Sherrod says race relations seem to be slipping
ALBANY, Ga. - A former U.S. Agriculture Department employee who lost her job after she was shown in an edited video making what appeared to be racist remarks said Friday that race relations in the United States may be slipping backward.
Shirley Sherrod and her husband, Charles, reflected on their experiences in the civil rights movement at a forum Friday at the old Mt. Zion Church.
Sherrod lost her job in July as the department’s state director in Georgia for rural development. Her firing came after a blogger started a racial flap by posting an edited video of comments that Sherrod had made in a speech to an NAACP group earlier in the year.
The clip showed Sherrod, who is black, saying she was initially reluctant to help a white farmer long before she worked for the Agriculture Department. But the blogger omitted Sherrod's comments saying that she realized her mistake and helped that farmer.
She later received an apology from President Barack Obama. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asked Sherrod to return to the department, but she declined the offer. She has filed a lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart, who posted the edited video.
“The USDA did nothing at all to help or come to my defense,” Sherrod said, according to The Albany Herald. “No one in Washington would listen to me and I could not believe that they were not going to do anything at all to support me.”
When asked, Sherrod said she believed race relations may be losing ground.
“Maybe I’m wrong, but we seem to be slipping back a little,” she said. “We seem to just be sweeping some stuff under the rug. If we think the race problem in America is fixed, then we’re in for a rude awakening in the future.”
Black population in DC down to 50 percent
WASHINGTON - Newly released Census data show that the nation’s capital is on the brink of losing its black majority for the first time in 60 years.
According to the 2010 Census, 50 percent of Washington’s 601,000 residents are black, while 34.8 percent are white.
Ten years ago, D.C. was 59.4 percent black and 27.8 percent white. The district has gained 50,000 white residents and lost 39,000 black residents in the past decade.
The last time D.C. did not have a black majority was 1950.
Overall, the district’s population has grown by nearly 30,000 since 2000. The new data show that increase was driven mostly by whites but also Hispanics - who can be of any race - Asians and multiracial people.