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Truth is in favor of you and me; for the truth of our enemies whom we have been serving here in the U.S.A. for over 400 years (whom we did not know to be our enemies by nature) is the truth that the Black Man must have knowledge of to be able to keep from falling into the deceiving traps that are being laid by our enemies to catch us in their way which is opposed to the way of righteous of whom we are members. ~ The Honorable Elijah Muhammad

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Benjamin Todd Jealous: Respect for Black Farmers

USDA staff intentionally withheld loans from black farmers who voted, helped register voters, or joined the NAACP. This discrimination continued in the years that followed, and it had a devastating effect on farmers of color. According to the Census of Agriculture, between 1920 and 1992 the number of African American farmers declined from 925,000 to only 18,000.
Despite this history of flagrant discrimination, President Ronald Reagan abolished the USDA Office of Civil Rights in 1981, leaving farmers with no options for legal recourse. The office remained shuttered until 1996, when President Clinton re-opened its doors.
That 16-year period of lax oversight was the basis of Pigford v Glickman. In the eighties and early nineties, thousands of farmers of color were denied access to loans; information on farm programs; technical assistance; and adequate loan servicing from the USDA. Some farmers were denied applications outright, while others were asked to fill out an application only to watch the local USDA supervisor throw it in the trash. At the time, these farmers had nowhere to turn.  Read more...

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