Even with his former boss out of power, former Donald Trump aide Stephen Miller continues his hateful war against people of color. A legal group founded by Miller, architect of Trump’s anti-immigration and child separation policies, and former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, has filed a lawsuit claiming that President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan discriminates against white farmers.
The $1.9 trillion plan signed last month by Biden is intended to address long-standing inequities. Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack said in announcing the plan, “For generations, socially disadvantaged farmers have struggled to fully succeed due to systemic discrimination and a cycle of debt. On top of the economic pain caused by the pandemic, farmers from socially disadvantaged communities are dealing with a disproportionate share of COVID-19 infection rates, hospitalizations, death and economic hurt.”
Miller, Meadows and their legal group America First Legal apparently have a problem with the roughly $5 billion set aside for loan forgiveness for “socially disadvantaged” farmers and ranchers out of the massive $1.9 trillion spending plan. Their chief complaint, according to the lawsuit, is that “the Department of Agriculture interprets this phrase to include African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Alaskan natives, Asian-Americans, and Pacific Islanders…but white farmers and ranchers are not included within the definition of ‘socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers,’ making them ineligible for aid under these federal programs.” They argue that all ethnic groups, “including (but not limited to) Irish, Italians, Germans, Jews and eastern Europeans” specifically should be recognized as “socially disadvantaged.”
Last year under Trump the U.S. Department of Agriculture set aside $9.2 billion in pandemic aide for farmers. A study by the Environmental Working Group found that 97 percent of that money went to white farmers. It also showed that white farmers were paid about four times more than Black farmers.