The following was provided by John W. Boyd Jr., founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association:
WASHINGTON -- On Friday, President Obama reaffirmed his support for black farmers who suffered decades of discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and called on Congress to finally fund the long delayed settlement agreement.
During the President's press conference at the White House, Obama said, "It is a fair settlement. It is a just settlement. We think it's important for Congress to fund that settlement. We're going to continue to make it a priority."
Twice the House of Representatives has passed a measure to pay for this settlement, yet the legislation languishes in the Senate having failed no less than seven times.
John Boyd, founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association, has become a leading voice for tens of thousands of active Black farmers as well as those who were forced from the profession as a result of discrimination by the USDA.
“Black farmers across the nation applaud President Obama’s statement and hope that it will bring us closer to justice. We are asking the Senate to act immediately to fund this settlement, with definitive action attached to any legislative vehicle that leaves the chamber headed to the President’s desk. As the President indicated, the time for political games has ended. People are dying. The time to act is now."
On February 7, 2010 The New York Times editorial told the government to "Pay Up" on the "historic injustice" involving the Black farmers. And on September 3, 2010 The Washington Post editorial said, "The White House and Congress should work diligently" to fund the Black farmers settlement.