The rest of the Shirley Sherrod (USDA) story?

If that title doesn’t catch your eye, how about a $1.25 BILLION payout by the federal government about which you’ve probably never heard? I’m not expressing any opinion about this matter but feel it deserves to be further promulgated.

I’m confused. If there are only 39,697 African-American farmers grand total in the entire country, then how can over 86,000 of them claim discrimination at the hands of the USDA? Where did the other 46,303 come from? Now, if you’re confused over what the heck I’m even talking about, let’s go back to the beginning of the story:

Pigford v. Glickman. In 1997, 400 African-American farmers sued the United States Department of Agriculture, alleging that they had been unfairly denied USDA loans due to racial discrimination during the period 1983 to 1997. The farmers won the case, known as Pigford v. Glickman, and in 1999 the government agreed to pay $50,000 each to any farmer who had been wrongly denied an agricultural loan. By then it had grown into a class action case, and any black farmer who had filed a complaint between 1983 and 1997 would be given at least $50,000 — not limited to the original 400 plaintiffs. It was estimated at that time that there might be as many as 2,000 beneficiaries granted $50,000 each.

via Pigford v. Glickman: 86,000 claims from 39,697 total farmers?.

Note, the figure of 39,697 black farmers is as of 2007.  In 1992, the relevant period, there were only 18,816 black farmers. It seems that should have been the claimant pool in the Pigford suit.  No-one is claiming that the suit and the original settlement (which was done in 1999) were not appropriate, but how does this get resurrected in 2010?  And this:

Conservative opposition to the settlement came to light last week in the aftermath of the Shirley Sherrod scandal. A farm collective founded by Sherrod and her husband that was forced out of business by the discriminatory practices received a $13 million settlement as part of Pigford last year, just before she was hired by the USDA. Some, including Rep. Steve King (R-IA), have called the settlement a fraud.

via Senate Strips Funding For Legal Settlement To Black Farmers From War Bill | TPMMuckraker.

Read it all for yourself, then ponder why these things don’t hit the so-called “mainstream” media. Is there fraud going on here and if so, at whose hands?  Is there something “untoward” about the role of Shirley Sherrod or about her being hired at the USDA? Have we yet heard all of the story?


About Gil Jones

CPA/Attorney/Judge by training and trade. Hobby nut at heart with BMW m/c, computers, ham radio, kayak fishing, photography, hiking and, starting in 2010 some semi-serious running and bicycling (road and mountain bikes). Retired after 16 years on a Texas District Court bench and since 2013 have been mediating cases. I am a Credentialed Distinguished mediator (TMCA).
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3 Responses to The rest of the Shirley Sherrod (USDA) story?

  1. Annie Ragadale says:

    If you had an opinion on this matter – I’d be in total agreement….just thinking.

    As for the media. It just doesn’t work for me. The mainstream kind, at least. While traveling back from Austin earlier today, the friend I was with said, “What is it with radio and television? Who Are these people and where do THEY live?” Gets harder and harder to find the accurate information too. Those of us interested in living in a free society best get off the couch and look for it.

  2. donbynum says:

    Well that smells a lot like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which Clinton stuffed with partisan supporters and who then earned HUGE bonuses and in turn made huge donations to Democrat causes and politicians, including the Demcrat members of the house and senate committees charged with overseeing F&F. Mysteriously those Democrats were the one’s who excoriated Secretary of Treasury John Snow when he raised concerns that F&F were becoming systemic risks to the financial system due to their buying up of huge numbers of subprime mortgages.

    Sherrod must have had one big farm to need $13M in correcrtive actions by the government… or was it just Democrat business as usual in Washington? Good question.

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