President Biden’s COVID-19 stimulus package excludes White farmers from $5 billion in debt relief offered to non-White farmers (“Biden stimulus earmark for only non-White farmers blasted as racism,” Page I, April 1).
The Times quotes supporters of the bill defending this exclusion based on the claim that Black farmers suffered from “systemic discrimination” by the Departmen of Agriculture. But the bill doesn’t just give debt relief to Black farmers; it gives also to “Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian American farmers.”
Judges have ruled that discrimination against Black people can’t be remedied with affirmative action for all non-Whites. For example, a history of discrimination against Blacks didn’t justify an affirmative-action program that included Asians, according to a New Jersey appeals court. So in 2001 the court struck the whole program down in L. Feriozzi Concrete Co. v. CRDA.
Yet, the $5 billion in debt relief is available to all non-White groups, even though no discrimination against Asians or Pacific Islanders was ever alleged in the class-action lawsuit that supposedly shows “systemic discrimination” against Black individuals.
Moreover, the discrimination alleged in that lawsuit is just too old and stale to justify affirmative action, under court rulings such as Brunet v. City of Columbus (1993).