July 20th, 2010
09:45 PM ET

USDA Official Pressured to Resign?: Join the Live Chat

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

Tonight on 360°, the truth about Shirley Sherrod - the USDA official who resigned after a video surfaced of her speech in March leading to accusations she's racist. She denies those claims and speaks out on the program. Plus, our attempts to get answers from BP about the oil spill flow rate and more.

Want more details on what we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (379 Responses)
  1. Sylvie Romero

    This is just another situation where an organization is trying to look like it's taking action. This is over the Tea Party NAACP argument. I am glad the NAACP apologized but this shows how eager her employer was to judge her.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  2. Linda in Arizona

    @ Lori, CA July 20th, 2010 10:21 pm ET "This is all water under the bridge now."

    No, it's not. Shirley Sherrod hasn't gotten her job back. It's not "water under the bridge" for HER.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  3. Olivia

    I think Ms. Sherrod is a breath of fresh air where hypocrisy is disguised as "political correctness". She should run for a higher office, I am white and I appreciate her honesty and her testimony. It is too bad more of us both black and white can't learn from her experience and transformation.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  4. Larry Eppley

    Please let Ms. Sherrod know that we get it. We understand her heart and the real intent of her marvelous, inspirational speech. Also, her speech (in full) will be seen by millions.

    I am a white 62 year old male from the South. I remember segregation and all that went with it.

    Ms. Sherrod, your life story brings real hope to this nation.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  5. Janice

    I believe this is the MOMENT for us to learn something so important and change (CHANGE) I know most of the country is ready for. I agree that the President needs to take action, apologize and give her job back also. I love your reporting. Thank you so much for a heighted awareness about very serious issues you address every single broadcast.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  6. Teresa

    Mrs. Sherrod probably doesn't want her job back, just an apology and severence pay with retirement compensation. Every one involved used poor judgement in handling this matter. That's why America is becoming one of the most illiterate countries in the world; too much time is spent on computers getting instant news from bogus websites.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  7. carla

    everyone involved in this except the accused should feel very small right about now

    July 20, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  8. kim parrish

    This is another prime example of people rushing to judgment before all the facts and information is known. The NAACP is at fault, the person who said the White House asked for her resignation is at fault and the White House is as at fault for not firing Mrs. Sherrod's boss if he lied and said they told him to get rid of her.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  9. lisal -canada

    instant is great – as long as it isn't incorrectly instant. some things cannot be undone.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  10. Julie

    Why are the being this up after all these years. Look at the woman's records and see how much good she did and how many people she helped. I dont think she should resign unless she is ready to retire. I think also due to the age of this it should be decided based on her work record and the things she in fact has done for others needing her assistance.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  11. Betty L. Willard

    I am so thankful for Shirley Sherrod!! It seems that often, when the truth is told, by black or white, left or right, it gets into trouble!! But if we don't TALK about it, it will continue forever. I'm a white southerner, 63 years old; I remember what things were like 45 years ago (1965, when I graduated from high school in Tallahassee, FL) and what things were like 24 years ago (1986). Racism from both sides is still rife today. Therefore, I thank God for the honest peacemakers on ALL sides! I'm not a racist, either, although when I was young I was too shy to do what my heart was telling me to do. Thank God for Mr. Spooner, too! If I had the $$ to get Ms. Sherrod a job, I would instantly. Let me leave you with a very astute quote from Winston Churchill, delivered during World War I (1915), in the House of Commons: "[The] truth is incontrovertible. Panic may distort it; ignorance may deride it; malice may distort it; but there it is." He was talking of airplanes vs. airships (blimps). But to me it is absolutely true for every situation. Unfortunately, "malice" is the most used reason today. Do you think so?

    July 20, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  12. Florence NJ

    I support Ms Sherrod. She should be reinstated. Economic discrimination is perpetrated against all races. Its the Haves against the Have nots.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  13. carla

    naacp excuses excuses......they believed it...against there own people...and yet they are for the rights of black peopple.....at what cost......
    event the farmer said what are people talking about....duh

    July 20, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  14. charlie

    Clearly Mr. Brietbart accused this event as a racist act, but it wasn't about being a racist act. This was a beautiful story told and I think Mr. Brietbart twisted the truth and lied. Mr. Brietbart lied about this story.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  15. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    He is being evasive about the audience reaction.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  16. Starr, formerly known as vincent

    @Emily – you are right, Anderson gives us the facts, "no Fluff", only the facts.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  17. Mary

    Ms. Sherrod and the people who are the Tea Party have in common that they have been judged unfairly, by the NAACP, and by a portion of the rest of us as well.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  18. Chi

    Hi AC and AC360 : )

    July 20, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  19. David Skaggs -- Los Angeles, CA

    I call on the NAACP to do more than apologize to this woman. They need to demand that she be reinstated.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  20. David, Indiana

    Good evening Anderson, Isabel, Emily, Starr, Megan, Sree, Nicole, everyone.

    Actually from the first clip tonight Ms Sherrod is obviously relating a personal experience that has given her insight how prejudices have to be set aside, as she said a transformative experience.

    The clip last night was much shorter, not even the full clip from the website and gave the impression that she was trying to be only sufficiently helpful.

    I have to admit the clip last night was dissappointing to me, but I did think it was kind of odd and I was bothered by the complete lack of context. I also wondered what happened with the farmer she was talking about. It is so good to hear that she actually helped to save Roger Spooner's farm. And listening tonight, she quite clearly used her best judgement and went the full distance to help him keep his farm and land from what as I'm learning about it now seems like an arbitrary USDA policy allow foreclosures for two weeks.

    I wish the full context of this statement was presented with the clip.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  21. Ed in Columbus Ohio

    Andrew Breitbart and Fox set a trap. Tom Vilsack and the NAACP stepped directly into the trap and ruined the career of a good person. Thank you CNN fur fully covering the story. PS. I'm not a CNN plant.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  22. Shanny

    she can't be responsible for the reaction of the crowd.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  23. Jay

    Now I think Jealous (NAACP chair) needs to go too. He either needs to apologize for the huge mistake they made or he needs to go...

    July 20, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  24. Michelle

    Did Breitbart feel the same way he feels toward Sherrod when Palin, Beck or O'Reilly made racist and/or inflammatory comments? There is your perception, my perception and the truth.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  25. Pat Johnson

    Ms. Sherrod is a fantastic human being! The NAACP showed great integrity by admitting their mistake. Why can't others do likewise?

    July 20, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  26. Lori, CA

    One thing I know for sure is that when acting as a public official, one needs to take extra care in their behavior and speach. If it looks like you did something wrong, then you did.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  27. debinaz

    this woman clearly aired her feelings at the naacp, whether it was some kind of a speach to stop racism in this country is not quite clear to me as the crowd seemed to be cheering on as far as her not going out of her way to help a white man. at that point in her life maybe she was, but all of this needs to stop now. people seem to think playing the race card is right and it is not. calling people racists is not acceptable either.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  28. Emily

    That's awful journalism if none of those shows "retracted" what they had been reporting! 🙁

    July 20, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  29. wayne

    funny how all the members at the speech laughed when she said she didnt help him all that she could.now she is just trying to save her reputation by blaming others

    July 20, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  30. Howard Weems

    Shame on the Government. Shirley is a good person

    July 20, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  31. Jo

    Hats off to her for presenting her case without pointing fingers or laying blame. She simply stated her side of the story and let the clips and the farmer support her case. Congrats to her

    July 20, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  32. courtney

    Without racism, then how would our government keep up the in fighting. As long as people are fighting with each other, our imperial rulers can continue to fool this nation without the people being able to recognize it. This is all manufactured by media outlets and government officials to divert everyones attention.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  33. kim parrish

    If the White House had nothing to do with the firing of Mrs. Sherrod, then I would suggest the person who told her she needed to resign should do so in her place and Mrs. Sherrod be reinstated in her current position or perhaps take the place of her superior. With the information now being released it appears someone lied in order to have this person removed. The person who made the bogus tape and the person who asked for her resignations using the White House for leverage. I hope the White House ask for an investigation into this matter and find out who said what to whom!!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  34. Cheryl Dunlap

    I cannot say how deeply sorry I feel for the harsh treatment of an obviously good woman, Ms. Shirley Sherrod. Since when should a person have to shy away from telling an inspiring and loving tale such as being able to put aside prejudice!!!??? It was a beautiful speech Ms. Sherrod gave. I am delighted Ms. Sherrod is on the show tonight. I hope for justice and peace for this woman. There should be a lot of ashamed people tonight, and maybe this could be what is referred to as "a teaching moment" and hopefully Ms. Sherrod will soon embark on a journey toward the end of a glowing life-long career.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  35. John, Pearl River, NY

    As quick as "they" were to fire her, Ms. Sherrod should be immediately rehired along with a public apology for having her name and reputation unfairly tarnished. All fair-minded people can see through this transparent attempt to promote racial discord. We are way beyond this, I hope.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  36. Gail Ryff

    Ms. Sherrod should get her job back. Thank you Anderson Cooper and CNN for working with her and getting the facts straight. It's despicable that FOX news put out a portion of the tape without vetting Andrew Breightbart's allegations. This poor woman was asked to resign over something that happened over 24 years ago and apparently were lies. She's just a person who is working to support herself. SHAME on Fox news and Andrew Breightbart.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  37. Starr, formerly known as vincent

    I appreciate AACP's zero tolerance on racism, but wouldn't any organization of that power and size check the complete story before passing iudgement?

    Also, if FOX news aired this story first, i would think that Everyone would take a step back and invesigate the story Before making any statement.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  38. Lamar

    I have been an HR Manager for 32 years with a very large Fortune 50 company. The forced resignation of Ms. Sherrod was clearly a mistake by the USDA. The sooner they recognize they made a mistake and reinstate her, the better. If, they had taken the time to determine the facts, they would have never gone down this road.

    I am so happy she has the courage to speak out now and bring this matter to the public.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  39. Shanny

    well, hopefully someone with more integrity offers her a job pronto!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  40. Michelle

    I am surprised to see the roles reversed.

    If it was a black farmer and white person helping the farmer out, all hell would break out.

    In this case, President Obama needs to step up and correct the wrong done to this poor women.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  41. Sylvie Romero

    This is a shame to have the Department of Agriculture over react like that; reacting without the whole story is childish. You don't see the President pushing the big red button for videos on the internet because we know it could result in something terrible.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  42. Lori, CA

    The video made her look very bad. Maybe she should have thought twice about speaking publicly about a previous case she handeled as a public official.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  43. Richard

    All politicians and bureauocrats, when pandering to an audience, always seem to stick their foot in their mouth then have to do damage control later. They never learn to just keep their mouths shut, do their job, collect check, and go home.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  44. Elle

    I am absolutely appalled at what has happened to this woman. In-fact, she has set an example that all Americans need to follow. She has overcome the power of prejudice and hate.
    I am a white woman who has never experienced the kind of pain caused by discrimination that Ms. Sherrod has. The fact that she has gotten past judging someone based on their color, is so much greater an accomplishment, than my trying to do the same. I had never even heard her name before today, but she is now an inspiration for me.

    The U. S. Government has made a huge blunder here. And it needs to be admitted and repaired.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  45. Ray Paige

    Thanks to CNN for bringing the truth to light. Shirley Sherrod should be rehired and given an a apology. She seems to be helping anyone not based on color but based on there need for assistance. These are more of the decisions of people who are quick to judge before finding the facts. If the NAACP did not know they should say we will investigate the issue and respond correctly.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  46. Paul

    Let her resign, sounds like a terrible person to run that organization. Everyone should do their best but they don't so thats why we have this bloated lazy government that can't do anything.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  47. Sue R. Canton MI.

    God bless this man who was able to tell his story about what happened and his opinion. I'm happy to see that he and his wife got to keep their farm.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  48. carla

    somone call andrew out for being a fake......i am sure he knew the tape was messed with...the lengths of what people would do to other people fo hate another group of people

    July 20, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  49. Nancy

    This should be a crime what happened to Shirley Sherrod, this women worked a lifetime helping people and get's caught up in a media race baiting story. Shame to anyone involved.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  50. Linda Robertson

    Ms. Sherrod should get her job back now!!! Thank goodness that Mr. Spooner is living and able to speak out!! What an injustice to Ms. Sherrod.....it's shameful.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
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