The Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, Inc. (BFAA) is holding meetings and workshops throughout the state after numerous African-American men in Texas were denied the right to participate in a civil rights lawsuit involving the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Obama administration official Tom Vilsack, who serves as the USDA’s secretary, has instructed Claims Facilitators to deny all African-American male farmers from participating in the lawsuit, opting to help Hispanic and Women farmers and ranchers.
Listen to Majic 102.1′s Kandy Eastman Interview BFAA President Thomas Burrell Below!
The lawsuit stems from 2008 legislation which allowed any pending claims of racial discrimination against the USDA involving credit and loan benefits to be filed pursuant to the Food Conservation Energy Act, Section 14011 and did not reference or intimate the exclusion of African American males.
According to the BFAA, Letters are being sent to these African American males for the last several weeks stating:
“Thank you for your interest in the Hispanic and Women Farmers and Ranchers Claims Resolution Process. To participate in this Process, you must be either Hispanic/Latino or female. On your Claim Form, you indicated that you are an African American male. As a result, you are not eligible to participate in this Claims Resolution Process, and your claim has been DENIED.”
“What is important to note is that just one month earlier, on June 24, 2013, the United States Supreme Court upheld its long standing position that separate is still unequal and, therefore, unconstitutional, in Fisher v The University of Texas at Austin,” said Thomas Burrell, President of BFAA.
“Moreover, as in the Texas case, the Federal Judges (District and Appeals) were found to have allowed, unconstitutionally, an agency (University of Texas) to use race, ethnicity and gender as a basis for its admissions program. We are going to ask the Senate and House Judiciary Committees to hold hearings regarding the attempt by the USDA and the three federal judges who looked the other way and allowed the resurgence and resurrection of Jim Crow laws by the USDA”, Burrell concludes.
Unfortunately, thousands of African American males across the country will be adversely effected by the USDA’s attempt to ignore this nation’s resolve that racial classifications are contrary to federal policies and regulations and is still odious to a free society.
BFAA is also preparing to file a complaint against this government for human rights violations in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.
BFAA’s meetings will be held at the CWA Union Hall at 1730 Jefferson Street, Houston, Texas 77004 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Saturday, August 3, 2013.