(Article changed on March 13, 2013 at 11:57)
BIRMINGHAM, AL--The Alabama NAACP joins Independent Black Farmers and U.S. Department of Agriculture Minority Employees to Stand for Justice and demand equal rights by adding their voices to uphold all sections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Together they rally in support of the "pre-clearance" provision (Section 5) of the Voting Rights Act.
The Supreme Court is considering
what may be the biggest threat to the maintenance of Voting Rights in American.
Justice Antonin Scalia shocked many civil rights leaders by calling minority
voting rights a "perpetuation of racial
entitlements" in oral arguments before the court.
Independent Black Farmers Lucy Binion (Center-Left) & Rev. Robert Binion (Right)
(Image by Michael Stovall) Permission Details DMCA
Michael Stovall, an Independent Black Farmer declares, "The preclearance provision of the Voting Rights Act is an important safeguard for civil rights and civil liberties for all Americans. We want equal rights for everyone from the Independent Black Farmers and to the brave minority employees inside USDA who have fought discrimination and retaliation within that Agency for years."
Bernard Simelton, President of Alabama NAACP states, "The NAACP joins in support of the fight for freedom and equality everywhere. We stand for Independent Black Farmers who after years of conflict still have not received redress from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to this day. We stand with them for equal rights and voting rights."
Lawrence Lucas, President of USDA Coalition of Minority Employees opines "As a young lawyer, conservative activist John Roberts argued against the Voting Rights Act for many years. Now the Chief Justice, he posed disingenuous and misleading questions based on dubious statistical information concerning minority voting participation in Massachusetts and Mississippi--just like USDA is cooking the books about its progress on civil rights and discrimination."
The group will reconvene in Birmingham, Alabama on March 19, 2013 at 10:00 AM in the historic Kelly Ingram Park to formally announce their collaborative efforts to assist Independent Black Farmers. Many people think the problems at USDA have been resolved, but Black farmers and minority employees are still facing retaliation and harassment. From Breach of settlement agreements, thousands of unprocessed claims, leading to complications with statute of limitations.
Why should anyone care about rampant discrimination and retaliation at USDA if you are not a Black farmer or a USDA employee?
Michael McCray, General Counsel for Federally Employed Women/Legal Education Fund explains, "USDA is more than just farming, way more. When people think of discrimination at USDA they usually think of substances farming, which is still a problem. Unfortunately, most people fail to realize just how impactful USDA actually is--and the illicit discrimination goes way beyond farming."
"Abraham Lincoln created USDA, immediately following the Civil War, when America possessed an Agricultural economy. Back then the Department of Agriculture really meant, the department of everything--or The People's Department so to speak."
Education --USDA supports Land Grant Colleges and research institutions, including all state Agriculture and Mechanical Universities.
Food and Nutrition --From food stamps to meat inspection, USDA ensures the safety of our food system.
Housing Programs --USDA has single-family and multi-family housing programs, similar to HUD.
Business Loans --USDA has better business and industry loan programs than the SBA.
Infrastructure --USDA provides water systems, utilities and electrification to communities across the country.