Last Tuesday, congress approved a $4.6 billion measure to settle class-action discrimination lawsuits that will award African American farmers and Native Americans who have been discriminated against and have been treated poorly by the U.S. government in the past.
There are varying views on the whole thing. Obama says that he is glad that congress could work together “to bring this painful chapter in our nation‘s history to a close.”
Critics think that there is fraud involved and that it isn’t actually going to fix anything.
The people involved in the lawsuit are just happy that something is happening. President of National Black Farmers Association said this was a “bittersweet victory.“ He is happy that that an estimated 36,000 African American farmers in Louisiana and Alabama are receiving payment, but is disappointed that it took nearly 15 years and some of the people who originally started these lawsuits have since passed away.
There is also going to be $1.5 billion given to Native Americans as well. The money will be shared by at least 300,000 Indians. The initial lawsuit for the American Indians was over water rights of the tribes in Arizona, Montana and New Mexico in order to provide reservations with clean drinking water.
Over all, I think it is good that these people are receiving something for the things the U.S. government has done to them in the past. It might not help everyone, but it is a start. Perhaps it will even encourage other members of these groups to stand up and fight to get some sort of compensation for the things their people have endured. It might show them that going against the government to get something you deserve, actually works, it might give them hope. I do not by any means think that this will end any sort of racism or discrimination that still occurs, but I am glad to see at least on of these lawsuits end well for the defendant for once. s