NAACP Releases New Video in Support of Ousted USDA Official

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The NAACP on Tuesday posted newly released video in an effort to support a USDA official who was forced to resign a day earlier, after a previously published video showed her telling a story about not giving her "full force" support to help a white farmer.

The NAACP also called for the U.S. Agriculture Department to reinstate Shirley Sherrod, who on Tuesday said the Obama administration refused to listen to her side of the story before forcing her out on Monday evening, over a video excerpt that she insists was taken out of context.

In the earlier version of the video Sherrod, then Georgia director of rural development, is seen telling a story about assistance she provided to a white farmer 24 years ago.

The video released by the NAACP Tuesday shows Sherrod explaining she initially didn't help the farmer with "full force," but realized she was wrong and went on to help him save his farm.

Sherrod, who is black and was working at the time for a nonprofit group, said she learned that the plight of poverty goes beyond race.

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"When I made that commitment I was making that commitment to black people and to black people only," she said in the video released Tuesday. "But you know, God will show you things. ... You realize that the struggle is really about poor people."

The video excerpt that aired Monday focused on Sherrod's admission that she was reluctant to help the white farmer in part because so many black farmers were suffering.

The Monday excerpt excluded the end of Sherrod's story, seen Tuesday, in which she talks of helping save the white farmer's property from foreclosure.

"Working with him made me see that it's really about those who have versus those who don't," she said later in the video. "And they could be black, they could be white, they could be Hispanic -- it made me realize that I needed to help poor people."

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Monday evening that Sherrod had resigned based on the release of the shorter video, saying the department has "zero tolerance for discrimination."

But the NAACP, after earlier condemning Sherrod, reversed its position Tuesday and called on Vilsack to "reconsider."

NAACP CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous originally released a statement calling Sherrod's comments "shameful" and saying the group was "appalled by her actions." But the NAACP later said Tuesday it would conduct an "investigation" and review the full tape, which was shot for the NAACP by DCTV.

Late Tuesday, Jealous effectively retracted his earlier statement and blamed the media for the confusion.

"With regard to the initial media coverage of the resignation of USDA official Shirley Sherrod, we have come to the conclusion we were snookered by Fox News and Tea Party activist Andrew Breitbart into believing she had harmed white farmers because of racial bias," he said.

"Having reviewed the full tape, spoken to Ms. Sherrod, and most importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this story, we now believe the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans." was among several media organizations that carried the story of the initial video released Monday.

It remains unclear who edited and released the shorter video.

Breitbart, who initially reported the story on Monday, said in an interview Tuesday with Fox News' Sean Hannity, that he received the video from "an individual in Georgia." He said he decided to post it on his website as an example of hypocrisy at the NAACP, which recently condemned racism within the conservative Tea Party movement.

Sherrod, in a TV interview Tuesday morning, said she lost her job because the Obama administration overreacted to the original story.

"They were not interested in hearing the truth. No one wanted to hear the truth," she said.

Vilsack said Wednesday he will reconsider the department's decision to oust Sherrod.

"I am of course willing and will conduct a thorough review and consider additional facts to ensure to the American people we are providing services in a fair and equitable manner," Vilsack said.

A White House official who asked not to be named told Fox News on Tuesday that President Obama was briefed on the circumstances behind Vilsack's decision to fire Sherrod after the fact and fully supported the decision.

As for the white farmer Sherrod helped, his wife told on Tuesday that there was no discrimination. She said the administration should not have forced out Sherrod. "She'll always be my friend," Eloise Spooner said.

She said the incident Sherrod was referring to happened more than two decades ago and that she and her husband Roger worked together closely to keep the farm out of foreclosure.

"I don't think they gave her a chance to tell really what happened," Spooner said. "I don't think they'll find anybody that can fill the job any better than she did. That's my opinion."