What Ms. Sherrod did say, in the present tense:
You know. I haven't seen such a mean-spirited people as I've seen lately over this issue of health care. [Mumurs of agreement.] Some of the racism we thought was buried — [someone in the audience says, "It surfaced!"] Didn't it surface? Now, we endured eight years of the Bushes and we didn't do the stuff these Republicans are doing because you have a black president. [Applause]That certainly seems tinged by racial concerns, but I also appreciate her background shaped her views. Ms. Sherrod is both an inspiring story on many levels and a complex generational tale on others. Her biases are still present, whatever their causes. I can't imagine what she has endured, but to canonize her is also a mistake.
She should not have been fired, but she should be held to account for being political while also working in the USDA.