Report from @lreiley that should shut down, "Oh, no, there is no systemic racism." From the new Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack: “We saw 99 percent of the money going to White farmers and 1 percent going to socially disadvantaged black farmers." https://t.co/Bv2ysMKYSb
— Michelle Singletary (@SingletaryM) March 25, 2021
Elections have long-overdue consequences, sometimes, and this snippet of the American Rescue Act is a good start. Tom Vilsack, like his new boss, seems to have learned from his previous mistakes:
… In an interview with The Washington Post, Vilsack for the first time noted the extent to which the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated existing disparities across the American economy.
The distribution of coronavirus relief increased those gaps, he said.
Of those who identified their race or ethnicity, Black farmers received only $20.8 million of nearly $26 billion in two rounds of payments under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program announced by the Trump administration last April, he said.
“We saw 99 percent of the money going to White farmers and 1 percent going to socially disadvantaged farmers and if you break that down to how much went to Black farmers, it’s 0.1 percent,” he said. “Look at it another way: The top 10 percent of farmers in the country received 60 percent of the value of the covid payments. And the bottom 10 percent received 0.26 percent.”
Of the 3.4 million farmers in the United States today, only 45,000 — 1.3 percent — are Black, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s down from 1 million a century ago, because of widespread land loss.
Vilsack said the Biden administration would be focused on closing those inequalities. The USDA will battle three systemic problems concurrently, he said: a broken farm system, food insecurity and a health-care crisis…
After months of national debate about systemic racism and reparations for slavery and segregation, Vilsack says he will make rooting out racism at the agency, and in agriculture, a priority. The American Rescue Plan will pay $5 billion to farmers of color, who have lost 90 percent of their land over the past century because of systemic discrimination and a cycle of debt…
Of course, one reason for Sec. Vilsack’s interview is that the Disloyal Opposition has already been busy trying to gin up resentment:
the farmer to the right (yes he said "i'm not racist") did say that black farmers have been discriminated against — but he also didn't think it was fair that they got this "deal" and other farmers didn't. also that people should work off their debt. im so damn tired lol
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) March 12, 2021
Yeah, one wonders why minority farmers might not be too open with speaking to a network that is openly demonizing them in order to spark white resentment. https://t.co/hzAdmxdmOT
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) March 16, 2021
Conservatives are so stupefied by their Trump wipeout that they’re just recycling their Shirley Sherrod/Pigford playbooks. https://t.co/xth528gXXY
— Roy Edroso (@edroso) March 16, 2021
(Yes, Vilsack is the one who fired Shirley Sherrod when the Wingnut Wurlitzer lied about her. Like I said — he’s gotten smarter since then.)
again, one of the main objectives of all-cancel-culture-all-the-time is creating a space to be openly racist in public without fear of consequences https://t.co/KPyyPB8lW9
— kilgore trout, ted’s travel agent (@KT_So_It_Goes) March 16, 2021
I wish this were a joke but no, a lot of perfectly smart people seem to have a hard time wrapping their heads around how an industry built on exploiting Black & brown labor could have a white supremacy problem https://t.co/9ss9nmEFvH
— Dr Sarah Taber (@SarahTaber_bww) March 16, 2021