Members of the black farming community are responding to claims made in a recent New York Times article that a billion-dollar settlement made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)Â to compensate black farmers has become a “magnet for fraud,â€ the Grio reports.
The New York Times article suggests that rampant mismanagement by government officials overseeing the settlement process has led to numerous claims being made by fraudulent parties, wasting taxpayer dollars.
Since the piece ran in The Times Thursday, several black farmers’ organizations and government officials have spoken out to refute its assertions.
“For over a century, African Americans were excluded from being recipients of federal farm legislation that provided swaths of land to European Americans that solidified their domination of the country’s land and natural resources,â€ said Tracy McCurty, co-executive director at the Black Belt Justice Center told the Grio. “It is unfortunate, and revelatory, that The New York Times did not take the journalistic high road to ensure that the narrative of the plight of African American farmers to receive a semblance of justice after decades of discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its personnel.â€
Read the whole story at the Grio