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Tom Vilsack "Shirley Sherrod has been put through hell," Deserves apology

The Huffington Post - The White House did a sudden about-face Wednesday and begged for forgiveness from the black Agriculture Department employee whose ouster ignited an embarrassing political firestorm over race. She was offered a "unique opportunity" for a new job and said she was thinking it over.

With lightning speed, the controversy moved from Monday's forced resignation of a minor U.S. Ag official in Georgia to Tuesday's urgent discussions at the White House amid a rising public outcry and then to Wednesday's repeated apologies and pleas for Shirley Sherrod to come back.

Sherrod said she resigned under White House pressure after the airing of a video of racial remarks she made at an NAACP gathering about events that transpired more than two decades ago. But Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said repeatedly on Wednesday that the decision had been his alone.

"I asked for Shirley's forgiveness and she was gracious enough to extend it to me," he said after reaching her by telephone.

Sherrod, in a phone interview with The Associated Press, said, "They did make an offer. I just told him I need to think about it." Read more.

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