The political queen of hypocrisy strikes again. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann is criticizing the U.S. government for adhering to a 1.2 billion dollar settlement for black farmers that faced blatant discrimination from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in past years. Considering that the U.S. government dishes out more than a hundred billion dollars in agriculture subsidies each year, it’s perplexing why Bachmann would complain about a decimal percentage of that budget going to right past wrongs. Of course, Bachmann’s family farm has received $260,000 in agricultural subsidies over the years, effectively cashing in on white privilege, as black farmers struggled to stay afloat.
More popularly known as the Pigford settlement, black farmers spent years being rejected by the USDA for loans and assistance, while white farmers were able to take advantage of the USDA’s support. Bachmann insists that there is “proof positive” fraud in the Pigford settlement, even though the USDA Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office denied 31% of applicant claims in the first settlement and the second settlement hasn’t even begun. Additionally, the second settlement has been passed with an assortment of new fraud provisions, and the above mentioned officials will continue audits and inspecting claims as they’re processed. If fraud is discovered, their findings will be sent straight to the Department of Justice and there will be consequences for fraudulent applications.
If Michele Bachmann hopes to be the first woman president of the United States of America, she has a lot to learn about the lingering impact of discrimination, and the many wrongs that the U.S. president must right. As she attempts to discredit the plight of black farmers, making unverified fraud accusations, it’s no wonder that she’s popularly viewed as a bigot and politician that’s out of touch with a reality.