Former USDA official Shirley Sherrod has made peace with the NAACP despite the organization’s initial criticism of her last month. In an email titled “You and I Can’t Yield — Not Now, Not Ever” posted on the organization’s website, Sherrod addresses the past — her forced resignation and subsequent condemnation by the NAACP — but is more concerned with the future. “That’s behind us,” she writes. “The last thing I want to see happen is for my situation to weaken support for the NAACP. Too many people confronted by racism and poverty count on the NAACP to be there for them, especially those in rural areas who often have nowhere else to turn.” A passionate advocate against poverty and racism, Sherrod says her point in the speech was to draw on her life story “to urge poor people, White and Black, to pull together and overcome racial divisions.” She says she will continue to work with the NAACP in its fight against racism and poverty because of a commitment she made to herself 45 years ago, after her father was killed by a White man. “And I’m surely not going to yield because some Tea Party agitator sat at his computer and turned everything I said upside down and inside out.” Sherrod says NAACP President Ben Jealous came to her Georgia home to personally apologize for the organization’s misstep, and that he, like the media, was “hoodwinked” by the likes of Breitbart. She ends her letter on a reconciliatory note, “Thank you for all you are doing to challenge poverty and racism. I look forward to working and struggling right by your side.”
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