Here we go again.
A Wisconsin federal judge has ordered a temporary stop to the $4 billion federal loan relief program created to address decades of injustice faced by Black farmers.
The decision to halt the program is the response to white tears after a group of white farmers filed a legal challenge in which they claim to have been discriminated upon (the nerve, right?).
Last Thursday Judge William Griesbach issued a temporary restraining order that in turn blocked the U.S. Department of Agriculture from moving forward with the relief payments.
According to NBC News, Griesbach said that the white farmers are “likely to succeed on the merits of their claim,” that the USDA’s “use of race-based criteria in the administration of the program violates their right to equal protection under the law.”
Black farmers like John W. Boyd say that years of work have been put into the bill just for white counterparts to try and shut it down…again.
“I’ve been trying for decades to get this passed through an act of Congress and we were able to get it in the spending bill for COVID and now after all of the work, white farmers dont see us as deserving and are trying to spin it as discrimination and its not,”shared Boyd, who is the president of the Black Farmers Association. “It’s relief that Black farmers deserve — that white farmers have been getting handed over to them the whole time.”
He goes on to share that at the turn of the century there were more than one million Black farmers. Today, there are less than 50,000.
“I think that it’s a travesty that the judge didn’t consider the discrimination that Black farmers face in this case,” said Dr. Boyd, in an exclusive interview with AfroTech. “He didn’t seem to think that discrimination is an issue at the USDA, but it is and I see it as a continuation of what we’ve been enduring in this country as far as slavery, sharecropping and Jim Crow for years.”
“They always seem to leave out the history and in this case it’s what’s happend to Black farmers,” he continued.
Currently, several lawmarkers are trying to help both minority and Black farmers through legislation reintroduced by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) as the Justice for Black Farmers Act.
Through this bill the discrimination and injustices commited by the USDA will be addressed.
Until then, it looks like the fight for equality for Black farmers will continue as long as their white counterparts continue to stand in the way of what’s rightfully owed to them.