An employee of the Department of Agriculture has resigned, after conservative media outlets posted video Monday of her describing a time in the past when she hadn't used the "full force" of her abilities to help a farmer because he was white.
In the video, Shirley Sherrod, who is black, recounts having been asked to help a white farmer avoid foreclosure. She says she was torn over how much to help him because so many black farmers were also struggling, and decided to do just enough to be able to say she'd tried:
I didn't give him the full force of what I could do. I did enough. ... So I took him to a white lawyer. ... So I figured if I would take him to one of them, his own kind would take care of him.
Sherrod spoke to CNN on Tuesday, explaining that she told the story of her actions — which, she said, occurred 24 years ago when she was working for a nonprofit, not the USDA — to illustrate how she has since realized that everything is not about race but "about those who have versus those who do not have." She says she later became friends with the farmer and his wife.
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