WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- The White House says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is reaching out to a black employee to apologize on behalf of the "entire administration" for forcing her out because of her remarks on race.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Wednesday that Vilsack had been unable to reach Shirley Sherrod so far. Sherrod was asked by department officials to resign on Monday after conservative bloggers posted an edited video of her saying she didn't initially give a white farmer as much help as she could have 24 years ago. Sherrod says the video distorted her full speech.
The White House called the Agriculture Department about the case Tuesday night and it was agreed that her ouster should be reviewed based on new evidence. Gibbs says the administration acted without knowing all the facts.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKOW) -- Shirley Sherrod of the U.S. Department of Agriculture says she's not sure if she will reclaim her job, if offered.
Sherrod, who was the Agriculture Department's director of rural development in Georgia, was forced to resign after speaking at an NAACP banquet in March. Sherrod says her remarks were taken out of context, as a portion of her speech was presented on a web site.
Sherrod says her remarks were for the purpose of explaining how she learned from mistakes about racial reconciliation, and did not reflect racism. She said officials did not ask for her explanation before asking her to resign.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he is now reconsidering the USDA's decision regarding her forced resignation, and plans to "conduct a thorough review and consider additional facts."
If offered the job, Sherrod said she was not sure how she would be treated on the future.