The Biden administration is poised to hand out billions of dollars to what it misleadingly labels “socially disadvantaged” farmers, restaurateurs and other business owners hurt by the pandemic. The money will start flowing to them in early June … provided they don’t have white skin. Whites are out of luck.
Biden’s American Rescue Plan defines “socially disadvantaged” based on skin color and ancestry, not the hardships faced by an individual. Blacks, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Asians, Hispanics and Pacific Islanders are included. One group is excluded: whites.
Fortunately, the new law’s anti-white provisions are being challenged in court, and the challengers are likely to win. The U.S. Constitution forbids discrimination based on race.
One of the Midwestern farmers suing, Adam Faust, was born with spina bifida and has two prosthetic legs. He manages to milk 70 cows a day and grow 200 acres worth of feed crops. He’s in debt, but he doesn’t qualify for debt forgiveness under the American Rescue Plan because of his white skin.
Last month, a Texas farmer, who is the state’s agricultural commissioner, also sued. Like Faust, he argued that the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause guarantees him equal treatment regardless of his race.
That is a Texas cafe owner’s claim as well. Philip Greer’s cafe lost $100,000 during the shutdown. He applied to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund set up under the American Rescue Plan. The Fund offers restauranteurs up to $5 million to cover losses per location. But Greer is white. The law says for the first 21 days funds are disbursed, most white men have to go to the back of the line, behind women, veterans and “socially and economically disadvantaged” applicants.
Greer sued. On May 18, federal Judge Reed O’Connor determined that Greer is likely to succeed at trial. He ordered the Small Business Administration to halt its discriminatory practices and consider Greer’s application immediately. The judge pointed out the obvious, that the fund’s $29 billion would likely be distributed before Greer and other white male applicants made it to the front of the line.
Citing Supreme Court precedent, O’Connor cautioned against giving “government license to create a patchwork of racial preferences based on statistical generalizations.” Amen.
Just because Blacks make up a small percentage of restaurant owners or farmers doesn’t, by itself, prove past racism or justify discriminating against another group now.
Basketball teams are disproportionately Black, but no one is suggesting lowering the basket for whites and Asians.
Overturning the American Rescue Plan’s racist provisions is key because otherwise, Democrats will move ahead with more extreme measures. Next up is the Justice for Black Farmers Act “to encourage a new generation of Black farmers” at a cost of $100 billion.
It’s being pushed by five Democrats on the Senate agricultural committee including Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock.
The bill awards 160 acres, a home mortgage, a loan for farming equipment and agricultural training to 200,000 recipients over 10 years, setting them up to be farmers. The only qualification is a parent of African ancestry. No agricultural experience required.
What could go wrong? It’s a reckless use of taxpayers’ money to buy and give away 32 million acres based on one principle only — racial bias.
Taxpayers would rather set up their own kids for life, rather than somebody else’s kids solely because they’re Black. It’s reparations by another name.
Most Americans oppose racial preferences, though Democratic politicians push them. Voters in California and Washington State, two of the bluest states, recently rejected ballot measures for affirmative action.
The public agrees with Chief Justice John Roberts that “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” In 2022, the Republican Party should present itself as the anti-discrimination party, offering voters a stark choice between racial preferences and colorblind fairness.
For now, the battle to defeat the anti-white provisions of Biden’s American Rescue Plan will be decided in court. Fortunately, that’s where the Constitution still matters.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and author of "The Next Pandemic," available at Amazon.com. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey. To find out more about Betsy McCaughey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.