...

    July 20, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  25. Darrien

    There is a God. When she heard that the Farmer was still alive and his wife saidad that she went out of her way to save their farm. It show that she was telling the truth. Hire her back she did nothing wrong.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  26. Fred Jones

    Wow amazing I hope this event triggers what needs to be done and said. It clearly shows that growing up in certain segments of our country can influence thinking about race. It also shows that throughout the years Blacks and Whites have worked together, for each other inspite of these issues.. Finally I was glad to hear the couple that was affected speak up for Ms. Sherrod. In closing the NAACP needs to sometimes get a life its been a long time since the NAACP helped save someone's farm or home.. I am a Black Man living in America....

    July 20, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  27. Bruce Cosaboom

    This administration is gutless. This dismissal is a gross miscarriage that typifies what is wrong with our national politics. They should stand firm for people such as Sherrod because such people are the ones that make government work for its citizens. She should be re-instated immediately, with humble appologies.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  28. Nik

    Hi Tony,
    It sounds like certain folks are trying to start pushing our President's staff out by any means necessary. How many discriminative remarks have been made in thousands of other speeches, but remained 'brushed under the table'? Should we go back and rewind some from our previous administration's staff engagements? Hmmm

    July 20, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  29. Dahn in OKC

    Tony,

    It just goes to show you that situations and events need further investigation before you get rid of someone. I would like to thank for bringing Sherrod's story to light before millions.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  30. Al calabrese

    Once again the Tea Party shows its ineptitude... Tony, well done getting the Spooners to comment on the story... This lady should get her job back if not sue the USDA for wrongful termination...

    July 20, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  31. Ernie

    Leave it to the Republican far right (Beck) to continue the black/white thing to divide America. Will we ever see the end to this unspeakable behavior? Shirley, hang in there and fight for your job back.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  32. Andy

    This is a prime example of someone trying to make a story out of twisting the truth. Although I do not know a lot about Ms. Sherrod, her comments were definitely taken out of context and these actions will only further the race problem that she has fought so long to correct. We should all rally behind her, black and white, and let Washington know that we will not tolerate this any longer.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  33. Just Fed Up

    What Ms Sherrod is enduring is wrong-just as wrong when it happens to a white person. Should she lose her job-no but many white, latino and other races have lost thier jobs for less. Maybe now we will we will stop reading more into comments than what was intended.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  34. Jim Hill

    Ms. Sherrod is getting rail-roaded. It is a shame the Administration is trying so hard to show they do not favor black people as a result of the tea party, Glen Beck, Fox, etc. As a white person I find this whole story disgusting.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  35. Kevin

    It is amazing how people in position such as Ms sherrod does not get a second chance not she needed one as she was not guilty but CEO's and movie stars with money and power get away with DUI's get scotch free

    July 20, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  36. Clara Mackey

    She should still have her job. She saved some white people from losing their farm. When black people have a good job, they have to walk a thin line and I feel this is unfair but it is what it is. Great interview Tony, you should be nominated for an award. Very good work. Also, this is what it is like to be black in America, for real. This is a good lady and I hope that she gets her job back.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  37. shawn

    It is quite obvious that miss Sherrod was treated unfairly. Her statement from 24 years ago displayed no level of racism. She simply stating a case she experienced from 24 years ago plus she did all to help her client. Its sad that the white house and other media houses found not thd time to listen to the entire tape.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  38. Marion Roberson, III

    Thank you CNN for having moved on this story to the degree which you have, neither of the other stations went to the extent to REPORT on the story by checking on ALL SOURCES. NO The reason why there is so much opposition in this country whether race, politics, or fill in the blank is because of people having their fears confirmed, and glued to stories like this one.

    The thing that was left out was that it was 24 years ago, and Mrs. Sherrod went through a personal learning process as a Black woman, that even in society which has exemplified White privilege she found a greater sense of something called SOCIAL JUSTICE. regardless of the farmers' color she learned it was up to her to do right in the face on others doing nothing to help a person who was in trouble through no fault of his own.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  39. Thomas H. Johnson

    Based upon what I've heard in your interview with Mrs. Sherrod and Mrs. Spooner, it appears that Sherrod was set up particularly by broadcasters intent on manipulating a video tape and presenting her remarks out of context for their own personal intentions as a tit-for-tat response to racial allegations made recently by the NAACP about the TEA PARTY.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  40. Ms. Bullard

    Give this lady back her job. shame on the NAACP for jumping in without so much of a conversation with Ms. Sherrod. Shame on you the white house for not so much as hearing what she has to say before forcing her out. We need more people like her devoting herself to civil rights of the "people". All people, whites, blacks, hispanics, asian, etc. I support Ms. Sherrod.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  41. Anthony

    I don't understand why she just didn't say what she meant(getting past the civil war comment)instead making herself seem Like she had the upper hand in a situation where the farmer and herself were getting in a race standoff. I believe she lost herself at that moment and if she meant otherwise then she of thought twice about using a lame story

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  42. Judie

    In my opinion Ms. Sherrod's comments were taken totally out of context and she is being unfairly treated by the USDA. They not only owe her an apology but a public apology with full reinstatement of her position. They are railroading a very good woman who has tried to perform her lifes work without prejudice or bias. Just for the record I am a white woman and we need more Shirley Sherrods in this world!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  43. James Hodges

    The USDA should give Shirley her job back and apologize to her for misunderstanding the entire situation.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  44. Robert

    It's a shame that As she told in the Scott interview that the White House forced her to resign without getting the full story on her situation. This White House has again chosen to politically use race in the way it feels is the more politically beneficial rather than what is fair and just.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  45. Doug

    The NAACP is a good org but the biggest problem is that when they get on the war path the take everything out of contect and they dont get the whole story and it like Gen Shermans march through the south they take out everyone and the goverment gets scared and does what the NAACP wants.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  46. justin roberts

    The comments that were givin seem to be a fraction of the speech. When race is an issue, the specific one line comments can be devastating. I feel very sorry for this poor woman. I don't believe for a second she was being racist.

    White male, north Carolina

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  47. David Degener

    I find it hard to believe that an event that happened 24 years ago that was eventually resolved in a positive way is being persued. The fact that she did not work for the governmant and the amount of time elapsed is enough to make this whole thing a non event.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  48. Walter Vestal

    The forced resignation of Shirley Sherrod for an issue that occurred 24 years ago which was taken out of context only shows cowardice on the part of the NAACP and USDA leadership in dealing with an issue that the extreme right in this country could try and use against the administration. Having been born and raised in the South, I know exactly what she experienced in her initial contact with that white farmer. (I am white, by the way).The good work she has done speaks volumes for her integrity and she should be reinstated immediately, perhaps to Cheryl Cooks' job.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  49. Perry

    It is wrong to fire anyone for some thing they did wrong over 25 years ago. I is obvious that there was not a FULL investigation before action was taken in the name of politics.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  50. Craig Williams

    I think that people look at racism or discrimination as a major issue, However; if we take the time to search deeper, we will see that it all stems from miscommunication. That is very evident in this incident with Ms. Sherrod. If she had been given the opportunity to clarify her statement, none of this would have happened. Race is becoming as big of an issue as global warming but instead of firing someone or continuing to chop down trees, get to the root of the issue, miscommunication or lack thereof.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  51. US5711

    So, most of your are saying she should get another shot at the job? Seriously? She is a representative of the Gov't. It's not like she works at a bank and if you dont like it you can go to a competitor for the same product.
    I love how CNN has an immediate spin story. Oh, let me explain, it wasnt like that. Where is the EQUALITY with the other stories? Did you afford the other stories the same opportunity to explain in what "context' their actions were?

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  52. C Randall

    Everyone is so quick to get rid of good workers before they hear the whole story. Her employer and the NWACP should be very embarrassed since Ms. Spooner has verified her story.

    Thank you Lord

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  53. Sean Dunn

    We need to realize that Glen Beck, Rush and Sara are the Joseph McCarthy's of our time. It's not that their positions are extreme and dangerous – every generation has people with extreme and dangerous ideas – but the problem is that otherwise rational peoplereact irrationally to these extremists rather than rotting out their fearmongering.

    The USDA needs to reinstate this woman, the NAACP nesds to apologize and the administration needs to stop reacting to Glen Beck and other Tea Party extremists. Glen, Rush and Sara will be seen for what they are over time but until that happens we need resolve and character as a people.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  54. Gina

    I am so disappointed. Who Sherrod was and who she is now was determined by that incident. That is why she is sharing that story. Because of that farmer and his race she saw a bigger picture. One that allowed her to grow and help thousands of poor people. Someone jumped to conclusions and did not look at the big picture. Offer her her job back with an apology.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  55. Jeff Mathis

    Wouldn't it be refreshing for someone to admit the truth they are bias and are at least working on it. If a former clansman can be redeemed, seems to me the past can be forgiven, not forgotten. I think MLK would be unhappy with all of us.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  56. manfred emslie

    Hell they fired a 4star general ,and they didn't have this big of a discusion.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  57. Ty

    Tony,
    Never have I witnessed such a miscarriage of justice as a result of people jumping to conclusions, based on incomplete information. Ms. Sherrod should be reinstated in her former position, and it should be done immediately.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  58. Christian Norfleet

    This is another example of what happens when one judges on the content of color instead of character on both sides. This is part of american history especially in the south. There are some things that will never change.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  59. JSBNEW in Chgo.

    I just saw Tony Harris' interview w/Shirley Sherrod AND the farmer's wife whom she helped back then... It is horrible that she was forced out without a chance to tell her side of the story. As much as I love President Obama and understand the pressure he's under from the other side [i.e., Republicans and lunatics], he cannot continue to FOLD every time someone doesn't like what a person did in their past. The only other Black guy, can't think of his name at the moment, was removed from his appointment last year for a speech he made years ago. I understand that there are former Klan members running around who are still in office; let's fire them for their past. The least that the White House can do is to REINSTATE her, and the hell with what Fox News says about it!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  60. R. Richards

    This is simply another case of taking comments out of context and the Administration having a knee jerk reaction. To ask someone to resign before a full investigation is unspeakable. The Administration owes Ms. Sherrod a public apology and reinstatement.
    Additionally, Ms. Sherrod hit the nail squarely on the head when she said "this is about the haves and the have nots". That is something this country has been about in the past and continues to be about now.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  61. david

    As a Human Resource professional I am shocked at the white house and the adminstration asked Sherrod to leave. They did not get all the facts. In addition Sherrods Human Resource department should have did a further investigation. She should still have her job and on there application for her position they never asked any questions about this situation. Maybe we need to ask some of our admistration to leave since they are not doing there jobs and folllowing HR policies. The bottom is Sherrod did not violate any US Goverment policies.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  62. A.J. Johnson

    There definitely are factions that want to inflame the passions of racial hatred. CNN and other news organizations need to get back to the basics of good reporting. This woman was clearly hurt by this. The administration and the NAACP, which I am a lifetime member and supporter, can do better. They need to make this right.
    Thank you for taking the time to get to the truth.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  63. Scott G

    It's so sad that everyone (led by conservative commentators) immediately – without any hesitation whatsoever – jumped on this woman, calling her a racist. She was their scapegoat to prove to themselves that the NAACP was a racist organization. I'm so glad that the true has come out on your show and we see what a good person she really is. The lesson here: we need to ALWAYS get the full story before hurling accusations at anyone!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  64. Debbie

    Sherrod is using excuses to cover her actions of the past. Who cares if she didn't work for the USDA when this happened, this is her "current" remarks and the Obama Admin was correct in asking for her resignation.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  65. Mark

    Where is the full video of what she said?

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  66. Nat White, jr.

    We count on the Obama administration to be calm, cool, and collected under pressure t and not operate in a reactionary way. The facts of the Sherrod case show otherwise and I hope the Obama team has the courage to do the right thing and reinstate this great public servant who operates in difficult times and is an example of the opposite of what she has been charged.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  67. Melody Hartwell

    I worked for the USDA in Nevada in 1989, and my boss made several sexist remarks to me (including, "a woman belongs on her knees") and he never got fired.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  68. Jim

    Shirley seems to be yet another victim of the Tea Party.
    THis group is a rebirth of neo McCarthyism. They have no true agenda other than being against the administration and the poor or minorities. Rush Limbaugh has spurred so much racism in this country it is unbelievable!!
    This is a throwback to the 1950's when I was 10 years old in the South. I am white and appalled at the actions of many our countrymen because a black has been elected President.
    Withholding unemployment benfits is hurting poor children. Save the planet and the economy after you help the children you bums!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  69. Colin

    The country is too hung up on sound bites, no one wants to look at the whole issue, and Ms. Sharrod is a victim of political one up man ship. She should be given back her job with an apology from the White House and the head of the NCAAP.
    She showed her courage in speaking about how she could have made a mistake, it was a story in personal introspection that led to her doing good. The politics of America need to have more of that honesty.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  70. Fubara David-West

    The Obama White House continues to be a hyperactive agent, in seizing every opportunity to bend over backwards to appease the Right wing of the Republican Party. That was how the president got it all wrong in Afghanistan, for instance. That is also the context within which the firing of Ms Sherrod must be understood. May be, just may be, President Obama will get enough of the ultra-conservative vote in two years to be reelected president.

    Fubara David-West.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  71. Dr, Bob Christensen

    Dear Tony,
    First let me congratulate you on a good report of the facts. I, to, am white, an 85 y.o. surgeon and Christian minister who served in WWII and the Korean War. I believe from the interview given by the USDA agent who was released at the command of the WH that she has been greatly harmed and unfairly treated. I suspect both she and the farmer's wife who spoke, are both Christian women and both should be applauded for their courage to bring this entire story forward. She should be elevated in her authority, not stripped of it.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  72. Brian

    Shirley Sherrod – Fired for doing the right thing? We see this too many times in politics. Washington should apologize publicly for this defamation of character and offer her the job back...if she will take it. It is clear to see this lady is not racist. Sherrod for President!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  73. Texas ExPat

    This story is beginning to sound like a person in the room yelled 'fire' and everybody ran out, injuring the innocent before the person could say 'fly'.

    Perhaps some responsible reporting up front next time?

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  74. Andra

    Tony, you are greeeeeeeat

    This is very sad,,,,the NAACP and the administration has to do the right thing. As a private citizen I will be happy to march to washington in support of Mrs Sherrod. Shame Shame Shame

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  75. Dennis Ryan

    I am a conservative, and a ready critic of the media. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being diligent in your job and getting the whole truth about Shirley Sherrod. I hope that she is re-instated immediately and files suit if she is not. Her treatment by Fox and the Whitehouse has been shameful. I am deeply disappointed in the personnel and management at Fox News. I have now heard the facts from you, not them, and I have decided. They have totally lost sight of their calling and the truth, and have opted for reporting gossip, propaganda and yellow journalism. Shame on Fox.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  76. Gregg Smith

    White people think that because we elected Barack Obama, racism no longer exists in America. While many white individuals may not be racists, as a society, whites still have racial attitudes. Our systems, courts, our economic system, even our government all still promote racism. It's a systemic problem. It's up to white people to stop racism in this country, not blacks. Until white people are willng to own up th the problem, it won't cease.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  77. Larry W

    So much for beer summits!

    Just another example of media hype and unintended consequences.

    We talk about BP's greed and lack of transparency – CNN (an other media) rush for ratings (greed) and lack of professional ethics in hyping this matter is just as bad!

    By the way Albany – is probably a model city for race relations!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  78. Damien

    I believe the NAACP is currently grasping for straws when it comes to finding racial issues. I do believe that racism still exists, my problem is fight something that's worth fighting for such as the Tea Party issue. I agree with Ms. Sherrod in the sense that extensive research should have been made before comments were made. I'm glad Mrs. Spooner had a chance to come on the air and support Ms. Sherrod and the NAACP NEEDS to realize the lives they are affecting when doing things like this.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  79. Julian

    I just caught your interview Tony with Shirley Sherrod. This is why I watch CNN news because you guys constantly get it right. This is also why we as a country need to turn off race bating commentators like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. We have let these two clowns ruin the healing of the injustices of racism in this country. The White House needs to give this lady her job back and the NAACP owe her an apology.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  80. Sharon Bottesch

    It is very upsetting that Glenn Beck has so much power that a threat of a partial quote on his program can make the White House take away the career of a dedicated public employee. It would be so much more honorable if the White House had taken the time to find out the facts and stood up to the far right.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  81. steve e. early

    what happened to this woman is just wrong. if CNN can force a correction in something that's just wrong, then your a worthwhile entity.
    remember how short american memories are and please stay on this wrongdoing. i'm watching. someones owe shirley and I'm sorry and we'll make this right and show some humility and redeeming qualities.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  82. rob fulk

    its obvious that this lady has been rairoaded and in no way should be forced from her job.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  83. christianah

    When do our politicians stop bowing to the media? This is absolutely ridiculous. What are we teaching our children?

    I sincerely hope that the media outlets that had the audacity to play the "snippet" tell the truth now that it has come out completely. This should teach us all a lesson about being quick to judge and convict based on what we see on T.V. The actions of the NAACP and the White House are shameful. The NAACP should have done the due dilegence to research the story completely before issuing a statement. The White House should have more backbone than to bow to the pressure as well and use their power to force this wonderful woman to resign from her post. This will make them look far worse than any other issue ever could. There had better be a lot of apologies forthcoming and I hope she sues!

    Kudos to CNN for taking the time to dive deep into the story by interviewing both Mrs. Sherrod and Mrs. Spooner!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  84. anthony

    They need to Applogise and give Ms Sherrod her job back; Grate story keep up the good work CNN

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  85. Janine

    Tony
    That was an awesome interview. Ms. Sherrod has been vindicated. She is a decent woman. Unfortunately the Tea Party was digging up anything they could find and she got caught in the middle of a fight that she didn't deserve. Good for her.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  86. Bobo

    It is sad and unfortunate that she was pretty much forced to resign. i dont see any wrongdoing and to further justify this the "farmer" in questions wife just came forward and said there was no wrongdoing and she actually helped out. its all politics. people need to get facts straight before they act. she needs to get reinstated with all the benefits or they will meet in court. as a Black male the N.A.A.C.P and tea party need to go look for something to do instead of trying to start controversy.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  87. John P.

    People are to quick to judge without all the facts we only watched a peice of the lecture not all so we may have not even got the real meaning of the lecture. Why did the NAACP note ask her for the story before passing judgement. Ms. Sherrod needs to be reinstated, The goverment must not realize that there are alot of unemployed citizens keeping up with the way things are going and I am keeping up with who is doing what for the average man and it will refect my vote this year and years to come.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  88. Anna N. Taylor

    I feel outraged. I just was recently accepted as the Director of two positions withe an esteeemd association and this is way out of line. Our government should not be twisting the arm of Shirley Sherrod, whose service to so many has been with sweat and tears.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  89. Jasmine Selena Buterbaugh

    I also am a young white lady. After doing much research and hearing Shirley speak, and the farmer's wife who was interviewed over the phone just now, it's been confirmed. The way Shirley Sherrod was treated is down right horrible. I believe her comments were taken out of context, and I believe the point she made was valid. I don't believe that she was being racist, as she did help the Farmer in need. A farmer who apparently, twenty years ago, came to her for help with a very ungrateful attitude. All in all, Shirley Sherrod is a woman of stature, and should be respected. I realize the Administration has a duty to handle anything that may be controversial, but I don't believe Sherrod should have been let go. I think she is good at what she does, and has nothing to be ashamed of. Shirley Sherrod, you will always have my respect and gratefulness for what you have done in this country.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  90. David

    In order to determine whether the Administration's action was appropriate one simply needs to reverse the roles (white person speaking to an all white group and saying same thing about a black person). What would (and should) the response have been?

    While the response appears to be over the top, that would not have been the black community's response in the reverse situation.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  91. chris watkins

    The so call bible is so full of hate. Weather your black or white it should not matter america will never get it right,This touchy subject is bigger than 911 the gulf old spill and even have a black president... the race card will all ways be the card of choice worldwide

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  92. Marion Roberson, III

    I had similar personal revelations as an American Black man. What I realized is that regardless of how the politics, or social view of this person goes through this narrow lens will not alter the character she portrayed in what she did in serving the needs of someone who she could help.

    I am proud to be an American, though sometimes it makes me wonder, if some believe that being an American is supposed to be easy.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  93. Thomas H. Johnson

    Looks like President Obama is going to have to have Ms. Sherrod over to the White House for a couple of beers in the garden for acting prematurely once again.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  94. Jason Paulsen

    Sherrod is innocent of malicious racism & I respect her honest account of her experience 24 years ago learning about race and equality through her work. What bothers me is that my 14 year old brother who lives on Long Island is suffering from discrimination because he has not been selected for a baseball team that he spent the majority of his life working toward due to his race but no one is putting that on CNN.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  95. Sharon

    I am white and I lived in the American south from late1990 until early 2006. As an "outsider" I saw and experienced racism on a regular basis. I hardly consider Ms. Sherrod's actions as racist. I applaud her for her honesty. I also believe her comments on the Tea Party issue and the NAACP are correct.
    As an American, I am sick of the hate. We need to work together to heal this country and realize that poverty, natural disasters, and ignorance do not discriminate. If we continue to divide ourselves by racial lines, nothing will get accomplished.
    Thank you.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  96. HM

    See ya. If she is not smart enough to temper her comments as a public official, who is paid by taxpayers both black and white, then she needs to be removed. For those who say it was all taken out of context, well too FFin bad. Nobody is given the benefit of context these days and If a white person had said that they would be gone, and since we are all about fairness, and equality - she goes as well.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  97. joanna samford

    I have lived here in rural north ga for 4 years. I have to say it is like stepping back in time to the early sixties. First sign of a problem was the giant confederate flag as you cross from fl to ga. next our neighborhoods are not segregated. There is one black family in our sub division. I don't understand how they can fire this woman Shirley Sherrod .The white republican party here makes no bones aqbout how they feel. One representative sent out emails to everyone not to shop at walmart because they hire gays, he is still our representative. This is the most racial place I have ever seen. This poor woman was singled out. Single out some of the politicians that keep us in the civil war era. The black people here have very little hope for anything. They are mostly poor and have no hope of ever not being that way. Im surprised a white farmer would even go to a Black woman for help. This place needs new blood it is long over due for change.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  98. Mark

    I think that this story is not as it seems. I think that this woman was given a raw deal and the story she was telling was edited to make it sell news. I think that we still have many people who want to see a racist under every stone. I'm white and live in the south and some people still think that race relations are as they were in the south as they were before the civil war, it's not. We get along much better in the south than anywhere else in the U.S. Most hate crimes are committed in all the other regions, not in the south. Give the woman her job back and stop the witch hunt.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  99. william

    The Whitehouse clearly overracted when they asked Ms. Sherrod to resign. That is uncharacteristic of Obama to pre-judged before getting all the facts. The interview with the so called victim clearly shows Ms.
    Sherrod did all she could to help this family. Everyone that participated in this Lynching should apologize to Ms. Sherrod and she should be reinstated in her job immediately

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  100. Marlena Coffman

    I am enraged at this administration for calling for Shirley Sherrod's resignation after seeing her this morning. I have been a FIRM supporter of Obama and I am a white woman from Oregon. This seems more like a Bush/Cheney move. I am wholly disappointed. Apparently, politics is politics and there is no honor or ethics on either side. The fact that she was going to be addressed on the sociopathic dry drunk Glenn Beck's show should have been a reason to make sure she stayed on and was supported. It's heart-breaking to me that nothing is changing. I have never been incensed enough to write about anything to Cnn before, although I watch regularly, but this really struck a nerve. Obviously!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  101. Darlene

    I'm sorry Tony normally I enjoy your show but today you were pushy and too hard on that poor lady. Her answers all made perfect sense. This was her first white client, it was clearly new ground for her. Was the harsh questioning really necessary?

    Shame on you.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  102. Allen

    This is just another example of black people continuing to be the most racist group in America.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  103. michael.welford

    I think I heard her say that she had to be fired to avoid being on Glen Beck?
    Who in their right mind is afraid of Glen Beck?
    What she said 20 years ago should not matter. I don't want to be held responsible for what I said 20 days ago. After hearing the wife of the 'white man' say that they love her, she should get not just her job back, but maybe the higher position of the person who fired her!
    Shame on the White House if they were involved in this!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  104. Jan

    I live in rural Tennessee and Ms. Sherrod hit the nail on the head. It is not about skin color. It is about social class. In this all white community those who live on the lower rungs of the socioeconomic class are the ones discriminated against. Those more well off are the ones in power.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  105. anthony gordon

    after viewing cnn with the live story from tony harris on the statements from mrs sherrod it has been made very clear that she was taken clearly out of context cnn even had the farmers wife that was supposedly descriminated against speak up very strongly on mrs sherrods behalf it just goes to show you how other media outlets release information that are not even credible i suspect that their will be lawsuits filled in the near future thank god for cnn news cutting through all the misinformed mess great story tony harris keep up the good work

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  106. Brandon

    This was 24 years ago! The man kept his farm despite her feelings. So she put her inatial hate behind her and helped..and your going to fire her? Seems to me like this is what we need more off.

    And where is the rest of the tape,we only hear the "hot" soundbite. There was a ton more said we don't hear. Another case of irresponsable news. If your going to show a story lay out all the facts.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  107. Montana

    It takes generations to get over injustice, everyone involved in this woman's resignation should take a breath and get over it. This woman should have been not asked to resign.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  108. Peter (IL)

    There is an African proverb that says: " When two elephants are fighting, the grass suffers" . Ms Sherrod has been a victim of the dirty american politics and discrimination. I am very disappointed on the NAACP's failure to look into the issue.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  109. Richard Evans, MD

    As a Yankee transplant to the South this story makes me sick.
    After all the years where this country has tried to break down discrimination in both directions I never thought we would see race relations worsened by political misbehavior between our government with a black president in charge and the NAACP.
    Have we entered the Twilight Zone? What ever happened with doing the right thing and having any integrity. The government and NAACP should be ashamed. This woman is a victim of their CYA.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  110. Craig S

    What is it about posting comments that are missing proper capitalization and punctuation? We learned that in 7th grade, people. New technology does not give anyone a pass on literacy. If you want your comment to actually be read by anyone, and, God forbid, be taken seriously, then post it properly.

    Geez . . . .

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  111. Brandon Jones

    I think Miss Cook needs to step down and give Shirleys job back to her and apologize to her and the NAACP has gone nutts

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  112. Anna N. Taylor

    I agree with you Darryl. Thank you your comment. It resonates.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  113. Denise

    The USDA and NAACP has egg in their face. They both owe Sherrod an apology. The USDA should pay her salary until her normal retirement date.
    Sherrod should get a lawyer to ensure that this happens. She should also sue for damages to her good name and reputation.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  114. One Man Speaks

    Shame on the Obama administration, this woman should get her job back with a promotion and a nation wide apology.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  115. Richard Schuyler

    She needs to get her job back. It is clear that her comments were taken out of context. The initial clips of her statements did not reflect what she was trying to impress on her audience. I'm white and would be proud to have someone like her as a friend. We need more people like her – in ad out of government.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  116. Josie Crane

    I grew up in Georgia and totally understand how this entire scenario developed and played out. Ms. Sherrod, in her NCAA address, was sharing a story that revealed a moment of insight for her regarding race. She should be applauded rather than villified. By sharing these kinds of stories with one another is how we move forward.
    Keep talking everybody and we'll get there.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  117. Irfo

    Yet more proof that CNN will fetch every stick the right wing throws. I just watched CNN devote more on-air time to this story than I've ever seen them spend on serious news. Maybe CNN figured it would serve their agenda best if they really dwelt on this story during their Uncle Tom Show. Nice job, Tony, as always.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  118. dean w hunt

    Dear Tony: Please continue to help Shirley Sherrod – this is WRONG! This woman should not be sacrificed for fear of John Beck or any other right winger who seeks to destroy the presidency through any and all infractions they seek to make front and center news. This woman has given her life in selfless services and should be recognized for her contributions, not a single mistake. Blacks in powerful positions should not be unfairly persecuted for making mistakes for fear that whites will use those mistakes to cover or justify our own bigotry and abuse of the past. This lovely woman was NOT given any opportunity to clarify her statements much less prove that her history of personal and professional life demonstrate concern and care for ALL under her jurisdiction. As a white man, I am appalled at the way she has been treated Please help make this end right – with an apology for knee-jerk response for fear of hate mongers who care little for the truth. Dean Hunt

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  119. ROSE COBB

    Tony....What a great interview. Sherrod is being used as a sacrifical lamb. i was so dissapointed in all who are involved in making her resign. This is just a terrible injustice. Thank God for newscasters that can bring this kind of truth out. Great interview Tony. Glen Beck you have been stopped in your tracks for making a big deal out of nothing.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  120. Brian Smith

    Blacks will never have power in America. Whenever, we have perceived power we react without the benefit of intellect to situations like this to calm our white friends down. All the woman did was converse about a situation from her past in reference to cultural relations today.
    However, whenever you converse about race or jews. Then, there will always be someone trying to make the black person look bad. Because, anyone that is not black in America cannot handle the truth about what goes on in this country.
    I often tell my girlfriend who happen to be of Mexican descent that I can never be an American. Also, the reasons why? She will never be able to understand. Although, she is beginning to see many differences that is shocking her beyond compare.
    Just like the president doesn't have courage to make certain decisions, because it may cost him political. Which means it's not about right and wrong in America. It's about Political ideology, or at least that's what we're led to believe. It's really all about money or "Campaign Contributions"! Nothing truly has or will ever change until blacks in authoritative positions begin to do what's right, instead of what's comfortable for them in order to keep fake friends or relationships!!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  121. susan

    I find this whole thing outrageous. The White House got scared & reacted without research. No reason for Shirley to lose her position, no reason for negativity from Naacp. I am black & often in conversing we "all" and I mean we "all" say or have said comments at some time with certain audiences that could be perceived as politically incorrect. In her story she gave the example of how she "learned" through that process. Shirley was clearly explaining that she matured through her experience. That should be celebrated not punished.
    Based on the information that I have heard & read on CNN, the White house needs to call this sista & beg her to come back to her position.Otherwise, based on what I have learned she has been a victim of the same discrimination that we claim "0 tolerance" to.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  122. Jeff S

    This happened over 20 years ago. She helped the family out when she could have just brushed it off. So what if she didn't gave her 100% effort to begin with when she was spoken down to. Too many people, black and white cry racisim when issues similar to this happen. The white farmers wife is happy with the results, so why can't they just leave it alone. I am a white male and believe that there are real cases of racisim in the country and that this is not a major event which happend many years ago. There is no reason for her to have to leave her job over this.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  123. Adam B Cheatham

    I am glad to see someone open with their feelings about race. Ms Sherrod should not have been ask to resign. The Democrats need to a grow a pair against the propoganda machine of the republican party, Rush, Glenn, Fox News, and the tea bags.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  124. KEVIN

    The truth always comes out ms. Sherrod is owed an apology.The media once again only reported part of the story.Tony thanks for getting the whole story.The question is will the media cover the story now that the truth is out. And will the naacp apoligize and embrace MS Sherrod. seeing as how they alienated her in her hour of need.will the whitehouse reinstate her.Tonyn please stay on this story. NOt that it matters a 42 yearold white male

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  125. ed williams

    I a white person find this absolutely insane. What is happening in our country? Good bless this GOOD person. We need so many more.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  126. Michael McPherson

    Serrod got screwed and I think all those that had there hands in this should be inbvestigated, for there racail discrimination. I am appauled by the NAACP and there role in this and there are distroying there own credability by not talking to all sides before making there decision on what is right and what is wrong

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  127. Paul M

    Shirley Sherrod needs to stop changing her story. Since she now is being confronted about what happened and her story changes. Although when she is in the company of the NAACP she can tell the story the way it really happened. I am so happy that she lost her job. She is just trying to save herself now.... good luck with that you racist pig!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  128. Laura

    Sherrod is due her job back. The point of her comments made to this group was that she UNDERSTOOD that race is NOT the issue. Being POOR is the issue. Her experience with Spooner was the moment in her life where she realized this. She saw injustice happening to this white man and stood up against it with him.

    Thank you Tony for this interview.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  129. Evener

    It's unfortunate that this day and age we haven't learned that there's always two sides to a story. Now that she's clarified her statements reinstate her to her position @ usda. If she truly was abusing her power over the years there would have been some type of paper trail come on people really.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  130. Madeleine

    I do not normally comment of news stories but this story of what is being done to a good person.

    This lady is been forced to resign because she told the truth about an experience that made her the person she is today. Her record on civil rights is probably better than some of those people at the NAACP.
    NAACP should have examine her record and got the whole story before forcing USDA to get rid of someone who is doing a good job.
    This lady is well known in South Georgia for helping farmers.

    This is a terrible mistake and should be corrected.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  131. SDA64

    I listened to the phone interview that CNN had with Shirley Sherrod, but would have appreciated hearing/seeing the remainder of that videotape that would 'clear' her and show that she was just sharing a story. Right now, all I heard was a woman defending herself and claiming that the video would prove to her favor. Why wasn't that shown?

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  132. Dawn Anderson

    It is more than obvious that Shirley Sherrod is an exemplary individual. The NAACP and USDA should be ashamed of using her as a scapegoat for their problems. She should be promoted to a higher position, not forced to resign.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  133. shawn

    But there is another key point. The NAACP knows miss Sherrod and her work ethic. She has done a lot for the NAACP and the city she serves. Didn't she deserve the right for her conversation from 24 years ago to be listen to in its entirety! But what was the real motive for the white house to demand her resignation? It could not be about the tape. Because one would think that these are smart people, who would have known better to listen to the entire speech she made.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  134. David H. Shirazi

    It was Cowardly of the white House to ask Ms. Shrodd to resign because she would be on Glen Beck tonight. White house need to realize that follower of Glen Beck and alike will follow them blindly because they cannot think for themselves and they are very few and generally uneducated and odd. Please do not give in to them and people like Glen and let the logic and intelect lead the country not fear of a people like Glen, Sarah Palin, and Rush.

    David

    July 20, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  135. William

    As is so often the case in this country, the media (and politician afraid of the media) distorts facts and jump to conclusions that bear no resemblance to the actual truth of a mater. Shirley Sherrod is a victim of racism and not a racist. Thank you Tony for taking the time to get to the bottom of this story. The President need to publicly apologize to Shirley Sherrod, reinstate her and even give her a promotion. It’s the right thing to do.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  136. len berks

    It's so sad that we quickly "demonize" a woman who has obviously acted appropriately in dealing with those who sought her assistance. Kudos to the farmer's wife for calling in to give the other side of the story and shame on you America for rushing to judgement! The administration should apologize and reinstate this woman to her position.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  137. Gary Roberson, Beamont, CA

    I believe Ms. Sherrod's explanation. She was not given any due process. She should be given her job back and apoligized to from whoever forced her to resign. She seems to be a nice, and caring person. The type of person we need in that position.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  138. Jim

    Let's email the White House and get Shirley Sherrod's job back for her. Quit paying attention to the Tea Party and they will go away!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  139. Robert H. Rogers Greensboro, NC

    Sherrod's firing was strictly politics, and poor politics, whereas Obama believes it to be "Quid Pro Quo" for the Tea Party fiasco, in essence it is another event which is escalating Obama's and the Democratic Party's impotence.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  140. B King Casey

    I am truly dismayed and disappointed in President Obama's administration and the NAACP. Who would have thought that Glen Beck and FOX had the power to control our government under a democratic administration and the NAACP. Shame on all who made a terrible unjust decision based on the FOX distortion and half truth. The President Obama and his administration, the USDA, the NAACP and FOX owes Ms. Sherrod an apology. Ms. Cook owes her an apology. President Obama you and your administration need to fix this!!!!!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  141. Nik

    Remember the referral "THAT ONE" during the presidential debate? Was the dummy that made that comment disqualified from running in the election? Hmmm

    July 20, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  142. State of Tennessee

    No problem. We should also tolerate the New Black Panther members calling for the murder of white babies and adults alike. At least that seems to be the attitude of lame stream media outlets like CNN and their lliberal sheep supporters.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  143. Edward H. Senior

    I listened to the interview with Ms. Sherrod and I also heard the comments from the farmers wife. It appears that Ms. Sherrod made some comments that if taken at face value could have been discriminatory . However, the wife of the farmer who was directly affected by Ms. Sherrods actions shed a refreshing light on what Ms. Sherrod actually did. In light of these facts, I believe that Ms. Sherrod should be reinstated in her position.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  144. Anthony

    Tony get Roland Martin to get shirley her job back, this Glen Beck is a liared person and is very prejudice, I listen to him sometime and I cannot stand his views which is totaly wrong. I listen to shirley on your program and even from the person you talk to this morning about what shirley did, so Glen Beck is a liar and a racist.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  145. Maureen Steffek

    jim Crow is alive and thriving. Equality in race or gender in this country is an illusion. A rich white man (Mel Gibson) rants in abusive profane language and the victim of his rants is accused of making him do so. A black woman garbles a sentence and a lifetime of work is negated. I am a white woman who grew up in the south and right now I feel like forty years of progress has disappeared. The evil of racism has sat dormant waiting for the right set of circumstances to reignite and now it has. It will tear across this country like wildfire if good people don't stand up.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  146. summer jazz

    I first saw this story on CNN yesterday, and now I find out that CNN and other News outlets only played part of a tape. Now I hear today the true story and that a good woman has lost her job because of this sad excuse of reporting, over reacting by the White House and the NAACP. The most trusted news huh....

    July 20, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  147. csjohnson

    Now this is sad. this woman should have been fired I mean as a black women especially speaking at an NAACP function this is not acceptable. Even if this farmer was a full pledge racist she being a black woman coming from the south should have known better you don't fight evil with evil she should had helped this man with all her ability no matter how she felt towards him and for her to tell this story shows that she is a very ignorant person and she falls in the same category as any bigot this woman is a disgrace to the black people and this is coming from a black man born and raised in the south who Great grandparents were share croppers the only way we as black people are ever going to get over this racism thing is stop focusing so much energy and time on it and learn people are going to people if some one doesn't like you because of your skin color respect that because that's a persons feelings and there is nothing that you can do about that as long as that person or group is not hindering you from your happiness and prosperity wish them well and treat them as if they were family.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  148. ben leighton

    I cant beleive the spin cnn is trying to put on this story . We all heard what this woman said and the crowd agreeing and the woman smileing has she said it. This is raceism pure and simple.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  149. Mike Quinn

    Tony,

    When you review the entire speech that she made it is very clear that she was trying to reinforce the message that race, prejudice and hate are overcome when a person attempts to understand the other person and puts aside those views and focus on helping a fellow human being in need of your skills. I feel she was wrongly forced out of her job.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  150. John G

    Mrs Sherrod did NOTdo any thing wrong as explained by Mrs Spooner.

    The agriculture secretary should be made to resign for giving in to the pressure before checking into the facts–also the NAACP shares a part of this mistake.

    Further more wanting her to pull over to the side of the road to do it is absurb. Shame on Miss Cook for delivering such an unethical message.

    I am a white person and totally embarassed in the manner our goverment is not working,only worried about Glenn Becks comments.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  151. Aaron D.

    Stuff like this will continue. Until both sides quit calling "FOUL!!!" everytime some coarse, ignorant,scorned, or self-percieved downtrodden individual or organization makes a snarky comment. The african americans are the originators of this game, sadly the whites have joined in now too. We are on a path to civil war.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  152. Shecky

    She's bragging about it, people.; proud to announce that she once screwed someone over because of his race.
    No matter how much of an apologist you may be, you can't say (with a straight face) that she should continue doing this job.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  153. Dorothy Long

    I feel that Shirley Sherrod probably did make her decision on the amount of help the white farmer according to the attitude he was exuding... At first... Then as it unfolded the had the revelation that, indeed, poor is poor.

    I think she was unjustly terminated. I get what she is saying.

    Didn't anyone listen to the widow of the farmer???

    July 20, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  154. Hadassah Akusani

    Someone, in their rush to judgment, did not take the time to get their facts straight. If the printed material got the facts wrong about this man's death, when he is very much alive–then the very obvious fact is that they got the information wrong about Shirley. This is why people should not depend on snippets of info. Those who do so are deliberately trying to distort the truth in order to sway public opinion in their favor. The Tea-Partiers are excellent at this! And so is Glen Beck! Now they got the truth from the horse's mouth. I hope they run with that instead of continuing to spread lies and half-truths, and give this woman her job back!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  155. LeVar

    I can not accept what they have done to Mrs. Sherrod. If this is not fixed I will also leave the NAACP. I just finishing marching witht he NAACP to fight segregation and injustice here in Raleigh. It saddens me that they rushed to judgement and slayed this woman to appease the LEFT. I expect that from Obama, he into saving his own image at the cost of anyone else. It is just another case of politics over humanity.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  156. Jerry Butterfield

    It is wrong by some to demonize Shirley Sherrod. From what I heard on your program she should be canonized a saint.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  157. Roger Burstrem

    I am a 64 year old white male democratic (somewhat centrist) and strong supporter of the administration and their efforts to revive our country from the previous eight years of mismanagement; however, there appears to have been a great injustice done by the individuals in the administration to Shirley Sherrod.

    The only solution that should happen now is to reinstate her position and a public apology. I just listed to your interview with her and the wife of the couple she helped save the farm.

    If this is truly the doing of the tea party movement, than President Obama must step forward and show strength for all of us that supported him, lead the government and stop being bullied.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  158. WriteLoudly

    Tony –

    Here is the problem I have with this .

    First, what is a Federal Government employee doing addressing any group that does not represent all taxpayers?

    This is a taxpayer funded division of the Federal Government. Would she be talking to the NRA or Focus on the Family if they were in rural areas? No, she would not. It's a double standard and its wrong.

    Second, her explanation does not ring true. If she is arguing she "misspoke" then she is clearly not qualified to run a department. These type of divisions have independence compliance. This is beyond poor judgment.

    Bottom line this is why we need smaller government. It has to be more manageable. And it has to regulated and in compliance to avoid waste and misuse of powers. (period)

    July 20, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  159. Bass Heavy

    It is absolutely insane how some media sources can successfully distort reality and more insane how even seemingly intelligent people can be duped to these tactics. I am livid that the administration did not seize this incident as an opportunity to finally address race relations in the country. Winning an election doesn't mean anything if you have hang everybody out to dry to maintain your position. And the NAACP has no place in politics. I am extremely disappointed that the NAACP and Roland Martin, and our Administration did not take the time to learn the whole story before they hung this poor woman out to dry. And obviously spent her entire life in service. Thank you Tony for taking the time to report the truth in a time when people are the SCARED to find out.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  160. Bobby

    Tony,

    I'm very dissapointed in the treatment of Ms. Sherrod by the Obama Administration and the media. I think we as a society need to take a good hard look within ourselves and ask what have we become. Ms. Sherrod's thinking at that time was the thinking of all African American people at one point who encountered White individuals who thought or acted as if the were better than the person standing before them, whether it was helping, working or being educated by white people. We as individuals evolve into something gretear through experience and past mistakes. I believe when Ms. Sherrod was telling the stopry to the many audiences she spoke before, she was explaining the changes that she has made as a person. I am an African-American male who is currently in graduate school and experience the covert racism in school from my white professors. I get angry but I realize me being angry is not going to solve the problem. I as an individual need to better myself and realize this is the way of our society and until the United States government and these other political pundits realize that RACISM IN AMERICA IS NOT OVER and that it still exist we will be better as a nation and hopefully move forward and not be afraid to tackle the "Elephant in the room". I am very dissapointed in the NAACP and how they have basically assasinated Ms. Sherrods character.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  161. Barbara Howard

    This is what happens when people play the race card. It always comes back to bite them. I have stopped watching you Tony because of the way you report the "news" and the prejudice you have shown against people. As a Black female who happens to be Republican, I have cringed so many times when watching CNN. And now the NAACP has lost their way. If they and others would begin treating people like me, the Tea Party, all Republicans, etc. with respect, then this type of thing wouldn't happen. What do you expect when all you do is call people racists when they don't agree with you? Then they begin to fight back. And that's what's happening now.

    If the NAACP, the DOJ and CNN would have treated the New Black Panthers like the racists they are, then maybe conservatives would not have to defend themselves against unfounded criticism and certainly would not be doing research on people in the Obama administration.

    When you listen to the entire clip, you see that this lady is relating her epiphany from racial politics to human politics. But since the Obama administration seems to enjoy playing racial politics they had to "cut bait". And now a lady who doesn't need to suffer for other's foolish motives, is being hurt.

    Maybe someone should have punished Senator Byrd a long time ago. Why did he as a white man, get a pass and this Black lady didn't? Maybe one needs to look at the racism in the Democratic Party instead of pointing fingers at everyone else.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  162. Pamela Devins

    I am white, but I am glad the NAACP finally went after the Tea Party for it's very racist tone. I am especially glad that Mark Williams is out. Unfortunately it looks like this lady is caught up in this mess. This was a long time ago, and times have changed.
    I voted for Obama as did my 90 year old mother. He is a class act and the people who flaunt those signs are an imbarrasment to this country. The Tea Party should have condemed that behavior eary on. Instead they gave the impression of being a bunch of Rednecks.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  163. megan

    We should work together instead of picking each other apart. I hope the administration had nothing to do with pressuring her to resign...

    July 20, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  164. lutz Ingrid

    I just watched about the story about Shirley being asked to resign, where have we gone that a woman has to resign,just because she is going to come up on that horrible show that Glenn Beck has? Has he really that kind of power to influence the administration? Are we guided by fear of extremist on TV? Or anyones for that matter? We heard the call from the farmers wife that Shirley Sherrod.... did save their farm. No, she could not have gotten the help of other farmers that are black,and can they be Blamed?? How many white people in power have discriminated 20 years ago, are they being asked to resign because Keith Olberman will talk about them? Even if we are convinced that she discriminated, which I do not beleive. I am , just for the record, a white female. IKL

    July 20, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  165. Booker Asberry

    I a black person and I am angry at the way Ms. Sherrod was treated by the NAACP and the Federal Goverment. She helped all people in her position with the USDA. Based on the information that I have heard from both the electronic and written media, she should never have been fired. This is very polictical.

    Booker

    July 20, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  166. SA

    A teachable moment...that is all a 24 yr. old story was. We live and learn. This situation has been turned upside down and inside out. Just because Glenn B. was going to comment on his version of the story does not mean it is the truth. President Obama, please make this right and reinstate the USDA job to this capable woman.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  167. Michael Covert

    Dear Tony,
    Ms. Sherrod has become a victim of knee jerk reactive politics. Whomever the person was that made the decision to force her to resign immediately without due process and adequate notice should be reprimanded.
    You hav the outstanding testimonial of the farmer’s wife that was supposedly cheated! What else do you need to have yourself vindicated and a cease of harassment to take place. Good luck Ms. Sherrod. My heart and head are on your side. MLC
    t people. I believe that

    July 20, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  168. Edward L Beck

    I think that the NAACP and the White House owes Shirley Sherrod the opportunity to defend herself. The fact that the "White Farmers" were very satisfied with Ms Sherrod's successful efforts 24 years ago, is enough evidence to turn back time and review Sherrod's case.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  169. William

    I am very sorry that this lady was asked to resign. I walked into the room and caught the first part of her speech from 1986. Her remarks caught my attention. I was appalled at first by her comments and wondered why she would expressed those type of comments publicly. After listening to the rest of her speech, I see that she was telling what I would call a "learning experience story". I am very very very disappointed in the admin. asking her to resign and especially the way that it was handled. I consider myself a big supporter of this admin although I don't agree with all of the decisions. I hope that this story gets the attention it deserves and that her resignation can be reversed.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  170. Charlotte

    This story is depressing because you realize the nature of politics is not based on truth only the perception of truth and that perception is sold to us by celebrity talk show host with a political agenda. Shame on the administration and the NAACP for NOT investigating this story and being "spooked" by Glenn Beck. Why would they give him this type of credibility? Is this how our public policy is shaped? I praise Shirley Sherrod and hope she becomes a spokesperson for all that is right in this country.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  171. Virginia

    Mr. Harris,
    Thank You for the opportunity to see real time news at work this morning during your interview with Mrs. Sherrod and Mrs. Spooner. The honesty that was apparent in both conversations/interviews shows the real way we live our daily lives as we operate in our multi-cultural society.
    It is my hope that this interview will be the turning point from what is imagined to be happening in America to what is actually happening. And, that is..."people helping people".
    Again, Thank You for being an instrument in uncovering the difference between perception and reality.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  172. dominiqur

    Yes, I'm appaled that our society today still 2day throws racism about.
    It seems uncanny that u urself tony asked several times did she say that?. He comments were misconstrued. Lus think ! Hadn't this woman called to straighten out the story with the truth
    Everyone would had. Thrown her under the bus. Tony not only u but the media/ whitehouse owes her a big apology if we all throw racism out we would be a greater nation then again look @ where our president resides the whitehouse..huh shouldn't we change that name also
    Nik

    July 20, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  173. rikk coleman

    I think most of us have an idea about how other races feel about each other just like when a white lady hold her pocket book a little closer when black are close to her. Should she be deemed a racist? I think Sherrod just said what people think but never want to hear. Racist no inappropriate yes

    July 20, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  174. shirley bass

    I do believe that shirley sherrod should be reinstated in her job and that she is owed an apology by all who did not understand her statements or did not bother to investigate the facts. This is a gross injustice, and I will start a petition to reinstate her, if this is not done immediately. With people being left in high places who have committed actual crimes, sins of commission, and sins of ommission, this is the most outlandish, irrational and rash action ever taken by any official. Thanks, Tony, for your in-depth and sensitive interview and airing of the facts.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  175. mike

    Based on Shirley's live interview, her side comments and trepidation in her voice I Knew she was telling the truth even before Mrs. Spooner called in to exonerate Shirley.

    It never ceases to amaze me how quickly our society is to chastise a person before obtaining all the facts. This too is an example of the imaturity of our nations media which choose to hire fresh, new, producers and reporters at a lower cost, as opposed to Experienced and seasoned professional producers and journalists who make sure they get all their facts right before mistakenly chastising a clearly innocent person in turmoil.

    Thank you Mrs. Spooner for calling in to CNN to exonerate a wonderfull public servent, Shirley Sherrod.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  176. A.J. King

    I was certain that this story had much more substance to it than the sound bite that cost Ms Sherrod her job. Poor journalism and research is at the heart of it, followed closely by the "need" to put everything in a 10-25 sec bite.

    The Tea Party, an overwhelmingly white and largely conservative group, has been under fire for racially insensitive depictions of the Obamas. Even during the Congressional votes on the health care bill, racial ephitaphs were spewed against African-American Congress members. Ms Sherrod's story is nothing more than an attempt to distraction attention from problematic FACTIONS of the Tea Party.

    Even the story of two New Black Panther members should not have the kind of attention that they do now if it were not for the Tea Party issue. There are those who believes Obama does everything possible for the Black community which is nonsense. As an African-American, there are many things that I disagree with his administration. Nevertheless, I suspect that far more "stories" will be coming out just on this point as attempted with Ms Sherrod's to counteract rightful focus on problem segments of the Tea Party and not the entire Tea Party as an organization.

    I cannot say that I have ever seen anyone at Tea Party rallies being chastied for inappropriate behavior particularly as it relates to racial matters. Yet, it does not mean that it could be happening off- sound bite ... appearances

    July 20, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  177. Rhonda Brown

    Tears formed in my eyes seeing the vindication of Ms. sherrod by the words of the one whom she went above an beyond to assist. Just as she stated "enough" to get the help that was needed. I marvel at the power to not move past the past and meet the needs of all people. We are much to quick to judge. The administration needs to pubically acknowledge the rashness of their decision to ask for Ms. Sherrod's resignation and create policy to prevent something like this from happening again.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  178. Allen, Texas

    This is such a shame and a sad case. This illustrates one of the problems I have with the Obama administration. While I support the administration's agenda, I've noticed that after 18 months in office, the administration have not been able to find its feet in dealing with media driven stories of the day. In instances where they need to react at a gut level, they get too celebral, and where they need to be a bit more celebral, they've been reactionary. This is the case with this story. The administration should have take more time to read the full video and give Ms. Shirley Sherrod the opportunity to explain herself and after finding the facts meet out her consequence based on the Department's policies. Although, they are not the only one who overreacted to this story, but being the government, they have bigger responsibility to make sure that they do right thing by everyone involved and that should have at least called for a bit of an investigation. The bottom line here is, this is where we are with race relationship in our country. We react and overreact with anything that smells of a racial issue. Given the fight between the NAACP and the Tea Party movement, I can see the country's immediate fascination with this story. I just hope that when the dust settles, Ms Sherrod will be able to get her job back.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  179. Michael Raley (kindly post first name only on CNN)

    Tony,
    your interviews of Shirley Sherrod and the poor farmer's wife from Albany, Georgia, was one of the best sets of interviews on a very difficult subject that I have ever seen. I think the testimony of Ms. Sherrod, substantiated by the witness of the other lady, documents the fact that Ms. Sherrod never discriminated against this family. Even though she might have chosen her words more carefully in the taped speech that has been released to the media, it seems quite clear that thanks to her extraordinary efforts these poor Georgia folks were able to save their family farm at a time when so many others were far less fortunate. This also drives home her central point that a major issue in the U.S. today involves the need to fight poverty among ALL races and ethnic groups. I applaud Ms. Sherrod's courage in agreeing to this interview and your (Tony's) sensitivity in handling this delicate issue. If all happened yesterday as she stated (and I believe that it did, for Ms. Sherrod appears to be a woman of outstanding integrity), I am once again dismayed at our federal government's central leadership (or lack thereof). I say this with great personal sadness, for until recently I had been very supportive of President Obama, whom I had hoped would bring our country some much-needed strong and effective leadership.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  180. Jim

    Ms. Sherrod is not a racist, this is a case of over reacting without the facts. The adminstration is saying we much act on this immediately,it will be all over the airways tonight. We must be political correct::
    I am a 73 old WHITE man born in the south: I know racistism when I hear or see it:: Ms Sherrod is not a racist:
    Eat crow democrats review the facts and giver her good NAME and JOB back. I voted for President Obama I expect more from his aids than to ruin this ladies name and reptuation::

    TONY I love you and your style of getting the facts, great interview Tony, it touched my guts and soul:::

    Jim

    July 20, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  181. Niya V

    What was done to Shirly Sherrod was OUTRAGEOUS!!! The policy of "Zero Tolerance" with regard to discrimination should certainly be followed up with a full investigation before anyone is called to resign. I give credit to Tony for taking the time to skillful get to the facts and finding the farmers that Ms. Sherrod helped.

    While I don't this is a direct reflection that all the GREAT things that the NAACP and the Obama Administration has done. I do believe that they were to hasty in making a snap judgement about the facts about Ms. Sherrod's case in the efforts to separate themselves for an "ill-stated comments". How many times has this happened with other public or political figures and they are given the opportunity to clarify or apologize and we all have to accept it. Surely, this should have been done for Ms. Sherrod.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  182. SouthGa

    It is absolutly absurd that the USDA did not make the effort to even contact Roger and find out what happened before making this decision. As for attitude? Well in 1984 there are very few that will not agree, that the Spooner's and lots of big farmers, did seem to have a Superior attitude even if they did not mean to come off that way. They are my relatives and we have heard this story over and over, sorry that the USDA does not do an incident investigation prior to pressing charges.

    As Eloise stated, Roger is now 87, soon to be 88, he and his older brothers all went through times as most farmers in the 80's. One from lots of farmers is Roger seems to have a thriving business where he still actively participates, where many others lost their large farms and are working small family farms.

    Really seems like people will get the real story first. I can telll you from coming from this part of south georgis they are still very racisit and it goes both ways so when they stand up and agree, you better believe it is the truth! It typycial that a government agency would make a quick judgement based on PART of the story. The USDA owes this lady a formal appology, then some sort of restitution.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  183. ronnsys

    This is a shame. I believe Ms. Sherrod and everyone, even whites should be given an opportunity to express their growth in hopes that it will enlighten someone else. I have done it when I share with youth in my mentoring. With all the discrimination and racist acts going on in this country and corporate America the White House chooses to pressure this lady out of a job. It is Unfortunate that Ms Sherrod like so many of us is feeling the backlash effects of having the first African-American as President. I have felt and seen more racist remarks recently, than though most of my years and I am 53 yrs old.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  184. Tony DeFreece

    This is a simple case of which each of us go through many times throughout our lives. She had an awakening. She learned a powerful life lesson 20 years ago that it's not about the color of the skin; rather, it's about helping those who wish to be helped. Yes, some people are accepting and loving while others are cold and hard. This does not originate from the color of skin. It originates from the heart. Those who asked her to resign are in the midst of learning their own powerful life lesson.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  185. Gloria Chandler

    Give this noble woman back her job or even more poor needy Americans will suffer than already are

    July 20, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  186. Leah OConnor

    I think President Obama owes Shirley Sherrod an apology, and she should get her job back.
    The tea party has stampeded the White House into an over-reaction.

    Leah O'Connor

    July 20, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  187. Ms. C

    Everyone will have their "aha" monement and Mrs. Sherrod had her moment 24 years ago. We all have done and said things in a younger life that brings us to the person we are today. In her moment she finally realized that the color she was working against is GREEN. The only color that matter on the outside is green.

    I am Black and am truly upset with the NAACP and the Obama Administration for the first time. In their desire to be "unbiased" they have taken the very person that they need to address and redress the problems and issues that racism has become.

    Their messages are now and forever corrupted by the Glen Becks and Tea Parties of this nation. How can I feel the NAACP and Obama Administration are going to protect any issure that could run counter to their detractors?

    When you are poor you have no representation in government except for the diligent county, state or government worker. That is when you need the Mrs. Sherrods of this nation to help the less than green people.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  188. joseph simmons

    Lets face it, if Ms Sherrod had been white there would have been black organization all over this to have here terminated for what was said using the word that described the farmer. As a black man I at 58 I do feel that there are whites (men) who still believe that they are superior. Let us not forget that Ms. Sharrod did help this farmer and a little help is better than no help. In the year 2010 to say to mention race everyone gets upset. Lets face it, this America, a country that is built on race. How can we escape it.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  189. Jeff Mathis

    Black people think that because we elected Barack Obama, racism is rampant in America. While many black individuals may not be racists, as a society, blacks still have racial attitudes. Our churches, courts, our economic system, even our government all still promote racism. It's a systemic problem. It's up to all people to stop racism in this country, not whites. Until black people are willing to own up to the problem, it won't cease

    July 20, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  190. Teresa Gray

    I know how Ms Sherrod feels, this world has gone so crazy. There are no second chances for the regular people anymore. The ones in power no matter the situation will destroy you in a heartbeat if it means to make themselves look good and cover their own butt . I am so ashamed of how we treat each other as humans. I voted for President Obama and if he knew of this situation and pushed her termination without the entire story, he has destroyed all faith I had in him.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  191. Dale

    Thank you very much Tony for your outstanding interview with Ms. Sherrod. You allowed her to speak completely about the situation and as I watched her I could tell that she was sincere and honest explaining what happened. Your interview was helpful to me and made me truly understand the whole picture. Keep up those great skills you have Tony your a God sent!!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  192. Gail

    How often we as human beings are skeptical about people & situations initially; we don't know what the agenda is and we tread lightly until we see some proof of a genuine issue. Ms Sherrod may be guilty of voicing that internal process, which is so unfortunate. If her record is true, we all should be embarrassed at the behavior of the White House, NAACP, & others who have condemned her. People in glass, I mean, White houses, should not. Through stones!!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  193. Bass Heavy

    Thank you Tony for taking the time to report the truth in a time when people are the SCARED to find out.It is absolutely insane how some media sources can successfully distort reality and more insane how even seemingly intelligent people can be duped to these tactics. I am livid that the administration did not seize this incident as an opportunity to finally address race relations in the country. Winning an election doesn't mean anything if you have hang everybody out to dry to maintain your position. And the NAACP has no place in politics. I am extremely disappointed that the NAACP and Roland Martin, and our Administration did not take the time to learn the whole story before they hung this poor woman out to dry. And obviously spent her entire life in service.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  194. Linda

    Andrew Brietbart who brought the video forward and Fox News who ran with the news about Shirley Sherrord should be hiding their faces in the sand. Also Vilsack should be asked to resign for jumping the gun. The citizens of America need to wake up and behave like an united country and pay attention to how the other nations view us. Thank you CNN for your fair reporting.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  195. Denise

    Thanks CNN for your fair coverage of this issue. Now do your part to make this wrong right, ie. get comments from USDA officials and NAACP officials. Make them apologize to the nation.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  196. Myra J. Culmer

    Tony thank you wanting to get to the bottom of this issue, and for giving Shirley Sherrod a chance to tell her side of the story. (Which was not done by the NAACP, Ms. Cooke, of the whitehouse, nor others. I am a Black American woman and I feel it is disgusting how this lady was treated by the Whitehouse and others. This lady did nothing wrong and she was not treated fairly. I feel she deserves an apology and she deserves to be reinstated to her position. I also would like to thank the Spooner family for speakng out with the truth, and coming to Shirley's defense. In addition, the fact that Mrs. Spooner"s husband is still alive although it was reported that he was deceased, is proof that the media do report incorrect information.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  197. Libbi Stovall

    I praise Ms. Sherrod for teaching black people that when analyzing issues they should fight their own bias to consider race as the cause. I am a white Social Studies teacher in a predominately black high school. At the end of the year, I called the mother of a black female student who had been up in my face and angry at me from the day she walked in. I was calling to tell her mother how she had changed to not only be an excellent student, but she was keeping the rest of the class in line because she was so excited about the current events and how I was explaining them. Her mother was so excited to hear about her daughter's change, but she also wanted me to understand where she felt the initial problem came from; Her mother asked me what color I was. I told her about my various ancestral backgrounds, but she stopped me and asked "what color do you check when you fill out the census." I told her "white". She told me that my color was the reason that her daughter wasn't even giving me a chance in the beginning.

    Bias does still exist in the black community. I applaud Ms. Sherrod for admitting her early bias and talking about how she got over it. I know that my student talked about how she overcame her bias with me and helped turn other students around.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  198. Claudia Manning-Floyd

    There were so many holes in Ms. Sherrod's story, you could drive a truck through them. First of all, if she's helped as many families as she said, how can she remember the case of one specific White farmer from over over 20 years ago? I'm not buying it. I think the NAACP story was someone else altogether. Sherrod also said Ms. Spooner is a good, close friend, yet at the end of the piece she said she wants to get in touch with the Spooners again because it's "been so long." I don't know, maybe I'm just silly,l but I usually don't become good friends with someone I think is acting superior to me. Maybe Ms. Sherrod decided that's a quality she admires in Whites after all.

    I'm sorry, Shirley Sherrod. I don't buy a single word of it. It looks to me like you were invited to speak at the NAACP and gave them a story you thought they'd like to hear. Either you lied to the NAACP or you lied to CNN, but you're definitely lying somewhere. I also found your negative references to the Tea Party and Glenn Beck a feeble attempt to get sympathy from like-minded people as yourself.

    I'd have to see the entire speech before I'd come close to believing her CNN story. Personally, I think she got caught and is punching her way out of a bad situation with every fake excuse she can get.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  199. Ruth

    God bless Ms. Sherrod for speaking the truth and for her grace. God bless the family she helped for calling. And God bless Tony for telling the story.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  200. Maurice

    That is perfect example of how the individuals', that are in political power react to truth;{Mrs. Sherrod}. The politicians in charge are corrupt, in that; common sense ,morals , scruples, and ethics are gone. Take the time to see what is really going on around us; they react without the full facts, but then tell the public{ the people} half the story, of what is really going on in this world. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure it out. Sad! Sad!____"Jah Guide Us All"

    July 20, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  201. Nelson

    While I was watching, it originally saddened my heart to see such a lack of compassion on the part of Ms. Sherrod. Growing up in a small town outside of Daytona Beach My family always emphasized the importance of equality throughout society regardless of race, religion, etc. I understand that in a public setting individuals tend to cater their dialogue to their surroundings, and their words can be misinterpreted when observed from an outsiders perspective. I hope this was the case in this particular instance. This video is essentially the only evidence of racism from Ms. Sherrod. I was pleased to hear that the farmers wife was satisfied with Ms. Sherrod's diligence, and did not have any remarks regarding the allegation of racism. I hope, as an American, that this was essentially a misinterpretation of her remarks.

    Tony, you preformed the interview magnificently. It was fair and informative especially considering the sensitive nature of the topic.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  202. Farmer

    The administration holds that it makes "informed decisions", but unfortunately for Shirley Sherrod, an informed decision was hastily overlooked as a result of America's racist disease.

    Farmer

    July 20, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  203. Shirley Blakley

    I know the integrity of Mrs. Sherrod, she is a very just and fair individual. I worked with her in trying very hard to save family farms in the rural south. All these accusations are false. It is shameful and inmature for the NAACP are any one else to act on something without getting the entire story. Mrs. Sherrod did not and will not be so dishearted to discriminate against any race, This is something I know that is not true. Mrs. Sherrod is due an apology and should be reinstated to her job as Georgia State Director USDA immediately.

    Shirley Blakley
    Shuqualak. Mississippi

    July 20, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  204. Jonathan Johnson

    We Democrats need to get our act together. This is the sort of thing that happened to Acorn and now has cost Ms Sherrod her job and reputation.
    The White House is very wrong in this situation and has an obligation to correct the situation. Glen Beck is a liar and a con and if the administration his afraid of him we're in bad shape.
    As far as Ben Jealous is concerned, I have watched him in various venues discussing racism involving the tea party and his knife is not sharp enough for the tasks that he's attempting to take on. I could expect this sort of reaction from Mr Jealous but not from the White House.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  205. Ruby Holmes

    I think this situation is appualing this woman has been found guilty without a trial. The administration the NAACP, ROLLIN MARTIN,AND USDA owe this woman a big aplogy. Seems someone would have at least taken the time to investegate to get to the whole story. But no they took it and ran with it Now Ms. Cook needs to be fired. This womans name and reputation has been slandered and she needs to get her job back. I am a democrate and I have been one my whole life, but Mr. Obama and his staff are working very hard on changing my mind. I am truly dissapointed in the way this was handle. Obama is falling right into the hands of the republicans and thier nasty games.TOGETHER WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  206. Phyllis Winton

    The action taken against Mrs Sherrod is a horrible and reprehensible one by all involved. I thought I could regain some respect for the NAACP after standing up against the TEA Party last week and finally speaking out. These are not the same principles, practices, ethics and promises of the NAACP I grew up with. Whoever in the administration took this dreadful action should be immediately dismissed! Thank you to the farm family for speaking out on this. Go back into hiding; you're doing more harm than good!

    PW

    July 20, 2010 at 10:53 am |
  207. Stephan

    Ms. Sherrod was not treated fairly. We must always get all the facts before we make decision and Judgement about comments someone made 24 yrs. ago. The white house jumped the gun on this issue. As well as the NAACP. When news comes from FOX NEW always expect
    a spin and half trues.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:53 am |
  208. Robert Tindall

    It is pure racism anyway you spin it. If the woman was white and the farmer was black, we would never hear the end of it from CNN and Jesse and Al, and Roland... White liberals continue to treat blacks and minorities as inferior and with "kid gloves". If unqualified blacks don't get what they want, it is ALWAYS racism. This fact hurts the cause of addressing REAL situations where people of all races are discriminated against.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  209. S. McNairy

    It amazes me how some people misinterpret one another. This is a lesson that was learned by someone who realized they could have done things differently. How I don't know, but she is using this experience as a learning one for others to follow. The lesson she is stating is what she said it is not about helping only those who do have verses those who don't. It's about helping all people. She explains how at that time (24 yrs ago) her actions turned a possible negative situation into a positive one. The lesson – "No matter what color a person's skin toned. Help is available for all who need it. Don't let your inner prejudices stop you from doing the best job you can!"

    The NAACP is not helping the racial situations that divide this country. They are adding to it, especially when they comment without getting the full truths.

    Forcing her out of her job was a cowardly act to do over the phone and while driving. This all came about because the racial comments of Tea Party associate. Do the politicians have better things to do besides digging up 24 yr old garbage.. Wow!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  210. Sandra Glasco

    The treatment of Shirley Sherrod is disappointing based upon the story from the Farmer and his wife. It is apparent that the White House did not get there facts before they asked her to resigned. I would have hoped this administration would know better.

    I’m glad to see that CNN had done their job of “keeping everyone honest”.

    Sandra Glasco
    Castro Valley, CA

    July 20, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  211. Shaun Anderson

    Tony,
    Your "Real-Time Drill-Down" on the Sherrod story was the true manisestation of justice.
    Mrs. Spooner fully vindicated Ms. Sherrod, and your supervision over this "Drill-Down" was nothing short of brilliant!
    Now, while I don't expect any equitable response from Fox (they are irredemable), I DO expect equity from the Administration and NAACP!
    Cheryl Cook s/b forced just as Ms. Sherrod to resign was wrongfully compelled to do.
    resign and President Obama and NAACP should have joint news conference retracting the positions of their administrations.
    And they should invite Ms. Sherrod to the White for a glass of wine (rather than beer) and announce her reinstatement.
    THAT w/b the right thing to do.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  212. Roger Dean Kiser, author

    Why Shirley Sherrod was asked to resign is beyond me. This is a woman who has given her all to be fair to both black and white farmers in Georgia. This will be a great loss when fair, honest and caring individuals are difficult to find in government positions.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  213. EM Robinson

    Thank you for digging deeper. Your other collegues should have done this. The person who asked for her resignation should now resign. The person who submitted this to Youtube should be suied and the NAACP should issure Shirley an

    July 20, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  214. Deborah G. WIlliams

    Race relations in the South are very complicated and different than anywhere else in the world. The fact that the white farmer's wife does not hold Shirley's comments against her tells the real story. Their friendship will survive this controversy, even if Shirley does not recover her job. This is an example of why white southerners are so much against illegal immigration, but we mantain strong friendships with black southerners. We are more alike than we are different because have experienced some of the same hardships. Illegals have no idea of the history that white and black southerners share. If blacks can forgive us for slavery and Jim Crow, we can forgive them for being honest about their feelings and speaking out about them. Obama wouldn't understand, but Shirley should keep her job.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  215. Tom NYC

    Tony
    Thanks for presenting such a sensitive and probing interview. If only all misrepresented and distorted stories could get such treatment. It sickens, but unfortunately doesn't surprise me, that the C.Y.A. attitude of government agencies leads to such a sorry impasse and pathetic political commentators are using it for their own ends. Thanks for the clarification

    July 20, 2010 at 10:56 am |
  216. Sandy Mellish, Nova Scotia, Canada

    Hello Tony,

    My heart is breaking for Sharon Sherrod. What a shame that this woman does not get, nor deserve the right to grow and learn from past experiences, let alone the chance to explain ~ Just railroad her out!!

    Where we really need to see zero tolorence is in the stupidity of politicians and the heavy handedness they use to demoralize and trreat people as though they were common thugs on the street ,rather than their working counterparts.

    Is it any wonder anyone has any faith in either the running of the government or the judicial system. We desperately need a return to faith in mankind that would allow we humans to err and recover graciously when we fault through no intent .

    I am not a journalist nor am I a learned person by any stantard. However, my conscience would dictate by what I have viewed in this situation, that this woman has been terribly wronged and is deserving of a full apology as well as a reinstatment of her position to the Department of Agriculture.

    People in government are always looking for the sacrificial lamb or the scape goat; and God help anyone who would accidently drop the glass slipper in the presence of royalty in the good old USof A. They will be found guilty and executed before they ever get the opportunity to come before a jury of their peers.

    I only one other time in my intre life left a respone to any story but I felt compelled to so for Ms. Sherrod.

    Sandy Mellish

    July 20, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  217. A.J. King

    What this story tells us about ourselves is how lazy we have become in thinking. All of this media attention and drama is nothing more than a knee jerk reaction.

    The icing on the cake is having the wife of the white farmer that was "wronged" speak positively about Ms Sherrod and how Ms Sherrod was able to help them keep their farm to this day. I wonder what Glenn Beck et al have to say about it now?????

    News is about making money and creating demand. This is 21st Century Journalism & News at work.This is also another example of how fear and hysteria is being used to get particular outcome(s). I suspect that it is more about negatively portraying the Obama administration (which it can do on its own), stoke white concerns in a very difficult economic time, and get desired candidates into office at all levels of government – local, state, & federal.

    Ms Sherrod's most important point is the one the no one talks about or skates over. It is the have's versus the have not's. We are in a massive classbattle. When the wealthiest 10% controls nearly 40% of our nation's GDP that is an issue. Real income has not grown for 80% of our nation's population for at least 10 years now. And that is the scariest thing of all unreported in the news today.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  218. allyn palmer

    I support shirley. so the naacp and USDA are fallible, they need to reconsider their motives ie. fearing BECK

    July 20, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  219. Jan in Phoenix

    If there was any discrimination it was against the Farmer's attitude upon his aproach to her for help not his race. She used this experience to educate her audience on how NOT to be racially biased but instead it's a needs based world we live in, the have's versus the have nots.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  220. Andi Osborne

    I am white, Southern, and disgusted! I voted for President Obama and expect him and his STAFF to stand up to the right wing ridiculous. For a member of the President’s staff to ask someone to resign because twenty something years ago she told a truthful story that affected her life… oh wait, Glen Beck would be writing her name on his CRAZY chalk board! I am extremely disappointed. Everyone has the right to be heard when they have been accused of something, who fires someone over the phone?! We have reached the point (I thought) where we were supposed to be having HONEST conversations about race so we can move on and build better communities.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  221. c.schablein

    As a woman who has managed farms in the past, I view Ms. Sherrod's issue as gender based rather than race. It is very difficult dealing with the "superior male farmer" due to the attitude and belief that a female
    can't possibly know anything about farming regardless of her education,experience or intelligence. This attitude hurts communication and creates ineffectual ways of helping and doing a job to the fullest.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  222. Ty

    Hi Tony,
    I am a retired federal employee. I can't believe how Shirley Sherrod was so blatantly "RAILROADED" out of her position. There should be a thorough investigation into how this action was allowed to take place. As far as I am concerned, it is a NO BRAINER! For one, she was not a Government employee at the time that this alledged offense took place. We have Senators who were Klansmen (and I am quite sure there are Gov't employees still affiliated). The real clincher though is that the very family, the Spooners, said to be the the victims of Shirley's Racism, tell a far different story than what has been alledged by the USDA. Cheryl Cook should be charged with Harrassment for her participation. I am so sorry to say that I am ashamed at how the NAACP has so carelessly concluded that Shirley is guilty as charged. A first grade student is able to see that the speech Shirley gave was an admission to her mistaken perception of who represented "Poverty" and her immediate change of opinion and efforts for the better.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  223. Tommy

    I want to commend Mrs. Spooner for corroborating the facts that Mrs. Sherrod articulated but this is the age of instant recall of nearly every public utterance made be any and everyone. There have been whitefolks dismissed for past instances of insensitive expressions and it seems to be a sign of the times. Mrs. Sherrod is paying the price for an indiscretion that cleary does not reflect her true sentiments. Unfortunately, the issue of race seems to be insurmountable in this country, particularly in the racist atmosphere created by the election of the first Black president.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  224. Robert Guercio

    What a wonderful new story. I feel it is very important to note that what most people don't understand is truly conveyed through the story of Ms. Sharrod. The one she shared over and over. EVERYONE is imperfect. Learning and being to recognize that you have prejudices is THE most important thing an individual can do. It is precisely how we act at these times that defines us as an individual, for better or for worse. The way we perceive others is an amalgamation of our life experiences, the parents who raised us and the friends we spent time around growing up. Overcoming these feelings and seeing beyond them to become a better person is the toughest part. There is a very important distinction between prejudices, discrimination & racism. That is to say... Most, if not all, humans have prejudices. People who are apathetic, don't care and/or who do not recognize they have prejudices & want to change may be discriminatory. Discrimination is acting on our prejudices in a spiteful, mean or "racist way". Racists know they have prejudices, rationalize them and then act upon them in an abhorrent way and will never change.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  225. Terri Denney

    Shame on us for reacting to sound bites and the Administration for not getting to the truth, as you have! It was as simple as contacting the farmer and his wife and exposing 'the real story'. Mrs. Sherrod has been vindicated!!! She should promptly receive apologies and be reinstated to her job!!! Well done CNN and Tony!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  226. Bonita Canup

    I am dumbfounded by Washington. As a Democrat and a great admirer of the President, I cannot believe the administration and those at the USDA have railroaded this woman as a result of the recent uproar over the Tea Party incident. She is collateral damage. They obviously didn't bother to investigate her story. Her speech was taken out of context and the farmers wife is her witness that racisim was not her agenda. Thank you for giving her the forum to explain.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  227. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Tony it seems as if your blogger's have found Mrs Sherrod not guilty .

    July 20, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  228. Roger

    The most important race relations story of the decade. Is racism finally dead? Can a person speak of their own personal biases as Shirley Sherrod cleary does in the video and interview and yet be so completely exonerated by Eloise Spooner explaining, "she did enough to save our farm".
    Ms. Sherrod is racist at her core. She blames Glenn Beck, the tea party, the political climate and everyone else for losing her job. Obviously It was her mouth engaging in front of a group of like minded individuals. When it came to acting she got past it and saved the Spooner's farm. At least that is how the people who came to her for help see it.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  229. Denis Cooper

    This is a clear indication of the treachery one party would pursue to accomplish a goal...even down to paying someone to dig up and twist statements without investigating facts! For 8 years, we watched "humpty dumpty" fall off the wall. Yes it was a GREAT FALL. But he cant get put back together again in 4 yrs, and definately not while people throw mud and wet concrete at the staff.
    Although Ms. Sherrod is clearly NOT acting out of Racism in her actions it IS clear that Racism got her fired.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  230. EM Robinson

    Rhe NAACP owe her an aoplogy and Rolin Martin needs to re=adress his comments and he owes her an apoly.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  231. Moby

    Very interesting. Fox has pulled their previous story along with all the vitriolic comments and substituted a factual story. No comments on the accurate story. I find that very telling.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  232. Marty

    It's a shame this has happened to Ms. Sherrod, however, instead of uniting us, the American people, this administration's objective is to "divide and conquer" with unproven racial, social, ethnic and class smears and will not stop until there is destruction. She is just a product of the turmoil. The NAACP has completely lost their way!

    It does not help when mainstream media decides not to report the news with the truth and CNN needs to earn our respect and trust with TRUTH IN REPORTING

    July 20, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  233. Sheryl

    Thanks Toney for having Ms. Sherrod on your show by giving her a chance to explain her comments. Thats the problem with the media these days always wanting sound bits instead of the truth to make someone look bad. I'm suprise at Roland Martin last night on Campbell Brown, when Gloria Bourger and Ed Rollins made comments about the President is incompetent (spelling) no remarks from Roland Martin and now this lady is disappointed in Roland Martin. I hope this lady sue Glen Beck and others for her losing her job. Toney you might want to send Glen Beck a copy of the interview so he can post the correct story, but we all know that he won"t do that.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  234. Starr Mercer

    Tony, I would nominate you and your producers for an Emmy on investigative reporting for this one. Ms Sherrod is truly a woman of strength. During her 3 hr drive she received 3 calls from the WH admin telling her to resign and she did not have a collision. This admin had no right. I don't know which vote or bill or senate seat or nomination is at stake but that is no reason to throw Shirley Sherrod in the tea party's hot pot just because the kettle is brewing. It was fabulous to hear that the Spooners are alive and well and could confirm that she helped saved the farm.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  235. Linda Robertson

    The deviltry at work in this instance boggles the mind of even the most jaded of those of us who follow the spectacle of politics. Ms. Sherrod, twenty-four years ago, had a culturally-grounded perspective on race relations in the state of Georgia. Her eyes were opened to the reality that the race-baiting in the United States is a stalking horse for preventing the have-nots from destroying the plush lives of the haves, who are living off the backs of the working class and the poor. The clouds fell from her eyes when she realized that the issue is not race, but history and economics. She has been thrown under the bus because of the fear of the reactionary right, representing the intense desire to prevent at all costs just the realization Ms. Sherrod had 24 years ago. The tactic of the right is to accuse their opponents of doing what they are accused of. It is a way of smearing the innocent while avoiding answering the actual question. That Ms. Sherrod was forced to resign because "Glen Beck" was going to smear her, and the NAACP, in order to cover for the blatant and current racism of the Tea Party is a disgrace. Shame on the NAACP. Shame on the administration. And good for CNN: I am always pleasantly surprised when you present hard news stories with intelligent interviews. Do more of that, please.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  236. EM Robinson

    USDA Cherl Cook resign. NAACP and Rolin Martin owe an apology. ony your collegues should have dug deeper. Thank you for your work.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  237. Lou

    What goes around comes around. How many times have liberals destroyed or derailed careers for things uttered years ago? I don't believe Shirley is a racist but she deserved what she got if we start holding people to the same standards.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  238. Angela

    It’s disappointing that yet another African American has unfairly lost a job during a period of unprecedented unemployment in our nation that is nearly double that rate for the black community. No one seems to want to talk about the fact that discrimination is at the root of this disproportionate unbalance.
    Equally disappointing are the actions of the NAACP who failed to do a minimum phone interview with Ms. Sherrod to gain background and context about the comments. Their actions are unconscionable.
    There is absolutely no excuse for the position of Roland Martin. As a journalist, he knows all too well the importance of basic investigative research. Perhaps Ms. Sherrod should take over the top job at the NAACP.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  239. Egberto

    I feel for Mrs. Sherrod. I empathize with Mrs. Sherrod. That said, as a political appointee her choice of words matter especially in these charged times.

    While it is true that the white family she helped keep their farm became her friend, by her own account race played a role in the type of assistance she gave that family. Moreover, the terms she used like “his own kind will take care of him” brings back the thought of how whites addressed black by “kind”. You cannot hold a federal job if you can entertain that type of thought overtly.

    I think for the most part most people are good people including Mrs. Sherrod and many whites who have had racially stupid things to say. That said people in authority to effect others lives cannot get a pass when there is material evidence "admitted in her case" that her racial bias compromised her assistance to someone.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  240. King Louis

    The NAACP should be ashame of themselves for causing such a controversy and the administration should've investigated before forcing her to resign. Just listening to the wife of the farmer made me realized that this woman did all that she could to help them save their farm.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  241. Dennis H. Clarke

    As a Life Member of the NAACP, I want to say that Shirley Sherrod has had her basic human rights violated by the White House and the NAACP. Shame on us all.

    L.Ron Hubbard, the American Philosopher said it best: "The very basis of human rights is freedom from false accusations and from brutality and punishment without offense."

    Shirley Sherrod is in fact, a human and civil rights heroin. She is exactly the type of civil servant we need in America. This wrong must be corrected.

    God bless Shirley Sherrod.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  242. Rhonda from Chicago

    I agree with the majority of the posts. It was evident from even the short video that was shown, that she was telling a back story to convey the change she went through to get to the point were she understood it was about class and not race. The actions of the NAACP are nothing new. They jump on their own "misguided" bandwagon to put themselves in a favorable light, even when that wagon is headed in the wrong direction. Instead of trying to help oust a woman who has done so much during a time when jobs are hard to come by, they should have come to her defense. The Obama administration is trying so hard NOT to come off as giving special treatment to minorities that they don't take their time in getting the facts. And the NAACP is trying so hard NOT to ruffle any feathers, that they've forgotten what they initially stood for. This is why such a once noble organization has lost its relevance to our younger generations.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  243. Rebecca DeWitt

    What a sad day for Ms. Sherrod and for people of all colors in the district she serves.! Ms. Sherrod told an honest story in hopes that others would learn from it. The white farm family involved even called you on her behalf! Yet it appears she will lose her job because of a YouTube clip (out of context) went viral.
    What about the 25 intervening years of service? She's apparently served her employers well...and yet she loses her job because we live in a moment in time where racial awareness is very sensitive. I'm white – make no mistake – but I feel sorry for her and I think she should get her job back...

    July 20, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  244. Jean Brydge

    Tony:
    As a former Human Resource professional, I am appalled that Cheryl Cook had the audacity to ask a person to "pull over to the side of the road to resign." Does Cheryl have someone she wishes to place in Shirley's position?

    If this were a business instead of the Government, Cheryl Cook would be hauled before the EEOC before you could say "Unbelievable." Please bring enough pressure on the White House employee, Cheryl Cook, to make the restoration of Shirley's job imperative. If this is not done, immediately, perhaps Cheryl Cook should "resign!"

    July 20, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  245. Bob

    Ok, she admitted she was wrong but it was still an act of racism. If a white person admitted this rest assured Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton and the NCAAP would be all over this. What ever happened to the white farmer? Did he loose everything for her actions? She never said what was his outcome.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:09 am |
  246. Roseanne Harper

    Shirley Sherrod should be given her job back, AND the White House should give some serious thought to the consequences of having shown so transparently — and I use that word purposefully —that Glenn Beck has such power over it.
    First, I was shocked that Ms. Sherrod was asked to resign for a situation that doesn’t appear to be validated and that happened 24 years ago . THEN, I was sickened and saddened to hear the verbiage that the administration’s representative used in asking for Ms. Sherrod’s resignation. She allegedly said, “You have to resign because you’re going to be on Glenn Beck tonight.” Wow.
    I thank CNN and Tony for bringing this outrageous situation to my attention.
    Roseanne Harper

    July 20, 2010 at 11:10 am |
  247. jw456

    This is wrong–she was pressured to resign on the basis of hysteria–just FLAT OUT WRONG. Dept of Agriculture–do the right thing.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:11 am |
  248. Derrick

    It would be interesting to find out the name of the person who came up with the idea of Ms. Sherrod resigning. It show's how out of touch from reality people in this country really are. The story she was telling in the video is a story of those who have money vs. those who have very little. The moral to her story was that we all need to help each other no matter what tax bracket you fall under, or what position of authority you might have. She told a story of hope and understanding that doing the right thing and helping someone in need is the right choice even if there is a racial difference...... then she was told to resign. Her story sounds like something Obama should be preaching about and I hope the decision of asking her to resign did not come from that high up. That would really be a discrace to that administration.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:11 am |
  249. chris jenkins

    It's good to know that the NAACP is now just a Tea Party puppet. Great Job!

    July 20, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  250. willie walter

    IT is absolutely apaulding, that the administration, would make sherrod, pull over like a nobody, and tell her to sign her resignation papers. they took away her dignity, & respect. What is the United states of America, coming too? me & my family will pray for sherrod, she is truly a strong person;

    July 20, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  251. Jon

    Plain and simple......RACIST!

    July 20, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  252. Norman Townsel

    i swear we live in the matrix and fox news lives in another reality....I give CNN credit for at least demonstrating journalistic integrity and investigating the entire story and not just sensationalizing this to perpetuate further political and social divide in this country

    July 20, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  253. eva dickerson

    The story about Ms. Sherrod is absolutly amazing. Did anyone (NAACP or the Obama Administration) investigate the story fully. The NAACP jumped too fast. What comments are you hearing from Ms. Cook.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  254. Jacquelyn Tullis

    Tony,
    I am happy that CNN and you gave Mrs. Sherrod an opportunity to present her story. I am even more happy that Mrs. Spooner called in to the program to validate Mrs. Spooners story.
    The national chapter of the NAACP should have contacted the local chapter of NAACP to get a transcript prior to condemning her. That is part of what is wrong with America. It is so much easier to condemn than to seek the truth.
    The Administration and Ms. White owe Mrs. Sherrod an apology. I hope that she gets her job back with a raise. It is hard to find people who give "over and above" to their jobs now-a-days.
    Kudos Mrs. Sherrod!!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  255. IJAbraham

    Ms. Shirley Sherrod got caught up in the madness of racial politics that has been the norm in this country for decades. The so-called power elite will use any trick to spin the words of an unsuspecting speaker in order to remove him or her from an influential job or position. Shirley Sherrod was politically lynched, not because she did something wrong, but because she found out the truth about race. The country's power brokers do not want the American people to know the true relationship between race, economics and politics. Shirley’s story is a testament to the fact that blacks and whites can get along with each other if the social and political manipulators would stop interfering with that process.

    IJAbraham, Brooklyn, New York

    Reply to CNN news report on Shirley Sherrod’s firing from the USDA. Tuesday 7/20/2010

    July 20, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  256. sandy

    The White House made an eroor in judgement and they need to reinstate Shirley Sherrod her job back NOW and quit cowtowing to those tea party nuts and FAUX NOISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  257. Linda Hanna

    God Bless the Farmer's wife for speaking up for Shirley Sherrod.
    I appreciate her willingness to stand up for what is right. It
    seems that folks got "over-reactive' in an effort to avoid controversy.
    Ms. Sherrod appears to have acted WITHIN THE LAW....
    and many people do not do "all in the force of their power" to
    help others. In fact, thats rare in this world.
    I think Shirley should get her job back.
    Let this one go.
    I am against racism, but this particular story seems to have been exploited to be used for its own racially motivated agenda and
    this isn't fair to "cherry pick" the story to meet your need...when
    the big picture shows another view.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  258. Capelton

    Ms. Sherrod was right with her statement concerning the positions held by people and not a lot of positive things being accomplished. The immature finger pointing in our country the misuse of our money is driving the USA to an all time low.The have nots are the ones that will fell the worst of it.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  259. Marc

    It's amazing how people of race and power forget where they came from to get where they are.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  260. Toby

    The woman was talking about a story many years ago, and how she learned from the experience. This is a woman that grew up under Jim crow laws. People should read the facts before making their final judgements.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  261. Harold

    What is shameful is the NAACP, White House, and USDA premature response to Mrs. Sherrod’s presentation without investigating the facts. I wonder how many people in these organizations are recalling something that they have said in the past that could be damaging to their current status. Even after she requested the whole video be reviewed, outside influences deemed it necessary for her to resign. Will all involved be willing to openly admit their rush to judgment? Mrs. Sherrod was sharing a past experience prior to her employment with the USDA that made her a better person. How many Whites were and still are guilty of the same without succumbing to the same revelation as Mrs. Sherrod? In the end, she assisted that farmer in obtaining the help needed to save his farm having been validated by the farmer’s wife. In the end, she did her job and if Mrs. Sherrod had never been honest about her actions and feelings concerning that specific event, the conclusion would have been, she successfully performed her duty to that family. This is another poor example of the condition of our Country. Honesty is one thing, the violation of freedom of speech and expression is another. Who is discriminating now? The irony in this is she has been labeled a racist and the Spooner family whom she helped calls her a friend.

    Harold
    Colorado Springs, CO.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  262. Alexandra

    She absolutely should resign. They have to be held to a higher standard and had a Republican official said that about a black person, the left would be sending up the blimp to shoot off fireworks in protest. As someone who voted for President Obama, I was very disappointed with his administration's lack of transparency (something he ran on) so this is one small step towards holding everyone accountable.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  263. John

    Its ashame in my opinion. African Americans are always subject to discrimination, whether its school, or in the work place. I think they were looking for a reason to get rid of her anyway, and I would be anything that someone else wanted her position, and I wouldn't be surprised if they were white.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  264. Chris

    Tony,

    I heard nothing about this story yesterday on CNN. I only heard about this story because I check CNN and then Fox News to get both sides of the story. So I was shocked today when I turned on CNN and immediately saw you protecting Sherrod by interviewing a white farmer that Sherrod supposedly helped. This is the final straw for me with CNN. I am done wathcing your channel. You are a journalist, yet you always have a agenda. In this case it is proving that Sherrod is not a racist. I am sure of the fact that you would not have reported on this story at all unless it came out through other outlets. What a shame.

    Chris

    July 20, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  265. Allen, Texas

    Besides, Shirley said in the video that this incident happened 24 years ago when she was at the crossroads in her racial feelings at a time she looked at everything through the BLACK / WHITE prism. Even though, she had such feelings, she went against her instinct and helped the farmer to the best of her ability anyway. She further went along in the video to state that she does not feel that way anymore and tried to educate us all that we don't have to look at things in black / white anymore. Although, I supported the NAACP in its efforts to get the Tea Party movements to purge their organizations of racist elements within their ranks, Ms. Sherrod's case illustrates an effort to showcase reverse racism gone awry and the administration overreacted. Please give Ms. Sherrod her job back. Its the right thing to do under the circumstances. This is situation where the administration need to a bit cerebral (not celebral) and do a bit of investigation before making a decision that will ultimately alter Ms. Sherrod's life. Great TV Tony Harris!!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  266. Robert Guercio

    A paid leave of absence pending further investigation would have been appropriate given some of the context of the audio. That being said... Ms. Sherrod is obviously a wonderful caring person and would have been 110% vindicated. Our society has become much less concerned with "the message" than we are with the way in which it was delivered. This way of thinking is superficial and prone to disaster. We ALL need to try to understand first and worry about acting later. Jumping to conclusions is a impetuous action which often creates more problems than it solves, as in this example.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  267. Dan in TN

    Shirley is good people. USDA, Ms. Cook, NAACP, Mr. Jealous and Mr. Martin need to apologize and make this right. It's time to stop the knee jerk reactions to 'gotcha' games and get on with the needed actions to bring this country back to a focus on it's promises. Attack the problem not the people.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  268. V.E. Mills

    This woman was wrongly and unjustly treated. She was talking about a past event, which was a story about how she learned that racism was not the issue, but rather that poverty was the issue. She was using the story as a teaching tool, and it happened before she even worked for the U.S.D.A. She is another victim of Political Correctness hysteria, having been tried, convicted, and destroyed in the public square, without benefit of a lawyer or a fair trial... Guilty without the chance to prove her innocence. She should sue the government and the NAACP, and the person who posted the misleading video on youtube (who intentionally left out a good portion of the whole speech so as to get this woman in trouble unfairly).

    July 20, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  269. Tennis

    Thank Spooner for clarifying your experience with Sherrod and the saving of your late husband's farm. I believe Sherrod was treated harshly by the media and the NAACP. Sherrod should have her reputation restored for her contributions to civil rights initiatives and her word through the USDA. Shameful, how she was treated.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  270. Margaret Owens

    If we can call Senator Byrd a great man because of his evolution from a racist, surely we can allow Ms. Sherrod redemption as well.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  271. Maxy

    My eyes were teary watching Tony's interview with Ms Sherrod and Ms Spooner. Was it not disgusting that a respectable public servant was instructed by Sheryl Cook, on behalf of Obama's government, to pull over on the highway and resign her position over the phone. Despicable is the word. President Obama must answer to the power posturing of his staff. In trying to prove that the Administration is fair to Tea Party and NAACP, a decent lady has to be forced to resign by the road side. Shame on a government that takes a knee jerk reaction when dealing with people's lives. God bless Ms Spooner for being on the side of truth and fair play. The greatest problem in US is not racism or terrorism. It is bloated ego by a few who think they know it all. Great journalism Tony, Producer of Tony Harris and CNN.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  272. Gwen

    Classic case of the media not having all t he fact before exposing, a sound bite, that serves only to ignite and feul a feud between the tea party and the NAACP. All sides playing to the pre election dirty gaming and hype.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  273. joe m

    Tony,
    To offer more services to one farmer than to another based solely on skin color is racism!! How did she get that position with such extreme views??

    July 20, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  274. Gene

    I thought this was amazing that "a person" was given the opportunity-a long one by the media to "stand" up for themself-do we give black and white people the same opportunity-did we not just have a "military " General that had to retire for something he was "thought" to have said and done that was reported by the media to be "true" and never questioned by the media whether it was true or not-was he given the same opportunity to "standup" for himself or was it just assumed "he was guility"-he is white so I guess he had to be gulity-he only made certain that our country is kept safe-never was it questioned whether the aricle writen by Rollin Stone was correct-we destroy people reputation and really give it concern until it is ours.
    So, you as a representative of the "news" might want to think outside the box not in "black and white" issues and label them as such. Everyone should be able to tell their side of the story.
    If you listen to the tape she does not "say" she did not help the farmer-she says I did not "give" him the full help-how sad that one American would treated another in that manner-we do not live in the 40's or 50's hopeful we have grown. We fought for "civil" rights and laws are passed
    and I -like a lot of Americans do not wish to return to those days-so be accountable for what you "say" -if she was not willing to "give" her all back then to a person other than a "black"-what makes us "think" she has changed. Is the trend now "black" people in power will treat "white"people like they are "inferior"- this is what we "fought"to eliminate. Have we still continued to discriminate just changed the "color"-how sad that growth will not occur, unitl this practice is eliminated by all people.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  275. Kim

    I think that it's silly to hold this woman accountable for remarks made so long ago. However...You must admit, if a white person had made those remarks...20+ years ago or not...they'd be crushed! Everyone would be crying racism! I do not think she should be made to resign...at the end of the day, she helped and helps a lot of people.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  276. Tiffany

    It is completely disheartening that the White House and the Tea Party have ganged up on this woman to have her ousted from her job. Her comments in her speech were not racist, and the alleged "vicitm" of her racism has been working to vindicate her. It is truly disturbing that this woman was literally made to pull over to the side of the road and resign her job. All parties involved with the removal of this woman should be ashamed of themselves. This is cleary some weak attempt by the administration to placate the blood thirsty radical right, and what is clear is that no matter how many bones they are thrown, they are never satisfied. I hope that she sues the hell out of the Obama administration, and forces them to reinstate her and pay her full salary for the time she has missed from work. Keep fighting, Ms. Shirley!

    July 20, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  277. Mark

    Thanks God for CNN, where the truth still matters!

    July 20, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  278. MrsO

    Shirley Sherrod is a vulnerable and convenient scapegoat during our country's unfortunate ramping up of "race debates" this summer.
    Leave her alone; put her back to work. Obviously, she is an effective government worker.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  279. Betty

    I watched your interview with Ms. Sherrod and even tho I don't know her, I felt she was genuine and sincere and probably very good at her job. However, if you took the same words that she spoke and put them in the mouth of a white person, referring to a black farmer, I can only imagine what the fall out would have been. A white person speaking the same words probably would not have received FOUR phone calls, but would have been fired during the first one.

    I am NOT a racist, but we all need to be more careful about what we say and be responsible for our actions.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  280. broderick

    I hope the adminstration will see that this women did nothing wrong and give her back her job I support the adminstration but don't do this!!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  281. D. Keith

    I find the treatment of Shirley Sherrod by the White house appalling.
    Insisting that she resign without even allowing her a moment to explain or defend her remarks is gutless. All this because they fear Glenn Beck?
    That's just gutless and wrong.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  282. Lisa Rogers, Memphis

    I think Ms. Sherrod's comments werea teaching moment that went wrong. If she has never acted in a racist way, she should not be condemned. She should definitely not have to resign her job.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  283. Chrystal

    This was an absolute outrage. She should be reinstated with extra benefits. She did nothing wrong whatsoever. With all that she has contributed to the NAACP, how can they afford to lose her? We need more people like her that would rather say, "Look, you're coming to me with this attitude but I'm going to look past that and past your color and help you anyway." She didn't have to do that. The wife of the farmer is appreciative so why aren't we? If she had a problem I doubt she would've helped at all. Why does everything have to be about politics. OK WE GET IT, IT'S CLOSE TO ELECTIONS but come on! Pull over because you will be appearing on someones talk show tonight. Ridiculous! Whoever kept calling to find out how close to Athens she was is a Lap Dog, being used by the organization and she should be ashamed of herself. Obviously they didn't call her themselves, because they knew they were wrong. It was good of the NAACP to jump on the situation so fast. It could've very well been a race issue, but I agree that the bottom of the story should have been found out before any actions of this magnitude have been taken. They need to take it all back and APOLOGIZE. Thanks Tony. Love your show. One of the best on CNN. All day watcher. Thanks for the opportunity to be heard on some really great issues! Have a great year!

    July 20, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  284. Robert Burlinski

    Mrs. Shirley Sherrod made a gaffe. She constantly asks to look at her records like it would be a some type of excuse. Listening by her to comment made by the farmers wife looked like she needed something to silence her consciense. Maybe the appeared case of the rascism is her pain but it cannot be a weapon used to pay back.
    Family Burlinski, Austin, Texas

    July 20, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  285. william

    Ms Sherrod did NOTHING WRONG, for heavens sake, give this lady her job back, and it is up to the White House to do so, bless her heart she did her job well, and this is what she gets for it in return.. I for one can not wait for November....

    July 20, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  286. Courtney

    I can't believe that Obama sold hope to get elected and now he is allowing the fear that some of the right wing sells to influence decisions made at the white house. When did Glenn Beck become more powerful than the millions of voters that elected Obama? Why is it that he has more influence on the this administration's than Obama's supporters? I am so disappointed in this administration. I can deal with the economy; we're coming back, the oil spill; there is now a possible solution, but to railroad this woman who had the courage to share an epiphany that she had in order to bring races closer together is awful. I can barely stomach it. Hope and not fear!!!!!!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  287. Oren Piper

    Unfortunately the Administration again jumps to conclusions with only half the facts. Obama did that with the Professor Gates incident. This lady has been thrown under the bus by the NAACP and the Administration by people who have considerably less knowledge and interest in fairness and fostering good race relations than she does. Another case of half-facts jugements.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  288. Amanda

    Tony, your interviews with Ms. Sherrod and then especially the one with Mrs. Spooner, were just gripping and really moving.

    It just goes to show that race issues are not black and white (no pun) and what a shame it is that we have become such a sound-bite society, ready to destroy this woman's career over a clip and fear of those who would seize upon it and twist it.

    When we slowed down for a minute to take a deeper look, the truth was so much more complex and multi-faceted and truly inspirational in the end. This black woman would have grown up in the deep South and her father was killed by whites. She could have continued and perpetuated the cycle of hate – and she sure wanted to – but she didn't. And that she and the Spooners forged a bond in the end shows we have come a far way. We aren't there yet but we have come a far way.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  289. Sam S5.

    Too many in leadership RUSH to judgement and see what is most important for them rather than the whole. Now that the family has come forward and made it abundantly clear that Ms. Sherrod is friend to the family, I demand all parties involved not only publically apologize and give her her job back but also STOP RUSHING to judgement. People lives are worth much more than the image of ANY INSTITUTION. No matter how old the institution or new the administration.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  290. Jeezlouise

    The Obama admin has made race a very negative issue -He seems to be a racist , trying to fill all White House positions with non-whites. I have never seen so much race baiting going on in my lifetime since the O.J trial. Obama used to old concept of divide and conquer, divide the people and win the race- His staff has continued to position Caucasians as "tea party racists" and overpowered republican enemies. Obama is a con man -The NAACP is a racist organization and the White House is out of conrtol, drunk with power.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  291. Virginia

    Shirley chose to express insight concerning her views at the time concerning racism and the haves and have nots. This is excellent processing of personal feelings, education and experience. This is a normal human cognitive process we all do if we have wisdom and true intelligence. I don't understand what the problem is with this speech. I was raised in MS and understand that there are a lot of "superior" attitudes in the south concerning race. It is incredibly difficult to ask for help in a foreclosure situation and the feeling of being a failure is tough. She handled herself with diginity and grace. Who gives a rats ass what the administration and the NAACP think. I am more than willing to bet that the posturing and their own self deception is at work here. We are all only human and continue to grow and learn. Thanks for sharing that Shirley. It is truly refreshing to see as well as the honesty.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  292. Jo Jones

    It's ironic that Mrs. Sherrod lost her job over an incident that happened over 20 years ago when there have been people on Capitol Hill that are former Klansmen.

    The USDA in GA has a history of discriminatory practices in service and hiring and promotion. However, you hear very little about this. This is a wonderful time to talk about qualified blacks that have worked for FSA for over 20 years but can not get into the management training program or the lawsuit that black farmers have against the USDA.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  293. Shag

    It's just shameful that this type stuff is still an issue. It doesn't take the Becks, Limbaughs and Coulters to keep it in the forefront. I had a black co-worker tell a white co-worker about differences in the way black women vx. women handle relationships. This was a civil conversation, and I immediately interjected that women of all stripes can be dominated and misused by their men. I'm black and have seen it up front and close. The black lady was suggesting the white woman are inferior in relationships, and it was just a stupid comment. We, on all sides, have a long way to go.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  294. Dixie Normus

    Obama and another one of his panic firings. He played himself.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  295. Carol Titus

    In a similar vain as Ms. Sherrod dismissal, you will find much more to the stories of the NBPP, ACORN, and Van Jones situations; if you go to the "victims" to hear their side. I appreciate the quickness of your response to Ms. Sherrod's firing. It is refreshing to see unfairness squelched while it's still hot. Fox News dif(de)fused! Thank God for CNN.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  296. Brett

    Seems simple Tony – She was just being honest about her feelings and possible actions 24 years ago. She faced a white man, and stumbled in her thoughts regarding how to help the guy. This doesn't make her racist or predjudice, just a person. The true testiment is that she overcame and did right by that farmer. We are all guilty of some kind of predjudice in our minds... how we deal through our actions is what defines us. She should go on Glen Beck and give the full story if Glen Back isso powerful that the White House bends to his will... ridiculous.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  297. Dennis

    Tony,
    I know it breaks your heart, but there is no 'other side" to this. This woman is on tape being a racist. That you and CNN are trying to defend her is despicable. And where is Mr. Obama on this. What an opportunity – or is he racist too – see Prof. Gates and the "stupid cops".

    Dennis

    July 20, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  298. Ms Lacey

    Shirley Sherrod should be given her job back immediately!! The end result is she extended herself and helped this farmer and his family save their farm when she didn't have to.

    The NAACP and USDA should be ashamed of themselves!! How dare they condemn this woman for something she said 24 years ago, without even hearing her side of the story. The NAACP stabbed her in the back, and was instrumental in getting her ousted out of office.

    Both organizations should formally apologize and the USDA should give her the position back.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  299. Greg

    Imagine if a white official in a Republican administration was caught on videotape admitting that he found a black citizen to be "uppity", that he therefore failed to give the black citizen all the help to which he was entitled, and that he then sent that black citizen to get help from "his own kind." Imagine that the audience, participants in a conference held by a major conservative group, sat nodding and making approving comments as the official talked about his racist actions. And imagine that the conference sponsor then made the video available to the public. Would there be any way that you would give that white official the sort of sympathetic kid-glove treatment that you gave Shirley Sherrod on the air this morning? Would there be any explanation that would satisfy you? And would you let that official give a defense of "some of my best friends are black" like you allowed Shirley Sherrod to do by citing her white friends? I don't think so, and you should examine your conscience to find out why you gave were so kind and deferential to a black woman who has confessed to her own racist conduct.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  300. G Shanahan

    No matter if it was decades ago, Ms. Sherrod should be removed from her position. Obviously, she harbors racism and is only now back pedalling to save her job. Too bad, not even a fraction of the time spent by Tony, was spent on the Black Panther Philadelphia polling place fiasco. ALL news is supposed to be reported no matter your political slant.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  301. Nellie Thorne

    it seems to me, as an average American, that the people who keep perpetuating the race issue are the very people who are supposed to be helping others to see past color! Ms. Sherrod was clearly making a point about learning to see past black and white into the real issue! That issue is rich and poor! Those who have and those who don't! Mrs. Spooner and her husband credit Ms. Sherrod with helping to save their farm, their very existence as American Farmers! When did it become racist to share your personal ephinanies that helped you become more open minded?! Ms Sherrod has clearly been targerted because of the "race war" going on between political parties, not because of her speech!! Every American should stop an truly re-evaluate exactly what these politicians stand for! Simply put, as long as they can keep us divided, we are weak! If we all stood together, we would b heard!

    July 20, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  302. Ed Schulz

    I can not believe what this woman said if a white woman had said such a thing changing the farmer for a black person and she said she didnt give him all the help she could that his own kind should help him oh my god Jesse Jackson would be grinding the woman in to dust.Racism goes both ways and I defintly think these are racist words.She deserves to be FIRED!!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  303. robin

    It's a shame Ms. Sherrod is blaming the Tea Party for what she said 24 years ago. Seems like the racist thinking is still there in her. What goes around comes around.

    And Tony, you cut out some of the most important parts in your video of what she said. The White House saw the video in its completion.

    People are tired of racist speaking on both sides! The race card stinks!

    July 20, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  304. Kemuel Murray

    When did the integrity of finding the out the truth before we report a story fail us...It seems that some reporters have their own agenda...Thanks Tony for finding out the truth...With new technology we can take bites of someone’s words and manipulate its meaning...It seems the right wings platform is to strike fear and hatred instead of working for a common good...and the middle and left wing seem to fall under the divide and conquer theory that looms over there head....Racism, reverse Racism and am I a Racist when will we stop…

    July 20, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  305. Vanessa

    I believe Shirley deserves a PUBLIC apology from the White House, the NAACP, from the Tea Party and every News show that did not really do there research before condeming her She deserves her job and her reputation reinstated. Thank you Tony for getting at the truth.
    Vanessa

    July 20, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  306. Victor

    I wonder what the "more" that she could do was.

    In beauty school I could do "more" for a client who was trusting but less if they weren't, just to be safe. I also discovered there that there IS racism, as I am a Caucasian appearing male who went to a predominantly African-American beauty school. I was never allowed to do scertain procedures that are mandatory for passing the State Board, These were the relaxing and straightening ones. Also, racist rumours were spread about me by some jealous girls and while my teachers eventually realized they weren't true, they DID believe them for a few days and that hurt me to the point where I did graduate, but could care less about doing textured hair. Racism exists, and I don't know whether it was me appearing Caucasian or being gay that made them hate me.

    Anonymous in L.A.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  307. Vickie

    As a senior white woman and rual rancher's wife. this woman has been cought in a mess. She should be commended for her work. and people like Glenn Beck should be hung out to dry.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  308. vincent

    I forgot to mention the Agencie that Force her to resign, they all should be fired for stupidity.. She should sue everyone that rush to judgement especially that idiot Glenn Beck.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  309. Nash

    Our historical and cultural filters have failed us once again. I admit that I drew my own conclusions after watching the clip. I am embarrassed to have done so.Thank you CNN for being fair and balanced by sharing the truth. My hope is that the NAACP, and the Administration will demonstrate integrity and be swift in vindicating Ms Sherrod. Give that woman her job back! Of course that assumes she would want to work with and for such an organization considering.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  310. Joseph Bundy

    Ms. Sherrod,s true anecdote tells how we make judgements about people based on perception. After meeting and working with that person or people one on one we learn who they really are and what they face. Ms. Sherrods experience in helping a struggling farmer of another race 24 years ago helped her to become better equipped to aid farmers and poor people struggling to save their land, their life's work. She shoud be commended, not fired. Ms. Shirley Sherrod you have my admiration. The White House, USDA and NAACP should do what right by Ms Sherrod rather that what they percieve to be popular.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  311. Sharon Muhammad

    Ms. Sherrod should not have been told to resign. She became a casualty of the "Tea Party" / Conservatism mania which has spiraled uncontrollably into destructive comments and actions. This mania, in my opinion has been fueled by the media and conservatives whose ultimate goals are to undermine the Presidency of Barack Obama and will stop at nothing leaving professional devastation in its path. Ms. Sherrod was a scapgoat of the anger fueled Tea Party/Conservative machine. This "machine" has produced more racial, bipartism, and anti-Obama propaganda then can even be mentioned. To bring about the demise of a USDA professional's career due to a "so-called' racist remark is hypocritcal to say the least and scandelous at best.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  312. Leon Jones

    Tony, I feel the same as one of your fans. Where is the outrage that should be aimed at the President and the White House. If this was a Bush administration you know CNN would be asking the hard questions, 'How can you fire this woman for such a minute mistake?'.
    I don't think the remarks should be disregarded, though I feel she should not have lost her job. She should have been reprimanded and told to not do that again. This administration is trying to save their llazy butts in November. It wont work. Support for the President is eroding.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  313. Steve Huntley

    It's a uneasy position as a citizen of the United States when government officials don't take the time to properly vet a story and take knee jerk actions because they are afraid of Glen Beck or any other television "PERSONALITY"!

    It wouldn't take me too long to search You-Tube and find comments taken out of context to make Glen Beck to be a communist, raciest or homosexual. He is just a television personality.

    Image is everything in our government!

    It should be everything to do the right thing for the long term. Not, the right thing for right now to look good!!!!

    Get a grip!

    July 20, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  314. B.J. Mayo

    Tony–
    How unfortunate that "someone" didn't take the time to investigate Ms Sherrod's side of the story. It was obviously clear through your interveiw with Ms Eloise and Ms Sherrod how it all happened. (Speaking of interviews–your interview skill/technique is one of the best I've seen.)......B.J.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  315. ray

    This story shows how quick the Obama administration is to affect the news cycle. Forcing Ms. Sherrod to resign, before knowing any facts. I have a feeling this will have a negative impact on the NAACP and the Administration. Ms. Sherrod was shown no respect, but merely thrown under the bus. To me She is a wonderful person.

    A white man in Florida.
    Ray

    July 20, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  316. paula friedman

    Hi Tony, I worked as an administrative employee for the gov for
    over 30 years (law enforcement agency). I am white but got sick
    of a high up manager making derogatory racists remarks. I never
    hid the fact I have minority relatives (black). I tore into him when he
    made another derogatory remark about blacks. My promotion was
    held up for two years and I was treated awful. I retired early because
    of the way I was continually being treated. I filed a grievance after
    I retired and have not received a reply from the director"s office. Please
    don't use my full name because I am still terrified of the managers.
    Thank You

    July 20, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  317. Allan H Williams

    I'am very proud, Ms. S. Sherrod told her story. She is telling "America", we are all in the wrong. When we look at each other, by "Race". Why can't this lady or anybody else, tell of the mistakes. That they have made in "Life", so all of us don't do same thing. We as "Americans", need to accept the truth, And put all of these negatives ways behind-us. The "N.A.A.C.P" & "U.S.Goverment", have showed this lady.(Ms.Sherrod) No respect when, it comes telling the truth, and we all can come to live as "Americans", not by LABELS.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  318. Stacy

    Whether Ms. Sharrod was influenced by prejudice, she acted responsibly. She had the foresight to know that if something in her belief system would prevent her from "giving her all" to the situation, she still had the integrity to find someone who could to help them. We all are entitled to our opinions and beliefs, the moral imperative is to do no harm as a result of them. Ms. Sharrod exemplfied this in taking herself out of the situation in order for the greater good of the farmer. Indeed, the greater good prevailed and they were able to save their farm. She did the right thing and should not be punished. This is my opinion and I am a middle class, white, Republican woman.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  319. Travis

    She needs to be given her job back and i am an obama supporter but this is out of control. The video was from march, she was telling a full story about working together and they didnt even give her due process they better hope she doesn't sue there butts she just laid out a great statement today on CNN and the family she was talking about in her speech supported and backed her up. So now what? They wanted the women to resign over the phone and to pull over? where is the professionalism? If this were a private company they would have the EEOC down there necks. This is absolutely crazy and blown way out of context. But this is what we as a society get for believing on site everything you see, hear or read..I mean for crying out loud some news paper reported that mr. spooner was died and the man is a live and 80 something years old i mean really come on.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  320. Christian

    This women was asked to resign because of what she "said" not because of what she did, and she can't seem to grasp that. If this were a reverse situation and a white male making comments about treating african americans differently and not giving it his all there would be no press, no question about it. He would be terminated on the spot and for good cause. In this day and age we can't tollorate comments like that from any race or sex.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  321. Angel

    It is because the far right is trying to dig up dirt on any controversial subject involving race. The far right is upset because the NAACP has called the Tea Party out to condemn any racial actions or comments.

    This woman has lost her job because of political reasons. Someone should come out and apologize to her and give her job back. I do not agree with the White House asking her to step down because of her comments in the video. I do understand that they reacted quickly because of the on going pressure to not be hyphocritical during these political times. They were only trying to make it right.

    I think it will be a big mistake for her to appear on Glenn Bleck show because he only wants to use it for his own political purposes to attack the President and his Administration.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  322. Sheila

    This just goes to show that Beck and Fox News are not credible in the field of journalism. Did anyone at Fixed News bother to interview the white farmer and his wife before they went berserk with charges of racism against Ms. Sherrod? Tony, you should be commended for being a real journalist.. Shame on Fox Noise, shame on the NAACP, and shame on the administration for jumping to the wrong conclusion and firing Ms. Sherrod.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  323. Wallace

    Did I miss something or was Ms Sherrod trying to have a teachable moment about racial attitudes when she spoke to the NAACP? Shame on the NAACP, the administration, and Roland Martin for attempting to paint this lady with the same brush as members of the Tea Party.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  324. David

    Tony, we always seem to focus on Caucasian people as being racist when in fact, we have African Americans and Latinos in this country, that are as equally racist as Caucasians.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  325. Ty

    Tony,
    This is a "No Brainer"! Shirley Sherrod was Railroaded out of office. She was set-up to take a fall for political reasons. I am a retired Fed. In no way should Shirley lay down and not fight this scam. It amazes me that the the very same family, the Spooners, alledged to be the victims of Shirley's RACISM, tell a completely different story regarding this incident. I might be wrong but if I seem to recall there are Senators and Congressmen who were former Klansmen. Shirley was not even a Federal Employee at the time of this alledged offense. There should be a complete investigation regarding this matter and Cheryl Cook should be charged with Harrassment. I am ashamed at the behavior of the NAACP regarding this matter. This entire incident is embarrassing to our Government and must be corrected. Since when does the Tea Party dictate Government Policy and Law?

    July 20, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  326. Reggie

    CNN,

    Great job on telling both sides of the story. Especially for the white couple that was involved and digging them up to tell the story from their perspective.

    Interestingly enough, when you hear the clip and then the entire context of the story how different they are. As a note to jouralist, listen to the entire video (not just the clips) and interview to actually perform real jouralism versus shaking up the audience in the name of # of viewers (Uhmmm, Glen Beck).

    July 20, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  327. Deon

    Thank you Tony and CNN! Many americans are misinformed by media allowing there bias to take over understanding and respect for all people when dealing with americas problem, keep up the good work...CNN lead the way!!!!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  328. Peter Wohld

    We have a chance right now to make a giant stride in race relations. Shirley needs to be reinstated in the USDA and apologies are needed from the NAACP and the White House.

    Further, those representing the tea party movement need to embrace Shirley and show they support a person who has been unjustly vilified and who is obviously not a racist.

    We have to quit this insanity of discarding people on the basis of a sentence or two taken out of context.

    This is insanity.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  329. Dennes Barrett

    Racism has been lurking below the surface for years. All it took was to mention a black man could become president of the United States, and it has reared it's ugly head. Childish bickering between groups like the Tea Party and NAACP is causing it to fester.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:30 am |
  330. Elliott Grey

    Omg, as a Fox news devotee, I found myself hypnotized by this interview; if CNN keeps on doing this kind of reporting, I might actually start watching this network again. Ms Sherrod clearly has gotten a raw deal, & has been thrown under the bus by the Obama admin for nothing more than political reasons. I mean, c'mon now...she helped saved their farm for cryin' out loud.
    Nice job Tony.
    Sincerely, EG

    July 20, 2010 at 11:30 am |
  331. thomas a macpherson

    Mr Harris
    T he lady that was asked to resign her position with the usda has been made a scapegoat due to the fact that she has proven over the years that she has fought not only in the civil rights movement for what she beleives in but also looked beyound her own race as an african american but to extend her hand out to help all others no matter what race or creed.We need more people like her in order to see that all people are treated equal no mater what,let the bigots offer their resigation and it will be a better world to live and work in.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  332. mindy verduci

    Shame on the administration and the NAACP for their treatment of the Shirley Sherrod incident. At the very least, the woman should have been allowed to explain her side of the story and the full tape of the remarks should be aired. Shame on the conservative media for their handing of this story although it's not too surprising since distorting facts and presenting lies as facts seems to be their reason for existence.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  333. eileen

    Quite the soft ball interview by Tony Harris. Sherrod admitted to discrimination and abuse of power. I would like to have discovered from this pathetic interview just what assistance Sherrod withheld based on race. Regardless of her "enlightenment", she admitted discrimination and should lose her post in case she is not yet enlightened to others who may differ from herself.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  334. skIP

    Gimme a break Tony, if a white woman said "I sent him to his own kind" how racist is that? Like the blacks were animals, and needed to be seen by their own. This woman is black and said that very thing, that to me is racist.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  335. Bill Aho

    Shirley Sherrod got Short Shrift, Tony. And that's the polite version.

    I have just written this to the White House also.

    She deserves that the people who forced her to resign hear the whole story, see the whole video previosly aired, see your report, and then reevaluate their stance.. She is sincere; honest. I believe her version. She deserves a sincere public apology and reinstatement.

    Your report is a shining example of how things taken out of context can mislead.
    You have done a wonderful public service in airing the facts. Keep up the good work.

    Bill Aho
    Hypoluxo, Florida

    July 20, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  336. dahill

    This is "investigative reporting" at it's best.
    Shame on those who were involved for not investigating before reacting.
    Shame on Glen Beck for trying to spread hatred and slander and for Fox News Netwrk for allowing such hatred.
    When is this country going to get past discrimination as most other countries have. This is a disgrace to America and those involved should be ashamed.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  337. Len

    This here to me is a clear case of a narrow minded person who is definately prejudice against their own race . I applaud this wonderful human being for what she did. It is people like her I look up to and to keep holding on to our dreams. My heart goes out to her in every way and i'm deeply touch!

    July 20, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  338. Leon S

    Ms. Sherrod was wrong for her remarks and she admitted to being wrong (24 years ago). She also went on record as saying that she learned from that experience that life is not about race but it's about wealth. That realization has been proven true by President Obama, because he has made a hasty decision due to the pressure of the wealthy Right... Is everything about winning elections?

    July 20, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  339. John Cavataio

    this is 2010 how can we be talking about Race Relation over a Lady like MS. Sherrod who tells a 20 year old story to make a point and then one or two phrases get out of context.
    I am 62 and a 3rd generation American-Italian I had people pick about my heritage through school and at work, but we all picked on each other without getting our "back UP".
    IT is obvious that she has helped farmers save the Farm and did her job without Race.
    The media needs to back off and chillout.

    MS. Sherrod needs to be reinstated!
    We all need to remember that we are ALL AMERICANS FIRST!!

    July 20, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  340. Bill

    Dear Tony;

    I'm going to tell you that I'm white. And I have experienced my fair share of discrimination from black people and Mexicans, particularly those who were poverty stricken. When their ship came in, they hired women of any color and other black men. So, frankly, it's both sex and race discrimination. I knew one black man, who was married, who hired women because they turned him on. Then, he expected them to be sexually alluring on the job.
    I've found that blacks and Mexicans are more prone to spreading lies and rumors about white people. They don't stop. They get mean. When the people they've targeted are either dead or gone, they'll quit. Even then, they might follow them and harrass them some more.
    Blacks and Mexicans will form gangs and then not only beat each other up, but they'll beat up a white man above all else. If he's an army man, all the better...they'll kill him.
    I have really tried not to be prejudiced. When I got into the army, did you know that I was taught was racial prejudice and discrimination was from my black leaders? I was a target, most of the time. My schedule was messed up, I was pulling all night duties back to back, I couldn't plan to do anything on the weekend because one of their homeboys didn't want to do theirs. There was even an instance in which a mess hall was sponsoring expensive barbecues with government food, and a guy that needed to feed his family took some of it home. They tried to get him reduced in rank, court marshalled, and to pay it back – – for ONE loaf of bread and some chicken breasts. And there were 10 of these guys, and they ate enough for 50.

    Black people say that it is impossible for a black person to discriminate. As in the example you presented today, racial discrimination among blacks runs rampant. Many of them had NOTHING to do with slavery, and they still use it as a vengeance game to destroy some innocent person's life. And, they're even prejudiced against each other. Black against brown, against charcoal, against other different shades . . . .

    It runs rampant.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  341. Shag

    I think this can be a teaching moment. People need to deal with people as individuals. I'm black and so glad that grew-up in the 60s, and spent alot of time in Hollywood and San Francisco as a teen. I experienced how people can find common ground and at least co-exist. The racial animous must cease, or else we're all doomed. I don't have alot of hope because there are so many narrow-minded people in this world.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  342. Robert Scotti

    She was video taped for the world to hear and to see and her words speak volumes. The fact you are making her out to be the victim is shameful, but not suprising. The family farm may have been saved, but what if it had not? What would you be saying now? By her own admission she tells the world she did not do everything she could have to help this family because he/they were white...she got caught and all the back peddling you can provide for her won't change the words she spoke for the world to hear

    July 20, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  343. Mike

    Let me start off by saying that I am a white conservative and I've lived in Georgia all my life. Ms. Sherrod related an event that took place 24 years ago, before she was even employed by the USDA. Shirley told that story to point out that the level of melanin in someones skin should have no bearing on doing your job and then gets canned by her superiors because she was going to appear on Glenn Beck? This has to be the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.

    I personally know farmers, black and white, who have had the benefit of Shirley's experience and dedication. NO ONE has EVER accused Shirley Sherrod of racism before. Georgia has lost a valuable asset in Shirley Sherrod, someone who didn't give a flip about political agendas, just getting the job done. Instead of forcing her out, maybe some of these political hacks should take lessons from her.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  344. jan

    I am a African American Female that say's shame on you NAACP, THE WHITE HOUSE AND ROLAND MARTIN. This Women's lively hood (HER JOB) was taken away. You should have atleast investigated and listened to her side. This is Politics not about what's right. Today I'm a shamed of the organization that claims to protect the rights of African Americans. SHAME ON YOU. Even an apology will not correct what you have done. You all have just showed your true color.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  345. Celia Hall

    Tony thanks for your investgation into the Shirley Sherrod allegations.

    Mrs. Spooner set the record straight. Shirley was credited for saving the Spooner's farm and they have a good relationship. Let the record show that. The USDA and NAACP should issue a public apoology to Shirley for forcing her to resign without investigation the whole truth. She should be reinstated to her job with the USDA.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  346. Joe Bruno

    It sure seems that the Tea Party did a great job of 'race bating' the NAACP and the White House on this one; and poor Shirley Sherrod has gotten the worst of the fallout. When will the Dems learn to step up to the fight with all the facts and stop cowering from the bullies. This may be one of the biggest blunders the White House has committed. I'm an old white guy that can't believe the level of bigotry I'm seeing in my country since Barack Obama was elected president. I get racially motivated cartoons, jokes, and political commentary almost every day in my email now. It's shameful.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  347. Joseph Bundy

    Ms. Sherrod's true anecdote tells how we make judgements about people based on perception. After meeting and working with that person or people one one we we learn who they really are and what they face. Ms. Sherrod's experience in helping a struggling farm family of another race 24 years ago helped her to become better equipped to aid farmers and poor people struggling to save their land, their life's work. The white house, USDA and the NAACP should do what is right by Ms. Sherrod rather than what they perceive to be politically popular. Ms. Sherrod you have my admiration.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  348. Marvin Battle

    The conservative demagogic machine, Fox News, is complicit in fostering a racial and divisive political climate with the sole and intentional obTjective of doing harm to a black president. Upon careful examination, these are not professional journalist but professional actors acting as agents of a much larger agenda of deception, lies, and trickery. One should study the history of Fox News and its money supply to properly effectuate answers to where they stand ideologically. Responsible journalism requires contextualization. The absense of such is analogous to affectation of a subordinate class of its credulous followers who are blindly mislead in the abyss of darkness in the name of patriotism.

    Exculpatory information, being given by the wife of the alleged discriminatory victim, has been brought forth as probative value of Mrs. Sherrod's innocence. The pressure upon Mrs. Sherrod to resign by Cheryl Cook was premature and immature. Mrs. Cook should be forced to resign for not being wise enough along lines of common sense to examine things carefully prior to decision making. Jesus stood firm against the pressures of his enemies. Upon what tenets do Mrs. Sherrod and the NAACP subscribe?

    July 20, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  349. Evelyn

    There are always two sites to every story. Ms. Sherrod should have keept "THAT" issue out of her speech.
    Any person would have done the same ( but quietly). No matter WHAT RACE , we always try to take care of our own first, if possible.
    African Americans have gone through some harsh times, especially during THOSE days......Please remember that.
    AND YES, I AM WHITE. Born and raised in Europe, I could never understand how African Amerians have been and some are still treated today.... Eve.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:39 am |
  350. olu

    When I first listened to the tape, I was horrified by what I heard. Thanks to CNN and Tony Harris for putting things in proper perspective. Now two things are clear : the farmer's wife said the fired USDA employee was very helpful and never discriminated against them and the lady herself explained the most inflammatory of all the statements credited to her where she was quoted to have admitted not doing enough to help the white farmer. In her words, the help that seemed certain would need to come from the black farmers and she was at a crossroad because she didn't know what their reaction would be about helping a white farmer. She then proceeded to seek the help of a white lawyer to deliver this help and the problem was solved. Given what we know now, its obvious that we have a serious problem with race in this country. This lady was fired before a full investigation into the matter and the incumbent government's fear of opposition and their media network. It is my hope that justice would be done someday.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  351. Antoinette Wiley

    The NAACP, are on the bandwagon of being politically correct and this Republican so called "Tea Party" is nothing less than a justified gathering of the modern day Klan.. They are shamefully and successfully ruining so many people's careers and this country, because of their political agendas.They are so quick to point out someone else's racist remarks. however, I have never seen any President treated with such disrepect, as thet have President Obama. George Bush and the "Tea Party" Repulbicans are the ones that got us into this mess in the first place. It's sad that all they have left to play is the race card, Just to get the attention back. and to make people forget. I am so glad that Mrs. Spooner "'White Farmer's Wife" came to thiis so called Mrs, Sherrod's "Black Racist" support. That was sincere respect/support.
    It's sad that our children have to see our country divided this way. It's ironic. We're afraid of the things our children might learn on the "Streets", however, just look at what their learning from the government. (Racism, Dishonesty, Adultry,Theft and Greed). WOW, how much more safer or classier can you get.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  352. Joshua N

    First off, she gave this speech in March, not 20 years ago, March.

    Here's a true test of if it is racist. Reverse white and black.

    Here I'll do it for you and you decide.

    "I was struggling with the fact that so many WHITE farmers had lost their land and here I was having to help a Black man save his."

    "I took him to a Black Lawyer figuring his own kind would help him."

    I'm an employer in the USA. I would fire an employee for saying these statements, and if they filed for unemployment I would fight it.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  353. dee

    Disband the NAACP. Their focus is no longer to advance the rights of "colored people," but rather involve themselves in frivolous affairs that serve no purpose other than to bring undue attention to the organization. No longer does it strive for what it stood for years ago during tumultuous times when blacks and underprivileged individuals needed them to help in their fight for justice. Ms. Sherrod probably has done more to help the underserved and those who suffer discrimination than the current decision-makers of the NAACP. Despite remarks that were misconstrued, Sherrod and many other workers who match her description, can only do their jobs and do it well because of a double standard that exists with accountability.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  354. Monica

    It is sad that this country is so racist that one has to be careful what they say. When you think of Lumbach and Beck the things they say about our President and no one has fired them goes to show we live in a double standard world. I hope she gets her job back and with an apology.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  355. cj

    hi just hope that president obama is looking at cnn these are the kind of people that he need on is staff people that is willing to help people and not going to look at the color of there skin .these should send a massege to the tea party its not about what color is your skin but what you are going to do for the people . and nwacp they should be shame of them self they should all resing there post right now they should be shame of them self

    God Bless America

    July 20, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  356. Marvin Battle

    The conservative demagogic machine, Fox News, is complicit in fostering a racial and divisive political climate with the sole and intentional objective of doing harm to a black president. Upon careful examination, these are not professional journalist but professional actors acting as agents of a much larger agenda of deception, lies, and trickery. One should study the history of Fox News and its money supply to properly effectuate answers to where they stand ideologically. Responsible journalism requires contextualization. The absense of such is analogous to affectation of a subordinate class of its credulous followers who are blindly mislead in the abyss of darkness in the name of patriotism.

    Exculpatory information, being given by the wife of the alleged discriminatory victim, has been brought forth as probative value of Mrs. Sherrod's innocence. The pressure upon Mrs. Sherrod to resign by Cheryl Cook was premature and immature. Mrs. Cook should be forced to resign for not being wise enough along lines of common sense to examine things carefully prior to decision making. Jesus stood firm against the pressures of his enemies. Upon what tenets do Mrs. Cook and the NAACP subscribe?

    July 20, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  357. Rick

    CNN obviously brings all sides to the conversation. Better for the country and the world. However, the agenda by " FOX NEWS" is once again exposed clearly. Here they are at it again working the angles to counter any progress at this time we have made.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  358. Arlando

    I have been an ardent supporter of the Obama Administration, recognizing that they inherited a mess that it will take time to clean up. I voted for and supported them because they would fight for the what they believed, so I thought. However, I am losing faith and confidence when it is unwilling to stand up to the Fox New Noise Machine that continues to target administration officials who work on behave of the most vulnerable people in this country. The administration knows this is the Fox agenda, and if it is unwilling to stick its neck out to support the Shirley Sherrods, and the Van Joneses, it may as well move out and let Fox move in.

    Arlando Smith
    San Jose, CA

    July 20, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  359. Becky

    Tony, I just want to say that I do not like to hear poll results.

    No pollster ever ever asks me what I think. I don't care what they say – I don't think they are fair. I think they create bias.

    Becky

    July 20, 2010 at 11:48 am |
  360. Mike Schaeffer

    I'm sorry but I cannot help myself. I believe that some folks need to have a sense of a timeline that are making comments. Statute of limitations doesn't apply here because the comments were made this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What is it with Liberals that cannot get this right, Shirley Sherrod was commenting on a case that happened 24 years ago, but her racially charged comments took place in March of 2010. All that being said, the NAACP and the White House should stop with the ridiculous charges against Shirley and the Tea Party. They are ridiculous.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:48 am |
  361. Paul E.

    I'm white male ,In my late 50's. I was born and raised in Alabama. I
    heard what she said ,I thank everyone is over Reacting.I thank I know
    what she is saying.
    We all have to get over the color of a persons skin.
    I thank the U.S.D.A. is wrong and they need to make this RIGHT.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  362. Jason

    God help us if our society has come to the point where this woman's career can be destroyed by a doctored Youtube soundbite. The timing of its release should have been highly suspicious to begin with. Kudos to Tony for doing what should have been done BEFORE Ms. Sherrod was forced to resign. President Obama needs to man up and publicly restore this woman's dignity if not her position.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:50 am |
  363. UgotGod

    Mr. Tony Harris/ CNN Today I witnessed the finest hour in all the history of Reporting, on TV w/you speaking to & unfolding this story of the forced resignation of USDA worker Shirley Sherrod that was ordered by the White House.
    Thank you for being a good listener, you broke this story wide open & saved race relations across the Globe.
    The Truth will set us free!

    July 20, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  364. Mildred Patterson

    It was the same as when one witness to someone of old things, times or thoughts passed that were unpleasant and you became free of them and can relate them to others that there is a better and joyful way. Love all human kind, do your most and best, regardless of color or anything else. Your heart is sincere. When God touch us, He makes a new being with new thoughts. I admire her. She is not afraid.
    It was definitely a teaching moment, but take my word, it will not backfire on Ms. Sherrod – God won't let it; but beware of the ones that are trying to stir up trouble for her. When one dig a hole for someone else????? Read "Esther" in the Bible , the last of "chapter 5 through 6" about Haman, who built gallows for Mordecai , but ending up being the one caught up in them.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  365. kris

    Thank you, Tony, for that piece. I would be fascinated if I were not so infuriated. This is just another example of the distortions of truth that are taking place today. I'm white, 53, born/raised in new orleans. I listened to the video and the interview and what I heard was the story of a personal evolution and the lesson Shirley ultimately gained. I saw a public official brave enough to speak the truth, a rare thing in today's political climate of 'let's just see how dumb American citizens really are'.
    The quick reaction of the Obama administration is quite disheartening however. We were promised a President who was going to do it differently. Instead, we appear to have a President who is reacting to the fear he is being fed by his advisors. Advisors who in my book are leading him down the wrong path. I was under the impression that we'd overwhelmingly elected a thoughtful President, one who considered the facts before acting. Instead we see a President who caves into the fear based garbage that he is going to be viewed as racist against white people (of which he is half, lest we forget that too). If he's listening to the polls I'd like to say that I'm 53 and I've never once been asked my opinion....so why am I to believe what I'm told are Americas feelings about any issue?
    No, I believe that Shirley Sherrod should not only be reinstated but she should be promoted. Or maybe she can start her own company that teaches politicians how to speak the truth and instead of viewing the truth as something to fear, that in so doing they just might perhaps gain votes from those like me who see quite clearly through all their current distortions. We're not all so dumb and uninterested after all. Thank you Shirley Sherrod and Mrs. Spooner for taking the time to call and prove that there is still some integrity and honesty in the world. I challenge any of the naysayers to put themself in Shirley's place and ask yourself if you would have been able to overcome what she overcame. Yes, in her own words she "could have done more" but in Mrs. Spooner's words "she did enough to save their farm." I don't think given the facts that anyone should expect more.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  366. Joanne Parish

    This is a good example of what our government is becoming and the atmosphere developing with the election of our President. The USDA was more concerned about how they will be portrayed on the Glenn Beck show, rather than taking the time to gather the facts before slandering the life of a dedicated employee. Unfortunately, this is what President Obama's administration is encountering with nearly every issue, i.e. immigration, health reform, education, financial reform, etc. Whether Tea Party, NAACP, Republican or Democrat, it is more about promoting their individual agenda and position of power, not the country. There seems to be under-lining racial connatations in every issue discussed today.. It is my hope that those people within the USDA are held accountable for their actions toward Ms. Sherrod and I pray that the President set an example with this Dept. to let the country know this mindset and type of behavior will not be tolerated.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:58 am |
  367. Jonathan Johnson

    I just want Ms Sherrod to know that i have contacted the White House on her behalf. This is so wrong. Please make known to Ms Sherrod that she is not alone in this and that she does have our support.
    I can not believe that the White House is afraid of glen beck. I wish I could tell you here what I think of that buffoon.

    July 20, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  368. Paul

    Usually I will support the administration and its efforts but not in this case. I feel that Ms. Shirley Sherrod was unfairly treated by timid people in the administration and the NAACP. A knee-jerk reaction to the Glen Beck asses of this world. Ms. Shirley deserves her job back with an apology and a raise.

    July 20, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  369. Bill

    I didn't even know what a confederate flag was when I joined the army. Since I didn't know what it represented to black people, I admired the truck. I remarked to a group of black people that it was a nice truck. They immediately thought I had the mind set of a southern man from the 50's and 60's, and as much as told me I was racist for liking the truck. I asked them why. They said it was because of the flag. I asked them why, and they wouldn't tell me. I found out later that it was the confederate flag of the South . . . when I had been raised to believe that the South was dead.
    I'll tell you . . . that the South isn't dead . . . because of people like Shirley, the black people in Waco, Texas that wage war on their elderly and white neighbors demanding payment for their mistreatment during slavery, a certain black woman who is a senator. I'm really trying not to be prejudice, but hte more they deny that they're doing it, the more they prove it wrong.

    July 20, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  370. Kyle Garrett

    If this had been a White Government official who made the same racial boast at a clan rally would you have been so compassionate and upset about how the administration fired them? This woman does not deserve pity and compassion. She should receive the same treatment as any other racist bigot in our society.

    24 hours, 24 days, or 24 years does it matter? A racist is a racist! Black, white, yellow, green, or purple a government official who abuses their power by oppressing others is wrong and deserves to be fired.

    All this after the NAACP scolds the Tea Party! The NAACP allowed this racist woman to speak! Everyone there heard a racist government official boast about discriminating against white farmers, and endorsed her actions by failing to report a serious incident of racial discrimination and misconduct! It took 24 years for this to become public. 24 years of NAACP members/leaders knowing she did this, knowing that it may still continue, and saying nothing.

    Don't be surprised if more farmers come forward with complaints about how they were treated while trying to get government assistance by this woman. Her only defense is a lady who may be the widow of the farmer, claiming that she was treated fairly. Isn't that like Mark Ferman saying his remarks weren't racist because he has a black friend?

    July 20, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  371. Victoria

    Appalling! The Administration drags its feet through the oily mud over the Gulf disaster but demands Ms Sherrod's resignation while she is driving rather than hear her side of what she meant or what she actually said. How is it an American citizen (Ms Sherrod), is not given the opportunity to explain and the Administraion contnues to swallow everything BP says hook, line, and sinker! Talk about a knee jerk reaction!

    July 20, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  372. Nan

    This is another example of the Administration overreacting before checking the facts. They have forced Ms. Sherrod, a black woman, who appears to be worthy of praise for her contributions to society, to resign and harassed her in the process. Their harassment while she was driving could have resulted in an accident. She deserves a strong apology and her job back. They need a woman like her to help them make better decisions. As a senior, white woman I am appalled by the administration’s treatment of Ms. Sherrod. This is not the change in Washington, I expected to see. Yes, we can do better.

    July 20, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  373. William Cornett

    Ms. Sherrod's choice of words in her speech before the NAACP was what is causing her problems – not her job performance 24 years ago. It's not proper under the politically correct atmosphere in our country to say that she sent the farmer "to one of his own kind" and the inference that she did not do everything for him that she could because he was white. I don't think she meant this the way it came across but as so many politicians have found out, it's easy to say the wrong words when standing in front of a microphone, even if they didn't mean it that way.

    July 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  374. John

    Tony,

    I am disgusted at how Ms. Sherod lost her job. Without an investigation being conducted. She should be re-instated and not punished for something that happened 24 years ago.

    Do the right thing and give her that job back.

    July 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  375. Jeff

    Tony, YOU did an amazing job on this story! It was incredibly refreshing to see you ask Ms. Sherrod tough questions, while also giving her every chance to tell her side of the story. Just when I thought you couldn't bring more clarity and depth to this story, you went live with Ms. Spooner, who along with her husband is arguably THE most important and telling voice of any on this matter. Amidst the din of all of the inflammatory and duplicitous rhetoric being so carelessly and recklessly spouted about Ms. Sherrod and her story, YOU helped to get to the truth and to the core of what happened 24 years ago. If Ms. Sherrod was guilty of anything, it was being too open and honest with others, in a culture driven by PR machines and tabloid journalism. Thank you for your professionalism and for making it possible for this very important side of Ms. Sherrod's story to be heard.

    July 20, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
  376. sherry - tx

    Tony, you're the man! Thank you so much for not doing the accepted norm. Separate yourself from and help punish the " bad black". Getting to the truth, allowing her to tell her side, and getting the rest of the story, was more important to you than trying to separate yourself ,so as not to be associated with the" bad black". I wish there were more like you. The administration, the Naacp, the other journalist of color, etc..all did the accepted norm. If there were more like you our prisons would not be 80% black or at least there would not be as many innocents incarcerated if there were more like you. Thank You, Thank You

    July 20, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  377. Doc Sinn

    We need to stop letting organizations like the Tea Party AND the NAACP tell us how to think. Listening to Mrs. Sherrod and Mrs. Spooner it is clear that both organizations were trying to use her to score political points.
    It is really sad and quite pathetic. Everyone wanted to make a racial point, but at the same time they missed it. These two women are good friends and they remind us of the dangers of "HEADLINE NEWS" and explotation.

    I really wish News Reporters would get back to reporting news and facts, not bs and opinions.

    July 20, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  378. Clif

    I am a resident here in Georgia and after viewing the entire segment on CNN, I'm appalled and upset at the administration...I'm not upset with the policy in some sense,but frustrated with having the conservative media spinning blatant falsehoods without being punished for it as certain entertainment/public figures have been. If President Obama doesn't stand up making sure all 10 toes are down, his rise to White House will be...."The Do Nothing Party."

    Van Jones was obviously chosen because of his intellect and ideas, but because of something that was taken and run with by the conservative media has pushed back our chances of leaping into the "Green Economy."

    We need jobs in the "Green Sector", the RURAL AND URBAN farming industry and etc.

    July 20, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  379. Alice Williams

    I believe an injustice was done to her by firing her. She should be reinstated immediately. In context, she was actually trying to improve race relations. There should be more people like her in government. If it matters to anyone, I am white.

    Sincerely,
    Alice Williams

    July 20, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
  380. Josie

    I grew up in Georgia and totally understand how this scenario developed and played out. Ms. Sherrod, in her address to the NAACP, was sharing her story of a moment of insight for her regarding race. She should be applauded rather than vilified. It is through the sharing of these kinds of stories that we move forward.
    I hope members of all races will continue to talk to each other about race and share their journeys.

    July 20, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
  381. UgotGod

    Ben Jealous/NAACP, When you make a misstatement, Please be the first to correct it and be the first to issue a full apology stand up 4 the USDA employee Shirley Sherrod, now Thank You.
    Sir, if you want to keep your position help to correct the firing of USDA Shirley Sherrod, she must be reinstated & issued an Apology, Today!

    July 20, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
  382. Marva Coleman

    A couple of corrections to my comments: The right-wing constantly tries to pretend and prove that everyone else is racists as they use the media as a modern-day "whipping post" to continue their outrageous activities of racism!

    My son's wife is SMARTER than all the whites and other ethnic groups she trains and they get promoted over her to 6 figure jobs while she's kept at the same level barely making enough for her daughter's day-care and school and rent while my son is constantly searching for new employment, who is also smarter than those he has worked with and trained. Together they have 3 master degrees, certification in real estate; accounting, Cisco and other Computer Programming Certifications, schools include degrees from: University of Southern CA, Yale, Morehouse College, & Ball State.

    Practically everyone I know have stories of blatant discimination and blackballing. It's time for the real persons to stand up and put these evil trends down and let God take us to new heights! God Bless America!

    July 20, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  383. Ben

    Michael Armstrong Sr. – "Where do we as Americans draw the line on the statute of limitations for comments this is the N.A.A.C.P. gone bezerk changing times have changing actions this lady no way no how deserves to be punished for something she said 24 years ago reinstate her position and apologize ."

    You just don't get it do you? The things she said were racist. I don't care whether she said them 24 years ago or 24 hours ago. Wrong is wrong. Period.

    July 20, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  384. Eldridge C. Daniel

    Tony:
    how are you? enjoy your show.
    Comment on Shirley Sherrod. I do not understand why we are still in this mode of prejudicial rhetoric? have we not learned anything from the past? Ms Sherrod was exsplaining what her thought pattern was, at that time in here life, but the truth she recognized at the itme, asbout heeself, and her posistion taught her a lesson each and everyone of us {human beings}" should learn and recognize, that is yhere is prejudice inbred in us. and if we say it is not there, we lie. However we also have the ability to know this about our selves and deal with it. prejudice and racism, are well known, and they surface in our daily lives, but how we dweal with them is paramount of how we were raised and taught and how we believe in laws of "GOD'S" laws
    that no one wants to talk about., But it in the Constitution that every one like to use fo their benefit, and that is that all men{mankind} was created equal. and the only way we can understand this is learn to love one another as we were instruted to do, then and only then can w this prejudice and racisim, be conquered, as Shirley Sharrod did, and instead of firing her, she should be applauded for her honesty and integrety, and the lesson she gave America. and if she is not rehired, this wil be another mark against a nation of people that call themselve the poster child of the world to pattern the other nations after. And maybe,Just maybe we will not let the Glenn Becks and the Rush Limbaughs, Sean hannity's and Mulkins and others, rule the truths of Facts in their twisted ways.

    Thank you for reading this not on the air,

    PS: I am not a Journalist so correct what you need to.

    July 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
  385. Martin in Shoreline, WA

    It is time to put the NAACP out of business. I am actually surprised they hassled this poor woman. Normally, the NAACP is silent when a black person says something "racist." They think white people are all crackers who deserve to be persecuted. But they decided to save face and sacrifice this lady to protect their profit margin. People are beginning to wake up to the game. Stop sending your donations to these clowns. They are the most racist people in America.

    Enough with the stupidity. Stop allowing the NAACP, the Urban League, Roland Martin, Al Sharpton, Dr. Cornell West, Spike Lee, etc., etc... To race bait and profiteer on racism. I didn't even bother to research what Shirley Sherrod said. Whatever it was, it wasn't racist. Racism isn't about the words you choose to use, as so many dimwits claim. It is about feeling your race is inherently superior to another race. We must end the attempts to make our thoughts a criminal offense. Freedom of speech implies freedom of thought. The intent of our government isn't to end racism. Just like the War on Drugs, they know it is a battle that can never be won. Their goal is to end our right to free speech and free choice. They wish to end our right to self determination. Read "The Cold Civil War: Our Divided House is Falling." It is time to drop our petty differences and end the Cold Civil War.

    July 20, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  386. Chrystal

    Before President Obama was elected we had heard nothing form either the NAACP or the Tea Party. This is a horrible game of throwing rocks. A bunch of little kids that took some words too far and are scared that now if they don't monitor EVERY SINGLE WORD someone will point it out. Absolutely! Absolutely, they should take a second look. We heard nothing of RACISM until our beloved President was elected. RACISM was NEVER DEAD it was hidden as best it could be until there was something strong enough to piss off the masses. Now we are being overloaded with this garble. Let's go back to when these organizations worked quietly behind the scenes getting things done without the need for exposure or recognition. Enough is enough. If we as a people haven't gotten up and righted all the wrongs of Slavery as of yet, let's move forward with the gift God has given us and let that be that. Must people get STUPID just because of ELECTION TIME? Soon no one will be paying any attention because it will be too much of a joke. Too much of a tug of war.

    July 20, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  387. Gregory

    We need to see the rest of the video. It looked to me like she was saying that she learned a lesson at that time "24 years ago". As she started to say she learned or in her words "it was revealed to me" that it was not white versus black but the poor versus those who have (the haves and have nots). It is truly a disservice that major media including CNN would only show a portion of the video without showing the rest of what she said. I believe the rest of the video clip will show that she was using this story as a "teachable moment" to show how she was able to see through her own prejudice and change. My prediction: NAACP will do an investigation and will apologize to Ms. Sherrod for their original statement and will issue a new positive statement in support of her.

    July 20, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
  388. Gloria J. Anderson

    Tony- THANK YOU for exposing the truth behind this story. This is the first time I ever cried over any interview; Shirley's geniune and forthright
    portrayal of how she overcame her own prejudices is a story that should be told repeatedly for its healing attributes. Too many times this sort of thing has happened that never gets brought to the surface. I am disappointed at the actions taken by Cheryl Cook. I'd like to see Shirley get either Ms. Cook's job OR the job of WHOMEVER it was that directed her to treat Shirley in such an inhumane manner. By the way, I am Black, female, and a Democrat. We can do better.......

    July 20, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
  389. Ron.

    I just e mailed the president and told him he schould speak to miss Sherrod its the right thing to do the NAACP way out of line they need to be disbanded for what they done.

    July 20, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  390. Candice

    Obama – give her her job back & chill and get all the facts before reacting. I think she was saying – I was biased until I saw that it was not race but class that was the issue (i.e., white lawyer didn't want to help "white trash" anymore than "blacks") That was the moment – decades ago – that she realized that her bias was unfounded and she must help all poor folks.

    July 20, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  391. Mike Crawford

    I can not believe what I'm reading in these comments. A clearly racist remark by Mrs Sherrod and everyone wishes to give her a pass. The fictional accounts of racism in the Tea Party are swallowed like tripe where there is no proof, however, this is on video tape, she said what she said. This attitude pity me, pitty me is tiresome. What exactly is it that Mrs. Sherrod has overcome? The 1860's are over, as well as the 1960's. If African Americans wish to see the true face of racism today then all need do is look in a mirror.

    July 20, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
  392. Anne Harper

    Hi Tony,
    We don’t have to wait for the next State of Union address. We know what its state is. The Union is in the hands of the Far, Far Right. When Glenn Beck holds so much power over our President, we’re in a very sad state.
    Isn’t it enough that President Obama is deferring to BP, but now Glenn Beck?
    Apparently Beck’s researchers dug something up that was twisted and turned until it sounded like discrimination, and in response the White House fired Ms. Sherrod from her position at the USDA.
    Just a few months ago, two people crashed a state dinner at the White House, an obvious threat to our national security. Apparently nobody checked to see if they were on the guest list, but nobody was held accountable. Nobody at the White House asked for anybody’s resignation. Glenn Beck probably could have.
    AH in the suburbs

    July 20, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  393. Rachel Galindo

    As I write this comment I am listening to CNN; President Obama speaking on the release of the Lockerbie mass murderer to Libiya. He makes the statement " it is necessary to get all the facts". It is obvious he speaks with forked tongue. His administration does not get all the facts as is being demonstrated in the Sherrod issue. Change? looks like the same ole same ole to me! And I voted for him, shame on me!

    July 20, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  394. Tom Betz

    USDA Sec. Vilsack and the White House were conned by a fraudulently-edited video created by the professional con artist Andrew Breitbart and promoted by Fox News. They jumped to false conclusions and fired a good, solid public servant who did no wrong, and in fact, has done a whole lot of right for a lot of people during her long career.

    I tire of trying to support an administration who apparently does not really have my back. In a just world, Shirley Sherrod would be reinstated and Sec. Vilsack would apologize and resign in shame for having treated her so horribly.

    July 20, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  395. frank everly

    Tony Im not aware of the racial make-up of ms Sherrod's audiance. Was it mixed? However, it seems that such remarks by a white person would be met with the same actions by superiors.

    July 20, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  396. Dave Anthony

    Considering the time frame I would agree with those that say she shouldn't be fired. What I believe should happen is that she should be suspended with pay pending an investigation to substantiate if she commited racial discrimination at any point after that event, to what extent, and a legitimate case review by an independent investigator. It is sad that it has to happen, but like some people alluded to, if a white woman that was in the same position made those same remarks, the NAACP, the African American community and every other Black civil rights group or leader would be in an uproar (and everone knows it) Sad to say again racial discrimination is on both sjdes of the tracks.

    July 20, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  397. Steve Baron

    It is clear from the full context of the full video that Shirley Sherrod was talking about identifying and overcoming her own biases, and not letting those pre-existing biases impact the manner in which she treated her clients. The government and NAACP should, apologize, retract their criticisms of her, and her employement should be reinstated.

    July 20, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  398. SpringWolf

    Kudos to CNN for digging into this story and finding the truth. There seems to be discrimination still happening on the part of the USDA who seem to refuse to review the entire speech and put them in context. Additionally it seems a little strange that the USDA has acted in a manner of revenge considering Ms. Sherrod was just awarded a large sum of money as the result of a discrimination lawsuit against the USDA. Were they looking for a reason to get back at her? Show me the money..and you find the true bigots in the Georgia office of the USDA. I feel sorry for Ms. Sherrod, I think she's being railroaded. I hope she sues them again...she'll win!

    July 20, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  399. 2skeptical

    As a journalist, I find Roland Martin's heels-dug-in response on this story to be very unprofessional. Is it so hard for him to answer the woman by saying, "Yes, I should have dug further." His stance for now only perpetuates a blatant injustice.

    July 20, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  400. Reggie from NC

    I am a 58 yr old black male that came up through the civil rights movement. Roland Martin is definitely WRONG on this matter and is just defending his comments but he is being disrespectful and inconsiderate of the facts and history of this incident. I'm sure anyone can analyze his comments through his life span and make him out to be a racist also.

    This lady's actions difinitely did not match her comments 25 yrs ago. So, yes the NAACP and her boss threw her under the bus! She should have never been asked to resign, this is just wrong....anyone could be profiled this way? I think she should be judged on her work and the content of her character......

    July 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  401. Pope

    Ms. Shirley Sherrod is my hero. This is the result of not knowing the whole story before taking action or commenting. The NAACP and the White House administrative jumped to a conclusion. We all need to stop listening to snipets and making decisions/comments and that is for all mankind.

    July 20, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  402. jeannie

    Oh my God. Let's make the story totally different from what it is. Shirley said that she "thought" about these statements and questions about the white farmer. She didn't say that this is the action she took. She realized that her job was to help him no matter what color he was.So she did help and saved his farm. Her point is that she GOT it.Her job had no place in it for racism. She did her job and has continued to do it for years. Seems like everybody needs to take a few deep breaths and do the right thing for Shirley.

    July 20, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  403. Edward

    Are you kidding me?
    Is this really a issue discussing if black people are racist.
    After all the things blacks have had to endure and continue to endure
    in this country now certain countrymen who have never viewed blacks in high regard and at present who find themselves out of direct power making decisions are whining like little children.This country masks it's true feelings and refuse to take on racial issues.The media is continues to fuel and cater to the angry children on the playground of
    american politics.Also most blacks and very few whites know that blacks do not harbor ill feelings towards them and that we want to
    help build this country into the great nation that we know it can be.
    We all know politics is dirty business but can we move past the for profit name calling that we are currently engaged in?

    July 20, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  404. Dr. Gwendolyn Johnson

    These comments are related to the Sherrod controversy. I think what we have been watching in the media over and over again is a smoke screen covering the real issue that led to these misunderstandings. The credibility of the website and author/editor who posted the edited videotape is what should be called into question. It is a perfect example of hurling a stone and hiding your hand. The lack of integrity demonstrated by those who were responsible for posting the damaging excerpt represents the type of character flaw that continues to fuel racism in this country. Why aren't the news stories focusing on that issue? I promise you that now that irrefutable evidence has been presented supporting Shirley Sherrod's "TRUE" story, her real intent, as an example of redemption and growth, the media will drop the story. Somehow, someone decides that if a story is not something "UGLY" about human nature, then it is not interesting enough to make the news. Come on! The guilty parties are really those who report and often misrepresent the news! One of MSNBC's reporters got it right when he said that WE seem anxious to pull away the "SCAB" from America's sore of racism. SHAME ON US!

    July 20, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  405. sdharris of Oklahoma

    Great Story Tony Harris!!!

    I really appreciate the careful and critical way in which you handled the interview with Ms. Sherrod today. You did your job but in respect to her as and Older American. I also appreciate the way Tony apologized to Mrs. Spooner for repeating the misquote in the paper about her husband being dead. This kind of approach is what makes me rate CNN as the number one news to watch in the United States of America besides the local new network. I truly am glad for the way Ms Sherrod answered all the questions truthfully and boldly. She stood her ground and I am so elated that Mrs. Spooner vouched for her integrity. This proves there are still great people in all races.

    I say also that this gives the NAACP, White House, and the editor of the video a BLACK EYE. Everyone should come forth with a public apology, including Mr. Roland Martin.

    Keep up the GREAT work Tony Harris and Rick Sanchez and CNN.

    July 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  406. ABEL T RODRIGUEZ

    Sir –
    The wrong person was fired. Should have been Vilsack.

    That idiot that posted the chopped up version of the Sherrod Speach should be sued for defamation.

    My take on Glen Beck. Very sick person, similar to this Limbaugh character. These are the types that can destroy a Nation if allowed.
    Doesn't make any difference what end of the anatomy they talk out of,
    it would sound and mean the same.

    Thank you

    July 20, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  407. Donald Rains

    If I am not mistaken, The NAACP was organized to fight against racial hatred and, to help all woman to stand up and to be recognized having equal rights with men. But, it is quite evident that the NAACP has changed its agenda to be known no more as a civil and human rights organization but as a political organization having political greed and is willing to destroy anyone who speaks against it or to cross its path. I think NAACP has become worse in recent years than the evil it once fought because it does not now fight for people whose Rights are being violated.

    July 20, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  408. Billyrich

    George Wallace was able to change his racist ways..where is Obama
    on this one, he's in on every thing else, 24 yrs ago and she still saved
    the farm, it's an ongoing attack on our black leaders.

    July 20, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
  409. Curtis & Janice Hollabaugh

    Dear CNN,
    Since mid-afternoon Roland Martin degraded and talked down to Shirley Sirard in a phone conversation. At you 8:00pm broadcast he could still not say the lady had been done in. He sounds more and more like Bill O’Riley and Glenn Beck. So much for us watching anything Roland Martin will be in.
    Sincerely,
    Curtis and Janice Hollabaugh

    July 20, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
  410. Paul Lux

    Rick, You and Roland should just admit you were taken in by another right wing reporter. You just did a character assination on partial data and should do all you can to make it right. I am really disappointed in Roland who doesn't seem to be able to admit he is wrong, wrong, wrong. Please, now, spend some effort to make it right.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
  411. Jeanette Martin

    Hooray for Shirely Sherrod for being brave enough to initially tell her story from that place of small mindedness to seeing that how we treat one another should not be about color. In telling her story she got the audiance to buy into a notion of false pride by appearing she had turned the table around to take the opportunity to diminish another's worth by giving them less than what they deserved becasue he was white. She was brave enough to expose herself on that common ground where many who have suffered racism have stood – the need to capture some sense of power, albeit false. However, she cleverly spun that table around to say, "but is it not about color...". I believe her intent of showing the broken side of herself, was to enage that part of her audinace and raise them both to a level of human dignity not seen in a long time. When she said, "..it is not about color." she was trying to get her audiance to move beyond the effects of racism and reach towards acts of human compassion. That is what I saw in her the video; to hear how she was being treated was heart-breaking, but soon relieved when the wife of the farmer spoke with a heart of gratitude for this public servant.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
  412. eideard

    Tony, I didn't think there was anyone left at CNN with the commitment to serious journalism to do the job you have tried to do on this story.

    I got on the Freedom Bus for the first time in 1960 – frankly, I've seen little or nothing from politicians in either party to diminish the cynicism I feel about getting any honesty or courage out of anyone inside the Beltway in the years since.

    At what is supposed to be an advanced age, I limit my activism to what I can do online – and I had so little confidence in anyone actually getting up on their hind legs over the injustice done Ms Sherrod that I wasn't even going to note the story for any of the blogs I'm involved with.

    Then, you surprised me. And then the NAACP stood up and had the courage to reverse their original ignorant-of-the-facts response. Around the TV circuit of folks who I would expect to take positive note of the case – and credit your work as Chris Matthews has – there is a groundswell of resentment at the cowardice of the Obama Administration over the crap agitprop from Breitbart that invoked the holy right-wing mantra of reverse racism.

    I just emailed Vilsack and asked him to grow a backbone. He's a Democrat; so, I haven't much hope for that. But, tomorrow morning, I'll update myself on what's happening with your work, and the events following.

    I'll email my representatives in Congress. I'll email Obama. I'll publish my blog – and support those of my peers who offer up something principled on the topic. What little I still can do – I shall.

    Let me thank you for the work you did these past few days.

    Keep on keeping on.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:51 pm |
  413. Linda McCall

    Black, White or Scotch-Plaid.........Will it ever End. Would love to have heard the entire speech, so that I can make up my own mind....but isn't that what "Journalism" and " Everyday" is about.

    July 21, 2010 at 12:36 am |
  414. Anthony

    When are we as a society going to stop believing everything we read on the internet without due diligence? Have we not learned from the Perez Hilton incident? The idiot bloggers who live and breath controversy should start being accountable for their actions. Ms. Sherrod not only deserves her job back, but is owed a public apology. Tiger Woods was expected to publicy apologize for cheating on his wife so when are the publicy appointed and governmental appointed officials going to be made to publicly apologize for their ignorance. It's a terrible shame that racism still exists in the "United " States of America. Who is it that is truly untied?

    July 21, 2010 at 7:04 am |
  415. Jim

    I think it was unfortunate how she said what she said and she should have stated why she was stating those words both before and after the comments to make sure it could not be taken out of context. Further I think more investigation needs to be done on her as she sued and personally got money from the USDA along with millions to he and her activist husband's company they founded. There indeed may be more than meets the eye here. I listened to her intently yesterday and there were times her words and tone gave me pause.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:51 am |
  416. Sam

    I hear many people here state that the tape was altered. I may be wrong but I thought that the tape just started at a certain point and ended...similar to the 30 sec clips that we see in most news reports. Am I wrong to question news editors as they always show things from their bias. This is true for ALL news organizations....Fox, MSNBC, CNN, ....all of them. Personally, ALL news workers should have to state their political affiliation on their by-line so that the receivers of this reporting can judge the quality, and accuracy, of their reporting.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:05 am |
  417. Splash in Illinois

    What I don't understand is why you give so little time to covering how this all started. CNN has gone over and over Ms. Sherrod, the NAACP and the Administration and only briefly covered the deceitful tactic used by Fox and their proxy that started all of this. Where are the questions and the investigation into the credibility of Fox for instigating this.
    If so called news orginizations such as Fox are going to engage in these tactics someone (CNN) should be taking theme to task for it.
    Get on to the real story, Fox and a Tea Party activist colluding to mislead the public!

    July 21, 2010 at 8:06 am |
  418. Margaret

    I am so proud that you told your story. As a Fed service worker too, I Hope that when you write your book that you address your experience as a black woman in federal govt. There is still some work to do for equality in oromotions and hiring to break the good old boy network that exists today in fed service, and not just in the south.

    You go girl! continue to tell your story. It is about the poor! over represented in the minority community.

    July 21, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  419. BESSIE

    this story lets you know just how dirty and underhanded these republicans are! they want the President out of office so bad that they will do anything! now I want to talk to black people and you most of all Mrs.Sherrod: Please do-not let the unGodly people manipulate you! you see now that their trying to blame this on the President, don,t let them WIN! the NAACP only jumped so fast because of what the tea party had just done and they wanted it clear that we the NAACP and all others of our make up, will not stand for racism from anyone on any level! and as you know from the past sometimes action must be taken immediately! although we now find that the action taken was not necessary. we hope you take your job back and continue the good work you have done and will continue to do! don,t let them WIN! GOD BLESS YOU AND PLEASE FORGIVE

    July 21, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  420. lee

    Hey Tony! Watch your piece yesterday. You were awesome, patient, caring, compasionte and more. When my husband passed by the television and glanced at the 'edited' tape he said "good", she should loose her job. Then there was you!!! You opened the door to the unjusticed that had been done (and my husband quickly retracted:)). I stayed glued to the TV yesterday to see how others handled this situtation. CNN is awesome, simply awesome. I later turned to Fox. What a joke. If Americans can't see what is happening, clearly now, something is truly wrong. The way Fox constantly put negative spins on situations should be investigated. This is continual. Over and over and over again. Now that would truly be a story. Closing down FOX!!! Nonetheless, you talk about the Angels rejoicing. Be still, God will fight your battles. If we all could learn to be as humble as Ms. Sherrod what a wonderful world this would and could be. Thank you for allowing God to use you. Thank you so much Mr. Harris

    July 21, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  421. PNair

    She should sue Fox News for deformation of character and win big. Its not fair that they get away with basically doctoring a video of someone and airing it on TV for all to see. If that were not the ones who doctored/edited it, well then they should not be a News organization if they cannot do the minimal due deligance to verify the story.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:14 am |
  422. Bob

    I'm sorry, but the comments that were shown regardless of being edited were not even close to "uniting people". Sherrod's remarks were uncalled for and she does not deserve a second chance.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:16 am |
  423. Carolyn Bond

    The gutless wonders: NAACP, Head of the Dept of Agr, Obama Administration. They all displayed EGOS, that were bigger than their hearts. Considering the source Fox News... This wonderful lady was kicked under the bus, without considering the whole story. Listening to Cambell Brown and other CNN people Kyra Phillips. Tony Harris, it is apparent, these people did not find out what was really said by Ms Sherrod. I hope she doesn't accept her job back. They need to apologize to her. She can do better. Write your book, Ms Sherrod.

    Kind regards,
    Carolyn Bond
    St Louis, Mo

    July 21, 2010 at 10:16 am |
  424. Patrick Ford

    i just want to know why no body is going after the guy who originally edited this video to look like this poor woman was a racist....Andrew Breitbart why has no one called him out on this...his goal was to defame her and in a post of his after she was fired he said "I'm dancing in the end zone" and fox news spread this same message without vetting this they just ran with it...it doesn't seem right that Andrew Breitbart and fox news should get a pass on this.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:16 am |
  425. bill T

    Has Andrew Breitbart apologized to Ms. Sherrod for his maligning and defaming her yet?
    Has she got a case for a defamation lawsuit against Mr Breitbart?

    July 21, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  426. Vicki

    So now it is fine to be black and be a racist,it is bad enough that the whitehouse told the EEOC to only work complaints from minorities,what happened to all the Obama talk that we are all equal

    July 21, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  427. Earl

    Has anyone determined if in fact the under-sec'y who called Mrs Sherrod was in fact acting on behalf of the White House. Maybe she "dropped" the White House name to scare Mrs Sherrod into taking the matter seriously. Please make sure she was not simply trying to add urgency and pressure to the situation, to get Mrs Sherrod to act promptly. I know I have dropped names in the past.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  428. Marvin

    I'm so glad that this mess caused by a doctored tape did not succeed. However, how about putting the blame where it should be: With the lying, manipulating, conservative piece of crap that doctored the tape! He, and Fox News for spreading it knowingly, should be put to the shame they deserve. I hope she sues the heck out of both. And I hope that this shows what the conservatives have become trying to discredit and block the efforts of Barack Obama – and we all know at the gut level why!

    July 21, 2010 at 10:20 am |
  429. DEIDRE

    Tony, this whole story would not even be up for discussion if not for the intentional distortions by Andrew Breitbart and Fox News Channel. They should be ashamed of themselves for slandering Shirley Sherrod's character. And for what reason? Andrew Breitbart and Fox News ruined this lady's life for no good reason other than to try for political gain.

    This country needs to have a serious discussion on race. But falsely pointing the finger at a private citizen is not how to do it.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  430. Michael

    Hello Tony,

    I think it's simply insane that Ms. Sherrod has to go throught this preposterous chain of events when she in fact didn't do or say anything wrong.Thus, its even more preposterous that the NAACP was made a fool of, by reacting as opposed to gathering the neccessary information before casting judgement on a womans life long career. If anybody should be asked to resign it should be the idiot who was on CNN making excuses for his actions ! We have to stop being afraid and walk upright with our shoulders back and make intelligent decisions based on fact and not sensationalism ! Stop the madness !

    July 21, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  431. Bonnie DePrimio

    SHAME ON THE NAACP? I don't think so......SHAME ON FOXNEWS and the so-called Conservatives (Tea Party) who wanted to try to
    prove racism from another side by editing this woman's speech from nearly two decades ago. It should be obvious that without changing the original tape of her speech, or playing the tape in it's entireity, people like Bill O'Reilly took it upon themselves to shame and destroy a woman who was more than lending a helping hand to people of a different race. Why is there no "Fairness Doctrine" that would allow the TRUE facts to be discovered before something like this happens again.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  432. koesha

    Her comments only support the fact that she was a racist 26 years ago and she still is today. Thanks for letting her go.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  433. john basinger

    You still aren't getting the real story. The racist agenda of the tea party and Fox News.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  434. Harold in Austin

    CNN, perhaps Anderson, should investigate who is responsible for the edited tape being released as it was, and get to the bottom of this. This incident was obviously intentional and amounts to fraudulent character assassination. This is definitely an ideal "Keeping Them Honest" opportunity. The news here is who is behind this and who knowingly collaborated with them as a means to attack the NAACP and the Obama administration. This incident was no mistake, it was orchestrated and should be exposed by legitimate news organizations.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  435. Cwash

    Highly professonal & intelligent individuals making bad decisions.
    It has made me a sad american. The NAACP, USDA, & even CNN-
    Roland Martin deserve to have cream pie in there face on YourTube.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  436. lamarcus reed

    I am wondering what the white house thinks about how quick they jumped to conclusions when this lady Mrs sherrod was a community service activist that help a white farmer saved their lively hood.It should be no reveiw she should get whoever job that asked her to resign.....What do Michell Obama thinks about this

    July 21, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  437. Lionel

    Shame on the NAACP and the Obama Administration for jumping the gun on this fraudulent accounting of this story from from a agenda driven media outlet.

    The best way to describe their reporting is "If it sounds unbelievable, they probably have edited it to appear that way."

    July 21, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  438. Kathryn Moore

    Research, research, research! For 30+ years I have been telling high school students to get the facts,.to do the research, not to take anything at face value without checking it out at the original source to the greatest degree possible. In this mess, nobody did the research.

    The White House, The NAACP, and the national media all jumped immediately to condemnationn of Ms. Sherrod-based on a You Tube clip! That would not serve for a passing grade on even a middle school essay. The person who posted a tiny fragment and used it to stir up ccontroversy is contemptible, but those who took that fragmented clip at face value and gave it legs may have had better motives, but the results of those intentions are shameful.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  439. Bonnie

    You have to look at this objectively from the NCAAP's point of contention. The NCAAP, and all of the FOXNEWS audience, were provided with a tape that was cut, edited and vindictively altered to show this woman, Shirley Sherrod, as giving racially offensive statements to an audience two decades ago. It was blown out of proportion and presented by FOXNEWS and the Tea Party to attempt to even the 'racial tensions' but, it cost this wonderful woman personal and professional loss because of their actions.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  440. Dedrick from Portland

    This is sad. While I am happy that this will be investigated further to find the actual truth I am disgusted on two fronts. First, I am disgusted with the right wing nut job (and of course Fox news) who edited this and caused the outrage. Secondly, I am utterly appalled at how she was treated. It may be unpopular to say, but if she had have been white, she would have been placed on some type of administrative leave or something to that effect while the investigation was ongoing, not forced to resigned within hours. It is sad, but our great country still has to undergo a lot of learning and healing.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  441. Jethro Williams

    Once again it is like we are dealing with a child who has been caught eating a chocolate bar with chocolate all over their face and over and over again saying "No I didn't eat the chocolate" I mean come on when are we going to start holding all people responsible for their actions and words. How many times have we heard "once a cheater always a cheater", "Once a thief always a thief", and "once a raceist always a raceist". Let's just call a duck what it is a duck.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  442. Brian in Detroit

    Below is a direct transcription:

    "That's when it was revealed to me that its about poor against those who have, and not so much about white... It is about white and black, but its not, you know... It opened my eyes, because I took him to one of his own..."

    She clearly states – PRESENT TENSE – that "it is about white and black." NOT past tense, not "I thought" – but that it IS ...This is simply an unacceptable view, in particular from a person who holds a government job. Does she deserves this degree of backlash, goodness no – but there is NO defending that remark/sentiment.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  443. Charles

    If ever one wanted to know what a political knee jerk reaction was, remain in doubt no longer. The administration has just given a crash course in "KNEE JERK REACTION 101." Poor Mrs Sherrod. Even if she were called back, she'll still be pressured to resign "under the table" for someone to save face. I think the head of USDA needs to resign. Public officials shouldn't be passing judgements based on half truths (which infact are whole lies). That's what he did, and betrayed the public trust in the process.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  444. Nik

    Shirley... don't you go back to work after going through all of this foolishness!!! Make them pay you for the next 6 years you would have enjoyed helping our Agricultural communities worldwide and offer to be a consultant at twice the amount of your current salary. They'll learn not to jump to conclusions. Hmmm

    July 21, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  445. floganflorence

    Sherrod you have done or said nothing wrong . hold your head up and don't look back. cause Arfica Americans have always been treated unjust. by law officals,politics, whites in all field s and nothing never said an for some to go back two decades ago and take your speech out of cotent is is a evil, hateful and unstable person and that's the one the attention shuld be focused on.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  446. Bill Lane , CA

    See what the Tea Party did to Ms. Sherrod why are we not calling them out for the lairs they are their willingness to manipulate the facts to serve themselves. They wanted to change the conversation from what Williams wrote on his blog. Also to try and make the NAACP look racist. But what they have done is shown everyone their true colors. We need to stop these these so called conservative people and anyone they support from getting into public office. Their motto should be if you can't win cheat.
    Shirley Sherrod should sue for the intentional distortions by Andrew Breitbart and Fox News Channel. This story lets you know just how dirty and underhanded these republicans are. They want the President out of office so bad that they will do anything. We will not let them win.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  447. Mitchell Covington

    Thank you CNN for your excellent reporting. You have established that Sherrod is not a racist. But what about those people who threw her under the bus? Andrew Breitbart should be held accountable for this diepicable act of "pseudo-jopurnalism." Villsack also needs to apologize for his cowardly rush to judgement.

    July 21, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  448. Eunice Benson

    Mrs. S. Sherrod,
    I apologize for the treatment you had to endure; nonetheless, I thank you for making it public. You are a gift from God to me. This happens to some people every day and we don’t know what to do about it because some people in high authority positions say you must have done something for them to do this. I couldn’t stop crying when I saw your story because now I know I’m not extreme and the truth will prevail for all in time. There are professional snookers everywhere!
    Eunice

    July 21, 2010 at 11:12 am |
  449. jeff

    I feel sorry for this women and i hope she gets her job back .

    But i would like to know who made the video and why ,and is there a way to stop this type of character assasination by groups who have a narrow agenda and are just doint it because they bellieve they are right
    .

    July 21, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  450. DAKOTA

    I hope that Ms. Sherrod sues Andrew Breitbart's patootie for libel and the loss of her job. He deliberated heavily edited a 24 year old tape to FALSELY present her and her speech. It is this kind of yellow journalism that has given Fox, the Republican party, and the tea baggers a well-deserved bad reputation.

    July 21, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  451. Dorcas

    Why would anyone believe this especially because of the site it was on? Also why is this administration so afraid of Fox News as it is full of hot air. The on air people just love to hear themselves speak. This administration should sit back & not get involved in all this as it makes Obama look so bad.

    July 21, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  452. Tommy

    When it came down to it Mrs Sherrod gave everything she had to help the farmer save his farm – and it was not about race when she did that. Can someone please interview this woman named Cheryl Cook and ask her if she was acting on Tom Vilsacks authority (since he said this was his dicision) or was she actiong on her own? Did she tell Mrs Sherrod that the White House wanted her to resign? Was that through Mr. Vilsack to Ms. Cook and relayed to Mrs Sherrod or was it directly from the White House to Ms Cook? Will someone please interview this woman (if she can now be found)

    July 21, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  453. Beth Hieber

    Why is everyone focusing on the USDA and their reaction. It was definitely wrong, but what about putting the blame where it really belongs- the right wing blogger who "says" he got the tape already edited and the Fixed News Channel which spent all day putting this story out without checking it out either. And of course the minions of the Fixed News Channel believe everything from that channel- their ONE source for information. I learned in high school and college that you need to have multiple sources and check things out from different perspectives to get a clear view of the topic. Wake up America.

    July 21, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  454. better2eatu

    has anyone talk to the man who started all this mess in the first place.

    July 21, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  455. Citizen of Usa

    This administration needs to setup a procedure to handle allegations that are presented to them as fact. When someone or organization is accused of wrong doing there should be due process in handling these complaints. The accused must be heard before any action is taken. The immediate reaction might be a suspension of duties with pay and a hearing scheduled ASAP before any permanent solution enacted. This woman deserves better we the people deserve better.

    July 21, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  456. Liz Mullen

    This rant started with Fox News and once again Fox News fabricated a story and all of the other news agencies picked it up and ran with it. What is wrong that we do not check out these stories – especially the ones posted by Fox News – before we ruin someone's life. The people that run Fox News love to "create" spins like this and the people who watch it never check out the facts before they start spreading these horrible rumors. Rachel Maddox is the only one that investigated this and reported this was a LIE. Why would Fox news take the time to go back 26 years to drag up some story, "tweek" it so it is bascially a lie and everyone climbs on board like a bunch of zombies to believe this?
    Fox News needs to be taken off the air or at best be considered an entertainment channel with not so "entertaining" segments. Or become a Reality TV show that shows how easy it is to make up lies and get the public to believe it.....OOPS that is what they already are!
    Disgusting!

    July 21, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  457. KARIM ALLAH SHARIF

    she should be fired because her job description does not allow her to express personal history or her feelings about who is who and what is what. She was put in that position to do a job and her statements concerning race has no place. If she wants to become an advocate for social change, she should quit that job and do that.
    What is really being revealed is how educated people are on paper, but how unintelligent they are about life and light.

    July 21, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  458. Jean Pearson Smith

    Shirley Sherrod should be reinstated. I am a "white" person which makes no difference to me when a person is black or white and has explained herself well and is truly heartbroken as she was treated unfairly and lost her job because people jumped to conclusions too quickly. I recommend that this lady be given her job back as soon as possible. Remember Senator Byrd he changed his mind on racial issues over time.

    July 21, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  459. Mike

    After viewing the entire tape on the NAACP's website I have come to realize that a great wrong was committed against Mrs. Sherrod.
    The story she peddled to the audience was one of personal redemption; she no longer saw empowerment in terms of race but rather in terms of haves vs haves-not..
    What was most telling was that in speaking of a time (as a volunteer) when she was misguided, her most serious 'transgression' was to refer the farmer to his 'own kind'; a wrong that she readily acknowledged to the audience.
    The sad fact is that many of us (Blacks and Whites) have treated others wrongly without even acknowledging the wrong to ourselves or even stopping to consider the devastating consequences of our action on to others.
    This woman is a hero (to me) for daring to use her life story as a teachable moment. Hopefully her complete video address will serve to shame many of us (who passed judgment on her, while ignoring our own personal failings) into treating others better.

    July 21, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  460. F. Dennis

    Everyone is busy concentrating the NAACP, the Whitehouse, the Agrucultural Department and Shirley Sherrod’s responsibility and/or reactions to this issue. However, we (the media especially and the public) have not yet addressed the evil behind this situation. Andrew Breitbart's and his website, BigGovernment.com, are the real culprits in this fiasco. If he, Breitbart, was not attempting to be vicious by making false racist acquisitions, this situation would not have risen in the first place. Additionally, people like Bill O’Rilley continue to encourage the hatred further by refusing to acknowledge the now revealed truth just because Mrs. Sherrod did not accept an invitation to his show. When are we going to stop all of these reckless behaviors? Will we ever be able to see the WHOLE truth being reported? I think news is news and we continue to allow the behavior because it makes money in America. The answer to why we are not solving racial tensions in America is because “Racial Tensions Make Money!”

    July 21, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  461. Geff

    I want to thank you and CNN for the reporting that showed the real and full story of Ms. Sherrod, it is a touching story which recognizes her as the role model she is rather than a hateful person as the initial story tried to portray. I do however think that this story speaks strongly of the problem of powerbrokers, politicians, a even media using race to advance their causes... In my mid 50's having grown up in the south, I remember the 60's and 70's. I remember the hate with which my grandparents and extended family viewed Dr. King and the civil rights movement... Personally I can not recall a greater leader in my life time than Dr. King, I think that if he were alive today that he would not be silent about the times that we find ourselves in... Had someone asked me a few years ago about race relations in this country I would have said that we had come along way, that peoplle were judged for who they are and not the color of their skin, that problems between people were more social economic in nature than in race. Today, however I can not say that, conditions in this country are becoming as bad as I have ever seen them... it is not the populus making it so, it is the leadership of our politicians and special interest groups whose political and economic adgendas are more important to them than the progress as a nation we have made,they are turning a blind eye to the destruction they cause to advance their personal fortunes and adgendas.. My gosh, we overwhelmingly elected a black president, what more could speak to our progress, but even he seems to have no problem in igniting the races to energize his party's fortune..

    July 21, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  462. Harold D.Foster

    Regarding Mrs Sherrod..."Racism" at its ugliest was deposited at her office door for the following reasons : The NAACP had recently pointed out "Racist elements" of the Tea Party...and the old racist trick of pointing out suspected reverse discrimination was applied..it worked temporarily because...all groups ...including the NAACP but especially "Fox News"did not do what good journalist do....simply check /verify the authenticity and the full message being given by mrsMrs Sherrod ...By the way her husband is a "well-known"local Civil Rights activist in their hometown..who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King...Do you think this could possibly stir up negative feelings (by a racist ) towards a seemingly ,wonderful, tried and tested American ? Harold

    July 21, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  463. mockingkat

    Mrs. Sherrod's right that "innocent until proven guily" was violated
    by the NAACP, the White House & USDA. Who should now go
    by the first names, Curly, Larry, and Moe.

    good luck Mrs. Sherrod with any book deal or law suit.

    July 21, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  464. Monique Jones

    I was so upset about this situation that I could barely sleep. Thinking about how this woman was treated by those that should have stood by her was overwhelming me; I could just imagine what she was going through. I think we can all relate to her in many ways. I expect much better from our leadership in all areas, and I applaud CNN for being a leader in the industry of media. CNN restored hope to this situation that was quickly going down a very uncivil path. The blogger should be penalized for misleading the American people in this way. If he cannot be more responsible then he should be penalized for his behavior. The Administration should be embarrassed about their position in this situation. They are to set the example of due process; our law makers should have demanded the investigation from the beginning. There are laws in place to protect us from the very behavior that was displayed. Yet, none of those laws seem to come to play for Mrs. Sherrod. She was unjustly fired! How could that happen in this day and time? Not from her actions, but because of the actions of others. She was judged without a hearing! How can that happen in this day and time? I am glad that things have turned around, but there needs to be some serious accountability of all those involved in making the snap decisions in the first place. Harassment, slander, liable etc, this woman could sue for all these things, yet she is happy with "we are sorry." This speaks to her character, what does the behavior of others say about theirs? less

    July 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  465. Joseph I. Salinas

    Bravo for CNN and you Tony. A job well done for showing us the truth
    thus allowing Justice to be served. Mrs. Shirley Sherrod has been
    vindicated. I hope they make a movie about his event. CNN has redeemed itself after the "Balloon boy" fiasco

    July 21, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  466. Escokat

    Someone needs to lose their job(s) over this, and it's not Mrs. Sherrod.

    July 21, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  467. Richard

    I have been following Ms. Sherrod's story and I watched her 45 minute speech on Youtube last night. Her speech only had 300 views while a shirtless man holding an Old Spice deodorant bottle had 3 million views. My question is why has this story gotten so much attention on CNN while Al Qaeda's message is scrolling at the bottom of the screen saying that a second victory is coming? Doesn't that sound like a huge warning?

    Thanks,
    Richard

    July 21, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  468. Marc

    What does this say about the treatment of the little people in the state of GA? Really, let the truth be told, GA is thumbing their nose at the have nots and this administration.

    July 21, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  469. Jethro Williams

    Oh yes! How can they get away with this. Such terrible uninformed hot air news. Something should be done about this reporting. Maybe the administration doesn't just simply can't go after the news providers. Well thats because some of them just don't report on anything current and important, some of them are supporting the idea that "keep watching this right hand, don't take your eyes off of it so the left hand does not get caught", and the other well the admin. can't go after them because simply they are right, and if the admin. tries to explain they're way out of it the rolling balls of lies will quickly consume them. AH but don't you worry by golly there going to take care of all this hoohay, Bigosh they just need to make those terrible fox news guys pay for there actions, and anyone else that acts like them! I think that if you don't agree with the astablishment and your topics are true but they just don't help the situation well then you should have to pay a pretty hefty fine. You know the end justify the means. I think and I bet there are a bunch of people out there who agree with me that if you don't agree with what the admin is saying well you just need to be quiet. They should pass that fairness doctine. mYeah don't agree pay trhis fine that sounds fair. Becareful what you wixh for.

    July 22, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  470. HENRY ARCHER

    Let us not forget the harsh words that came from Roland Martin. He should have been first in line with an apology. Its hard to imagine him as a newspaper editor. Roland, you owe Mrs. Sharrod an apology. Are you listening??

    July 22, 2010 at 8:44 am |
  471. Ben Walker

    Racism isn't a pertinent problem, however, it is uncalled for,and when infused with politics, it is disgusting.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:12 am |
  472. judy downard

    Was it Fox who edited the film and then showed only what they wanted. This is where all problems begin. With the media.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:12 am |
  473. Bob Frederickson

    Come on Tony – try and get a handle on truth, justice and fairness here. Fox news pulled a typical slimy dirty trick to embarrass and hurt the present administration and you are helping the slime by the way you are handling this. Get off the attack on the White House and onto exposing the slime factor at Fox.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:16 am |
  474. Charlene Black

    Mr. Harris, Thanks for your coverage. The buck stops with the White House and President Obama should take time out of his busy schedule to show that one American mistreated deserves a comment from him, because this issue represents the underlying problem with this country. Black, Hispanic, White, Oriental or Middle Eastern, prejudice should be addressed and discouraged, especially at the government level.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  475. Steve Ferreira

    Where is the story about who perpetrated this tape splicing jewel?

    July 22, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  476. Peachez

    Tony, it is obvious that Ms. Sherrod is collateral damage in a war that the rightwing extremists of the Tea Party have with the NAACP and President Obama's administration. I feel for her and she MUST be offered her job back.
    HOWEVER!!! Let's look at this from another angle. What if the tape was authentic, and was being reported all over the internet and on major news networks, and . . . the NAACP and the administration had equivocated in addressing those racist remarks and actions? The actual tape did not become available until THIS afternoon, so all this morning the administration would have to be investigating. What if?
    I contend that your newscast would be totally different and would be accusing the President AND the NAACP of being slow to react to what was then (remember – suppose the tape is accurate) a blatant act of racism by a Black woman on a White family.
    So, let's not condemn the administration and the NAACP for acting too fast. In this case, I believe that they acted appropriately based on what was available at the time. It's terrible that Ms. Sherrod got caught in the middle of this. But I am proud of them for acting.
    You see . . . by the standards of CNN, the administration of President Obama can never do anything creditable. I am a Manager, and it would have been unacceptable for me to wait 24 hours before taking a stand against ANY type of racism.
    What if?

    July 22, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  477. David Angell

    The comments she made were racist period and point blank.
    His own kind??? If a white person were to say these things it wouldn't matter what was said there after. 24 years ago or not she is a racist once a racist always a racist as the African community has always said. She should not be offered her job back because it is very clear that race plays a part in her decisions.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  478. KN

    The Sheryl Sherrod story has given FOX NEWS a black eye and put that clan to shame. Sheryl has been proven beyond any doubt to be not racist and has received well-deserved apology from the Secretary of Agriculture. Why are you still trying to talk to the wife of the 'white farmer'?!!! What are you going to gain by doing this? You have beaten this story to death! I think that is enough.
    What might be helpful and interesting now is to reveal the true face of those in FOX NEWS who did it, etc. Shame on FOX NEWS!

    July 22, 2010 at 10:20 am |
  479. cheryle hubenak

    Once again, the human race (all of us) continues to focus on our differences rather than our similarities. This time, for whatever reason, someone decides there is a need to "twist" truth into a despicable story. Let's just give it a rest.....Aren't we all going to be friends in heaven????

    July 22, 2010 at 10:20 am |
  480. Martha

    The job offered Mrs Sherrod: does it represent a higher or lower pay grade (GS series). Is the government trying to buy back face lost with their bungling of this lady's job, career? We agree there remains racial tension in our great land not yet resolved. An open dialog and facing issues as a they are vs how they are perceived by different groups, is a start.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  481. Doug Browning

    Is Ms. Sherrod still being denied justice? Apologies notwithstanding, I am concerned that the Administration continues to treat Ms. Sherrod as "damaged goods." Why was she not offered her old job back as well as the "promotion? Is she just being promoted to get her out of the way? How do we know its a real promotion? Its a new job, they can define it any way they want to. She doesn't deserve to be marginalized. She should have been offered her old job back as well as any other job, or she should have been offered her boss's job. That way we would know if its a real promotion.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  482. Ron Heimer

    As a white American, I too wish we could leave the racism behind. This will never happen as long as we continue to allow groups to identify themselves by race. Black Entertainment Television, National Association of the Advancement of Colored People, National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers, National Association of Blacks In Criminal Justice, Miss Black USA, National Urban League and the Congressional Black Caucus are just a few that if you substitute the word white in there or represent the interest of whites exclusively, this would be called racism.
    Lets drop all those hyphenated names like African-American, Asian-America, Hispanic-American too, it only adds to the isolation people get from being racist.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  483. Marilyn McCarthy

    There is no better role model to open this teachable moment than Shirley Sherrod. She is one classy lady. However, I am confused by the media's lack of focus on the fanatical right who spread half truths and lies on a day to day basis. The media seems to believe that President Obama and the White House are afraid of FOX and their mindless friends, but so is the mainstream media. Can you blame Obama for ducking when each and every day the Republican Party and conservative right constantly criticize and block every move he makes. Focus on the real problems at hand, like Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Palin, Bachman, the conservative bloggers, and the ditsy blonds on FOX. The lack of intelligence in this group is mind boggling. They spew whatever comes into their sick minds without any consequences. Nobody will touch their constant lies. That is why they continue to exist and be paid handsomely for it. Viewers watch and believe every word, never switching stations for other views. Certainly we need a discussion about race and sexism in this country, but people have to hear positive conversation, not the rantings of idiots. The White House cannot transcend this mindset without the help of the mainstream media. Haven't you noticed since January 20th, 2009, the race of the President has become a huge factor, but no one will discuss it. We are not a post -racial society. How disappointing!!!!

    July 22, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  484. Jan from NC

    I feel for Mrs. Sherrod and feel that she was treated terribly by everyone involved. However, as a caucasian I am hit with false charges of racism everyday. If I am a republican the I MUST be a racist, If I do not agree with the President it MUST be because I am a racist, if I do not agree with affirmative action I MUST be a racist, if I do not agree with a welfare state then I MUST be a racist and now if I belong to the tea party I MUST be a racist. This is why we cannot have an honest discussion about race. The discussion must be a two way discussion and the left will never allow that to happen. It has gotten so easy for the left to throw out the charge of racism to anyone that disagrees with them that when real racism raises its ugly head we tend to blow it off.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  485. John Mark Miller

    I am the Sunday School Superintendent of a local WV Baptist Church and a Democrat. My presence, service and politics could be analogized by saying I'm like the only hen in a hen house full of wolves. My pastor, actually a registered Democrat is very and I repeat very supportive of the Republican Party and this topsy turvy situation can be attributed to one fact: The Republican Party's false proclamation of a platform that report's itself as being pro-life. When I reported the Shirley Sherod fiasco to the pastor he was so insensed that he abruptly arose from our coffee and ice cream after service social gathering and refused to speak to me. After asking me did I not think that the Democrats do the same sort of personality smearing tactics such as the smearing of John Kerry's Vietnam service, my reply was that I have not been able to find any. Later the pastor refused to shake hands with me.
    The Republicans while saying that they are pro-life recently had their chance to do something pro-life when they had years of Congressional control and several successive Republican administrations. Please CNN expose this false pro-life platform for what it is. I too am pro-life which I think can best be fueled from within the Democratic Party.
    WV is a blue collar state but has supported union busting politics that have reduced wages and benefits progressively here in WV since WV has begun to espose the Republicans Party for the last 25 years or so; when I was a child all the church folks that I knew had three pictures on their living room walls: Jesus Christ, Franklin Roosevelt and John L. Lewis. I am considering resigning my SS Superintendent position and changing churches. I need counseling on this!
    John Mark Miller

    July 22, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  486. Alex

    The responsibility for Ms. Sherrod's firing rests, at least in part, with those newsrooms that took maliciously doctored video for fact without a moment's hesitation. Journalists have a responsibility to question the authenticity of their sources, and therefore every reporter who was duped by this tape owes Ms. Sherrod an apology. That includes you, Tony.

    Instead, CNN has taken the position of labeling Ms. Sherrod a racist then reporting on the White House and the Agriculture Department's mistake in firing Ms. Sherrod. CNN seems content to gloss over the fact that they too made a serious mistake.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  487. Linda Jenks

    Perhaps Fox News – and some of its bigoted commentators – will finally be exposed for the biased organization that it is. Their attempt to create a smoke screen to conceal facts about racism within the Tea Party movement has backfired and exploded in their face.

    Thank you, Fox News for this self-revelation. It is much more effective than anything an outsider can say.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  488. Allan Strickland

    You know, when this story first aired, I noticed how most of comments related to the story were very critical.
    Most of the White Americans bit the bait just as the fools "Roland Martin" and "Ben Jealous", supposedly our advocates , rejected Ms. Sherrod.
    Now we see how the story was twisted.
    All of those comments have been twisted as well.
    When it come to Black people, we are quick to condemn them, even from our own (NAACP).
    I can not trust the NAACP, because of political popularity, they are too impetuous to make good sense of media assasins.
    Duh!

    July 22, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  489. Allister

    Hi Tony,
    I think the world is missing the most important part of the story here.
    Where are all of the right wing extremists commending the fairness of the NAACP? When the NAACP and other black leaders saw the edited clips that were put out there, they immediately said this kind of talk could not be tolerated in this world and action MUST be taken.They condemned her remarks and also called for her resignation. This goes to show you that racism is not a "black or white" thing for most legitimate black organizations.It's about fairness and doing what is right.They were ready to stand up and fight for the civil rights of the white farmer. Again, where are the right wing extremists (or anyone for that matter) pointing that out? Why isn't the Tea party patting the NAACP on the back for their initial reaction in this case? Sure, they rushed to judgment based on the short clip that was taken out of context
    ,but the point is...they were ready to fight for what was right.
    I think the world is missing an important part of the story here.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  490. Danny

    I think we have often substituted the word "racism" for "bigotry" in our speech today. While racism still exists in our country today, in my life time I have seen race issue dwindle more and more over the years. People of different races living in same communities, eating and shopping together, dating and marring each other, working together, playing together, worshiping together. In every aspect of life more and more people of different races are coming together. However bigotry is still thriving in our world and I believe as long as there are factions in our communities, politics and society across the board that seek to use hatred, unfriendliness, distrust and dishonesty as tools to insight this demon "bigotry" on our communities for their selfish motives, we will always be a fractured society.

    The various medias are as much to blame as the people in sighting these ideals. When we give coverage to them, in some way we are legitimizing them. Yes, you would say the media is just reporting, but are these the kinds of things that need reporting, especially when we know that they are going to insight people to have mistrust and hatred for each other. Some might use the term "let dead dogs lay". Ms. Sherrod's plight is a fine example of the media's misuse and misdirection of facts. I was taught that a half truth is still a lie. When we purposely leave out information or take things out of context, there is an attempt to mislead, or sway someone's opinion or thinking toward someone else's agenda. It is unfortunate in our modern world that as intellectual and technically advanced as we have become, we are still nothing more than petty, self righteous individuals, wanting what we want no matter what may happen to others. It is my opinion that we are not a country of people who seek what is good for the whole, but rather what is good for me. Don't misunderstand, I am for individualism, but I think it must be tempered with kindness and caring for those around us. I believe we can have both, individual ambitions and goals and have a heart for our fellow man if just try. Balance is the key!
    I still hear the words from an important person who said;

    "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.

    My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
    John F. Kennedy

    July 22, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  491. Ed Tooth

    Racisism is Racism this Lady job was to help people not to help people by the color of their skin. If this lady was white she would be fired as she should be not asked to quit. Ms Sherrod said what she did 24 years ago and it was cought on tape this year she made it sound like a joke she even got laughs when she said what she did to the white man. Now they are going to give this racist her job back so she can do it again. If she gets cought again always say I am not a racist and make more jokes about and get a better job. Must be nice.

    July 22, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  492. Carl M. Palmer

    I am 63 years old. When I was in my 20's, in the Army and stationed in Nurnberg, Germany during the Vietnam war, I met Hank Harmon. My wife, a school teacher at the American school, taught with his wife.
    They suggested we go out to dinner at a great German restaurant in the old walled city. We went in, sat down, and thought we would order the feature dish – Chateau Briane. The manager came to our table and told us that they don't serve "schwartzeman" at the restaurant. Hank quietly said 'It's OK we will leave". I found out later that Hank was put in jail for refusing to pay for a $30.00 cup of coffee in Alabama.

    Hank and I became great friends. He made me laugh. We bought cars together, we traveled to Paris, watched bull fights in Barcelona, and canoed on the Mediteranian.

    Hank was going back to the States before I was. I helped he and his wife pack. While packing Hank asked me what I thought about the US Open Golf Championship being held at a club that did not allow Blacks to join. I told him that the private club should be able to control their own membership. I said nothing about the very public championship – wrong answer. Hank got mad and did not speak to me again. Jackie, his wife, said he would get over it. I never saw Hank again.

    My wife received a letter from Jackie after we got back to the States. Hank had died waiting for a liver transplant in Pittsburg. He spent his last days lying on the couch watching his adopted son Trey play on the floor next to him – I can still see Hank's smile. I never got a chance to tell Hank I was wrong – I should have remembered how I felt from the earlier time at the restaurant. We were embarrassed, hurt, and angery.

    He was a good man; smart, energetic, fun to be with, and a freind I will always treasure. I'm sorry Hank, I wish I could have said that to you. Thanks for the life long lesson.

    Carl Palmer

    July 22, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  493. Clay

    Hi Tony, I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the story currently running on CNN but... When I channel surf through BET, Miss Black America and numerous black award shows I think to my self, Why??
    Why are there black only T.V. shows? Is'nt that racist?? And it's all over the T.V..I don't think it helps the cause.

    July 22, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  494. Kayleen

    While I do feel for Sherrod and agree that her comments were taken out of context I am still perplexed by the fact that had a white person made those same comments about a black farmer there would be complete outrage in the black community about the racism comment. Instead the comment (that she made 24 years ago) is being swept under the rug. At some point in Sherrod's life she felt that white people should be taken care of "by there own kind".

    Racism is racism regardless of it being black against white or white against black. Period. I get extremely frustrated at the fact that you have "Black in America" on your show, "Hispanic in America", etc. If you were to run a segment on "White in America" CNN would be considered racist. Believe it or not there is just as much discrimination against white people as there is against other races.

    I teach my kids to be color blind. That all people are good regardless of what color they are. People are the same to me and my family. They are just people. I wish CNN would take that approach when reporting instead separating people in to groups by color...as you do with reports on "Black in America", "Hispanic in America". We are all just people trying to do the best we can with what we have.

    July 22, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  495. ajscott

    it's funny-now blacks are being called racist.....when will all this media attention turn towards discussing why a racist was able to kill her father and live the rest of his life free & all the similar killings....when will the 'informing media' discuss the real racism...

    July 22, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
  496. Chris Zeeb

    I've yet to see a government employee give 100% effort at anything. Ms. Sherrod "not doing everthing she could" to help the farmer isn't racist, it's typical government. If all government employees always did everything they could, we would only need about a 1/3 of them.

    July 22, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  497. Bill

    After looking at the video in full, I can say that what Mrs. Sherrod said was taken out of context. After hearing the whole thing, I can tell you that I agree 100% with her, even with the, "It's not about black and white . . . it IS . . . but it's about the haves and have nots."

    However, it cannot be mistaken that the crowd she was talking to was taking a racial point of view to it, by agreeing with her when she said, "What he didn't know was that I was determining how much help I was going to give him..." and, "...I did just enough."

    You see, I don't think Mrs. Sherrod had a problem.

    Her audience did. They automatically assumed that she purposely withheld help from the farmer, and they felt that she would have been justified in doing so. You hear in the back ground, "You know THAT'S right!!!"

    The fact of the matter is that the white farmer might have been closed to receiving help from a black woman, and she sent him to someone he could identify with . . . another white man, who was a lawyer trained by the USDA working on the same team.

    So, I'm sorry for agreeing in such a tone with the spin on the video.

    On the other hand, it doesn't change the fact that many blacks are vehemently prejudiced and discriminitory against whites. It's no secret. Yet, it's denied in the face of the truth.

    Should she get her job back? I don't know that she would be able to work in that capacity after something like this. She's a 62 year old woman, and would probably be just as happy with a full retirement with the freedom to do something else without getting hassled.

    July 22, 2010 at 9:31 pm |
  498. Bill

    I'm sick of hearing that "racial prejudice exists in the Tea Party."

    I'd hate to say it, folks, but racial prejudice exists in EVERY party.

    And in every race.

    July 22, 2010 at 9:50 pm |
  499. Jose Luis Ortiz

    Where is Roland Martin? Even when he was given a second oportunity to rectify his condemnation of Ms. Sherrod he still insisted that she should be fired. This occurred the morning after CNN had already interviewed the Spooners and the full meaning and content of her speech was known. Where is his apology?

    July 23, 2010 at 9:26 pm |
  500. cappy

    Why don't you go and investigate states and you will see how terrible African Americans have been treated on these jobs,esp.South Carolina!(The Bible Belt) the EEOC is on there(the employer) side,also. What a world we live in! When will the hatred end?Here is a woman who they knew was highly regarded as being and having excellent standards with people,good character,etc, and they just could not stand it! That's what it boils down to! Don't smile @ me if you don't like me! Just go on.

    July 23, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  501. TonyInLargo

    The remarks were taken out of context.

    July 24, 2010 at 9:09 pm |