Politico: 'Unfair Treatment' of Original Pigford Plaintiffs 'Personal Cause for Breitbart'
In a 5,000 word, front page investigative piece published Friday morning, The New York Times fully vindicated Andrew Breitbart's journalistic crusade to expose the abuse of a government program that became known as Pigford. Politico not only took notice of this, but captured perfectly just what it was about the story that drove Andrew Breitbart:
The original black farmers’ case, called Pigford vs. Glickman, and the unfair treatment of many of the original plaintiffs in the suit, became a personal cause for Breitbart, who died in 2012 of a heart attack.
Yes, Pigford was and still is a story of government corruption involving (among others) Barack Obama as both a U.S. senator and president. But anyone who spoke to Andrew about Pigford knows that it was the injustice directed at those who had been legitimately discriminated against that fueled his righteous crusade. Men like Jimmy Dismuke:
There was discrimination at the US Department of Agriculture. It needed to be dealt with. I was suing the USDA before Timothy Pigford even filed suit. I wrote to attorney Al Pires, who eventually filed a class action lawsuit against the USDA, but he saw that there wasn’t going to be a huge amount of money for him. So he passed. What he did find was a way to work a scam from inside the Star City, Arkansas USDA office by paying a USDA employee to process claimants. This employee would take from $5,000 to $25,000 for each successful Pigford claim. Pires was in this totally for the money. He’s made far more money than any black farmer.
The original plaintiffs -- black farmers who ended up getting screwed by what turned into a vote-buying slush fund -- their plight is what drove Andrew. And for picking up the flag of their case, Andrew was smeared as a racist, relentlessly undermined by Media Matters and other left-wing outlets, and even told to give it up by some on the right.
The last time I spoke to Andrew, a little over a day before his death, we spoke of many things, but Pigford was most certainly one of them. Justice for these farmers was his burning passion on that day. And on this day, and from the most unlikely of sources, Andrew's courage and willingness to take arrows for others has brought America's Jimmy Dismukes closer to justice.
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