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."