Happy Good News Tuesday!!
For the first Tuesday of the New Year 2011 I bring you some interesting news that I just found the time to post about (I may be a little late on this one)…
But did you know….
That there is such a thing as Black Farmers? Typically when we think of farms and farmers we think, Caucasian, hillbilly types, middle to low intelligence, with country twangs, chewing on a piece of hay/straw. Yes, this is a very unfair, stereotypical, generalization, but that is how farmers have been perceived for a very long time.
But anyway, YES there are African American farmers, there is even a National Black Farmers Association, and YES, true to form this country has been treating them unfairly. In the past Agriculture Department officials denied or cheated black farmers out of federal aid leading to discrimination complaints. But that is not all! Apparently discriminating against black farmers was not enough… supposedly, Interior officials mismanaged royalties from leases of tribal land of American Indians that was used to harvest oil, minerals and timber.
However, back in December of 2010, President Barack Obama (Yep, the black guy that everyone loves to hate on) signed legislation that would finally fund a settlement initially reached between the Agriculture Department and minority farmers more than a decade ago. (For more information on the lawsuits and claims go HERE).
So the good news for today is…
According to the NY Times, “The House has given final Congressional approval to a bill that would provide more than $4.55 billion to settle tens of thousands of longstanding claims brought by African Americans farmers and American Indians”.
Yaaaaayyyyyy!! The vote in the House of Representatives was 256-152, with a lot of Republicans still against it (BIG SURPRISE… not). This should have been handled over 10 years ago but it is taken care of now! …(hope they get their money soon vs waiting around for a FEMA check!).