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On NBC's "Today Show," Shirley Sherrod said she deserves call from Obama


WASHINGTON---Ousted USDA worker Shirley Sherrod received apologies from USDA Chief Tom Vilsack and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs; on Thursday morning on NBC's "Today Show," Sherrod said she deserves a call from President Obama--not for another apology, but to have a conversation with him about what happened and to tell him about the South--a place he never lived.

"Well, you know, he's the president of the United States of America. I've received the apologies that are important. I really would not want the president to apologize to me. I would love to have a conversation with him, though," Sherrod said.

Asked "what would you say to him," she added, " You know, I'd like to talk to him a little bit about the experiences of people like me, people at the grassroot level, people who live out there in rural America, people who live in the South. I know he does not have that kind of experience. Let me help him a little bit with how we think, how we live, and the things that are happening."

Sherrod said she wanted to tell Obama "we are people who struggle every day, who do the best we can in our communities, who love this country. We love him. We want him to be successful, because we feel he thinks in some ways like we do. And we think that's good for the country.

"Yes, there are issues out there that we're faced with -- issues of poverty, issues that I worked so hard on these last 11 months at rural development to try to really have an impact on -- mainly because that's me; but the other thing, I want everything to reflect -- I want a good reflection for him as the first black president."

Vilsack, at a press conference on Wednesday said in his apology, "I've learned a lot of lessons from this experience in the last couple of days. And one of the lessons I learned is that these types of decisions require time. I didn't take the time. I should have. And as a result, a good woman has gone through a very difficult period. And I'll have to live with that for a long, long time."

He added, "this is a teachable moment for me and I hope a teachable moment for all of us.I think it is important to understand that each of us represents this department, each of us represents the administration and the president, and that we've got to be very careful about our actions and our words.

"And we have to make sure that we -- that we think before we act. I did not think before I acted. And for that reason, this poor woman has gone through a very difficult time."


I think Mrs. Sherrod should sue Mr. Breibart, Hannity and Fox News. All three acted with malice toward her and should pay. The NAACP and the Obama Adinistration acted foolishly in response to the initial stories about Mrs Sherrod, but not with malice. She was libeled by Breibart, Hannity and Fox News and should pursue a legal remedy.

Ms. Sherrod has an eloquent, compassionate voice & I hope to hear more in the future. She has a unique world view which will give her the ability to help our Union change to meet future needs. Please Ms.Sherrod, take what the White House offers & use it to move forward, & move us all forward! You have my attention.

My (white) mother was killed by her abusive "boyfriend" at age 46. He was never tried, or held accountable, for what was premeditated homicide. An event like this will color one's life forever. It will (if allowed) simultaneously put one outside any normal, easy life, but also give one an ability to empathize when circumstances dictate otherwise.

Thank you Ms. Sherrod for maintaining grace & sharing your story, time & again, under less than graceful circumstances!!

My parents taught my brother and I that you think before you speak, and you can't judge a book by it's cover. I taught my own children, look at the big picture and always put yourself in the other guy's shoes. Obviously, in this instance, this was not done ....Mrs. Sherrod clearly demonstrated what "grace under pressure" is all about.

Dear Mr.Lauer, You made an error in your reporting of the Shirley Sherrod and Fox News scandal. If you go to Media Matters, you will find a timeline. Fox News DID report the story BEFORE Mrs. Sherrod resigned. You said they reported the story AFTER she resigned. Talk about not doing due deligence before you report. Now we can not even trust NBC! I knew Fox could not be relied upon but now it seems you reporters at NBC have joined them.
Remember, we out here in the hinterland, now have the internet and so you must remember it is all on record for us to do our own factchecking.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on July 22, 2010 6:14 AM.

President Obama official schedule and guidance, July 22, 2010. Meets with Odierno and Hill was the previous entry in this blog.

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