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according to Agri-Pulse.com the number of total claims filed not only exceeded the original estimate by almost 40 to 50 times, it is close to four times the USDA's estimate of 26,785 total black owned farms in 1977! One reason for this is that the settlement applied to farmers and those who "attempted to farm" and did not receive assistance from the USDA. Getting the latest round of Pigford cases from the 2008 farm bill settled is said to be a high priority for the Obama administration.
So where does Sherrod come into this picture? In a special to the Washington Examiner, Tom Blumer explains that Sherrod and the group she formed along with family members and others, New Communities. Inc. received the largest single settlement under Pigford.
... 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).
* Was Ms. Sherrod's USDA appointment an unspoken condition of her organization's settlement?
* How much "debt forgiveness" is involved in USDA's settlement with New Communities?
* Why were the Sherrods so deserving of a combined $300,000 in "pain and suffering" payments -- amounts that far exceed the average payout thus far to everyone else? ($1.15 billion divided by 16,000 is about $72,000)?
* Given that New Communities wound down its operations so long ago (it appears that this occurred sometime during the late 1980s), what is really being done with that $13 million in settlement money?
Here are a few bigger-picture questions:
* Did Shirley Sherrod resign so quickly because the circumstances of her hiring and the lawsuit settlement with her organization that preceded it might expose some unpleasant truths about her possible and possibly sanctioned conflicts of interest?
* Is USDA worried about the exposure of possible waste, fraud, and abuse in its handling of Pigford?
* Did USDA also dispatch Sherrod hastily because her continued presence, even for another day, might have gotten in the way of settling Pigford matters quickly?
I second his conclusion that the media and bloggers shouldn't be so quick to dismiss Shirley Sherrod. Let me start by adding another question to the list. In her position at not for profit, Rural Development Leadership Network, a network of activists and community builder, was Sherrod involved in any way in encouraging people to submit fraudulent claims under Pigford? Did she put black people who owned rural land in touch with lawyers who would file the paperwork claiming attempts to farm had been prevented by the non cooperation of the local USDA?
The reaction from many in the audience is disturbing. We will be looking into the behavior of NAACP representatives at this local event and take any appropriate action.
Ron Wilkins is a former organizer in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In 1974, under an assumed name, he hired-on at New Communities Inc. The Emergency Land Fund, an Atlanta-based black land retention organization, which shared oversight responsibility for NCI’s progress, wanted to know the basis for NCI’s continued poor performance. The author’s secondary purpose was to develop agricultural skills. For his role in organizing NCI’s workers, management eventually fired him from his $40 per week position, evicted him from the rent-free shack on NCI property and orchestrated his arrest, on bogus charges, by FBI agents and Lee County, Georgia Sheriff’s deputies in the midst of an NCI labor protest. The charges were later dropped. Presently he is an Africana Studies professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He can be reached at: email@example.com
Imagine farm workers doing back breaking labor in the sweltering sun, sprayed with pesticides and paid less than minimum wage. Imagine the United Farm Workers called in to defend these laborers against such exploitation by management.
Now imagine that the farm workers are black children and adults and that the managers are Shirley Sherrod, her husband Rev. Charles Sherrod, and a host of others. But it’s no illusion; this is fact.
Originally posted by inforeal
reply to post by Hudson
Please, spare me. Fox news is the devil incarnate, if you don’t know that then what country are you from.
And dont know their history of slander and lies by ALL their hacks.
[edit on 21-7-2010 by inforeal]