Senator Blocks Emergency Funding For Black Farmers Settlement
WASHINGTON, DC -- John W. Boyd, Jr., President and Founder of the National Black Farmers Association, released the following statement following a development in the U.S. Senate on emergency funding to resolve the outstanding cases of discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture against black farmers:
"In the past few weeks I attended the funerals of two leading voices for Black farmers. These everyday heroes hoped that they would see justice for the decades of discrimination they and tens of thousands of their colleagues faced from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The discrimination impacted their lives, their families and their health. Though they never lived to see a final resolution of this case, but I believe the moment for justice is near."
"Today was a historic day for the Black farmers. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), offered a unanimous consent request in the U.S. Senate for an important emergency funding measure that would provide $1.15 billion - in addition to the previously passed $100 million - to fund the settlement between the Black farmers and the USDA. We applaud Senator Reid for his work.
"I recently met with Senator Reid and I know that he is personally committed to getting this passed. We are baffled why Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), whose own constituents have sought justice in both the Black farmers and Native Americans, would block today's request. I have asked our members in Oklahoma and around the country to contact Senator Coburn and they are already calling. We look forward to visiting with him to resolve the matter expeditiously. We need to move quickly to resolve the matter before the May 31st deadline.
"Each week or month of waiting means more Black farmers will not live to see a resolution of their cases. Justice can be difficult to achieve, and today's developments remind us that we are so close and yet so far from achieving it."