Black Farmers Meet in South Carolina About Discrimination Suit

August 1, 2011

Black farmers are meeting in rural South Carolina to hear how to file claims in a $1.2 billion settlement of a discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The farmers meeting in Bennettsville on Saturday are among about 80,000 eligible nationwide to file claims after missing a deadline to get a similar settlement as farmers who met an earlier deadline.

In the initial 1999 settlement, more than 14,000 farmers received $50,000 and tax credits for discrimination they experienced when they were rejected for loans and subsidies from the department.

The settlement has drawn criticism from Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, who says there seems to be proof of fraud in giving out the money and that it could better be used elsewhere.

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