Shirley Sherrod, an African-American official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has resigned after a video was posted on a conservative website showing her making what some are calling racist remarks at an undated NAACP event, reports the Associated Press. In the two-minute and 38-second clip, Sherrod, who was the State Director of Rural Development in Georgia, speaks about having to help a White farmer who was acting “superior” to her and how she did not give his case her “full force” because she thought about all the Black farmers in a similar situation. Sherrod says she got the farmer a White lawyer — “his own kind” — but soon saw that it was not about being Black or White, but about the haves and the have-nots. The conservative website sees it differently and is charging the NAACP with condoning racism. Sherrod says the scandal is a manufactured controversy. “My point in telling that story is that working with him helped me to see that it wasn’t just a Black and White issue,” she told the AP. “It was about those who have and those who do not. That’s why I take the time to tell that story is to tell people we need to get beyond it and work together.” Sherrod told CNN that she worked for two years trying to help the White farmer whose family she has since befriended. His wife has also corroborated Sherrod’s story. The NAACP has condemned Sherrod’s comments in a statement: “We are appalled by her actions, just as we are with abuses of power against farmers of color and female farmers,” said president Benjamin Jealous. Sherrod says she wishes the NAACP had reached out to her to get her side of the story before putting out a statement.
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