The NAACP just posted the full video of Shirley Sherrod’s speech in front of the Coffee County NAACP this past March.
The relevant part starts about 16 minutes in. Sherrod is talking about how her father was killed by a white man when she was 17; that night, she says, she made a commitment to stay in the South and work toward change.She says that she was only thinking about black people when she made that commitment. But God had other plans, she said.
“You realize the struggle is really about poor people,” she said, and then tells about “the first time I was faced with having to help had to help a white farmer save his farm.”
Once you get past the part shown in the Big Government clip, Sherrod goes on to say that that white farmer experienced an obstacle she had never seen: He was blocked from filing bankruptcy, and his farm was foreclosed on. The lawyer, she says, had told the farmer he should just give up the farm.
As Sherrod tells it, she intervened and found the farmer a lawyer who could help him.
“Working with him made me see that it’s really about those who have versus those who don’t. They could be black, they could be white, they could be Hispanic. And it made me realize then that I needed to work to help poor people, those who don’t have access the way others have,” she says.
Quick note: There is, as you can see, an edit in the middle of the speech. An NAACP spokesman tells me that, according to the local chapter, that’s when the tape was switched in the recording. What’s missing, he said, is a line about Sherrod being offered tobacco.