Most of you may not remember the original Pigford Scandal under Barack Obama, but I do9. The Supreme Court found that 91 Black farmers had been discriminated against by the Dept of Agriculture and as a result each one was to be paid $50,000 for a total of $45,500,000. But, Barack Obama expanded it and took away all security measures to make it possible to be riddled with fraud.
By time he was done that 45.5 million dollars swelled to $1.3 billion dollars amid massive fraud. By time the settlement was paid out more Blacks received $50,000 checks than the total number of Black farmers in the South. .The total cost of the settlement reached almost five billion dollars, solely because of fraud.
Fraud was endemic to the claims process — for example, every apartment in a New York City building received a settlement of at least $50,000. Further, some families received checks of $50,000 for each family member (see the NYT’s fraud identification narrative of 4-26-13). These payments were dispensed by the judgment fund’s monitor, whose management and control fell to the Executive Branch and Justice Department. Due to the application vetting process, the payouts were criticized by both Representative Steve King (D-IA) and journalist Andrew Breitbart as payoffs to Obama’s/Democrats’ preferred groups to gain a favored political position with those entities.
Now, newly minted extremist Raphael Warnock has proposed a bill at a cost of another $5 billion dollars to Black farmers because of the pandemic. It is likely unconstitutional under the equal protection clause of the constitution. That is because Black farmers would get benefits that white farmers would not be eligible to receive.
Two bills were introduced in the Senate on Monday aimed at boosting the growing push for equity and diversity within food and agriculture policy and politics.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) reintroduced his Justice for Black Farmers Act to address discrimination and injustices to Black farmers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) introduced the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act that would provide $5 billion to farmers of color. Warnock said he hopes to get his bill included in President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package moving through Congress.
Booker and Warnock, new members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, are co-sponsors of each other’s bills.