The whole Shirley Sherrod incident brought to mind the unconscionable problems that black farmers had with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
But as the Washington Post reminds its readers, Native American farmers were – and continue to be – similarly mistreated:
Porter Holder, a Choctaw rancher and rodeo champion in southeastern Oklahoma, said he is disturbed that a USDA loan officer he complained about in the late 1990s is still on the job. In the Great Plains, Native American farmers say they have complained repeatedly about another veteran loan officer in the USDA’s Sidney, Mont., office who was involved in a recent confrontation that included the police.
Loan officer Patrick Turner was arrested after the Feb. 23 incident, which occurred while he appraised the ranch of Roy “Tony” Anderson, a member of the Sioux tribe who lives on the Fort Peck reservation. In a police statement, Turner acknowledged hitting one of Anderson’s neighbors, who he said blocked the door to his truck. Under a deferred prosecution agreement, the charge was dismissed July 16.
The story makes for tough, but necessary, reading on a pretty summer day. Check it out.