Over on my man’s Field Negro blog, he wrote some fire today regarding Obama not fighting for a bill he introduced while in the Senate that would give justice to Black farmers. And rather than put it in my own words, I am going to re-post his thoughts in full. Please visit his site on a regular basis, he spits hot fiyah. (Dylan accent)
You Obamaholics might want to skip this next post. I will give you a little time to click away before I start……..
Okay, for those of you who are still reading, Quick, raise your hands if you have ever heard of the Pigford Case
. If you haven’t let me help you out a little bit: It was a class action lawsuit filed by a bunch of black farmers because the federal government denied them loans and assistance that went to whites. (Gee, there is a surprise)
Anyway, they filed a class action lawsuit, and there must have been some fire to go with the smoke because Uncle Sam settled for damn near a billion dollars with my overall clad brothers.
Happy ending right? Wrong. As is always the case with our slick Uncle, the deadline period to file was so short that thousands of farmers with legitimate claims missed out on the filing deadline and got zilch. So in comes Johnny Boyd and other farmer activist; they started pressing the government to open back up the case and give some of the farmers who missed out on the filing deadline to refile their claims.
Well guess who stepped up to the plate to help them? Yep, you guessed it; his O ness.
Let me give you a little passage from the AP story:
“…The cause gained momentum in August 2007 when Obama, then an Illinois senator, introduced Pigford legislation about six months into his presidential campaign.
Although the case was hardly a hot-button political issue, it had drawn intense interest among African-Americans in the rural South. It was seen as a way for Obama to reach out in those areas, where he was not well-known and where he would need strong support to win the Democratic primary.
The proposal won passage in May as sponsors rounded up enough support to incorporate it into the 2008 farm bill. The potential budget implications were huge: It could easily cost $2 billion or $3 billion given an estimated 65,000 pending claims.
With pressure to hold down costs, lawmakers set an artificially low $100 million budget. They called it a first step and said more money could be approved later.
But with 25,000 new claims and counting, the Obama administration is now arguing that the $100 million budget should be considered a cap to be split among the successful cases.
The position — spelled out in a legal motion filed in February and reiterated in recent settlement talks — would leave payments as low as $2,000 or $3,000 per farmer. Boyd called that ‘insulting.’
Boyd noted that Obama’s legislation specifically called for the new claimants to be eligible for the same awards as the initial lawsuit, including expedited payments of $50,000 plus $12,500 in tax breaks that the vast majority of the earlier farmers received.
‘I’m really disappointed,’ Boyd said. ‘This is the president’s bill.’
‘They did discriminate against these farmers, maybe not all of them, but a lot of these people would prevail if they could go to court,’ he said.
The administration wouldn’t discuss specific budget plans or commit to fully funding the claims. But in a statement to The Associated Press, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the department agrees that more needs to be done and is working with the Justice Department to ‘ensure that people are treated fairly'”
Now I know that his O ness is the President, and he has a lot on his plate, BUT HE SPONSORED THIS BILL! So now that he is the President would it kill his administration to give these farmers a fair settlement? You better be careful O man, these farmers literally have the pitchforks.
“You can’t blame it on the Bush administration anymore,” said John Boyd, head of the National Black Farmers Association, which has organized the lawsuits. ‘I can’t figure out for the life of me why the president wouldn’t want to implement a bill that he fought for as a U.S.
Well I would tell you why John, but I want my Obamaholic friends to come back.