When looking at the possibility of fraud in the Pigford settlement, one of the big red flags that goes up for many people is a disparity between the number of claims and the number of black farmers.
Between the first and second Pigford settlements, there had been over 90,000 claims filed but as agricultural news source Agri-Pulse points out…
…confronted with the skyrocketing federal deficit, more officials are taking a critical look at the billion dollars spent thus far and wondering when these discrimination cases will ever end. Already, the number of people who have been paid and are still seeking payment will likely exceed the 26,785 black farmers who were considered to even be operating back you in 1997, according to USDA.
Despite that obvious disparity, the defenders of Pigford have any number of explanations to justify nearly four times the number of claims as there were farmers. Last night while doing research on Pigford I found an even more jarring statistical difference that I’ve never heard anyone point out.
According to this 2007 Census report on black farmers, the overwhelming majority of black farmers are men – 86%. In case you’re wondering, the number is exactly the same for white farmers; in other words, most farmers are men.
But the majority of successful Pigford claimants are women.
So 14% got over 50% of the claims? I’m sure the professional Pigford defenders will have plenty of ready-made excuses for this as well but those numbers do jump right out at you, don’t they?