September 13th, 2012
05:21 PM ET

What would you do if you were branded a racist? Here's what she did

By Elizabeth Mayo, CNN

(CNN) - She was smeared, taken out of context, and forced out of her job.

Shirley Sherrod became a household name after Andrew Breitbart published a video of her speaking at NAACP event in 2010. An edited portion of that speech went went viral:

"The first time I was faced with having to help a white farmer save his farm I didn't give him the full force of what I could do," Sherrod said in the edited clip.

She lost her job at the Department of Agriculture's rural development office in Georgia after controversy erupted over the video. But the clip omitted what followed:

"What I've come to realize that we have to work together," she continued. "We have to overcome the divisions that we have. We have to get to the point where race exists, but it doesn't matter."

Race and resignation, 24 hours of Shirley Sherrod

Now, Sherrod is back in the public eye with a new book called "The Courage To Hope." In the video above, she explains to John Berman and Brooke Baldwin on "Starting Point" how she found forgiveness after being branded a racist.

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Filed under: Black in America • History • How we live • Race • Who we are
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. John

    Retain an attorney and SUE!!!

    September 17, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jorge

    What she claims to have come to her as some great epiphany is not a unique, divine revelation that deserves rounds of applause and outspoken amens, it is a notion of common decency and social grace that eludes the human condition in advanced and not so advanced societies, but the fact that there are still so many in this, the supposedly greatest of countries, who chose to self-righteously deny this or even perhaps ignore it by omission of education, is a soil stain on the American flag, and perhaps just one symptom of the socioeconomic illness that afflicts the nation today.

    September 15, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. doublellnfl

    Her comment is made after the fact, She failed to help the white person and his farm to the best of her ability, she comes to realize later not then when she failed the farmer, but later, had the situation been reversed and a white woman failed a black farmer, there would have not been time for a resignation just a termination for racism, just because a light came on for her later down the road does not alter the facts, Ms. Sherrod failed to properly help the farmer till much later than it should have been..

    September 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ella

      God I wish I was living in your world. You really think if she was white and the reversed happened she would be instantly terminated? Hilarious. That kind of discrimination happens all the time- just because it occasionally makes the news because some racist gets called out and fired, doesn't mean there aren't thousands of similar instances happening, all the time, with no one getting in trouble. But yeah continue to believe that you're the wronged one.

      September 27, 2012 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |