The following is the statement of John Boyd, founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association, and Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs, on the introduction of the Justice for Black Farmers Act, by Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).
The Justice for Black Farmers Act is the most ambitious legislative proposal ever developed to address historic and ongoing discrimination against Black farmers. Black farmers have been systemically denied access to land, subsidies, loans and other critical tools through government and private discrimination, and the institutional racism that has driven Black land loss is being reinforced through the USDA’s broken policies.
By providing new access to land and credit, the Justice for Black Farmers Act will help right these historic wrongs. By providing new oversight and accountability within the USDA, the Justice for Black Farmers Act will help address the roots of the USDA’s racist history. By making an unprecedented investment in training through historically Black colleges and universities and groups like the National Black Farmers Association, the Justice for Black Farmers Act will ensure that Black farmers have the tools they need to succeed.
These reforms are long overdue. But until we know the race of subsidy and loan recipients, we simply will not know whether these reforms have worked. We applaud the leadership of Sens. Booker, Warren and Gillibrand and urge Congress to make farm subsidy and loan transparency a priority as well.
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