Judge Approves $1.25B Settlement in Black Farmers’ Class Action

National Black Farmers Association, May 15, 2011

A federal judge Friday granted preliminary approval of the $1.25 billion class action settlement in decades-old discrimination cases brought by against black farmers. Last December President Obama signed the “Claims Remedy Act of 2010,” which provided $1.25 billion in funding for the black farmers late filers class action lawsuit.

John Boyd, President of the National Black Farmers Association Statement on Federal Court’s approval on black farmers’ settlement:

I am pleased to see movement from the judge in this case. Black farmers have waited far too long for justice. They deserve to have their cases heard by a neutral arbitrator. This ruling signals one more step forward on the long march to justice. It has been an arduous and challenging journey.

Since I began advocating for black farmers 26 years ago nearly all of my mentors in the black farmers’ movement have passed away. I spent eight years pressing Congress for remedy for the nearly 80,000 late filers. In May 2008 Congress finally passed the black farmers’ bill which provided $100 million and allowed the late filers’ cases to be heard on merit. Then-Senator Obama was the lead sponsor for a provision including the black farmers in the late filers’ category as a part of the farm bill. Some conservative members of Congress defined the $100 million approved by Congress as a cap, leaving little to compensate black farmers.

We worked for another two years to offset that obstacle to full fairness in these cases. In February 2009 the Obama Administration reached a settlement with the black farmers for $1.25 billion, which still required an Act of Congress to take effect. In pressing our case, I even drove my tractor, named “Justice,” to Washington and launched a three-week protest until Congress approved the bill.

Judge Paul Friedman’s approval, announced today, is much welcomed news. I look forward to the day when claimants finally have the opportunity to have their claims determined on their merit. Fairness and opportunity–that’s all the farmers and those who attempted to farm have ever asked.

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  • Anonymous

    Does anyone actually believe ANY of that money will be going to “black farmers”?

    I say, let them have the money. And then, when the non-black, non-farmer thieves come to collect, grab them, and prosecute them for fraud. Be sure to decry how racist it is to steal from the poor (and very much non-existent) “black farmers”. After the first hundred or so yahoos are sent to prison for a hundred years each, that money will sit, uncollected, until some future Congress, goes, oh, it’s been ten years, guess everyone who had a case collected, lets release the remaining (ie almost all of the) funds back into the budget for other things.

    Bonus points if Rev Al or Jesse Jackson get nabbed trying their hand at “farming”.

  • Tim Mc Hugh

    “sponsor for the provision including Black farmers in the late filing category”… Reminds me of the definition of chump. “That`s a guy who waits for hours on a corner in the rain to lend someone money”…

  • Fr. John

    People who are not European, and therefore not historically Christian, confuse ‘justice’ with ‘righteousness.’ For Christian cultures such as Europe’s, justice means getting what you deserve, not what you are entitled to.

    As all men were considered sinners in Christian Europe, righteousness was the antidote to ‘justice’. For God’s justice, is to damn all to Hell. Righteousness is an imputed quality, and that concept (Brought forward at the Reformation) was what made Europe EXPLODE in a frenzy of activity, after Columbus discovered the New World, and Luther discovered God’s free grace.

    English common law has always known that man’s ‘justice’ is patterned after God’s desire for His People (European Christians) to be righteous, as Christ was righteous. Indeed, Christ’s behavior has long been the standard to which White Europeans were held to. Thus, any failure of that ‘be ye perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect’ standard, meant that disputes between Christians sought to RESTORE that ‘righteousness’ via the means of ‘courts of law’ acting ‘justly.’

    All of this has been thrown on its’ head, with the abolition of Righteousness PRECEDING ‘justice.’ Nowadays, what passes for ‘justice’ is merely legislated ENVY. And therein lies a WHOLE world (a continent?) of difference.

  • GetBackJack

    This isn’t anything other than wealth redistribution. Oh, and where exactly is this money coming from?

  • chuck

    Again its the old we want something for nothing…we don’t really farm but rather exist to shake down the government.

  • rjp

    From blackfarmers.us:

    In 1982, the total number of Black farms had dropped to 33,000 and is steadily declining.

    In 1984 and 1985, the USDA lent $1.3 billion to farmers nationwide to buy land. Of the almost 16,000 farmers who received those funds, only 209 were Black.

    So can someone tell me how there were 80,000 late filers for this lawsuit?

  • Anonymous

    “I am pleased to see movement from the judge in this case. Black farmers have waited far too long for justice.”

    Really? Guess he hasn’t heard about the scams and widespread fraud of these “black farmers”. But since he is a black scam artist also, he doesn’t care. Whatever has happened to racial reconciliation? Or was that just another scam?

    I am sooooooo sick of having to keep paying for their lies and for the so-called past discriminations that our ancestors supposedly did to blacks or ANYONE else!

    Put a lien on their money to pay US back for the trillions of tax dollars they have eaten up since setting foot on our shores.

    Let us say WE have already paid all blacks a thousand times what they are “owed”! They are lucky to even be in this country compared to being in Africa among their own brethren, are they not? I sure don’t see them leaving anytime soon with their millions to go make Africa a better place, do you? Nope.

    It is too easy to scam Whitey (white guilt and all)out of all his money and resources since they could never make it on their own and never will. That money will gone within a year.

  • Tater

    80,000 black farmers? I don’t believe it…

  • Anonymous

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_L._Friedman

    “Judge Paul Friedman’s approval, announced today, is much welcomed news. I look forward to the day when claimants finally have the opportunity to have their claims determined on their merit. Fairness and opportunity—that’s all the farmers and those who attempted to farm have ever asked.”

    Fairness and opportunity, says the judge….whatever you say, judge..

    Doesn’t the ACLU/SPLC get honorable mention for ripping off us taxpayers in this case also? Wonder how much the NAACP and all the rest will make off this deal, including the judge?

  • hugh

    I wonder what it takes to qualify as a “black farmer.”

    I suspect it’s little more than a small vegetable path, with no documentation requirement whatever

  • Rob

    Can you say “reparations”? And how many of these settlements to “black farmers” is this country in store for?

  • Yorkshireman.

    I suggest that the vast swathes of unproductive Detroit land can be handed to these experienced black farmers. With one quarter of 139 sq miles on offer and at 640 acres per sq mile, this is exactly 552 lots of 40 acres which could be made available, along with a free mule. These should be auctioned off to individual black farmer applicants who apply with cash deposits obtained by this award. Each applicant has already been vetted as a genuine farmer by this court ruling so ensures they each have sufficient agricultural, administrative and financial means to avoid another ‘Pigford’ fiasco. Lot numbers to be drawn randomly from a ‘hat’ and awarded in turn to the highest 552 bids. Funds raised to be used to purchase mules and as compensation to be paid to current plot owners. Resale of lots would be prohibited for the initial 3 years. All produce to be bought by the Detroit welfare board at guaranteed fair market prices and distributed to welfare claimants instead of food stamps. Each lot to be frequently inspected with any unproductive lot being forfeited back into the draw with no compensation being paid. Mules may be impractical but usage shares in communal tractor and accessories with experienced drivers and maintenance facilities must be made available for hire. I make no consultative charge for this advice but reserve the right to enter any Detroit MDs and yell non-stop into my mobile phone about what a good White chap I is, even if the battery is flat, I can always pretend and yell even louder.

  • Anonymous

    Take a spin around the google results for:

    pigford “attempted to farm”

    http://goo.gl/sHn1u

  • Mr.White

    Is growing marijuana in the lot adjacent to your section 8 housing complex now defined as “farming?” Perhaps an extreme example, but I would be curious to know what the definition of “farming” is when it pertains to those who are black, and especially those awaiting their huge payday from whites.

  • Sardonicus

    This whole lawsuit is based on fraud and racial extortion. Many of the black claimants weren’t even legitimate farmers. Read the Derb’s devastating analysis on Taki Magazine: http://takimag.com/article/pigford_at_the_trough

  • Anonymous

    If there were 80,000 black farmers in the USA, we would be experiencing bountiful harvests that would put American agricultural on a par with Zimbabwe where famines are normal.

  • white is right, black is whack

    This judge needs to be removed from the bench. I, too, am tired of hearing blacks complain about how tough we make their lives. This whole ‘civil rights’ was nothing but a money-making system for blacks and mostly lawyers. Lawyers make tons of money brining racial discrimation lawsuits and the other side makes a lot of money fighting them.

  • rjp

    Paul L. Friedman, B.A. from Cornell University in 1965 followed by a J.D. from State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law in 1968.

    From Cornell to SUNY-Buffalo?

    Quite a downgrade …..

    Got to give some to the illegals too I guess:

    USDA seeks to close ‘sad chapter’ with discrimination settlement

    By Eloisa Ruano Gonzalez, McClatchy News Service

    http://goo.gl/x9xDL

  • Anonymous

    Once again, the US Government hands out more free money to underserving Blacks, like they were giving out lollipops and watermelons. It’s only money, right? We’ll print more.

    Blacks only have to whine about how hard things are before getting everything handed to them. And even after the Store is given to them, they manage to run it into the ground; just as with everything they get.