Washington, February 20 (RHC)– The Barack Obama administration has reached a $1.25 billion dollar settlement in a class-action lawsuit over longtime racial discrimination against African-American farmers in the United States.
The government settled a first round of claims in 1999 after a group of farmers accused the Department of Agriculture of systemically denying them aid and loans granted to white counterparts. The discriminatory policy forced farmers to lose their land or plunged them deeply into debt. The new settlement would cover farmers denied payments under the initial settlement. The deal now awaits Congressional approval.
John Boyd, a lead plaintiff and head of the National Black Farmers Association, said he agreed to the $1.25 billion dollar settlement despite viewing it as insufficient. Boyd said: “Many of the farmers have already died waiting for justice, so I thought this was the right thing to do.”