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Judge approves $1.25 billion settlement for discriminated black farmers

The settlement comes after a decades-long fight from farmers who contend they were left out of federal farm-aid programs.

WASHINGTON - A federal judge on Thursday approved a $1.25 billion settlement in a decades-old discrimination case by black farmers, clearing the way for them to seek compensation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for being left out of farm aid programs.

The news agency Reuters is reporting that the decision helps tens of thousands of farmers who had been denied part of an earlier 1999 settlement because they missed the filing deadline.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul Friedman wrote in an order approving the agreement that Congress by waiving the statute of limitations has further redressed "the historic discrimination against African-American farmers." He called the settlement "fair, reasonable, and adequate."

National Black Farmers Association president said it was "a very important step that should provide assurance to the black farmers that each of their cases will now move toward a resolution."

The black farmers reached this settlement with the government in February 2010 to compensate them for being left out of federal farm loan and assistance programs for years because of alleged racial discrimination.

The original Pigford class-action lawsuit, named after North Carolina farmer Timothy Pigford, was settled in 1999 for $1 billion, two years after a group of African-American farmers sued then Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman.

Comments

waltspecht 3 years, 2 months ago

If the contentions are true, why not just prosecute the individuals that perpetrated the act. Attach their belongings and fortunes and distribute that among the wronged? Why should we, the taxpayers, pick up for the deliberate actions of these individuals that are probably happily retired on a Federal Pension? They did it, I didn't. Yet I feel certain a part of that settlement money will come from my taxes.

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Yowsa51 3 years, 2 months ago

Agreed, waltspecht. Reparations for decades-old events are being shouldered by the current generations with greater frequency, and even greater demand.

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ObjectiveEyes 3 years, 2 months ago

Not to mention the fact that many of these "farmers" never actually owned any land or ever put a plow in the ground. New Communities (the co-op headed by the Charles and Shirley Sherrod) received $13 million for "about a dozen familes" that owned about 5700 acres (that's over $1.0 million each or $2280.70 per acre...what are we buying the land?) Not to mention the tidy sum of $300,000 the Sherrods received for "pain and suffering. The fleecing of America continues! Google "Pigford vs. Glickman" and see for yourself. Supposedly, there are 86,000 claimants, when the 1992, the Dept of Agriculture census report gives the total number of black farmers nation-wide at 18,816! Some kind of new math?

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