Opinion: Fairness of agricultural loans | Big tower
Woody Guthrie had a lot to say about the greed of bankers who gave crop loans at usurious interest rates to ungrateful farmers, then grabbed them when they couldn’t repay the loans, leaving thousands of farm families homeless. Woody laughed at them with a sarcastic hymn, chanting “I’m a Happy Banker, I’m a Happy Banker”. He also wrote a scathing line about their flight: “Some will fly with a six gun / some with a fountain pen. “
But even this popular populist poet would be amazed at the brazen relentlessness of today’s agricultural lenders. After decades of systemic and outrageous discrimination by bankers against blacks and other minority farmers, the Biden administration is now poised to repay the onerous level of long-term bank debt that has shackled these good farmers, thus giving them a good chance to move forward. .
“Oh no!” cried the American Bankers Association and other farm lender groups. Why? After all, they would get the money they loaned back. Yes, say the pens, “but we would lose the interest payments that each of these farmers should have sent us over the next few months. We want American taxpayers to cover the total interest income that we would have obtained by defrauding black, Latino, native and other minority farmers.
They insist that their profits and the financial interests of their wealthy investors must take precedence over the needs of a group of non-white farmers.
But wait, the greed of the bankers is escalating! If the government does not fully compensate them for their so-called “lost interest income,” farm lenders (backed by Wall Street barons) are openly threatening to cut future loans to farmers and ranchers of color.
So the drumbeat of the merry bankers of rank discrimination continues to hammer. To help stop it, connect with the National Black Farmers Association: BlackFarmers.org.
Meanwhile, in Texas … state agriculture commissioner Sid Miller is the only senior state official ready to take a bold stand against racial discrimination. Miller proudly went to court in April, claiming that Biden’s loan repayment program discriminated against a particular group of underprivileged agricultural producers. Namely, his group – white farmers and ranchers like him!
So Sid, a breeder and former rodeo performer, bawls and sniffs through his big white cowboy hat that the way to stop racial discrimination is to let white discriminators also get money against discrimination from from the federal government. This is what sounds like logic when you wear a $ 1000 hat like Sid is strutting around. But, as a real cowboy once told me, “It’s not the hat, it’s the head.” And right there is Miller’s problem – he’s got a thousand dollar hat on a ten cent head.
However, he is not the real “thinker” behind this wacky legal claim. This distinction goes to another Miller, a named Stephen. He is a political agent of Trump, an anti-immigrant extremist and a fanatic promoter of white nationalism – a specialist in frivolous prosecutions. Indeed, Stephen wrote Sid’s plaintive plea to provide “racial justice” to rich and powerful white ranchers like him, and just days before filing a complaint, Stephen set up a political front group called America First Legal. Foundation to move the case forward.
You’d think this ridiculous racial bigotry would be ridiculed out of court, but the case went to a hyper-partisan right-wing judge who has supported such Republican legal ploys in the past. So, yippy-ti-yi-yo, let’s go for another right-wing rodeo, let’s go!