Shirley Sherrod turns down job offer at Agriculture Dept.

Ousted former Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod has declined to rejoin the department, The Associated Press reports

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack offered Sherrod the job of deputy director of advocacy and outreach Tuesday as an olive branch after last month's controversy over a speech she gave. 

According to Vilsack, Sherrod did say she would consult with the department on its civil rights performance.

She told reporters that she couldn't return in a full-time capacity "with all that has happened," but that she does hope for "some type of relationship with the department in the future."

Sherrod was fired in July after a video clip surfaced online that showed her admitting that she had denied a white farmer the "full force" of her efforts as a rural agricultural director because of his race.

The full text of the speech, however, showed that she presented the anecdote as a means of saying that Americans must not judge based on race. 

Vilsack later apologized for her firing.

-— This post was updated at 10:42 a.m.


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