America

Ag Secretary Reviewing Shirley Sherrod Resignation

Shirley Sherrod

Shirley Sherrod USDA hide caption

itoggle caption USDA

Now that the NAACP has retracted its denunciation of former USDA official Shirley Sherrod, saying it was "snookered" by conservatives and urging her reinstatement, the pressure is on the Obama Administration to reverse its decision to ask for her resignation.

The White House called Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Tuesday night to ask him to review his decision to force out Sherrod because of new information that came to light, according to reports.

Vilsack had indicated Tuesday that Sherrod's "resignation" was final. But that was before his later discussion with the White House.

Vilsack issued the following brief statement Wednesday:

"I am of course willing and will conduct a thorough review and consider additional facts to ensure to the American people we are providing services in a fair and equitable manner."

The "additional facts" are that the unedited version of a video of March 2010 speech by Sherrod showed that she was making a point about overcoming personal racial prejudice in an encounter with a white farmer 24 years ago when she worked for a farm assistance agency, long before she joined the USDA.

An edited version of the speech that appeared on conservative web and news outlets made it appear to many that Sherrod was proud of her prejudicial feelings but the complete version refutes that.

Sherrod was a major presence on CNN Wednesday morning, saying that at first she wasn't sure she wanted to go back to the USDA if she was offered the chance to return but adding that some are urging her to return, that she could actually do more as the USDA's rural development director for Georgia.

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