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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. charlie

    I heard one of the greatest stories ever told. Mrs. Shirley Sherrod is a champion and spoke about how we all can learn and have better race relations if we look at race like Mrs. Shirley Sherrod.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
  2. Derek

    Anderson, please please let David G speak. He is right on it.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
  3. Sylvie Romero

    She acknowlegded her racism in the past, how she was able to overcome it, and lost her job. Thats the simplicity of the situation.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  4. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    As usual David Gergen has it 100% right. Yet another foolish mistake by the Administration. Will they have the decency to admit their mistake?

    July 20, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  5. Samantha Rowley - Nashville, TN

    The audacity to being forced to resign by writing a letter on a blackberry. Sheesh...no one-on-one meeting with her?! She should be reinstated and those who jumped the gun there should be fired or at least demoted from management positions.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  6. tochi

    As usual well spoken David Gergen. Nothing more needs saying.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
  7. carla

    the white farmer says he saved her farm........wow.....come on people .....you are the government if you can't back your own how am i to depend on you for anything.....

    July 20, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
  8. michelle

    David Gergen is right. Everyone needs to do the right thing.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  9. Starr, formerly known as vincent

    @Betty L. Willard- what a wonderful post! And, YES, i agree, Mr. Chruchill's statement applies to Many things including this terrible incident with Ms. Sherrod.

    I also agree with David G. – the President could do a lot of good by re-instating Ms. Sherrod and an aplology.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  10. Larry

    I'm still waiting for proof that supports that the Tea Party is racist.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  11. Emily

    @Joyce,
    "I am awaiting President Obama and Eric Holder to make this right."

    Have you heard either of them say anything at all, before or after make statements?

    July 20, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  12. Kenya

    Wow. After just watching that clip..Ms. Sherrod is a good hearted human being. She deserves more than a simple apology.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  13. wayne

    she was fired before any news agency played the tape.so to blame a certain news crew for her firing is incorrect

    July 20, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  14. henrydavidthornton

    Thanks Anderson, for allowing Ms Sherrod, black, tell her extended successful story, 25 years ago, of seeking a second lawyer for her White client, as all FARMERS were losing Farms......good deed are rewarded!!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  15. Derrick

    Ms. Sherrod is totally correct. I am ashamed that the NAACP did not take more time to investigate before they kicked her under the bus. The President should step in and help Ms. Sherrod, now!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  16. frankie

    America's deep racial insecurities are revealed in how easy it was for this story to explode, how defensive the NAACP felt at first, for example. This ugly trumped-up story about Ms. Sherrod, does not change the fact that there are some extremely racist elements in the Tea Party, and the fact that no one on the Right is very interested in calling out the racists who like being part of the Tea Party. We actually all need to pay attention to the words of Ms. Sherrod and try to advance past America's racism problems and help all Americans succeed.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  17. kim

    Breitbart's point was the response of the NAACP audience; That's right., applause.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  18. Heather - Spokane, WA

    Mr Spooner and Mrs Sherrod sound like good people. I think this was just a case of someone tampering with a speech to make it sound bad

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  19. Curtis

    I don't look at the NAACP now in the same way I used to. They are just as suspect as any political group.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  20. Ben Bayol

    Call and Response story: In the 70s I worked as a lecturer for the National Endowment for the Humanities – and on one occasion gave a program about alienation to a Black church in Mississippi that included the opening speech from Shakespeare's Richard III. "Now is the winter of our discontent..." "Yes, it is..." "Made glorious summer by this son of York..." "Yes-yes..." And so on. To take responses literally is to show you don't understand the Call and Response tradition...

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  21. Mrs. Bond

    This mistake needs to be first admitted then corrected . There is no excuse to dismiss a woman of strong character and who is an active role model to many poor persons. Some would call this an attempted racter trap or a character asassination. A person or organization of good ethics and character would csorrect the decision to dismiss her. The story she told was a real life character buillding transition. I applaud her for her effort to reach others through real life experiences

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  22. Martina

    Why can't people just say, "I was wrong."
    "we were wrong." They rushed to judgment, no matter what the reason.
    No matter what she said.

    Sherrod tried to do a motivational speech and evidently she was not trained for speaking before audiences even though they had her doing that as part of her job?????????

    I do not think giving speeches on race were part of her job and if her supervisor knew she was giving these speeches they are guilty also.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  23. Nicole The Netherlands

    @Emily, yes it is, but a little secret i studied journalism, we learned
    who, what, when, why, and how.. AC360 and the whole team, brings it for us everytime!! So good this, the whole truth..

    July 20, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  24. carla

    she should sue th government.....i would

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  25. Larry

    I thought that the NAACP was a voice for people of ALL colors, not just Blacks.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  26. christine mann

    Anderson, why won't you look into Tom Vilsack who lobbied for Monsanto? This is not about race, its about getting rid of someone like Shirley Sherrod who is standing up for the small farmer against big agribusiness.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  27. Greg

    Anderson, Please understand that her life was mainly impactd by severe racism and the segration of the south.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  28. Chi

    Ms Sherrod should have her job back. I hope she will.

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

    This is why our politicians sound like robots. There is no place for candor in our public discourse

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  30. Mitch

    Just as the USDA was responsible for taking property from Black and poor White farmers, it is now responsible for taking the job of one of it's most courageous workers. Do the RIGHT thing Mr. Secretary. Reinstate Ms. Sherrod.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  31. Emily

    @David Skaggs,
    "I call on the NAACP to do more than apologize to this woman"

    The more that I hear the NAACP talk, the more that they seem to be sounding like victims...I don' t think that they are going to do what you suggested.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  32. carla

    this story is really sad ...it just goes to show how far america and race have come....noy very huh

    July 20, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  33. Leonora

    I heard this story for the first time tonight. I actually tuned in to hear the Gulf story. Anyway I'm shocked at the stir this has caused. My first reaction was "only in America". I guess it shows that America is still very sensitive to race issues that they (both black and white) pillory a woman about remarks she made 24 years ago without fully investigating the whole story? Even listening to the clip aired this evening I fully expected that a "but" (as in but I learned.....) was coming next.
    Hopefully Ms. Sherrod will engage in that other favorite American pastime and sue her former employers for wrongful dismissal. She appears to have a lot of legal contacts.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  34. K. Perkins

    Thanks Anderson Cooper for bringing this story out to light.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  35. Kristin S

    This is just another example of how politicians, government and special interest groups don't take the time to investigate, listen, and determine fact from fiction.
    This woman was sharing her experience, strength and hope aka what it was like, what happened and what it was like now – in regards to overcoming her racial bias.
    Shame on them for turning her world upside-down. She sounds like a wonderful women who is doing her best to serve.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  36. Greg

    I'm impressed with the Tea Party. They were cunning enough to get the NAACP to participate in a lynching. Maybe Mr. Jealous can now understand what really happens to easy targets. We all participated the lynching of this innocent lady. I only hope some of us feel shameful.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  37. Helen

    Great Job AC360! The Truth and Nothing but the Truth!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  38. John Sorensen

    Regarding Shirley:

    It would be refreshing for Mr. Jealous of the NAACP to simply say, "I was wrong, I rushed to Judgement, I was unfair to her". Same with the Agriculture Secretary - but does he have the class to admit his mistake and hire this qualiity woman back?

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  39. Kevin

    I will bet anyone here a million dollars that the Obama administration will never admit an error in judgment here.....Even if you give her the job back......who wants to work for turncoats?

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  40. K. Perkins

    He is going on and on saying nothing. His reasoning makes no sense. Why wouldn't the NAACP contact Ms. Sherrod to let her know how disappointed they were in her remarks at their function. She would have had the opportunity then to let them know that the remarks were edited. It seems that the parties who condemned her all have MUD in their face and don't want to take the blame. And what does the USDA mean that by saying that they will not re-hire her. Sounds like she needs Attorney Wille E. Gary.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  41. chris

    ms. sherrod has been a true american working for the poor both black and white. the sad part about this story is she said so much in that speech yet very little attention is being told about that part of her speech.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  42. Dana H. from Bay Area

    @Peter I feel you on that. Hopefully it wont take to many generation before you can't distinguish race anymore.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  43. Sylvie Romero

    This is just another person in the unemployment line that shouldn't be there.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  44. Robin

    I appreciate Ms. Sherrod's calm and clear explanation of what happened 24 years ago. She was obviously sharing how she had changed. Rather than using her story as something to condemn her it's one from which we can learn. God bless her and give her job back!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  45. Gary

    I knew that if Obama was elected president. Those that pretended not to be racist would come out of the closet. And shame on you Naacp for jumping the gun. President Obama do the right thing and give Shirley Sherrod her job back. Don't be intimidated by Fox, Rush and all the others on the far right. Make a difference, make history.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  46. fred, Texas

    One more thing , Did joh King ask Brietbart if he or fox edited that tape, Mr Cooper just grilled the naacp guy about that tape yet Brietbart seemed to get a pass, Why is that?

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  47. Charles Roe

    Good Grief! Knee jerk reaction-again. Maybe another beer get together will help! This is a LADY!
    NAACP blames fox–she was fireds before the Fox or any public comment!
    Shirley and the farmer are teaching all of us–let us listen!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  48. niwat kurusattra, chicago

    It was just a fact of ethical/professional impairment when Sherrod was to perform her job duties, but then she said she could have helped him in full force, but she did it just enough. and at the time she worked for non-for-profit!

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  49. Galen Stevens

    This is a clearcut case of someone who has ties with the TEA PARTY,and he's trying to make the NAACP look bad.Its a shame someone had to loose a job.These tactics remind me of the trickery that was used by the KKK in the late 60s.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  50. Wendell Paris

    The NAACP, and the civil rights community in general, must demand that the Obama Administration use common decency and reinstate Mrs. Sherrod immediately.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
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