A group of Midwestern farmers sued the federal government alleging they’re denied access to a government COVID loan forgiveness plan because they’re white.
Farmers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Ohio who filed the suit on Thursday say that the $4 billion program only helps “socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers who are Black, American Indian, Hispanic, Alaskan native, Asian American or Pacific Islander,” according to the Associated Press.
“Were plaintiffs eligible for the loan forgiveness benefit, they would have the opportunity to make additional investments in their property, expand their farms, purchase equipment and supplies, and otherwise support their families and local communities,” the lawsuit said. “Because plaintiffs are ineligible to even apply for the program solely due to their race, they have been denied the equal protection of the law and therefore suffered harm.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a statement saying it was reviewing the lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Justice, but that the USDA plans to continue to offer loan forgiveness to “socially disadvantaged” farmers.
Attorneys for the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed the action on the white farmers’ behalf in federal court in Green Bay.
The filing seeks a court order prohibiting the USDA from applying racial classifications when determining eligibility for loan modifications and payments under the stimulus plan. It also seeks unspecified damages.
“USDA has taken important steps toward enacting these debt relief provisions, including contacting lenders, distributing resources on loan forgiveness, and collecting data on eligible borrowers,” the USDA said in a statement.
It’s not really the USDA’s fault. The loan forgiveness program was invented in Congress and became part of the pandemic relief bill. The bureaucrats were just following the law.
But it raises the question that we’re not supposed to raise: if there’s no such thing as “reverse discrimination,” is this the left’s idea of “justice”? It’s justice for those “disadvantaged” farmers who are the proper color. But where’s the “justice” for farmers who aren’t lucky enough to be one of the chosen?
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is handling the suit for the white farmers.
The lawsuit argues the federal government’s reasoning for making the loan forgiveness race-based — to help end systemic racism — isn’t a compelling enough interest to provide a discriminatory benefit and override the constitutional ban on race discrimination.
“Conditioning benefits from the federal government on the basis of race is unconstitutional,” said WILL president and general counsel Rick Esenberg. “WILL is committed to ensuring that the current threats to the bedrock principle of equality under the law, something that many generations have worked tirelessly to achieve, are challenged and fought.”
Any kind of discrimination wrong. You don’t need “diversity” to see that. “Righting historic wrongs” is fine, but why do it on the backs of innocent people?
Back in the 1970s when this nonsense first started there were warnings from prominent conservatives that trying to end discrimination against some by discriminating against others would divide society by race. Looks like they were right.