Shirley Sherrod's $13mil win in lawsuit against USDA
- 2010/07/22 03:32:48
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It seems Shirley Sherrod was a co-founder of a minority group that filed a $1 BILLION law suit against the USDA. The largest lawsuit ever filed against the US government by a minority group. Her group settled for $13mil plus $300K for Mrs. Sherrod personally to be split with her husband. Tom Vilsak was Governor of IA at the time as well as the loser in the suit. Did he have a hidden agenda for firing Sherrod yesterday?
(YBH) – Shirley
Sherrod, the now former Georgia Director of Rural Development for
the Obama administration, was part of an historic settlement with the U.S.
Government recently. Ms. Sherrod is co-founder of a group, New
Communities, that took part in a lawsuit that successfully sued the government
over the rights of minority farmers. An article at the website www.ruraldevelopment.org discussed the case and the $13 million
dollar settlement and Ms. Sherrod’s own $150,000 settlement from Uncle
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 farmer’s 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
Over the years, USDA refused to provide loans for farming or irrigation and
would not allow New Communities to restructure its loans. Gradually, the group
had to fight just to hold on to the land and finally had to wind down
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).
Ms. Sherrod came under fire yesterday when it was revealed
that she made remarks to the NAACP where she talked about withholding help from
“white” farmers who she thought acted “superior” to her. Ms.
Sherrod sent the farmer to “one of his own,” as she put it. The
remarks were caught on videotape and discovered by Andrew
Breitbart’s Big Government
Ms. Sherrod told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that in
the end she wound up working for the “white” farmers for two years. She states
that she learned that race is less important than wealth from the episode which
occurred over 23 years ago. Full video of Ms. Sherrod’s remarks at the NAACP
dinner are unavailable at this time.
EDITED: To correct Vilsak's governship to IA where Sherrod's lawsuit was filed, not GA.
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