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Both the NAACP and the USDA pulled back on their criticism after learning details about her speech and viewing the full video, which the NAACP posted on its website Tuesday evening.

Mr. Vilsack called the Rev. Jackson about the case, and he said the secretary had not yet made a decision when they spoke Tuesday.

Mr. Jackson said the case is even “more egregious” than last year’s controversy over the arrest of a black Harvard scholar outside his home. In that case, Mr. Obama sat down at the White House for a chat over beer with Henry Louis Gates Jr., who said he was racially profiled, and white officer Sgt. James Crowley, who arrested him.

“With each passing hour this case becomes more intense, and just as the president moved quickly on the Gates-Crowley case he should move quickly on this case,” Mr. Jackson said. “The politics of fear cannot overwhelm the politics of truth, and she has truth on her side.”

In the clip posted on, Ms. Sherrod described the first time a white farmer came to her for help. It was 1986, and she worked for a nonprofit rural farm aid group. She said the farmer came in acting “superior” to her and she debated how much help to give him.

“I was struggling with the fact that so many black people had lost their farmland, and here I was faced with helping a white person save their land,” Ms. Sherrod said.

Initially, she said, “I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do” and only gave him enough help to keep his case progressing. Eventually, she said, his situation “opened my eyes” that whites were struggling just like blacks, and helping farmers wasn’t so much about race but was “about the poor versus those who have.”

In the full 43-minute video, Ms. Sherrod tells the story of her father’s death in 1965, saying he was killed by white men who were never charged. She says she made a commitment to stay in the South the night of her father’s death, despite the dreams she had always had of leaving her rural town.

“When I made that commitment I was making that commitment to black people and to black people only,” she said. “But you know God will show you things and he’ll put things in your path so that you realize that the struggle is really about poor people.”

Ms. Sherrod said officials showed no interest in listening to her explanation when she was asked to resign. She said she was on the road Monday when USDA Deputy Undersecretary Cheryl Cook called her and told her to pull over and submit her resignation on her Blackberry because the White House wanted her out.

“It hurts me that they didn’t even try to attempt to see what is happening here, they didn’t care,” Ms. Sherrod said. “I’m not a racist. … Anyone who knows me knows that I’m for fairness.”

Ms. Sherrod appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” CNN and NBC’s “Today” show.