Black Farmers Get Restitution
Well, that’s not totally accurate, but it’s close enough. What is happening with black farmers is that, if they qualify, the federal government will be giving them upwards of $50,000 to settle a racial bias lawsuit. And some farmers might be able to get as much as $250,000.
Where’s all of this stemming from? It seems that the federal government had a problem with processing loan applications from black farmers, but not with white farmers. Either loans would be denied saying they doubted the black farmers would ever be able to pay them back, or they delayed the process, black farmer loses land, and that’s pretty much that. Yet, white farmers seemed to have none of these issues, and would get their loans processed quickly without reservation.
The basis for this comes from what was known as the Pigford case, or officially Pigford v. Glickman, a class action lawsuit against the U.S. Dept of Agriculture that a federal judge decided in favor of the 400 black farmers that were a part of it in, get this, 1999. It took 11 years for it to finally come around to someone getting paid for this decision, and President Obama took time to recognize that this deal was finally completed, saying “(this) administration is dedicated to ensuring that federal agencies treat all our citizens fairly, and the settlement in the Pigford case reflects that commitment.”
By the way, this isn’t quite a done deal yet. Seems that, because it involves a department of the United States government, Congress actually has to approve the funding to pay back these farmers. They’ve already missed the first deadline that was agreed upon to pass the legislation, and probably will miss the second. So, it’s not quite over yet.