We celebrate the National Black Agriculture Awareness Week, 2012 Theme: Now is the Time! Time to Raise more Black Farmers and Nurture Existing Black Farmers.
SACRAMENTO, CA ~ Our State of California is poised to lead a U.S. Economic Recovery leveraging the bounty of “California Grown” fresh fruits and vegetables properly labeled with quantifed nutritional content.
Our California Black Agriculture Working Group is focused upon “Restoring Agriculture as the Foundation of Black Culture in California and competiting in the global marketplace.
Together, we propose, plan and participate in programs that expand and measure participation rates, program utilization, contracting opportunities and employment opportunities in collaborative partnership with USDA, CDFA, related California Ag industries and Government agencies.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, continues to lead an Obama Administration efforts to settle Pigford II class action claims, up to 1.25 billion dollars of potential payments to finally resolve claims of past discrimination targeted to close festering wounds from last century. Under Secretary Vilsack's leadership, USDA has instituted a comprehensive plan to strengthen the Department as a model service provider and to ensure that every farmer and rancher is treated equally and fairly as part of "a new era of civil rights" at USDA. Our effort eye is fixed upon the prize of participating in global competition.
We celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the creation of the USDA, “articulating a new generation of ideas and a new approach growing, New Farmers in America.” “We build upon quantified past success fueling targeted growth and development stimulating job creation, career development and sustained economic growth,” according to Michael Harris, Chair, California Black Agriculture Working Group.
Resent proposed change to U.S. Farm Service Agency (FSA) regulations may stimulate new participation of Black Agriculture producers in other USDA programs and support expanded government-to-government relations between USDA and the Pan African Diaspora.
What is certain, expanded trade and commerce with the Pan African Diaspora will target Global Banking, Agriculture Transportation, Health and Human Services investment and trade in a seamless alignment with announced 3 billion investment through the Grow Africa Fund and other international efforts for mutual beneficial trade and commerce.
Our collaborative partners are excited to consider our proposed 300 million dollar California Black Agriculture Development Fund essential for expanding capacity of local production, processing and distribution facilities connected with global import and export operations.
We invite all interested stakeholders to join us during the 3rd Annual, Pan African Global Trade and Investment Conference, September 6-8, 2012, Los Angeles. California. We have identified and targeted key stakeholders to implement strategic plans of action worthy of secure investment resources.
Shirley and Reverend Sherrod, continue to demonstrate by example, for well over 40 year's, the “content of character" that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke about not too long ago… August 1963.
“Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."
"But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice."
Pigford, a one word prayer.
Now 10 years within the 21st Century, Black Agriculture in America remains best qualified to quantify the “Sacred Obligation,” Dr. King spoke about in reference to our level of inclusion into the spirit of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence for all Black Americans, in our wonderful ethnic cultural diversity.
Andrew Brietbart, Glenn Beck, and many National Tea Party Federation members share motives that are clearly politically filled with demonstrated values and beliefs that motivate expansion of ongoing systemic institutional racism in America, best viewed in the the original language of the U.S. Constitution crafted around the time of the original "Tea Party" with the first shot taken by Crispus Attucks.
Accompaning that desire is a "fear" by far too many top Obama Administration officials to openly challenge festering hate with a probable desire not to expose their own hidden bias and preferences that could impact personal economic opportunity.
U.S. Senator Coburn, a proud Okie from Muskogee, continues his maverick ways by demanding accountability from tax payer resources.
Imagine the courage to suggest freezing military spending... hmmm, maybe even questioning if U.S. military spending should remain more that the rest of the world combined, just following Senator Coburn's conversation... U.S. Security is paramount.
Deacon Coburn is strong in his conviction to a higher standard of accountability that is required by Southern Baptist’s , black or white, many who continue to share a connection to an uniquely American relationship to “previous condition of servitude” shaped by religious belief in unique translated scripture for eternal economic exploitation.
“A New Foundation” at the USDA will require strong support for “Transformative Cultural Change” beginning with active demonstrative leadership throughout all the USDA Agencies of the President Obama Administration, the “People’s Department” especially in the pockets of abject poverty where Federal resources have never touched the hands of Black Agriculture producers.
We must support USDA officials tasked with reforming official U.S. Agriculture Policy in the 2012 Farm Bill conversation and build upon efforts to support a new generation sharing the painful lessons of the past century destruction of Black Farmers in America.
The survival tactics barely worked, those same survival tactics cannot be utilized to build a positive new paradigm restoring the dismal current reality to equity and equal opportunity.
Clearly, an “open secret” of underlying values and beliefs remains on full display in the communications leading to the rushed dismissal of Shirley Sherrod by Senior USDA Officials. The ongoing key learnings will impact will forever the United States Department of Agriculture for the benefit of our nation and beyond.
“One standard for humanity” remains a distant long term goal best measured by Dr. King’s observation, “It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.”
Black Farmers continue to obtain fewer government services and if we extrapolate the collected data from the National Agricultural Statistic Service as a guide, as Senator Coburn would seem to suggest, massive fraud, in a small aspect of our 130+ billion Ag appropriations would lead to equity and equal opportunity if accountability was shared across all sectors of the USDA.
Today, Black Agriculture producers, earn less than 10% of White Agriculture producers according to U.S. Agriculture Census data, notwithstanding measured progress in the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008.
Today, official U.S. Agriculture policy mandates a continued separate and unequal methodology for accessing USDA services and programs predicated upon a 1862 vs. 1890 value and belief system yet, somehow this disparaging U.S. Agriculture policy is not seen by the hawkish eye of U.S. Senator Coburn and other stanch conservatives necessary for a good balance and healthy dialogue.
A New Foundation at the USDA will require Congressional action to poise a 21st century U.S. Agriculture industry toward massive job creation, career development in rural and urban America.
Conservative Democrats, Liberal Republicans and other recipients of “economic white male economic privilege ” facilitated by a negation of human rights imposed upon generations of enslaved Africans for an “undocumented lifetime of productive utility” is cloaked in a nostalgic wish for a return to the original “Tea Party” harvested with "slave labor" today called "undocumented labor" outside the scope of U.S. Labor Laws.
2012 Farm Bill conversations may be poised for elevated dialogue after the Mid-Term elections of how U.S. Agriculture Labor, Racial Injustice and Fiscal Accountability, throughout the USDA, as the junior U.S. Senator from the termination point of the “Trail of Tears” suggests, Oklahoma are represented with courage and consistency.
A new paradigm is based upon an international mutually beneficial cognitive desire to position Black Agriculture in the 21st century throughout all aspects of our U.S. Agriculture industry, while demonstrating an elevated content of character is the legacy of Shirley and Reverend Sherrod gives to the United States of America.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who serves at the pleasure of our Commander in Chief, President Barack Hussein Obama, is uniquely qualified for this monumental task given his lifetime experiences and courage to lead by example.
A New Foundation at the USDA is here, just how long it stays is in the collective hands of “We the People.” Leadership toward “A New Foundation” will be on full display at the ballot box in 30 days and in the grocery basket throughout this Holiday season.