In a letter dated April 8, 2010, John Boyd, Head of the National Black Farmers Association requested a meeting with President Obama over the funding of a 1.25 billion dollar discrimination settlement. Boyd also said in that same letter, he has “been waiting for tangible signs that the funding of this settlement is a priority of this administration. I am sorry to report I have observed nothing to give me confidence that this is the case. That is why I am requesting a face to face meeting to discuss the black farmer settlement and what you can do to help get it funded.”
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was also at the White House for a morning meeting. She was part of a Cabinet Room session on the economy with the president and others at the same time Boyd was meeting with White House staff and Justice Department officials. The Black farmers settlement was not on the agenda for the Pelosi meeting, but Speaker Pelosi did say, “we have been supporting the black farmers for a very long time. We think that obviously there should be an emergency designation or an allocation, an offset for it. But, they must be paid, and they will be paid.
The White House contends there is an effort to work with congress to find the best vihicle to get this done as quickly as possible.
15 years ago, the 90 thousand black farmers won a discrimination lawsuit with claims against the Agriculture Department’s Farm Loan Program. They are still waiting to be financially compensated by the federal government.