President Obama said Thursday that all Americans should spend more time talking about a sensitive subject that he has addressed only sparingly since he took office: race.
President Obama speaks at the 100th anniversary convention of the National Urban League on July 29 in Washington, D.C. In a speech to the National Urban League, the president talked about race relations in the context of the controversy surrounding the recent firing of Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod.
In a speech to the National Urban League and on the ABC daytime talk show The View, the president talked about race relations in the context of the controversy surrounding the recent firing of Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod.
Sherrod’s own comments about race were misconstrued after a snippet of a 43-minute speech she gave to the NAACP was posted last week on the conservative blog biggovernment.com. The clip made Sherrod, who is black, appear racist as she recounted a time when she purposefully didn’t give a white farmer the help he needed. The whole speech reveals that she was using the anecdote as part of a broader story about racial reconciliation.
The day after she was fired, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack apologized for taking action based on just the edited video and offered Sherrod a new job. She has not said whether she’ll take it. She announced Thursday that she will sue the blogger, Andrew Breitbart, who posted the video.
In the midst of the controversy last week, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs called it “one of those teachable moments” but said he didn’t necessarily think Obama would be the teacher.
The president claimed that mantle Thursday.
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