White farmers are suing the U.S. government over a stimulus program they are not eligible and that is only eligible for non-white “socially disadvantaged farmers.”
Daniel Lennington, deputy counsel and lead attorney for the lawsuit told Yahoo finance “All of my clients just want to be treated equally. They’re not looking for any special treatment. If there is a loan forgiveness program, they want it to be open to everyone, regardless of race. And if the USDA would like to formulate the loan forgiveness program to help farmers who have a particular need, my clients would be all in favor of that.”
Per Yahoo Finance ‘the program, which allocated roughly $4 billion for “socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, or forest landowners,” is part of a larger stimulus bill signed into law amid the coronavirus pandemic.’
“Socially disadvantaged” in this case is defined as relating to groups “subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities,” the report adds.
Biden’s Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said they aim to “root out whatever systemic racism and barriers may exist at the Department of Agriculture directed to Black farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, and people who live in persistently poor areas of rural America.”
The non-white eligible framers would receive “up to 120% of their outstanding debts paid off as a result of the American Rescue Plan, with the extra 20% going toward taxes associated with the outstanding debt.”