Sherrod likely to decline on an outreach job offer

Jul 25th, 2010 Business. RSS 2.0.

Secretary Tom Vilsack Sherrod likely to decline on an outreach job offerThe recently ousted Agriculture Department official may be turning down the job offered by Secretary Tom Vilsack, after the administration apologized for mistakenly judging her remarks in a video clip.

Sherrod showed that she was given an offer to be a part of an outreach program that would deal with issues of discrimination, according to numerous interviews last July 21.

However, Sherrod said, “I would not want to be that individual that the department and everyone is looking to to solve the issue of racism at USDA. It takes a lot more to get that job done. “I haven’t seen the offer. … Before I say no totally, I would like to look at that.”The former Georgia director of rural development was forced to quit her job as video surfaced showing her with a NAACP audience. In the video, she told the audience about not giving any support to a white farmer. However, the clip missed a part where Sherrod was explaining that this incident was a learning process for her and that she is already close to the white farmer and his family.

Upon hearing her statement Vilsack and the Obama administration immediately apologized to Sherrod calling the occurrence a “teachable moment.” She then said last Thursday that their apologies were unnecessary. However she condemned blogger Andrew Breitbart, who posted the video clip last Monday. Breitbart contested that it was a representation of the presence of racism in the NAACP since the video showed the humored look on the audience as Sherrod told her story. Sherrod said referring to Breitbart, “He was willing to destroy me … in order to try to destroy the NAACP.”

Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee wrote to Vilsack advising him to present his committee’s staff with a “comprehensive briefing” upon the office’s completion of reviews on the incident and its “zero tolerance policy”.Towns further wrote, “Additional details have emerged. … These details seem to indicate that Ms. Sherrod’s comments, when placed in context, were fully consistent with the department’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy.” He also advised Vilsack to follow “fact-based decision making.” Vilsack then said in a public apology last Wednesday, “This is a good woman. She’s been through hell. … I could have done and should have done a better job.”

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