RFK Jr. says he would give black farmers $5B in reparations –…

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has said he will support giving black farmers $5 billion in reparations once in office — throwing his weight behind a provision in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan that was struck down by a court as unconstitutional.

“When I’m in the White House… I’m going to get rid of those people in USDA and get that money,” Kennedy told John Boyd Jr., the founder of the National Black Farmers Association, in a recent episode of his podcast.

“That $5 billion is not money, that is an entitlement,” the 70-year-old added. “It’s money that was a loan that black farmers were entitled to way back when and was stolen from them through discrimination.”

Kennedy has supported other programs supporting the black community, including issuing low interest microloans. REUTERS

Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 proposed a loan assistance program of roughly $5 billion for “socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers” — defined as those who “have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice” — who were harmed financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The provision was quickly challenged by white farmers in Texas, across the Midwest and in Florida, and was ultimately stalled after Jacksonville federal judge Marcia Morales Howard issued a preliminary injunction, saying the bill “appears to create an inflexible, race-based discriminatory program.”

One of the parties involved in the lawsuit at the time, America First Legal, sounded off Monday on Kennedy’s support for the $5 billion package.

“Any public official who thinks it is the government’s role to pick winners and losers based on the color of their skin does not belong in public office,” AFL Executive Director and general counsel Gene Hamilton told The Post.

“This is the 21st century, and we need to stop living like we are in the 19th century before the Civil War.”

Kennedy was speaking to John Wesley Boyd Jr. is an African-American farmer, civil rights activist and the founder of the National Black Farmers Association. X / Dr. John W. Boyd, Jr.

Black farmers, including Boyd, continue to argue that they have been discriminated against historically and should receive redress, despite making up just 1.4% of farmers in the country.

Kennedy’s support for the $5 billion program is in line with his other campaign promises dealing with reparations.

His campaign website currently reads he will “end USDA discrimination against Black [sic] farmers, and protect current landowners from further land loss” — among other provisions aimed at the black community including moving to “cancel student debt” and giving out “low interest microloans to invest in approved business plans with flexible repayment terms.”

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., meets with supporters at the end of, “The Present State of Black America,” panel discussion at Artlounge Collective in Los Angeles on February 1, 2024. Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., right, greets fellow panelist Eddie Long, Jr., radio personality, songwriter and author at the start of, “The Present State of Black America.” Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Kennedy has changed his views on reparations during the campaign, updating his website to reflect his stances after The Post reported in October on his initial promise to use “federal dollars” to “rebuild black infrastructure.”

“During Jim Crow, Black [sic] banks, businesses, hospitals, schools, and farms were targeted for destruction. Racists knew that without these, the Black [sic] community had no chance of building wealth. We must set federal dollars aside to rebuild Black [sic] infrastructure,” his campaign website initially read.

Days alter, Kennedy’s campaign quietly altered his website to expand his policies to “devastated communities across the country.”

“Targeted Community Repair will be available to devastated communities across the country,” the new language read, “not just Black [sic].”

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