Obviously, the team here at the The Bigs has spent a lot of time covering the Pigford scandal and we plan to give you a lot more coverage in the coming weeks. But I've noticed something that's come up a number of times in comments and I'd like to take the chance to address it; the idea that the Pigford case is an unwinnable fight that’s over and done with.
This just isn’t true. Pigford is a battle we can win and the consequences are potentially huge.
First, let's address the issue of money. Between the first and second Pigford settlement about $2.5 billion dollars has been allocated. About half of that money has been sent out as payments for Pigford I and it's highly unlikely that any of that money is recoverable. That’s the bad news.
On the other hand, the billion and a half dollars that has been misallocated by President Obama for the Pigford II settlement has not been sent out yet. In fact no checks are expected to be written until 2012 at the earliest. That means that there's still time to get an investigation going that will stop those checks
– most of which we believe our investigation will show are scheduled to go to people who never farmed a day in their life -- from ever being cut.
One thing that the advocates of Pigford absolutely do not
want is an investigation. In fact as Georgia Democratic Congressman Sanford Bishop told a group of farmers, "If they investigate Pigford, they'll shut this thing down." You can also see this same attitude coming from the panicked responses of the "professional Pigford class"; those people like Thomas Burrell
and Dr. John Boyd
who run organizations that profit from the continuation of Pigford fraud.
Just as important, I still believe that there's a chance to get justice for the actual farmers
who face discrimination. However I think that this will only happen by first shutting down Pigford fraud and getting an investigation going.
So, how do we help get investigation started in Congress?
First, people like National Black Farmers Association president Dr. John Boyd need to be exposed for who they really are. That's because every time an investigation looks like it might happen in the Pigford settlement, John Boyd shows up at a press conference and creates pressure to not investigate.
Second, the real farmers need to be able to get their story out. There are three so-called "black farmers" groups and none of them are actually helping the real farmers tell their compelling stories because those stories include the massive fraud that is taking place in Pigford. So, there’s no group that’s anti-fraud and pro-farmer. I believe the bona fide farmers need a real advocacy group – one that is not beholden to groups like the Congressional cBlack Caucus, who were traitors to the farmers. We’re in the process of working with the bona fide farmers to try to help them get such a group set up and funded and we’ll have more to tell you about that soon.
Finally, pressure needs to be put on Republicans who supported Pigford; especially Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. Grassley has been abysmal on Pigford and he needs to start getting pressure from his constituents and Republicans nationwide.
We would not have spent all the time and resources that we have on the Pigford investigation if we didn't feel it was a fight that we could win. We know we can win but we need you. The mainstream media and political establishment are counting on you ignoring this story.
Winning means much more than just stopping the fraud; it also means pointing out clearly exactly who the fraud was created by and who the real victims are. When the rock of Pigford corruption is turned over and exposed to the light, voters will have a chance to see just how ugly the politics of race, big money and corruption really is.
Give Pigford your attention, help spread the word – and we can win.