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Discrimination on the Farm

The Washington Post’s Carrie Johnson reports that the Agriculture and Justice Departments have reached a $1.25 billion settlement in a class action lawsuit by black farmers who claim that the Ag. Dept. discriminated against black farmers in providing federal loans and subsidies. Johnson reports that black farmers first sued the federal government in 1997 and that some of these farmers were compensated in a $1 billion settlement with the Bill Clinton administration back in 1999.

There have been no subsequent settlements until now which raises the question of whether the Bush administration ignored the issue. In defense of the Bush administration, they continued the Clinton administration practice of having a civil rights director at the Ag. Dept. But it’s strange that 11 years went by before the next settlement — especially since Hispanic, Native American and women farmers issued lawsuits of their own in the Bush administration.

2 Responses to “Discrimination on the Farm”

  1. Bill Harshaw:

    Your last sentence is wrong. There are separate suits by the Hispanic, Native American and women’s groups. I don’t believe any of them has been accepted by the courts as a class action suit. If I remember, the Pigford suit originally wasn’t class action either, but Congress overruled the courts.

    comment at 21. February 2010
  2. Matthew Blake:

    Thanks for pointing this out — I tweaked the last sentence.

    comment at 21. February 2010

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