All Articles Tagged "black farmers"
(Reuters) – A federal judge on Thursday approved a $1.25 billion settlement in a decades-old discrimination case by black farmers, clearing the way for them to seek compensation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for being left out of farm aid programs. The decision helps tens of thousands of farmers who had been denied part of an earlier 1999 settlement because they missed the filing deadline.
U.S. District Court Judge Paul Friedman wrote in an order approving the agreement that Congress by waiving the statute of limitations has further redressed “the historic discrimination against African-American farmers.” He called the settlement “fair, reasonable, and adequate.”
(Huffington Post)– Is presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) attack on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) settlement with African American farmers racist? Bachmann is coming under increasing fire for characterizing a settlement to black farmers who were discriminated against as mass “fraud.” For years, black farmers alleged that they were being denied USDA farm loans or that they were forced to wait longer for loan approval than other non-minority farmers. Some contended that they endured foreclosure and financial ruin as a direct result. Following a class action lawsuit that was initiated back in 1997 — the so-called Pigford Cases — a U.S. Court has established that between 1983 and 1997 the USDA discriminated against black farmers who applied for farm loans and other assistance on the basis of their race, and that the USDA also failed subsequently to investigate or properly respond to complaints.
(Reuters) – African-American farmers who faced discrimination at by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in farm loans are being notified they may qualify for a part of a $1.25 billion settlement. A series of class action lawsuits found that between 1981 and 1996 the USDA systematically discriminated against African-American farmers on the basis of race.
Why can’t Andrew Breitbart keep black farmers’ names out of his blog posts? The same man who turned Shirley Sherrod’s life upside down with manipulative video editing is now fueling an online campaign alleging that black farmers’ legal claims are scams that threaten to swindle the government out of billions, according to The Root.
Just two months ago, black farmers were celebrating when President Obama signed a bill authorizing $1.25 billion to settle a discrimination case filed by thousands of black farmers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But now the party is over, as their hard-earned and well-deserved victory is threatened by the allegations.
The Root conducted a Q&A with John W. Boyd, Jr., leader of the National Black Farmers Association. “I think this is a group of people who don’t want to see black people receive a dime,” he says.
Read More: Justice Still Delayed For Black Farmers
(AJC) — Democratic U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop called Internet insinuations that he was somehow involved in fraud surrounding last year’s settlement between the government and African-American farmers “one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard.” Videos featuring two Georgia farmers that are being circulated on the Web by conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart hint that Bishop, of Albany, may have known about possible fraud in last year’s so-called “Pigford” settlement between the government and black farmers who claimed that a Department of Agriculture farm loan program discriminated against them.
(AP) — Decades-old claims from African American farmers and native Americans that the government mistreated and swindled them out of billions of dollars can finally be settled starting Wednesday. President Barack Obama is set to sign the bill authorizing payment of $4.6 billion to settle claims that arose in class-action lawsuits. The White House said the president would sign the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 and make remarks at the ceremony next week, but offered no further details. The House passed the bill on Tuesday. The package would award some $3.4 billion to American Indians for royalties for resources like oil, gas and timber. Another $1.2 billion would go to African American farmers who claim they were unfairly denied federal loans and other assistance.
(The Hill) — Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are complaining that legislation funding a settlement for discrimination against black farmers sets too high a bar for claimants. The lawmakers argue language added by the Senate, which is meant to prevent fraud in the program, sets higher standards for proving a claim than were required for other groups trying to prove loan discrimination by the Department of Agriculture. “There’s no question. The bar is much higher,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), a CBC member and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.
(New York Times) — The House has given final Congressional approval to a bill that would provide more than $4.55 billion to settle tens of thousands of longstanding claims brought by African Americans farmers and American Indians. The bill provides $1.15 billion to African Americans left out of a 1999 settlement of a lawsuit, Pigford v. Glickman; in that settlement the federal government agreed to compensate black farmers and would-be farmers who said Agriculture Department officials denied or cheated them out of federal aid. To be eligible for money now, claimants must have farmed or attempted to farm between 1981 and 1986, have filed a discrimination complaint before July 1, 1987, and have filed a claim after the deadline in the original settlement.
(Richmond Times Dispatch) — The U.S. Senate, after the 10th try, approved nearly $1.15 billion yesterday for the National Black Farmers Association to settle long-standing claims of discrimination in federal farm lending programs. ”It’s been a very, very long fight,” said John W. Boyd Jr., president of the association and a cattle and grain farmer from Mecklenburg County. The money has been held up in the Senate since February as Democrats and Republicans fought over how to pay for it.
(AOL Black Voices) — The U.S. Senate has been criticized for dragging its feet on the compensation for black farmers in the famous Pigford Discrimination case. The case was supposedly settled between an alliance of black farmers and Tom Vilsack, the United States Secretary of Agriculture. The Obama Administration has promised an extra $1.25 billion to settle the claims of the lawsuit.
Although a settlement had been reached, the Senate failed to move forward with the authorization to release the funds. That has led to a tremendous amount of frustration on the part of black farmers, who’ve been patiently waiting for the first black president and his colleagues to make amends for the discrimination they’ve suffered for decades.