So I wake up early this Sunday morning as usual. Go through the normal motions and I am ready to hit the ground running, writing.
I peruse facebook. I ran into an article reposted by a friend, from Urban Intellectuals in support of Black farmers, referencing in large part an older article by Blavity which made a very important point about the necessity of Black support for Black farmers, in lieu of supporting huge chains like Whole Foods who would rather support National Guardsmen and police who discriminate against us in our communities in lieu of the citizenry affected by civil unrest. But I digress… and will cover all of that in the blog that I originally intended to write, after having seen those blogs and thereby tickling me with excitement to write about the state of Black Farmers… I am still going to write that piece, by the way……
I am still in the process of completing the original blog, using totally unrelated incidents but introducing my stance on the fact that white supremacy directly interferes with the ability of Black people to be able to join in empathy or solidarity with the experiences or suffering of other human beings, which we should be able to do. I’m getting to it… don’t worry.
Anywho… As I researched the farms and farmers, that led me to organizations concerned with Black farmers such as the BFAA (Black Farmers & Agriculturalists Association) which inevitably led me to the cases against the USDA and the like, and so on. The most notable of these cases is the Pigford vs. Glickman case, which closed in 1999. On the BFAA website, I explored briefly to find the organization’s president’s blog and went there so that I could learn more detail on these cases. There were few comments on the first link that I clicked, and two of them set my soul on fire. But it was a slow burn. It almost didn’t occur to me. I will show you what I’m referring to:
Am I assuming the ethnicity or race of the individual who so eloquently gathered the first negative commenter and set them straight? No. Why? I believe that some people are able to be intelligent, objective while simultaneously aware of necessary context when it comes to history, status quo and racial discrimination in the United States. But I AM assuming that those two commenters crying about being scammed as taxpayers, are white. Why? Well, is that not normal? In my interest of looking at what one says and what one does not say, purposefully, I cannot help but pick this apart! It sticks out like a sore thumb… This overarching theme of “we must protect the taxpayers against the big bad negroes always wanting free shit trying to scam us out of our money”. Cut to Jeb Bush’s claims that Black people just want “free stuff.”
First of all, why was the assumption that the Black farmers are not taxpayers? The statements and questions themselves set the concerned farmers apart from taxpayers. Why is this the automatic response, resistance? And why is there resistance to what is clearly and simply, Black farmers or any Black people for that matter, asking to be fairly treated and compensated for having been attacked or discrminated against? So the discrmination is fair, but fighting against it isn’t? I wonder where this cry has been against banks and finance companies that not only almost caused a second Great Depression, but then for the lack of accountability and subsequent bailouts given by the US government to those same companies. I wonder where that cry has ever been about really anything going on in this country by which larger corporations receive tax breaks, abatements, less proportionate tax burden, refusing to pay employees and workers even a living wage or any compensation in proportion to the work that they provide, which actually is the heart and soul of said company, and then the taxpayers having to pick up the tab in public assistance . The list can go on. But there was no outcry in the same vein for the fact that clearly, the federal government abused taxpayers in the first place; the Black farmers. There was also clearly a feeling on the part of the government and its concerned banks and businesses, that they have the ability to misuse tax dollars (even if only in the taxpayers having to pick up the tab to resolve their abuse, even when the government or at least the banks financially benefitted from the abuse to begin with) in discriminating against CERTAIN taxpayers. AND if they think that that is okay, they certainly must feel like it would be okay to disenfranchise and rob any of us. But certainly, that is of no concern right, because the government wouldn’t do that…..
To put this to bed hopefully: the government should have to compensate its citizens for abusing them and destroying their lives. The government is supposed to protect and serve its people. Ya know… reparations. But that’s another topic… I digress… This lack of being able to see the humanity in Black people is purely disgusting, albeit ominpresent. Certainly some of it can be blamed on miseducation and what can be only gently called a failing history curriculum, nationwide. But there is something to be said about the obvious lack of desire to empathize with fellow Americans or even humans at all simply because they are Black. If the same story was posted but instead concerned chicken farmers in the midwest against Perdue, who are mostly white, I sincerely doubt that the same critique would have been made. The constant need to make Black people the dangerous other from which Americans need protecting is as old as America itself at this point . Yes, that is a legit New York Times article on cocaine crazed negroes from 1914. We see this and hear this time and again. We are not Americans, apparently. So this time, I was not able to complete my original task and focus on the research that I originally wanted in a timely fashion because I had to combat white supremacy and bring that foolishness to light. SMDH