Video still of African-American farmers gathered at Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham, Alabama for news conference about the lawsuit. Courtesy of WBRC
by Abdul Sada, theGrio
Around half a dozen African-American farmers in Alabama are filing a class action lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture for alleged discrimination.
The farmers are suing the federal agency because they alleged that loans provided to white farmers were not provided to them.
“Black folk, y’all need to wake up. Wake up black folk. This is what is going on in the United States. They don’t want us here. But it’s OK, we’re here,” said Mike Stovall, a farmer from Town Creek, Alabama.
According to Fox WBRC, a $1.2 billion settlement had been offered in this case; however, the Birmingham farmers say they are not part of that class action case, and theirs is an independent lawsuit that has yet to be addressed.
Robert Binion, a farmer from Clanton, Alabama, said, “The black farmer lawsuit started in 1999. They have tried on several occasions to pay us but they have failed to pay all of us.”
The black farmers are urging President Obama to get involved so that the Department of Agriculture can settle their lawsuit in a timely manner.
The farmers have also alleged that the federal government is trying to force them to sell their properties.