July 29th, 2010
11:53 AM ET

Sherrod to sue blogger who released video clip

Former Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod said Thursday she will pursue a lawsuit against conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart - the man responsible for posting an edited video clip of Sherrod appearing to say she discriminated against a white farmer looking for assistance.

"I will definitely do it," she said when asked whether she was considering legal action. Sherrod made her remarks during an appearance at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in San Diego.

Breitbart "had to know that he was targeting me," Sherrod said. "At this point, he hasn't apologized. I don't want it at this point, and he'll definitely hear from me."

The controversy surrounding the clip led to a rush to judgment and Sherrod's forced resignation. However, it was later determined that her speech, unedited, focused on how the incident changed her outlook and made her realize people should move beyond race. The incident occurred 24 years ago, before Sherrod began working for the USDA.

She received an official apology from the USDA and a phone call from President Barack Obama once the full text of her remarks came to light.

Sherrod has since been offered another position at the Agriculture Department.

Obama said earlier Thursday that Sherrod "deserves better than what happened last week." Speaking at a National Urban League conference in Washington, Obama called the claim of racism against her "bogus."

"Many are to blame" for the reaction that followed, he said, "including my own administration."

Her whole story, Obama said he told Sherrod, "is exactly the kind of story we need to hear in America (because) we all have our biases."


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Filed under: Civil Rights
soundoff (420 Responses)
  1. JT

    Good for her. I hope she wins.

    July 29, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Taco Rag

    At the end of the case, Ms Sherrod will find she is no longer healed of her prejudices, being refueled by the sponsors of this lawsuit. I doubt the suit's sponsor's want to do anything except tie up Mr. Bierbart though the coming election cycle freeing NAACP to resume its race batting.

    July 29, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bruce

    Good! She should sue him for libel, slander and defamation of character. I heard interviews with the blogger who said his point was to "expose her racism", so it seems his intent was to communicate a falsehood. Seems like a slam-dunk case to me.

    July 29, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. cardog

    There are a lot of posts here for and against. If you look at this story without political leanings you have to see that this man named Andrew Breitbart did what he did with malice and is deserving to be sued.
    This is not the first time Mr. Breitbart has gone after people with false information and there is no doubt that he is ultra-conservative and a staunch member or at least follower of the Tea Party group.
    The things I would like to say about Andrew Breitbart are such that it would be slanderous, malicious and out and out low.
    There's no need to give this slim ball (Breitbart) any more time then the 15 minutes he's already received.

    July 29, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Simonsays/Orlando

    She should be suing the White House for making the FDA fire her.

    July 29, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kevin

    I agree somewhat with one of the first post, by Matt I think. After seeing and listing to the video, it appeared to me that she attempted to back pedal her way out of a situation, once she relalized that she had spoken out of line. Regardless of what she or anyone else says or does at this point, she made the statement that she didn't assist the individual to her fullest extent, because of the shade of his skin, due to her resentment towards a white man because she felt that she had be wronged in the past. How in heavens name can she possible be considering sueing anyone? She herself, stated that she discriminted against another one of Gods children because of race. Sherrod, you are the one that needs to apologize because of your failure to perform the job that you were hired to do by the USDA. My opinion is that you should have been disiplined by the department, not necessarly terminated, but some type of disiplinary action. I have farmed for the most part of my life raising tabacco, hay and horses. I was ashamed of you and the USDA when I heard what you said. And I think there are several others, black and white alike, that agree that now you are just seeking sympathy and un-deserved attention for something that you did that wasn't moral to begin with. Keep in mind that we all will stand before God All Mighty someday and be judged. Though you may wear a mask in front of the world, he knows your true heart and intentions Sherrod and will judge you accordingly. If Sherrod is truly a forgiving, honest, non-bias person she would forgive those that trespass against her, not sue them!

    July 29, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SS

    Watch the video – listen to her – she is a racist and she is taking advantage of people who believe her. There is also one of her husband spewing hate – he sounds just like Jeremiah Wright! She has no right to sue that man for anything...she did it! (BTW, I am not white!)

    July 29, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. E

    Now she is going to sue someone. She was the one who did the illegal act in the first place. Stupid blacks!!!!! Get rid of them all....

    July 29, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. litia

    Ok, so she seen the light while dealing with this white farmer but how many came before him? Was this her first case?

    July 29, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. obamas Mamas

    Everyone in America has judged Mel Gibson. Has anyone heard the entire tapes (what if he said at the beginning "Oksana I love you and I want to show you how how insane my love for you is". Context matters, but the news never shows the entire tape real and always has some sort of angle on the story. Same thing that happened here.

    July 29, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chris

    I didn't miss any point! Breitbart's intention was to clear the Tea Party's name and he did it beautifully. The unfortunate side effect was Sherrod being fired for "appearing" to side with the NAACP. Whether or not Sherrod has a case against him, Breitbart would have been better off had he had in his possession and posted the WHOLE video. This way, if his claims were against the NAACP and not Sherrod, anyone watching the WHOLE video will eventually see that Sherrod WAS NOT appealing to the presence of racism among the NAACP audience despite the NAACP audience having an atmosphere racism.

    July 29, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. thinlady

    If she had been white and said this about a black farmer, would there be any other outcome then her job?

    July 29, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Patricia A Lewis

    I think she should sui his pants off. He used her and made her life a living hell just to get back at the NAACP and make them look bad.

    July 29, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mike

    Breitbart intentionally slandered Sherrod. He's a self proclaimed right wing attack dog. That's what he does for a living. The fact that the lie was caught so fast that the people who watch ( and believe ) Fox "news" can still remember the lie is what makes this story so much... well... fun. It's amazing to me that the majority of people on this post are saying "sue baby sue!", displaying a large amount of public support. And yet the people defending Breitbart & Fox are calling them "radical liberals". I guess I didn't know that the majority of Americans were also on the fringes of the mainstream. It's like a classroom full of retarded kids is making the case that they don't have a speech impediment, the rest of us do.

    I hope all you "radicals" don't smoke too much pot and forget to vote in November. If only the 'special needs' voters show up there's going to be a mandate that you are only allowed to talk with your tongue glued to your bottom lip.

    July 29, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      That's right, Mike. We WILL NOT forget to vote. November can't get her fast enough!

      July 29, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JOE


    July 29, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
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