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RFK Jr. Faces Backlash for Vowing to Give Black Farmers $5 BILLION in Reparations if Elected

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr promised to deliver financial aid to Black farmers if elected president, as part of a debt relief program that was struck down by a court as unconstitutional.

May 21 2024, Updated 5:03 p.m. ET

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr was criticized by a legal group representing white farmers after promising to deliver $5 billion in financial aid to Black farmers if elected president, RadarOnline.com has learned.

On a recent episode of his podcast, the Independent presidential candidate spoke with John Boyd, the founder of the National Black Farmers Association, and discussed a provision in President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan that had been struck down as unconstitutional.

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RFK Jr. expressed frustration over the watering down of Biden's debt relief program.

The 2021 plan initially included a $5 billion loan assistance program for “socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers” who suffered racial or ethnic prejudice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The provision was modified after a series of legal battles, but Kennedy, 70, promised, “When I’m in the White House… I’m going to get rid of those people in USDA and get that money."

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The program was updated to include $5.3 billion "that will provide relief to tens of thousands of farmers," with $2.2 billion allotted for "farmers who have suffered discrimination by USDA farm programs."

Kennedy, a former Democrat, expressed frustration over the watering down of the debt relief program.

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Kennedy is running as an Independent Party candidate in the 2024 presidential election.

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“That $5 billion is not money, that is an entitlement,” he told his guest. “It’s money that was a loan that black farmers were entitled to way back when and was stolen from them through discrimination.”

His sentiments echoed concerns voiced by Boyd, who filed a lawsuit alleging breach of contract after changes to the plan were made under the Inflation Reduction Act.

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President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan provision promising Black farmers debt relief was struck down by a court as unconstitutional.

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America First Legal, a group that filed a lawsuit alleging that Biden's program discriminated against white farmers, criticized Kennedy’s stance in a statement to the New York Post on Monday.

“Public officials should not endorse policies that create racial divisions." Gene Hamilton, the executive director and general counsel for AFL, said. “We need to move past outdated, Civil War-era thinking.”

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A major roadblock came in June 2021, when a federal judge in Wisconsin put a temporary restraining order on the loan forgiveness program in response to AFL's lawsuit, per the Associated Press.

Boyd and other Black farmers, who make up just 1.4% of the industry's workforce in the United States, continue to demand compensation for their losses, maintaining that the original promise was broken.

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On his website, the son of former U.S. Attorney General and Senator Robert F. Kennedy pledged to “end USDA discrimination against black farmers and protect current landowners from further land loss.”

During his campaign, Kennedy has also refined his stance on reparations after initially committing to use federal funds to “rebuild black infrastructure.” His site was updated to direct these policies to "devastated communities across the country."

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