May 20, 2009

Obama Proposes $1.25 Billion for Black Farmers

Field Negro (BBR #9) and others took the Obama administration to the woodshed for reneging on a promise to the impoverished Black farmers. As such, I was glad to see that Obama did the right thing when push came to shove.

President Barack Obama is proposing that the government give $1.25 billion to settle discrimination claims by Black farmers against the Agriculture Department.

The White House said the money would be included in Obama’s 2010 budget request.

Earlier this year, Black farmers and lawmakers criticized Obama for neglecting the need for more money to fund claims under a 10-year-old, class-action lawsuit against the government.

In a statement, Obama said the proposed funds would “close this chapter” in the agency’s history.

"My hope is that the farmers and their families who were denied access to USDA loans and programs will be made whole and will have the chance to rebuild their lives and their businesses," Obama said.
John Boyd (shown in photo shaking Obama's hand), head of the National Black Farmers Association, has called the proposal a "step in the right direction," but said additional funds would be needed.

"We think this is a good step in the negotiating process. We're glad to know this issue is on the president's radar screen and we commend him for taking this step," he said. But "we need to make sure that none of the Black farmers are left out."


msladydeborah said...

Hotep Villager,

The struggle to gain the money due to Black farmers because of discrimination has been a long one.

I wrote extensively about this situation over the past year.

This is good news for the farmers who were discriminated against by the USDA. It is past due time for them to receive their payment.

I'm sure that this is not setting well with the forces that tried to keep them from receiving proper compensation. But it was obvious to me from the information that I found during my research that they were singled out to be bypassed.

Villager said...

Lady D - I recall reading your posts. I guess because I have always lived in the urban areas the issue never resonated with me. However, it appears that Obama's original budget wasn't going to honor his pledge to the faremers, made when he was a Senator and a candidate. I'm glad that this president is willing to listen and make adjustments when necessary.

I appreciate you for keeping your eye on this issue over the past year.

MacDaddy said...

Thanks, msladydeborah. keep the knowledge flowing. said...

Hello there,

I am sooo happy that you are staying on top of this issue!

Obama knows that this has been an ongoing issue of blatant discrimination!

Thanks MsLadyDeborah for your coverage of this issue as well!

{raised black glove}

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

rotsamuck said...

The $1.25 billion is a low ball figure for those whose lands are worth an average of $500,000 and who were shortchanged by crop buyers, driven out and threatened by racists in and out of the USDA bureaucracy. As always, everybody else gets paid big, but the black farmers. Including the theives who stole black land. Monica Davis, author, Land, Legacy and Lynching: Building the future for Black America (
See also:

rotsamuck said...

The whole thing is an abomination and $1.25 isn't even "blood money", more like a blood drop on pennies.

Villager said...

Rotsamuk - I must admit that this is an issue that I have not followed closely. However, I give Obama credit for raising the funding levels on this initiative from $500k to $1.25 billion. That seems like something that we would not see under a McCain administration. Wouldnt' you agree?