July 23rd, 2010
01:40 PM ET

iReporters back off initial criticism of Shirley Sherrod

Sometimes it doesn't pay to be quick on the draw.

Animator Carter MacDowell, an iReporter from North Carolina, said President Obama wouldn't have had to pull his "apology gun" if the administration had gotten the whole story before firing USDA employee Shirley Sherrod. Watch MacDowell's iReport

Sherrod has been at the center of a fierce political debate since she was accused of being a racist after an edited video of a speech was posted on the internet.

Frequent iReporter Egberto Willies, an Obama supporter from Houston, Texas, initially said that Sherrod's comments were racist and that she had to be fired. He apologized later that day after he watched the entire speech.

CNN.com readers have been talking about Sherrod's treatment, and stories about the case have gotten thousands of comments. Many criticized the media, the Obama administration, the NAACP and conservative bloggers for acting irresponsibly.

Comments have been edited for style and grammar.

thinkbiggest I have to say, I am appalled by this entire incident and deeply disappointed in the administration and the NAACP. Apologies or not, when will this country ever get past this nonsense and fear of skin color? Are you kidding me, My God, if South Africa can move past this what the hell is wrong with us?

Kabel717 Wake up people! There was nothing right about this. Shirley Sherrod did not deserve this and trying to justify it just makes it worse. The fact is, there is racism everywhere in every group, in every facet of our world. Making up fake evidence and trying to justify it or taking things completely out of context does not help the situation.

Markster72 Racism is a two-way street. Hatred is found in ALL areas of life not just race. Arabs hate Jews and other Arabs for a different belief system. Christians are hated for their belief by agnostics and atheists. College sports programs breed hatred. Straights hate gays and gays hate straights. As long as people say "I sent them to their own kind," a real quote from Ms. Sherrod, there is racism. So yes, racism will NEVER die because we ARE different. Any belief we can conquer those prejudices is utopian and naive.

Other CNN.com readers still had concerns even after the entire video was released.

4enruobor The Obama administration is firing people on the spot, and the NAACP is calling for the immediate resignation of Sherrod, based on a short video clip? When the rest of the video was revealed, the story changed a bit and everyone wants to give her the job back. Is anyone going to report on the other racist comments she spewed in the rest of the video (i.e., "his own kind" – meaning white people)? What a sad time in our country when we just can't get past stupid racism.

JDUB52 See if this where a white person and said it was taken out of context it wouldn't matter, they would still be racist. The moral of this story is EVERYONE should be given the benefit of the doubt no matter what color because jumping to conclusions ruins people's life.

calcman10 Wrong. The whole story was about race and racism. She tells how she wasn't going to help this "white" man, and how she took him to "one of his own kind" for help. Then she realizes it wasn't about race, but about rich and poor. It is a nice point that she has an epiphany, but the audience who was cheering her had no idea that was coming.

We'd like to hear what you think about the story and what shaped your views of race. Please share your thoughts and feelings in a short video.

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Snarks

    It was Ben Jealous, the head of the NAACP that admitted they didn't watch the whole video to start with, so they condemned her initially. The NAACP is not doing their job properly, and Ben Jealous admitted it.

    July 23, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. YoMama

    OJ didn't kill them people.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. joe pine

    she should have retired long ago if she has the money ,make room for a young person to learn that lob and better them self..

    July 23, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Pearl

    What I find amazing about this whole scenario is the fact the Ms. Sherrod had years and years of experience helping farmers of all races, creeds, and colors for a long time prior to this incident. This fact of reality did not prevent her from being judged harshly. As to the issue of race, the pain that has been caused by the Black experiene in America is not absolved by jobs or other opportunities to make a living. The fight for equality was and still is an up hill battle. The social structure of American society is racist at its core and Blacks have been forced to tolerate it and consistently have had to rise to the occassion. In other words, it was a legitimate feeling for her not to want to help a white farmer because her father was killed by the Klu Klux Klan and an incredible rise to the occassion to put these feelings aside and help white people regardless how she felt. This incident shows that racism is still everpresent in America because this woman was essentially ostracized and denigrated over legitimate feelings. No understanding of her essential humanity was considered! Are Black people not to be hurt, sadden and even angry over white on black violence?

    July 23, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      So are you suggesting that people of different races should separate themselves from each other. That's what it sounds like. That it is so intolerable that an African-American work with a white. You sound racist.

      July 28, 2010 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. Lue

    Most of the MSM acknowledge Breibart lied about ACORN, Senator Landrieu's attempted illegal wiretapping, and now his reasoning for doctoring Shirley Sherrod's tape. Initally, his blog stated the tape showed Racist Obama Official, but all I hear the talking heads at CNN asking folks is about his NEW lie that he wanted to show racism within the NAACP. What gives CNN?

    July 23, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. P.Neisman

    If you look at Breibart's role in targeting Acorn which is part of his past record and this incident you can clearly see the mission is to attack blacks, paint them all with a black racists brush to get out the "White" vote in November. That is what this cheap shot was all about but it backfired because it will mobilize the minorities. Wonder when he will start attacking women?

    July 24, 2010 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
    • J Person

      How is it that the Obama administration and the NAACP take a full broadside obout what was a reaction to a deliberate fraud by Breibart. Where's the public anger that should be focused on him... who invented the fraud. Is the public that unconcerned about these "criminals" in our media?

      July 25, 2010 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Rude

      Hate is a powerful motivator, ask any Nazi.

      July 25, 2010 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. Rude

    If Faux Noise Channel reports it, ALWAYS check it for truthiness.
    Obama raised in a Madrassa.....LIE
    Hillary booed at a Dem function complete with video.......LIE with edited video.
    How many times must Faux Noise make idiots of its audience?

    July 25, 2010 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. racial equality

    Even though she hadn't acted in a racial manner, she made racist remarks. Giving her a pass for making stupid comments is bad for our country. This tea-party racism is given license by our double standard in holding people responsible for racially offending others. She needs to apologize for using offensive language so we can hold these right-wingers to the fire. We cannot pick and choose which racism is acceptable. If we do, then all racism will be acceptable the way it was years ago. It's time for real equality, not affirmative racism.

    July 25, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |