Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) — The NAACP has retracted its original statement condemning comments made by a former Agriculture Department official who resigned after a video clip surfaced of her discussing a white farmer.
The NAACP said in a statement Tuesday that it was “snookered by Fox News” and conservative website publisher Andrew Breitbart.
“Having reviewed the full tape by Shirley Sherrod, who is the woman who was fired by the Department of Agriculture, and most importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this story, we now believe that the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans,” the statement from NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said.
Jealous later posted on his Twitter account that he “Spoke to Ms. Sherrod earlier today and personally apologized. Plan to meet with her face-to-face the next time I’m in Georgia.”
The organization also urged Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to reconsider Sherrod’s resignation from her post as the department’s director of rural development for Georgia.
Breitbart originally posted the video, which was quickly picked up by Fox News.
In the video, Sherrod can be heard telling an audience at a March 27, 2010, appearance before a local chapter of the NAACP that she had not given a white farmer “the full force of what I could do” to help him save the family farm.