The dishing out of benefits based on skin color is becoming a huge issue in America. A practice that once seemed mostly confined to admission to college now extends as far as access to interviews with the mayor of Chicago.
And, most significantly, it extends to the receipt of dollars from the federal government.
Blacks say they are tired of being taken for granted by Democrat politicians. So Democrats are determined to reward them with lucre. Key Dems may also have internalized the noxious teachings of critical race theory.
Pandemic relief provides the occasion for the current round of doling out dollars to Blacks. But one senses that any excuse will do.
The New York Times has just run a story about one group of Blacks now benefiting from government largesse — farmers. The piece centers around a farmer in Missouri named Shane Lewis. He stands to have a $200,000 debt written off, pursuant to a $4 billion federal program, because he is Black.
The Times doesn’t put it this way. It says the debt relief program was “created by Democrats to help farmers who have endured generations of racial discrimination.”
But the Times’ story refutes this claim. The farmer in question began farming ten years ago. There is nothing in the story that suggests his family farmed — all indications are to the contrary — and thus no basis for concluding that he suffered from generations of discrimination against black farmers. Nor does Biden’s program appear to require evidence of that.
Past societal discrimination has not been upheld as a constitutional justification for the government awarding benefits to members of one race in preference to members of other groups. Actual victims of past racial discrimination can, of course, seek relief. And in the case of black farmers, they have.
The Obama administration agreed to a $1.25 billion settlement for a class of them. Perhaps there is a historical basis in fact for a settlement of that magnitude. There is no historical basis for forgiving the debts of farmers like Mr. Lewis.
He complains that he’s had trouble getting credit. Banks scoffed at his plans, he says. But nothing in the Times’ article indicates that race had anything to do with this. Plenty of entrepreneurs of all races have grievances against loan officers at banks.
White farmers in Lewis’ neck of the woods aren’t pleased that the Biden administration’s debt relief is available only to Blacks. In fact, the title of the Times’ article is, “‘You Can Feel the Tension’: A Windfall for Minority Farmers Divides Rural America.”
Of course it does. Of course there’s tension.
Nor is it likely that resentment against handing out money to Blacks because of their skin color exists only in “rural America.” The Times notes that the area where Lewis lives consists overwhelmingly of Trump supporters. But distaste for racial spoils systems extends far and wide.
Liberal California just rejected racial preferences by that state. And this was against a backdrop of the issue of racial preferences in things like college admission. It’s questionable that California voters were even thinking about the more offensive practices of racially-based cash handouts and debt relief.
Voters throughout America probably will soon have to think about these practices. Democrats aren’t likely to be happy about what they conclude.