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Tom Blumer writes about the Pigford case.
An announcement of Ms. Sherrod's July 2009 appointment to her USDA position at ruraldevelopment.org gives off quite a few clues:
RDLN Graduate and Board Vice Chair Shirley Sherrod was appointed Georgia Director for Rural Development by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on July 25. Only days earlier, she learned that New Communities, a group she founded with her husband and other families (see below) has won a thirteen million dollar settlement in the minority farmers law suit Pigford vs Vilsack.
The news that follows at the link, which appears to pre-date the announcement of Ms. Sherrod's appointment, provides further details:
Minority Farm Settlement
Justice Achieved - Congratulations to Shirley and Charles Sherrod!
We have wonderful news regarding the case of New Communities, Inc., the land trust that Shirley and Charles Sherrod established, with other black farm families in the 1960's. At the time, with holdings of almost 6,000 acres, this was the largest tract of black-owned land in the country.
... Over the years, USDA refused to provide loans for farming or irrigation and would not allow New Communities to restructure its loans. Gradually, the group had to fight just to hold on to the land and finally had to wind down operations.
... The cash (settlement) award acknowledges racial discrimination on the part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the years 1981-85. ... New Communities is due to receive approximately $13 million ($8,247,560 for loss of land and $4,241,602 for loss of income; plus $150,000 each to Shirley and Charles for pain and suffering). There may also be an unspecified amount in forgiveness of debt. This is the largest award so far in the minority farmers law suit (Pigford vs Vilsack).
The Pigford matter goes back a long way, and to say the least has a checkered history, as this May 27, 2010 item at Agri-Pulse demonstrates (bolds are mine):
As part of a April 14, 1999 class action case settlement, commonly known as the Pigford case, U.S. taxpayers have already provided over $1 billion in cash, non-credit awards and debt relief to almost 16,000 black farmers who claimed that they were discriminated against by USDA officials as they “farmed or attempted to farm.” In addition, USDA’s Farm Service Agency spent over $166 million on salaries and expenses on this case from 1999-2009, according to agency records.
Members of Congress may approve another $1.15 billion this week to settle cases from what some estimate may be an additional 80,000 African-Americans who have also claimed to have been discriminated against by USDA staff.
... Settling this case is clearly a priority for the White House and USDA. Secretary Vilsack described the funding agreement reached between the Administration and advocates for black farmers early this year as “an important milestone in putting these discriminatory claims behind us for good and in achieving finality for this group of farmers with longstanding grievances."
However, confronted with the skyrocketing federal deficit, more officials are taking a critical look at the billion dollars spent thus far and wondering when these discrimination cases will ever end. Already, the number of people who have been paid and are still seeking payment will likely exceed the 26,785 black farmers who were considered to even be operating back in 1997, according to USDA. That’s the year the case initially began as Pigford v. (then Agriculture Secretary) Glickman and sources predicted that, at most, 3,000 might qualify.
At least one source who is extremely familiar with the issue and who asked to remain anonymous because of potential retribution, says there are a number of legitimate cases who have long been denied their payments and will benefit from the additional funding. But many more appear to have been solicited in an attempt to “game” the Pigford system. (emphasis mine)
This must-read story also reveals that Ms. Sherrod’s husband is a former honcho in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee back in the 1960’s. You can read more about it in Bill Ayers book “Fugitive Days.” Yes, that Bill Ayers. He was involved in SNCC as well.
"I think they should but they won't. They intended exactly what they did. "They were looking for the result they got yesterday," she said of Fox. "I am just a pawn. I was just here. They are after a bigger thing, they would love to take us back to where we were many years ago.
Back to where black people were looking down, not looking white folks in the face, not being able to compete for a job out there and not be a whole person."
Originally posted by Hudson
You're mistaken. Post a clip or something. MSNBC showed the clip around 7am EST on morning Joe. I didn't see it on Fox until 8PM EST.
Originally posted by Blaine91555
reply to post by Adevoc Satanae
Yes, I think what happened is you saw it for the first time the next day. The same day it was on O'Reilly is the day I'm referring to. It had been mentioned a couple of times earlier.