RFK Jr. vows to give $5 billion for Black farmers in an effort to 'return stolen property'

Although President Biden’s efforts to give farmers financial assistance based on race was ruled as unconstitutional in court, independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy has put forward a proposal to give Black farmers $5 billion.

Kennedy promised $5 billion to Black farmers during a podcast interview with the founder of the National Black Farmers Association (NBFA). They discussed how Black farmers failed to get financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that was allocated in Biden’s America Rescue Plan in 2021 after incurring loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I can tell you that when I’m in the White House, you’re going to be out there the first week, I’m going to get rid of those people in USDA and get that money,” Kennedy said on a podcast with John Boyd Jr., the founder of the NBFA.

Boyd Jr. highlighted that Biden has prioritized tackling student debt relief but not the “debt relief” Black farmers need.

Boyd Jr. vowed not to support Biden’s reelection bid due to his lack of attention to the “struggling Black farmers who are losing their land.” He said the USDA was allowed to foreclose on farmers who sought assistance from the $5 billion debt relief that would’ve been available in the American Rescue Plan Act.

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Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks at a Cesar Chavez Day event at Union Station on March 30, 2024, in Los Angeles, California. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Biden wanted to help “socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers” farmers recover from financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. Per the USDA’s agricultural website, “socially disadvantaged farmers” were “defined as a group whose members have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities.”

“That $5 billion is not money, that is an entitlement,” Kennedy said. “It’s money that was a loan that Black farmers were entitled to way back then and was stolen from them through discrimination. You can testify it was personally stolen from you and that’s what the court found.”

John Boyd Jr., the founder of the National Black Farmers Association, said that President Biden has prioritized tackling student debt relief, but not the “debt relief” Black farmers need.  (Photographer: Jacquelyn Martin/AP/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Kennedy added that the USDA is “broken from the top down.”

“If you were Black, you wouldn’t get it and that’s wrong … and I don’t think anybody who views the values of this country think that that’s a good idea so I’m going to fix that,” Kennedy said.

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The provision to help “socially disadvantaged farmers” was challenged in court by two lawsuits claiming reverse discrimination by the Wisconsin Institute For Law & Liberty (WILL) and America First Legal (AFL).

WILL sent Fox News Digital a statement about Kennedy’s comments.

“Providing benefits to Black farmers because they are Black, and excluding other farmers because they aren’t, is unconstitutional race discrimination,” Dan Lennington, deputy counsel of WILL, said. “The Supreme Court has held that race may never be used as a negative against anyone, or as a stereotype to automatically provide benefits based on race. This proposal does both.”

WILL was successful in getting the first nationwide injunction against the Farmer Loan Forgiveness Program in 2021. The program was frozen after the injunction. Congress eventually repealed the program through the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022.

Rod Bradshaw stands in a field of wheat on his farm near Jetmore, Kan.  (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel File)

Kennedy’s campaign told the New York Post that the money isn’t an “entitlement” but a result of a class action discrimination lawsuit.

“This is a return of stolen property, not an entitlement. Black [sic] farmers won a class action discrimination lawsuit and were awarded damages,” the statement reads. “White farmers — farmers of all races — have legitimate grievances, too. The system is stacked against small farms and family farms, slowly robbing them of their land and livelihood. I am going to break the vise grip of giant agribusinesses, and change regulations and subsidies to favor small farmers.”

Joshua Q. Nelson is a reporter for Fox News Digital.

Joshua focuses on politics, education policy ranging from the local to the federal level, and the parental uprising in education.

Joining Fox News Digital in 2019, he previously graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Political Science and is an alum of the National Journalism Center and the Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. 

Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and Joshua can be followed on Twitter and LinkedIn

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