Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Sherrod won't return to USDA | ajc.com
Shirley Sherrod won't return to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The former Georgia director for rural development told reporters Tuesday morning that she came very close to taking the new job Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack offered her after demanding her resignation more than a month ago.
" The secretary did push really, really hard for me to stay and work from the inside ," Sherrod said. "I was tempted."
On the table were both a deputy director position guiding efforts to fight discrimination within the department, and her old position helping needy Georgia farmers connect with USDA resources.
"I would want to see that work continue," Sherrod said of her former role in Georgia. "I just don’t think at this point, after all that has happened, that I would be able to take the job."
Sherrod met with her former boss Tuesday morning for the first time since she was ousted in July over beliefs she was racist.
Footage surfaced of Sherrod, a black woman, admitting to an NAACP banquet in March that she'd given minimal support to a white farmer who had come to her in need. Omitted from the online video snippet was the morale of her story -- that she'd learned from the 25-year-old encounter that she should help everyone she can, regardless of their race.