20 May 2021 Racial Preferences Sown into Farm Aid
A provision included in the American Rescue Plan COVID stimulus – championed and defended by the Biden Administration – offered loan forgiveness to “socially disadvantaged” farmers and ranchers. This means only blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and Asian-American Pacific Islanders can apply to essentially erase their government debts.
This inequality led a white farmer, himself disadvantaged with the disability of no legs, to help lead a class action lawsuit brought by white farmers who assert “they have been denied the equal protection of the law and therefore suffered harm.” It has also spurred proposed legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to ban the U.S. Department of Agriculture from using race and gender for eligibility in its programs.
Project 21 Co-Chairman Stacy Washington said there’s no reason to give such blanket preferences right now – no matter what has happened in the past – because they will only “increase racism.” And she said this as the granddaughter of someone who actually did suffer such discrimination.
Stacy revealed her personal ties to this situation on the Newsmax program “John Bachman Now.” Despite Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack saying the Biden Administration had a “legitimate reason” to push preferences, Stacy called it wrong:
[T]here was a time when my granddad actually applied for some of the same kinds of loans that farmers were being given… And he was denied.
And later,… an investigation and a lawsuit found that black farmers were refused the same kinds of business loans from the government that other white farmers received – and that they were materially harmed by that.
And so there is a history of that in this country. But, that being said, the answer is not to increase racism by then giving preference to people who may or may not have been disadvantaged in the past.
Pointing out that “our history is fraught with opportunities to learn, and then also make better choices in the future,” Stacy explained that the left’s concept for making things right is actually fundamentally unequal:
So the key here is: what kind of aid is needed by these farmers, and how can we best provide that in an equitable manner? And I don’t mean “equity” in the same way [liberals] mean it. I mean it in a way that is colorblind and fair – where circumstances should meet a certain criteria, and then loans should be given, or grants, or what have you.
But if it’s being done on the basis of race – no matter who’s being disadvantaged – it is wrong.