WASHINGTON - A year ago U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack ordered Shirley Sherrod to resign from her job as a Georgia rural development official following the distribution of a video that showed her supposedly making racist remarks.
When Sherrod’s speech to an NAACP group was heard in its entirety, it became clear she was not showing reluctance to help a white farmer, as was alleged in a video by Andrew Breitbart, but rather telling a story of racial reconciliation, according to news reports.
Sherrod received public apologies from the administration—even from President Barack Obama himself—and an offer to come back to the Department of Agriculture, which she declined.
Sherrod is now seeking vindication as the U.S. District Court holds the first hearing in the case against the conservative blogger who posted Sherrod's edited remarks.
In the first hearing in the case lawyers for Breitbart argued that Sherrod's case is an attempt to dampen free speech and should be dismissed.
They also argued to have it dismissed under a District of Columbia statute that aims to prevent the silencing of critics through lawsuits.