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BLACK FARMERS AND AGRICULTURIST ASSOCIATIONApril 5, 2016Eddie and Dorothy Wise’s farm was purchased by a neighboring white farmer for $260,000 at a public, forced, auction yesterday. The farm was sold as part of a foreclosure despite an established pattern of discrimination by local county FSA agents, a global expression of concern, a concerted effort of local advocates, and a Color of Change petition of 30,000 signatures calling for a halt to the foreclosure. We are heartsick, emotionally exhausted, and angry at this callous disregard for the livelihood of one of our brothers and sisters and their family. We also find it morally reprehensible.This post isn’t meant to summarize all that has been going on with this tragedy. Read up on this page https://www.facebook.com/BFAA.org/ to learn more details. When you do, you’ll find a lot of support among not only the Black farming community, but other groups and individuals concerned with the disappearance of the family farmer in this country and around the world. You’ll also find a handful of folks who ask questions and wonder about the financial skills and practices of the Wises. We want to take a minute to address this latter group because they reveal a hidden iceberg of suspicion and doubt that is a handmaiden of white supremacy and oppression.For these folks, there is always suspicion that Black folks are trying to pull a fast one, to get over, or otherwise get something undeserved and unearned through hard work. A damning criticism indeed in our society of believers in the fabled Horatio Alger story of upward mobility. In that story, success is earned through hard work, thrift, and discipline, a set of morally imbued characteristics that suggest character and virtue. So, by extension, those who suffer, are poor or otherwise not successful, are seen somehow as moral failures. They have, in this narrative, a character flaw, a defect. They are, somehow, morally deficient. The problem is, the characters in Horatio Alger’s novels were inventions just like the myth of the American Dream. Myths are powerful things, though, and serve important functions. They provide guidance just as frequently as they conceal truth. They don’t, however, describe reality. To view the Wise case as a personal failing is to ignore historical evidence, subscribe to a false notion of individualism, and support racializing views that reinforce white supremacy.Fact. Financial hardships and bailouts are everyday occurrences in modern agriculture, finance, and industry – recall the bank bailouts of 2009. Icons of success receive innumerable forms of assistance that directly contradict their self-proclaimed Horatio Alger narratives.Fact. Eddie and Dorothy Wise, like Black people across the US, were treated unfairly in matters directly affecting the securing and operating of their farm.To ask questions about why they missed payments, incurred so much debt, weren’t able to market their goods, etc. is to completely miss the point. Farmers and business people everywhere have financial struggles, only non-white folks also experience discrimination. The burdens of small producers everywhere are daunting. Pile on discrimination and it is impossible.But even worse, to ask these questions is to embrace a view of Black Americans that relies on racial stereotypes, fears, and a wholly imaginary white pathway. That white pathway, like the Horatio Alger stories, says that “I’m successful because of my effort. I didn’t get any help. I made tough choices.” It’s harmful and inaccurate to believe that story because it is applied in the reverse to the unsuccessful, impoverished, or destitute. Without knowing anything about others, it is too easy to simply say that those who aren’t successful must not be doing something right. They must not be working hard enough, be thrifty enough, or have enough personal character. These beliefs are factually unsupported, but mythically powerful things. That is, there simply isn’t evidence to support that the impoverished are lazy, unmotivated, or otherwise deficient, let alone morally deficient. Even more, it is harmful to assert the validity of the white pathway because it simply isn’t true. Hard work is great, but it isn’t the sole or primary purview of white people. It simply doesn’t explain the differences in poverty rates by race. In fact, there are many more poor white people than poor people of color in the US. The rates are higher for non-whites, but the numbers are clearly higher for whites. Rates of poverty, interestingly, are historically higher in rural areas than urban areas. These rural areas are overwhelmingly white. So, to impugn Eddie and Dorothy Wise’s financial practices is to enlist a host of familiar stereotypes, ignore the profound history of racial inequality, and reinforce a mythical imaginary of white success.The white neighbor who bought Eddie’s farm has had his eye on that property since 1993. Unsurprisingly he wanted to acquire neighboring property. During the farm crisis of the 1980s it was largely seen as bad form to try and purchase a struggling neighbor’s place. Why? Because, as members of a community, folks were to exercise restraint when faced with opportunities that came through the suffering of others. These values stemmed from a lot of things including the social bonds that emerge among community members, the engagement in shared forms of work, and, for many, deeply held Christian beliefs. The purchase of your struggling neighbor’s farm might happen, but only under extraordinary circumstances. To actively pursue it represented a moral failure.At the sale of the Wise farm there were two bidders. It turns out they were working together. One of the bidders was Eddie and Dorothy’s neighbor, the other had no intention of buying the property and simply served to help get the price to a “fair” level. Under normal foreclosure proceedings the person losing their farm typically has around 10 days to make a counter-offer and save their place. These types of protections are commonly seen as a way to give every opportunity to the landowner to stay on their place. This was not an option at this sale. Whether this is legal or not is under investigation. Regardless, to treat your neighbor as an opportunity rather than your responsibility is far from Christian. To aggressively and strategically maneuver to buy your struggling neighbor’s farm is a service to self, not a service to others.Selling the Wise farm illuminates the structural, racial, dimensions of inequality in this country. Buying Eddie and Dorothy Wise’s farm brings into clear view the moral failure of the white, Christian, community.Post Views: 656
Farming is one of the main staples in human life, unfortunately, Black farmers have struggled to get the same rights as White farmers. Today, Black farmers are still fighting for their rights. From 1920 to 2000, Blacks went from owning 20 million acres to 1,500,00 acres owned by Black farmers. U.S. Federal District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman consented to the decree on April 14, 1999. The settlement recognized discrimination against Black farmers. The settlement was the largest civil rights class action settlement in American history with over $2 billion. Black farmers continued to protest due to not receiving the money from the settlement and debt relief. Investigations were launched which led to the discovery that the USDA was holding back three quarters of the $2.3 billion. This led to another suit, Pigford II. To many Black farmers the claims amount of $50,000 was not sufficient, it has been more about access to loans, debt relief and land loss. The administration under leadership of President Obama that has claimed victory for our Black Farmers is far from the truth. The discrimination that contributed to the decline of the Black Farmer as well as loss of land, that lead to the Black Farmers Settlement, still persist. You can get involved and join this fight for our farmers by joining an organization.
Here is some information:
Black Farmers & Agruculturalis Association (BFAA) at email@example.com or call 252 826-3017.
https://www.gofundme.com/39m8623gPost Views: 399
We are calling for (minimally) one million Race-conscious Black voters to join forces with us, and as our One Million continue to hear and heed our call-to-arms, the abundance of talent, skills, and expertise to be found among you will readily become evident, and each of you will begin to find or make your place in our ranks, and take on assignments critical to our eventual success.
What is a “Conscious Black Voter?” The One Million Conscious Black Voters and Contributors Movement refers to Black individuals who are fully aware that our race needs the best-and-brightest we produce to place the interests of our people collectively in “first-position.” In doing so, we put into practice what all other racial and ethnic groups do routinely and automatically.
This is By calling the best and brightest among us to join forces and pool resources to build the capacity of our race to advance and protect its collective interests, the One Million Conscious Black Voters and Contributors campaign seeks to have black people do what other groups have done and do every day: Lift ourselves out of our lowly condition by our own collective efforts! A conscious Black voter would do this by voting as part of a solid block of Black voters determined to influence public policy decisions so that they favor rather than hurt black people, and open pathways to a better future for our children.
Correspondingly, a conscious Black contributor would readily pool his/her financial and other resources and resourcefulness to provide the wherewithal to underwrite the costs of projects and programs designed and intended to serve the needs and interests of our people.
To the skeptics out there who think Black folks are too individualistic to come together in such a large number, that one million Black folks will not cooperate, that we have too many schisms among us, and we will not trust one another, we say, “Not so.”
To the doubters who continue to have faith in Democratic AND Republican platforms, which have ignored our needs, collaborated against our best interests, and engaged in flawed analyses of problems and the solutions thereof, we say, “not so fast.”
We submit to you that even within the most reactionary, non-revolutionary Black person there is at least a REMNANT of a DESIRE to love Black people; and it is that residue of unrequited love that we are appealing to. Our assertion is that there are at least 1 million Black folks actively seeking for ways, means and reasons for us to come together to take corrective ACTION.
We invite you to become One of the Million Conscious Black Voters and help us break the ties that bind our people to dependency, self-negation, and the lowest rung on the political, social and economic ladder of American society.
Be “One of the Million” and let’s finally let our people and everyone else know that we are very serious about being economically and politically empowered.
PLEASE JOIN http://www.iamoneofthemillion.com/Post Views: 264