Senate Stalls Funds for Black Farmers Again

Senate Stalls Funds for Black Farmers Again

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Approval of $1.25 billion to compensate black farmers in a discrimination suit against the Department of Agriculture has been delayed again in the Senate — the second time this week.

Now legislators have been dismissed for a recess until Sept. 13; a deadline extension to fund the settlements is Aug. 13.

That is exactly what National Black Farmers Association John Boyd did not want to happen.

“If Congress heads to recess and doesn’t come back until after Labor Day that puts us back here again, trying to get this passed,” Boyd told Politic365 earlier this week.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle reportedly support the measure to pay farmers in the years-old case, but partisan disagreements over the federal deficit has held up the issue in the Senate, Boyd said.

The measure failed or been delayed in the Senate at least six times — a long, drawn-out battle that has incited anger and frustration for the farmers, Boyd said.

A federal court found in favor of the farmers in the lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture more than 10 years ago and more than $1 billion in debt relief and payments were awarded.  The new settlement — known as Pigford II — will compensate thousands of farmers who missed the filing deadline.

“The time is long overdue to move beyond the USDA discriminatory past and begin the right the wrongs of African American (farmers) and what they’ve experienced,” said Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Nebraska Thursday.

Lincoln noted that many black farmers have died waiting for the issue to be resolved.

“If not today, when?” Lincoln asked during a presentation to the Senate. “When will we do this?”

Her question is one that the farmers want answered, too.

And to Boyd and other farmers, the whole situation is unfair.

“I think it’s horrible to play politics with a group of people who are poor, who don’t have the money to defend themselves, don’t have the money to lobby for themselves on Capitol Hill,” Boyd said in a previous interview.

19 COMMENTS

  1. This settlement is a fraud perpetrated by North Carolina Personal Injury lawyer James Scott Farrin and "Dr" John Boyd. They have created the Black Farmers Assocation in order to round up thousands of claimants, some of whom have never farmed, in order to fleece us out of our tax money. THIS IS A SETTLEMENT SCAM, it has nothing to do with justice. Look at the website of the black farmers association, http://www.blackfarmers.org now, look at the website of James Scott Farrin http://www.farrin.com they are designed by the same in house people. Wake up, this funding must be stopped.

    • Is this the evidence you have?! Soooo laughable…because 2 different websites look similair it's a scam! Can you please provide some type of rational evidence? The fact that you can't really prove its a "scam", makes you look like a joke. You may want to provide something more concrete for your own sake. Do you enjoy looking like an idiot?

  2. Its a scam because this law firm has signed up 80,000 “black farmers” and there are not 80,000 black farmers in America. Last census count was 37,000. Its a scam because the “black farmers” don’t even have to prove they farmed, and then would be entitled to money. Its a scam because this law firm and this “spokesperson” are trying to profit on racism. Anon, you must like the idea of taking our tax money, do you work? Do you pay taxes? Probably not. You like the idea of free government handouts don’t you?

  3. You obviously haven’t done your research. I have followed this case very closely since my father was denied in Pigford 1. Like you said the “last census count was 37,000.” The USDA isn’t being sued for discrimination now…their being sued for their discrimination spread out over a 15+year span. Specifically between 1981 and 1996. I have a question, how is this law firm making money by “signing up” black farmers? My father is a client of theirs and he hasn’t paid a dime to them. You seem angry, but OUR government (The U.S.D.A.) admitted fault and confessed to this discrimination. Your gripe shouldn’t be with this law firm that has done nothing but helped my father, who unfortunately didn’t receive the same treatment as a white farmer all because of skin color. It seems that you need to do some more research before you start pointing fingers. And if all of this is true, once again, where is your proof? Do you have a website or article? No…that’s what I thought. Go back to the drawing board buddy..come up with something better next time.

  4. And your point is? Where is your evidence to support? Let's say he did say that…what does it matter? How is this attorney getting money from black farmers? Apparently he's giving money to them…how is that a bad thing? Really? You guys are really coming up with some ridiculous arguments…

  5. Anon, you are a very naive little boy. This whole thing is about Money. Its not about the injustice your father may or may not have had by the USDA. If there was discrimination, the USDA should pay your father directly. There should not be a cut to this John Boyd character and this lawyer. What did they do to deserve 1/3rd of your father's money? Whether your father deserves the compensation is not the point. The point is that there has been an industry created by these "spokespersons" and personal injury lawyers to gain personal wealth from tax payer money by shouting racisim. That fact is what makes people so mad and will ultimately defeat this.

  6. How would the farmers get their money if they didn't have attorneys helping them? Where would they be at this point if the attorneys didn't reach a settlement agreement this year? If this attorney is helping the black farmers get their compensation, they should be paid.

  7. Anon, how is this attorney helping? Has this attorney actually tried this case on the merits and proven the facts? NO, this case was settled by Eric Holder and only APPROVED by a Judge. Not ever have any of these cases been proven, the government has only caved and settled. They settled twice, once in Pigford I(1996) and now in Pigford II(2008), hmmm, what is similar about those years? Both times we have democratic presidents, the Democracts always spread the wealth thus ensuring the black and poor vote to keep them in power. I think all you have to do is be black and have driven by a farm and thought about farming and you get $50,000. Sure the lawyer should be paid for that, certainly anyone who could come up with this theory of compensation must be awarded.

  8. I agree with John is does sound like a scam, its American tax dollars going to other people…. But don’t you think if it was a scam the authorities would have caught on by now? And as well it isn’t fair that an attorney gets 1/3 for representing these people but who would rep. them, can they represent themselves, would they be able to rep. themselves successfully, accurately, and in a legal fashion that beyond a margin of doubt the legitimacy of their case? My thoughts are most likely not, but only if there was away to weed out people who don’t deserve the money and weren’t discriminated against. Alas….

  9. The authorities are going to catch on to this, I predict the investigations to begin shortly after the Repulican Congress has been sworn in. All these deadbeats with their hands out for free tax payer money and their attorneys with their hands open will be done for.

    D. Gray your comments are profoundly dense, you are assumming these people have legitimate claims. THEY DONT

  10. If the authorities do catch this, that'd be a good thing but calling my comments dense. If my comments are dense then you must be simple-minded to think that there were no African-American farmers there were discriminated against. I’m not saying they are all legitimate claims but to say NONE of them are, is naive.

  11. How is it naive? Can you prove that black farmers were discriminated against? Just because your farm failed and your black, you are discriminated against? Who did the discriminating, God? They did not get loans because they were bad farmers not because they were black. D. Gray, you need to get it out of your bird brain that black people are not entitled to hand outs, they can stand on their own. WE HAVE A BLACK PRESIDENT. This country is beyond racisim and its jerks like you who want to keep it alive so that the wealth can continue to be re-distributed. Go get a job, pay real taxes and then I will ask you what you think of the Pigford Settlement Scam.

  12. I'm so thankful for the handful of representatives that stood up to this giant scam. They are the true heroes for black farmers, NOT greedy trial lawyers like James Scott Farrin/"Anon".

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