Using a Wall Street Journal opinion piece to attack a federal farm subsidy program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Fox News dismissed the USDA’s history of discriminating against female and Hispanic farmers.
In light of this history, the USDA is allowing female and Hispanic farmers to apply for claims up to $50,000 if they can show they were unfairly treated during the federal farm subsidy loan process due to discriminatory practices at the USDA.
In an op-ed published March 20 in the Wall Street Journal, columnist James Bovard ignored these facts and made light of the USDA’s history of discrimination against female and Hispanic farmers.
Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy recited a portion of the op-ed, then mocked individuals seeking compensation from past discrimination.
“Are you a woman or Hispanic who planted a garden between the years of 1981 and 2000? Did you dream of asking for a loan to grow your garden but you didn’t get a loan to grow a garden? If so, you could be a victim of discrimination and entitled to $50,000. That sounds crazy, right? It’s not. People will actually wind up with money.”
In a report from NPR in November, the USDA was shown to have “a long history of discriminating against farmers who are women, Hispanic, Native American and African American,” leading to lawsuits which have cost the government billions. In 2010, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack acknowledged these civil rights violations at a Senate appropriations subcommittee and committed to “closing this rather sordid chapter of USDA history.”
Also dismissing the evidence of discrimination during the Fox segment was Fox News Latino contributor Rick Sanchez, who claimed the program was part of a government plan to make Hispanics “dependent on a nanny state.”
In regards to the allegations of discrimination, Sanchez said “it doesn’t matter if you’re a transvestite from Honduras or whether you’re a white guy from Iowa,” it’s “not the government’s place” to be giving out taxpayer money to subsidize farmers, thus giving them an “unfair advantage.”
“Today it’s women and Hispanics. Tomorrow it’s going to be Asians and then it’s going to be this and then it’s going to be that and pretty soon, look, we don’t have enough money as it is.”
Watch the Fox & Friends segment in the video below.