July 20th, 2010
08:31 AM ET

Tuesday's intriguing people

Shirley Sherrod

The African-American employee of the Department of Agriculture resigned Monday after conservative media outlets aired a video of her telling an audience she had not given a white farmer "the full force of what I could do" to help him save the family farm.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he had accepted the resignation of Sherrod, the department's state director of rural development for Georgia.

"There is zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA, and I strongly condemn any act of discrimination against any person," Vilsack said. "We have been working hard through the past 18 months to reverse the checkered civil rights history at the department and take the issue of fairness and equality very seriously."

Conservative website publisher Andrew Breitbart originally posted the video, which shows Sherrod telling her audience that the farmer she was working with "took a long time ... trying to show me he was superior to me." As a result, she said, she "didn't give him the full force of what I could do. I did enough."

To prove she had done her job, she said, she took him to a white lawyer. "I figured that if I take him to one of them, that his own kind would take care of him," she said.

Sherrod told CNN on Tuesday that her remarks were taken out of context and failed to include the point of her story - that people need to move beyond race.

The incident took place in 1986, before she worked for the USDA, she said. "I was telling the story of how working with him helped me to see the issue is not about race. It's about those who have versus those who do not have."

CNN: USDA employee resigns over statements about white farmer

Malik Zulu Shabazz

The national chairman of the New Black Panther Party says a recent gruesome murder should be classified as a hate crime.

South Carolina's TheState.com reports that Saturday, New Black Panther Party members marched on the courthouse in Newberry, South Carolina, to call attention to the shooting death of 30-year-old Anthony Hill. Police say Hill's corpse was dragged behind a truck for 11 miles.

The newspaper reports that Hill's co-worker, Gregory Collins, was arrested in early June a few hours after the incident and charged with murder.

During Saturday's rally, Shabazz said Collins did not act alone and that law enforcement is not doing enough.

"This case is an outrage. Gregory Collins has not even been indicted. That's right. Over 40 days after (the) dragging and murder," Shabazz shouted to the crowd through a megaphone. "When a man is dragged behind a pickup truck, that is a modern-day lynching."

According to the New Black Panther Party's website, Shabazz has led the party since 2001 and it now has 27 chapters in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean and Africa.

A graduate of Howard University in Washington and the Howard University School of Law, Shabazz is a follower of the Nation of Islam's national representative, Minister Louis Farrakhan, and helped to organize the 1995 Million Man March.

The State: Hundreds protest handling of black man's slaying

The New Black Panther Party: About the national chairman

John Morton

The director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says he has the resources to deport 400,000 illegal immigrants annually from all across the nation. But in Arizona alone, he says, there are some 460,000.

Morton told The Washington Post that if Arizona's new immigration law takes effect on July 29, he is "not going to shut down immigration enforcement in the 49 other states of the union to commit to responding to every potential immigration violator in the state of Arizona."

A former federal prosecutor, Morton, 43, runs the largest investigative agency in the Department of Homeland Security, with more than 19,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $5 billion. He told the newspaper that he has become used to criticism from the political right and left.

"You develop a thick skin in a job like this," said Morton. "I'd imagine for some other senior leaders in government, the day when someone calls for their resignation would be the day they'd remember throughout their career. That's just part of the territory here."

Washington Post: Calls for resignation 'part of the territory,' says ICE director

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Morton's bio

Mahmoud Harmoush

The imam of the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley in California says he is surprised by the level of criticism aimed at the center's plans to replace its current mosque - now located between a pipeline company and a packaging warehouse - with a new mosque on four acres near Temecula's housing developments.

The Los Angeles Times reports that opponents of the mosque fear it could turn the community of 105,000 into a haven for Islamic extremists.

"The Islamic foothold is not strong here, and we really don't want to see their influence spread," said Pastor Bill Rench of Calvary Baptist Church.

Harmoush told the newspaper, "Our children go to the same schools their children go to. We shop at the same stores where they shop." He added, "All of a sudden our neighbors wake up and they're opposed to us building the Islamic center there, the mosque. I hope it's a small group."

According to the mosque's website, Harmoush completed his religious studies at private institutions in Syria and was taught by a circle of well-known scholars in the Middle East and in North America. Since 2007 he has been on the faculty at the California State University in San Bernardino, teaching the Arabic language and Islamic culture. 

Los Angeles Times: Planned mosque draws opposition

Islamic Center of Temecula Valley website

Robert Shapiro

The attorney, who was part of O.J. Simpson's defense team at his 1995 murder trial, had agreed last week to help represent Lindsay Lohan. The troubled 24-year-old  actress is scheduled to begin a 90-day jail sentence on Tuesday for violating her probation in a 2007 drug case.

Shapiro's office released this statement a few days ago: "I have agreed to represent Ms. Lohan on the condition that she complies with all of the terms of her probation, including a requirement of jail time that was imposed by Judge Marsha Revel. Ms. Lohan is suffering from a disease that I am all too familiar with. Hopefully, I can be of assistance to Ms. Lohan and Judge Revel in implementing a treatment approach recommended by medical professionals for Ms. Lohan's long term recovery and sobriety."

But on Tuesday, TMZ.com and the Los Angeles Times reported that Shapiro is no longer representing Lohan.

People magazine reported that Lohan has been staying at Pickford Lofts, a sober-living house founded by Shapiro. According to the Pickford Lofts website, Shapiro lost his son, Brent, to the disease of chemical dependence. On the night of October 9, 2005, Brent Shapiro mixed a few drinks with a tab of Ecstasy and became ill.  He was buried a day and a half later.

TMZ: Robert Shapiro quits Lindsay Lohan

People: Lohan hires Shapiro as new attorney

Pickford Lofts website

CNN: Lindsay Lohan scheduled to go to jail Tuesday

soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. JackT

    I was horrified, watching those two Talking Heads at CNN, try to give this RASIST woman some excuse for doing what she did. They were acting like her lawyer, saying, "yea, you didn't really mean to be a Racist". This type of reporting is why I no longer watch CNN for my news. And, this type of reporting is why their ratings are in the dumps. They need to make a fresh start. Fire these two white cry babies, and get some neutral reporters in there. If someone is MAKING them say these things, then they should speak up. Otherwise fire both of them.

    July 20, 2010 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Bertina

      Apparently you didn't listen to the full story. Your dismissing the full story is your white washing it all and making yourself feel good about your own bigoted notions.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Elliott Grey

      Omg, as a Fox news devotee, I found myself hypnotised by this interview; if CNN keeps on doing this kind of reporting, I might actually start watching this network again. Ms Sherrod clearly has gotten a raw deal, & has been thrown under the bus by the Obama admin for nothing more than political reasons. I mean, c'mon now...she helped saved their farm for cryin' out loud.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • jack

      This is not racist, it was 24 years ago, even before she worked for the USDA. Her story was about how NOT to handle things. Also the wife of the farmer in question says she helped them save their farm, and that she was invited over the the house and have remained friendly since.

      The problem is, this women does not know how to tell a story very well.
      I could have told the same story and Fox News would have had a hard time trying to pick it apart and make me out to be a racist. Primarily because I'm a much better story teller, as well, I know a sensitive subject when I see one.

      July 20, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Bertina, and you are not judgemental and bigoted at all.... right... you condescend fairly well for someone who thinks of themselves as fair... Just sayin'

      July 20, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Jack, if a white person did this would you be so forgiving? History is replete with examples of whites not being forgiven for their great great great grandfateher sins

      July 20, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • TexVet

      If this had been a white woman making these comments, her head would have been served on a platter.

      July 20, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. deac

    I like the headline...They call her "thick-skinned" instead of racist. typical media bias by the lame stream media

    July 20, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric Braswell

      'Thick-skinned' was in reference to the portion about John Morton, the director of ICE. Not about Shirley Sherrod.

      July 20, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • jaebu

      it's "thick-skinned ICE director" referring to John Morton, the director of Immigration & Customs Enforcement.

      July 20, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. Peter T

    > Sherrod: The incident took place in 1986, before she worked for the USDA, she said.

    But telling your audience of your great deed was recent. If moving beyond race is so important for you, you should have moved beyond thast incident long time ago.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Bertina

      If she had learned the lesson then retelling it now is TEACHING it.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • TexVet

      bertina....my thoughts exactly

      July 20, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  4. RobertShaw

    What does think skinned have to do with being a racist? Looks like the double standard in reporting is still alive and well!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • whew

      ... the ignorance in America is alive and well too. Try reading the entire article before you comment. Thick-skinned wasn't about that lady, it was about the ICE director, the 3rd topic on the page.

      July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. Heather

    The thick-skinned headline goes with the story on the ICE chief, not Sherrod.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  6. Neal

    People looking at the thick-skinned comment. Try reading the WHOLE page, not just the part about the Department of Agriculture Employee. See? Feel better? Go back to watching FOX.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. fastball

    I swear to god, some people are morons. Why insist on talking about race or color in the first place? Keep your big mouth shut about race, because NO MATTER what you say, someone's gonna get annoyed (even if it's all political showmanship)....and 4 seconds later it's on the internet and cable news shows – and you're outta work.
    Just shut your hole, don't even go down that road.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • TexVet

      ...meanwhile this woman continues to discriminate against whites because "she can".

      July 20, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. justthefacts

    Thick skinned?? comon cnn- another example of your one sided program

    July 20, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • FoxSucks

      read the whole article....

      July 20, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. cageordie

    I wonder how much damage Shirley Sherrod has done while people have been too afraid of looking racist to take a good look at her record.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. Sherry - tx

    All of us expect the right to be critical about anything done or said by a minority. Even more so since we have a black president. That's just a fact of life. What I don't understand is why are blacks the only race who are not allowed to defend or support their own. If a black person does something negative the other blacks better jump in and assist in the beating. This while other races are allowed to at least shelter their own if not defend. This atrocity goes even furthur. If a black does something positive the other blacks cannot show their pride in one of their own. They have to wait until another race recognizes the good thing and praises it before they can join in. Hispanics can publicly express latin pride, Italians, Germans, Jews, Indians etc.,all others are allowed but blacks. What's so pitiful is now that there is a black pres. it has made this worse. He better not even look like he's trying to do something positive for another black. The only thing that is tolerated by this country is black on black hurt or pain. Keira, or Roland I sure would appreciate your thoughts about this , even if you think it ain't so and i'm mistaken.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  11. TexVet

    This woman is showing her true feelings...she is a racist...and was attempting to perpetuate racism.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Mswoman

      Why won't Breitbart release the full Shirley Sherrod/NAACP video? Refer to CNN – the truth is always the light

      July 20, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. cheryljones

    If this video is 20 years old, than I just have to say that the firing is 20 years late. Sorry, Shirley. You're not the right woman for the job. I'd like to suggest the NAACP, but that WOULD make me sound racist, and I'm not. There is a place for you. I hope you find it, and perhaps have learned a lesson or two in the meantime.

    July 20, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mswoman

      The video is not 20 years old – the story is.

      July 20, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mein5280

    When CNN starts reporting ALL the news and not just what they want people to hear or slant it to there agenda, I will then take them seriously and watch them. Otherwise. just another trash talking show. When did News Agencies stop just reporting news? Where can you go to just get the news so that I can decide for myself. CNN no longer has credability. It doesn't just report news, it part of the BIG problem with American confidence. GET A CLUE!

    July 20, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bill

    So she has magically become non racist? I will take her at her word but will watch her very closely. How often does a leopard change its spots? Caution is required here when dealing with her.

    July 20, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mswoman

      As often as yours change.

      July 20, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • TexVet

      She needs to be history...she is extremely racist

      July 20, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mary Hanly

    The story should have been fully researched before any resignation was called for.

    July 20, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
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