Date: Monday, December 06, 2010, 5:47 am
By: Michael H. Cottman, BlackAmericaWeb.com
President Barack Obama will sign a landmark bill at the White House this week authorizing payment of $1.2 billion to African-American farmers who for decades were discriminated against and denied federal loans because they are black.
“My hope is that the farmers and their families who were denied access to USDA loans and programs will be made whole and will have the chance to rebuild their lives and their businesses,” Obama said.
The signing of the bill funding the payout ends years of litigation between the black farmers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Black farmers accused the federal government of cheating them out of billions of dollars in federal loans.
“Black farmers were denied access to credit and loans because of the color of their skin,” Tom Vilsack, the Secretary of Agriculture, told BlackAmericaWeb.com. “We want to right that wrong.”