Skip to comments.Shirley Sherrod and the Pigford Settlement semi-scam
Posted on 07/21/2010 10:54:11 AM PDT by dennisw
Shirley Sherrod named Georgia Director of Rural Development
Minority Farm Settlement
Justice Achieved - Congratulations to Shirley and Charles Sherrod!
We have wonderful news regarding the case of New Communities, Inc., the land trust that Shirley and Charles Sherrod established, with other black farm families in the 1960's. At the time, with holdings of almost 6,000 acres, this was the largest tract of black-owned land in the country. Now with a cash award of historic proportions (13 million dollars), the group will be able to begin again.
In 1969, New Communities received a planning grant from OEO and was encouraged to expect substantial funding for implementation, but Governor Maddox would not permit further funds for the group to come into the state.
Nevertheless, New Communities built up farming operations to help retain the land. They had highway frontage where they had a farmers market to sell their crops. They raised hogs and sold the processed meat in a smokehouse they built on the highway. Their sugar cane mill on the highway also attracted customers. New Communities was ahead of the times in raising eight acres of Muscatine grapes, which are now widely grown in the area. They also farmed 1,500 acres of row crops, including corn, peanuts and soybeans.
Over the years, USDA refused to provide loans for farming or irrigation and would not allow New Communities to restructure its loans. (so obviously they got USDA loans, just not all the loans they asked for) Gradually, the group had to fight just to hold on to the land and finally had to wind down operations.
In 1985, as the land was being lost, Shirley entered the RDLN program. Previously, she had worked behind the scenes, but as she participated in RDLN, she began to realize her capacity as an up-front leader. She invited the Federation of Southern Cooperatives to sponsor her in the RDLN program, earned her master's degree with a thesis that continues to provide a blueprint for her ongoing work with black farmers and others, helped orient all succeeding groups of RDLN Leaders, and became vice chair of RDLN's Board of Directors. As you all know, Shirley is Georgia Lead for both the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund and the Southern Rural Black Women's Initiative. She has also chaired the board of the Farmers Legal Action Group, which has been active in the minority farmers law suit, along with the Federation and other groups. FSC and SRBWI hosted RDLN's National Network Assembly in 2006, during which Network members had a chance to immerse themselves in Civil Rights history, with the guidance of Shirley and Charles (the first field director of SNCC), Albany singers and others, and to visit the economic development projects that have grown out of that Civil Rights history.
The cash award acknowledges racial discrimination on the part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the years 1981-85. (President Reagan abolished the USDA Office of Civil Rights when he became President in 1981.) New Communities is due to receive approximately $13 million ($8,247,560 for loss of land and $4,241,602 for loss of income; plus $150,000 each to Shirley and Charles for pain and suffering). There may also be an unspecified amount in forgiveness of debt. This is the largest award so far in the minority farmers law suit (Pigford vs Vilsack).
The attorney for New Communities has been Rose Sanders of Chestnut Sanders and Sanders, sister of National Rural Fellows graduate Harold Gaines and Advisor for RDLN Leaders Lillie Fields and Rose Hill.
No one can compensate those involved with New Communities for the difficult history they experienced. The award covers only a few of the years in question. Nevertheless, with these funds, New Communities will be able to start work again -- forty years later -- to realize the promise of their original dream, reconnect with the legacy of the Civil Rights movement, and meet the challenge of the needs and opportunities of the current historical moment.
(Read about this also in The Greene County Democrat issues July 15 and July 22.)
Shirley Sherrod (2nd from r) receiving Harold Gaines Award during her graduation celebration for earning a masters degree from Antioch University, at the RDLN Assembly in Cherokee country In Oklahoma, with Rose Sanders (r), Harold Gaines sister,who became Shirleys attorney on the minority farmers law suit, Joyce Gaines, Harolds wife, Kenyatta, his son, and Gus Townes (l), Harolds friend, National Rural Fellows Graduate, now with the Montgomery Transportation Coalition in Alabama.
RDLN Graduate and Board Vice Chair Shirley Sherrod was appointed Georgia Director for Rural Development by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on July 25. Only days earlier, she learned that New Communities, a group she founded with her husband and other families (see below) has won a thirteen million dollar settlement in the minority farmers law suit Pigford vs Vilsack.
In announcing the appointment of Shirley and other new officials, Secretary Vilsack said that "These individuals will be important advocates on behalf of rural communities in states throughout the country and help administer the valuable programs and services provided by the USDA that can enhance their economic success."
Shirley is a graduate in the first group of RDLN Leaders and serves as Vice Chair of our Board of Directors. She earned her master's degree from Antioch through RDLN, has helped orient every group of RDLN participants, and has taken leadership in many other ways. She serves as Georgia lead for both the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund and the Southern Rural Black Women's Initiative (SRBWI).
Shirley Sherrod (Center) with Charles Sherrod, RDLN Board Member The Honorable Dr. Unita Blackwell (l), RDLN Graduate Cynthia Ellis of Belize, Central America (2nd from right), and RDLN President Starry Krueger at the Charles Sherrod Civil Rights Park in Albany, Georgia during RDLN's National Network Assembly in 2006.
Lots of fakers and scammers (can you say reparations?) got in on the Pigford action which is worth ~$50,000 to an individual, the average settlement
This whole thing is orchestrated.
Shirley is solidly "one of them"....them, of course being the enlightened Progressive thugs destroying this nation.
Shame on you if did what Shirley does, and refer to people that way based on skin color!
Hmmm...how many got money? Is it going to farming? We would like to know. I think a BIG can of worms just opened up. Good find!
Did anyone ever think to ask, why the NAACP and the White House was doing something so way out of character?? Few bothered to think outside their vanilla box. (and that's a real estate developer term)
And if you care what I think about yesterday's media crows after one ear of corn .. post #13
I know what the petition says...with the personal attacks made directed to the same link (story) as you posted..with another. ;)
Then in February, the farmers and the Obama administration reached a settlement to pay out an additional $1.15 billion, and President Obama, who co-sponsored the 2008 measure as a senator, included the money in his proposed budget for the 2011 fiscal year.
The amount each farmer will receive will not be determined until all the claims have been vetted, said Andrew Marks, a lawyer with Crowell & Moring in Washington, one of the firms representing the farmers. Some 30,000 claims have been filed, he said, and lawyers expect a significant number of additional claims.
In the 1999 settlement, successful plaintiffs filing basic claims received $50,000 tax free. The money is half what the farmers sought, but the administrations promise of a quick resolution prompted them to accept the deal, Mr. Boyd said.
Congress missed a March 31 deadline set by the administration to provide financing, which would have allowed payments to start by the summer of 2011.
The farmers agreed to give the government an extension through May 31. The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that includes the settlement.
The settlement has strong support across party lines, but some lawmakers are worried that the bills costs have not been offset by corresponding cuts in spending.
If Congress misses another deadline, the farmers can withdraw from the settlement, which most are reluctant to do.
Mr. Boyd suggested that Mr. Obama circumvent Congress and pay farmers out of the same special Treasury Department fund used to pay Pigford claims.
So far, Mr. Obama has deferred to Congress. Some farmers have speculated that the president is shying away from the issue because it involves race. The White House said that was untrue.
The presidents approach to this is not based on the color of skin but because of what is right, said Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary.
Ramona Emilia Romero
[Agriculture Department logo]
Announced: June 25, 2010
* Education: Barnard College, BA; Harvard University, JD
* Ethnicity: Hispanic
* Gender: Female
* Crowell & Moring, litigator
So, we are to believe the color of skin didn’t come into play?
I need to do a lot of reading.
Looks like there’s a dennis here too. My post went through to you without adding the w. Yikes!
Check out google results #3 and #4 for good insight on the Pigford scammers
Hi...check out post #12 for some good stuff on Pigford. I have never seen a post from “dennis”
I second his conclusion that the media and bloggers shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss Shirley Sherrod. Let me start by adding another question to the list. In her position at not for profit, Rural Development Leadership Network, a network of activists and community builder, was Sherrod involved in any way in encouraging people to submit fraudulent claims under Pigford? Did she put black people who owned rural land in touch with lawyers who would file the paperwork claiming attempts to farm had been prevented by the non cooperation of the local USDA?
I ask because there are a multitude of small parcels of non productive rural land all across the south, land unsuitable for mechanized agriculture that was once owned by subsistence farmers, black and white alike. Many of these parcels continue to be owned by family members who moved elsewhere out of sentimental reasons. The property taxes and other carrying costs are cheap and often ancestors are buried there in family plots. A drive on any country road in the South may turn up several carefully maintained postage stamp sized family cemeteries. As I read Blumer, I wondered how many of the owners claimed they had attempted to farm just such acreage to score a fast $50,000 from Uncle Sam?
Bingo...Hold onto this stuff....
Posted by: MBAMichael Jul 21, 07:12 AM
Billions of dollars are being paid out. Many of those filing PIGFORD claims had farm loans that defaulted - apparently, the farmers were bad farmers and/or bad debtors and now want to claim they did not get equal treatment from the government. Many of the claims are from people that participated in the farm loan program 40 years ago. The Pigford matter consumes huge resources from the USDA long past the time the case was settled. USDA employees are not managing agriculture assistance so much as they are now managing a welfare sytem to settle decade-old claims of discrimination from Hispanic, Native American, Female, and Black people.
97cv01978). In response, lawyers from the Pro Bono Com- mittee and the firms of Arnold & Porter and Crowell & Moring recruited some of Washington’s largest law firms: Covington & Burling; Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood; Step- toe & Johnson; Swidler, Berlin, Shereff & Friedman; and Wilmer, Cutler, and Pickering. The district court, recogniz- ing the competing demands on class counsel arising out of their representation of multiple claimants in both tracks and at various stages of the claims resolution process, hoped that this added assistance would lift the “heavy burden of Track B litigation from the shoulders of Class Counsel,” enabling them to “focus on the petition [for monitor review] process.” Pig- ford, 143 F. Supp. 2d at 30 n.1.
February 18, 2010
Government Announces $1.25 Billion Settlement in Black Farmer Litigation
Crowell & Moring partner Andrew Marks, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said he looks forward to working with the administration to ensure the necessary funding is provided. We are very pleased that we have been able to reach a settlement that will at long last provide meaningful relief to tens of thousands of black farmers who were the victims of decades of race discrimination by the government, Marks said.
An example of the Third World sack of American wealth.
Major discovery there maggie. Obama put one of the fraud hack PIGSFORDS lawyers in the Ag Department. These people are robbing this country blind! Thanks for the info. Going to share this with a few people.
BTW...isn’t it pure irony that these pigs are lining up at the government trough and the lawsuit name is so fitting! None of these people even had to prove ANYTHING!! That is what is so bad. When you read about this case, it is rift with fraud and our government doesn’t do a damn thing. It makes my blood boil. I have no problem with people seeking genuine redress from our government, but this is a total race card sham and shakedown!
That link deserves a thread of it’s own. I am glad that some bloggers and news people are starting to question this stuff. Some of us on FReepers have been pointing this way since the night this stuff broke.
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