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tv   The Stream 2020 Ep 26  Al Jazeera  February 18, 2020 10:32pm-11:01pm +03

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percent of cases have been classified as mild ukraine's president says heavy fighting in the eastern region will not temper efforts to end the conflict with russian backed separatists ukraine's military and the separatists have blamed each other for the flare up which left one ukrainian soldier and several others wounded another mia's lenski says the violence was an attempt to disrupt the peace process . and the ashraf ghani has won another term as afghanistan's president after being declared the winner of september's disputed election in that chain commission says he took just over 50 percent of the vote with its main rival abdullah abdullah getting just over 13 percent those are the headlines stay with us the stream is coming up next.
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our everyone i'm josh rushing to we're going to prepare me ok today less than 2 percent of farmers in the united states are black but that hasn't always been the case so what happened and what is their future hold share your thoughts with us on twitter or in our live chat and you too could be on the street. you know century ago african-american families owned one 7th of the country's farmland that's about 15000000 acres but they've lost more than 70 percent of that property largely because of racism through loan discrimination or even violence loans are a lifeline for farmers surviving difficult times when banks wouldn't loan money to
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black farmers many were forced into foreclosure some sued the government claiming systemic racism in 1909 official settled in the pension we paid out nearly $2000000000.00 but many say that doesn't even come close to making up for the $120000000000.00 lost by black farmers over the past century now farmers are fighting to hold on to the land they have left at the same time many young african-americans are returning to farming to reconnect with their roots. land is the basis of freedom dignity and equality and allows people in our community to see more broadly what's possible for them and that they don't have to settle for what society has been told some are the limits of what they can do. are joining us for today's discussion is wiliness scott white a retired educator and 3rd generation farmer based in cleveland mississippi now we've just learned that will leno is not going to be with us via skype we're going to have her by phone today also with us today is kurt trina baxter she's
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a land of food justice activist would soil generation a coalition of growers led by people of color in philadelphia and we have julie distillery a big generation cotton farmer from north carolina an owner of black cotton and finally we have professor carmen harris she's at the professor of history at the university of south carolina carmen has been researching race policy and agriculture for 20 years comment i'd like to begin with you as we noted in the beginning of the show there that the the status of black farmers in the u.s. right now that what 2 percent of farmers or are black in the u.s. hasn't always been the case can you take us back about 100 years and set us up what it used to be like and then what happened how did we get here. well about 100 years ago you were at the peak of black farmer ownership around 1920 maybe about 15 percent of farmers were african-american it's very interesting i was looking at
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some statistics in that bats of this and and an $870.00 which is about 5 years after slavery 2 percent of black farmers were farm owners and that's very close to the percentage today most of the blacks who were farmers in the aftermath of the civil war were actually sharecroppers which means they didn't own the land they rented the land and typically paid for it with a share of the crop whether that be cotton or tobacco in most cases. and you know that's how they made their living in most in slave people want land there because they understood as your opening vignette said that land was freedom so how do we get to where we are today what happened look it's hard for me to believe that we're in a place in the united states that is similar to where we were 5 years after slavery
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in the terms of the percentage of black americans and on farms. you've got there primarily through. policy through taxation sometimes through out right. escalations of land for example on coastal areas where you can wonderful sea island cotton happened that's why some of the areas are spaces of recreation so it was a combination of factors but probably the most dominant one would be the role that a role policy i want to bring in misc light here can you hear me yes i can hear you ok great i know you're a farmer down in mississippi 3rd generation. can you tell us your experience down there i think your father raised catholic is that right but i know you have
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you ran into a bit of racism there as well he talks about a bit about. my. grandfather and my father. and. because of the systemic discrimination when he was on his crops he was often not given enough money to even make a crop they were given just enough to make by to get by on. many problems that should have been all black or white what also had access but they were not all but the black with limited limited resources many blacks lost their land they got out of it because they make a living because they were not given the support they should have been given the programs that were also why. i know there's a point where your little girl and you member your father runnin down the stairs
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with a gun he told what was happening then. this was when he got into the fish business and they the u.s.d.a. the local outfit to give him any money to. begin his fish process and. go in the fish and he went to jackson over to the next level up and they said yes give him the money he qualified for and then a good quality so why not they came back again he needed over 400000 in order to stock is ponce a growth fish but they only gave him a little over $100000.00 so they decided they was going to furnish them they were going to foreclose on and so they came to take his fish out of the pond and i can remember seeing him go down the hall with a gun a modest say and if you can't do that don't do that call the share with my mom did call the sheriff they came out they had no papers and all the money for the no
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rights to take the edge so they had to put them back in the pony. and your father was actually one of the original claimants for the pickford right there was the settlement that i mentioned and opening. the government yes he was so the government did eventually admit that it. treated him wrong way that isn't right and settled with them in 99 and then glickman who was secretary of agriculture he made a statement and he also went public on television saying that how life had been treated and discriminated against and that u.s.d.a. had done them wrong and the people also became a class action lawsuit in 1900. and did the pickford do enough to make things right. even travel from state to state trying to get. many of them have had bad
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experiences way back from slavery. and they were afraid to say anything against the government and once they would declare class action people who did not have any paperwork. but historically back and that blacks were not given application they were when it go in and talk. and he would go and come back and tell you what you can get for this year but as far as a paper application that was aware of black. other things by their. to them about the construct of africa. a lot of who would have been excluded. and that's something. they could not have done anything to get
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back into. and then there was no training provided what you can do if. you were from slavery to being run off your land and. what can you do with it. were you going to say their farm i was going to say that she's describing exactly what my research shows i had examples of black extension agents reporting in 1929 for example these extension agents worked with farmers that they would take them to the white agent's office to get loans and the white man ropes and all the black farmers downstairs 'd give all the white man applications and then when they came back they. be told there weren't any so this was a practice once the u.s.d.a. began providing services to farmers there was this privilege father essentially now white and even you know the more land you had the better off you
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were and because african-americans historically who had the good fortune to get land didn't own that much they were always the most disadvantaged in any federal program they were lucky to get any aid but i think it's notable that they did great thing some of them with with what they were able to get julius i want to bring you into the conversation here i'm going to i'm going to start you off a little bit of credit all right if we go to my laptop i have this tweet you posted a video of your grandfather looks like he's parallel parking a tractor and then i'm going to 3 years old that's right that's living right though they're not they would all be so lucky now did your family your 3rd generation farmer north carolina their addicted your family faced this kind of systemic racism in this business operations well i'm actually a generation farmer and i understand this type of. segregation and discrimination
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and what's really happening is black farmers do not have enough funding to be able to compete in the marketplace and we're not out to get the same type of fan and the farmers are you know we talking about $50000.00 doesn't does not enough to be out of combat to be able to make enough money to be probable on the margins with a crop so so it's just enough just to be able to say some people but it definitely wasn't enough to be able to encourage farming for the next generation almost. just to be able to get out of the business and it was really hurtful and look at it like farming technology i know has changed the time do you need to know more about this kind of tractor or more about computers and today's farming. really easy if you could. be at a get it type of strategy you know about equipment i mean talking about a quarter $1000000.00 half a $1000000.00 a $1000000.00. i feel like there's plenty of people of this generation understands
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the technology but has no accessibility to it and when i heard you trying to get in there what we're trying 'd to say 'd 'd 'd. i think we lost with alina. that's all right country no one to turn to you changes are afoot here do you see what changes do you see when it comes to black farmers in america at this moment yeah well you know we talked earlier about their day more young black farmers and coming into the field entering into the field right so we know that there is a lot of interest i think is there a lot of urban programs that are training up and getting young people interested. in farming but i think mostly what really i see happening is that black people i'm in this country are remembering that their roots come from the soil so they want to reconnect to the land they want to reconnect to their ancestors and farming is a way to help them do that and carmen i'm looking at the u.s.d.a.
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page here and for our international audience the u.s.d.a. is the department of agriculture and it has a special page set up for minority and women farmers and ranchers looks like these are special programs form is the u.s.d.a. ringback doing enough to correct the situation. i don't know that there can ever be enough to rectify it because so much damage has already been done as gently as said you've had people who are i miss scott like people who've lost their land people who are out of the business who could never be made whole and even now if you look at the recent tariff payments that have been made because of the of the of the trade with china a lot of that is going to corporate agriculture it's not reaching down to main street to the average farmers up is not reaching white farmers and they're going bankrupt out of that and if they can't pace then it's certainly not going to be
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reaching african-american farmers at this moment when you talk about. we've got a damage that can be done it reminds me i came across this story i think originally by reading in the atlantic an article called the great land robbery the shameful story of how a 1000000 black families have been ripped from their farms and the author of that is van newkirk we try to have him on today but he wasn't available however we do have the sound bite from him we can play it mississippi alabama south carolina these were states that were if they weren't majority black going into the great depression to be on or close to being about half black and what prompted the great migration quote unquote that saw millions of black people leave the south was a fact that a lot of them had their land stolen if they hold on to that land if they're able to make money in the south and in vote in the south and have some type of stake in the
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future of their kids living in the south perhaps those 3 states at least stay majority black what happens into the electoral college if we have 3 majority black states what happens to the senate. i mean what bands talking about there is literally reshaping american politics like this affects all of us have so many levels will in the light to go to you how is it that your family was able to stay and survive for so many generations down there in mississippi. we did not stay and . my land was taken back in 1904 and he had they had his land in government in but or for 29 year and when he wanted his case and the people also they even the amount that he was awarded saying he had gotten this of this and he told this for this but the arbitrator gave him enough
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money to purchase the land back and there was 6 of us it was by then mighty years ago plus at the time and we disavow that we would stick together and get back into farming because that was my their history so we got to back farm and in 2040. 1 the farm now and right now is every day we hold our breath because we barely get by. what are they raising now alina right now we are right. but there's so much work that needs to be done on rice be in that goes like i say everything had been in government inventory so many years they literally had to clear this lay in this like it had never been fought for 30 years almost some one to bring this back to julius i'm showing your instagram right now julius blood clot farmers on my laptop some really great pictures here you have a hash tag you have
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a hash tag that is a milliner get this right trauma free for is that what it is trauma free how do you . how do you reconcile that when you hear the trauma that will end this family went through. well everett garcia was happenin to taste our production across the world in regards to how close was produced what i like to say is that people who work on my family farm make a living wage the people who work on it the people who work on my family farm see the benefits of working in 1st before their own or the owners or the stakeholders of the company like you know we look at retailers of by tommy hilfiger ralph lauren how close are they to cotton you know what we want to emphasize is that people who work in these fields can make a living will respect because the area that where we come from where majority are caught in north carolina comes from it's under persistent poverty and i want to
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change this story and i want to live positive things that can come from crops like cotton because positive living has occurred for many people from this crop it just hasn't been a lot of people is closest to and i want to show i want to change that narrative so i before i before i forget i want you to plug black cotton can you tell people where they can find. yes you could buy a black car no instagram a black car and us a website just got today just morning i don't know what it is about it but. debbie debbie debbie black and us maybe somebody else will be on this last train. it's a competition to if they're scared of us they. don't worldwide on the stream and i think are truly important that we talk about the fact that the u.s.d.a. still is not servicing black farmers in the way they should be for servicing black farmers and pennsylvania we barely have any black farmers i would say less than 15
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in the state of pennsylvania so getting access to land as and also getting access to just having services or extension extension services and folks who could help who could help black farmers apply for all loans are not acceptable to black farmers and a lot of different places in the countries and the rural places we've seen that black. agents who work for the u.s.d.a. have discriminate against consistently discriminate against black farmers and continue to do so so just 2 years ago 5 we had eddie in the wise who are black farmers and a lot of the hog farmers in north carolina actually who were woken up in the morning really early in the morning and does the wise is actually a diabetic who was in a wheelchair folks who came on their land the sheriff who came on their land with a bunch of guns in their faces and they were ushered off their land forcibly and a year later he was alive passed away and he was still in a hotel room so like these are folks who have been on their land for 20 years this
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is just this happened 2 years ago so the discrimination against black farmers didn't just happen you know years ago and it's currently still happening we still have a very hard time accepting a loan from the u.s.d.a. you know. a lot of fighting happening on the ground for folks to get access to land specifically black people to be able to stay on their land so once we even get on the land being able to hold the land. it's an issue as well carol and that the only thing i want to you have to lay in our government and like so that they you know they're not just talking about opinion but acting time actually making that toward helping black women get access to the ground is really important for us to move forward the country we as u.s.d.a. her statement and they dip revive one is 2 way to put up on the screen here so we're actually going to post that on the stream account but the body wants to see what the u.s.d.a. has to say about this carmen the u.s.d.a. says they have these programs that they call them 890 programs in the southern states because when you had this extension service where you had these agents go
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out and help farmers the black agents were out of the black land grant colleges which were called 890 colleges because they were created 'd under the $890.00 moral act it's being equivalent to having an integrated institution and but those 2 are kind of like low poverty type programs so the history from my research with the u.s.d.a. is that they've never tried to encourage black farmers to be entrepreneurial they've always wanted them to be subsistence stance and subsistence isn't going to make it in today's agricultural market unless you you know have a family gart i say everyone not in their heads along now looking at are you to page here and there's a comment from someone under the name omega pain that says farming is an 80 hour work week and at the end of the year you owe more money than you start
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a would why would anyone want to be involved in this and i want to go to we got a video comment from one of our community may. kofi he is down in georgia he's a farmer and here's what he has a sack greetings and rescue for the farmer farmer in atlanta georgia and from the village of books and diana absolutely there is a returning generation of black farmers for many different reasons the primary in my experience my personal experience is really a spiritual. calling to the land realizing that land is the b.c.s. of our freedom and malcolm x. wants reminded of. katrina's as i speak to you. a little you know i'm part of a collective the black farmers called the black art farm collective and we organized black farmers across the mid atlantic in the southeast the southern part of the state and what we more than anything are really interested as being back on
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the land together connecting to and it's just ancestral roots we identify as we turn into race and farmers because i recognize that. part of our ancestry our farm an agrarian lifestyle or what a lot of us young folks are really interested in doing again to connect us right back to our roots and then also as a form in the way of liberation right understanding that that we grow our own food and the ability to grow our own food and have some weight is really important for us to recognize to have an sovereignty in this country to have someone to give you the last word 30 seconds why would someone become a farmer well right now we have more opportunities than our ancestors had ever gone to agriculture and control than a cell in our own product with the internet able to be able to connect to customer base across the country this is something that my grandfather couldn't even dreamed you know so i think it's way more opportunities now the average farmer is going to be more educated and more info on how to communicate their products and goods and
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services across the nation so i think it's way more opportunities now than ever i want to thank all of our guests will land on the phone thank you for being with us julius check everyone check out black cotton on instagram carmen and kurt trina thank you for being with us today but for you the conversation continues on twitter at a.j. stream and on you tube see you tomorrow. business
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leaders just want to buy no bras palm.
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beach or from. business leaders just want to buy no prospal. in 2009 a torture victim of the brutal on. time bedelia regime confronted his interrogator tortured no no no not the older daughter into i was interrogated has justice now been served for the atrocious crimes committed decades earlier i do you know telling lies and investigation into the dark history of argentina why didn't they cood me in the end rewind interrogating a torturer on al-jazeera. the us is always of interest to people all right the
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world people pay attention to work for a year now does it is very good news for the world from here. hello i'm suits us in london with the top stories on al-jazeera the un says hospitals schools and camps for displaced people in northwest syria are being hit by government strikes 12 medical facilities and 19 schools have been directly hit or damaged by syrian and russian airstrikes with 2 hospitals hit on monday prompting a new wave of refugees close 290-0000 civilians have fled conflict zones in the western alaska since the beginning of december overwhelming aid agencies the sheer quantity of attacks on these hospitals medical facilities schools. which.


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