Feb. 9, 2022
Source: Dr. John Boyd news release
A Black farmer is speaking out amidst the legal battle over $4 billion in federal aid meant to help minority farmers.
President Joe Biden signed off on a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package almost a year ago, and part of that money was meant to assist minority farmers facing serious debt during a crippling global pandemic. However, white farmers alleging discrimination have contested the aid in courts across the country, meaning the money cannot be paid out to those who need it.
"It's a do-or-die for a guy who owes a couple hundred thousand dollars to the government," Boyd says, adding that he's been trying to get a meeting with the president over the stalled money. "They're saying they can't interfere with the courts is what they're telling me ... and I'm saying that it's got to be something that can be done."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture told The Hill in a statement that it "continues to work closely with the Department of Justice to vigorously defend" the allocated funding. The agency also found that Black farmers own less than 2% of the nation's farms while white farmers own over 96%, citing rampant discrimination over the nation's history.
Boyd himself described the racial epithets and disparity he's experienced ever since he started farming at 18. The Virginia farmer was also the subject of a public battle with then-USDA agent James Barnett, alleging discrimination when Boyd was denied a loan.
"He was only seeing Black farmers on Wednesday, and he carried on with the discrimination like this is what he does every day," Boyd recalls. His civil rights advocacy also extends to eye-catching demonstrations, such as riding his mule to Washington D.C., and reaching out to lawmakers.
"We can't just be consumers as Blacks. We got to be at the table and a part of these companies making sure that we get our part here, too," according to Boyd.
Almost a year after Black farmers were set to receive $4 billion in federal funds, they have still not seen a dime of those funds, which are being held up in lawsuits filed by white farmers arguing that the bill racially discriminates against them.
According to a new report in The Hill, fourth-generation farmer and the president of the National Black Farmers Association John Boyd Jr. says he's not going to go away and he's calling on the White House to follow through on a meeting he says was supposed to materialize with President Biden but has not yet taken place. Boyd Jr. joins Charles Blow on "Prime" to discuss.
NBFA President John W. Boyd accused PepsiCo of reneging on its commitment to increase its contracts with Black farmers after a year of talks with his organization.
"We are asking everyone to stop buying all PepsiCo products and refuse to attend NFL games or watch the Super Bowl until the NFL and PepsiCo stop discriminating against Black people and Black Farmers. We are now open to new relationships with companies who value the work of NBFA."
For interviews, contact John Boyd at Johnwesleyboydjr@gmail.com or at 804-691-8528.
John Boyd, Jr., Founder and President, National Black Farmers Association, is a 4th generation Black Farmer in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. Boyd sued the US Dept of Agriculture (USDA) and received a Fact of Finding for Racial Discrimination Based on Race Black which led to the 1st USDA Discrimination settlement by an individual. Boyd went on to assist 10,000s of other Black and minority farmers to file discrimination complaints, lawsuits and class actions against USDA. KJ "Skippa Mak" Marley, son of Kymani Marley, is an international hip-hop artist infusing reggae and dancehall, while invoking the unmistakable musical spirit of his legendary grandfather Bob Marley to speak Truth to Power.
Upon learning White Farmers are suing USDA for Reverse Discrimination to prevent the payment of $5 Billion in Emergency Relief for Black and other Farmers of Color, John Boyd and KJ Skippa Mak Marley collaborated with Big Victories and Zoo Ground Productions to release a single "The Land" to highlight the historical and ongoing racial discrimination and land loss suffered by Native Americans and Black Farmers in the United States.
Zoo Ground Productions - The Land https://unitedmasters.com/m/6197c2046b55ac3145f48ea4