White farmers at the center of Shirley Sherrod controversy: ‘No way in the world’ she is a racist.

As it becomes increasingly clear that the video that brought down former USDA official Shirley Sherrod’s career was deceptively edited to make her appear racist, the two white farmers she allegedly discriminated against vigorously defended her. The video shows how Sherrod “racially discriminates against a white farmer,” owner Andrew Breitbart claimed. But that farmer, Roger Spooner, and his wife Eloise, flatly denied that this afternoon on CNN, telling host Rick Sanchez, there is “[n]o way in the world” Sherrod is a racist:

SANCHEZ: In all your time knowing Shirley Sherrod, has there ever been anything about her, either through her attitude, her words, her opinions or behaviors that would lead you to believe that she is in any way a racist?

ROGER SPOONER: No way in the world. No way. No way. I don’t even want to talk about it. It don’t make sense. She was just so nice to us as — she didn’t — there wasn’t no — there wasn’t no racism attitude at all in it. Heck no. … They don’t know what they’re talking about. Let me say. They don’t know what they’re talking about, if you want to know my opinion.

ELOISE SPOONER: She always treated us really good. She was nice mannered, thoughtful, friendly. Good person.


CNN also reported that Sherrod’s father had been murdered by a white farmer in an apparently racially-motivated crime, which a grand jury refused to pursue. Asked how she dealt with that, Sherrod said, “what I had to do was turn that into a positive. And I did it by devoting my life to working for change.” “I made a commitment the night my father died that I would not leave the South and that I would stay here and work to make a difference,” she added. Watch a compilation: