All Articles Tagged "department of agriculture"
(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.
(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.
(Black America Web) — Black farmers, due $1.2 billion for a legacy of discrimination by the Agriculture Department, suffered a new and disheartening setback this week, despite the national spotlight provided by the quickly disavowed firing of a black department worker.
(New York Times) — President Obama on Thursday urged Shirley Sherrod, the black Agriculture Department official whose firing and subsequent offer of rehiring this week renewed a conversation about politics and race, to continue “her hard work on behalf of those in need,” the White House said.
(HuffingtonPost.com) — On April 11, a man named John M. Bonner, of the small town Dinwiddie, Virginia, passed away. He was 87 years old. A pioneer of the Black Farmers’ Movement, which fought for equal treatment in rural county agriculture offices, farming was Bonner’s lifelong passion. He was also one of thousands of plaintiffs in a longstanding discrimination suit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture–but with the government dragging its feet on paying the settlement money, Bonner died before ever getting a cent.