Volume 6, Number 9 February 3, 2003
Re: Re: "A Letter to Black Farmers"
by Dr. Ridgely Abdul Muímin Muhammad
After posting "A Letter to Black Farmers" on the "Blacklist" list service, I got two very interesting rebuttals (given below). I posted a response to both of those comments and felt that the readers of "The Farmer Newsletter" would be interested in the debate.
Subject: Re: [TheBlackList] A Letter to Black Farmers
"Unfortunately, due to size advantages of larger and more industrialfarming outfits, Black farms will have a tough time competing. Laws and cries of racism will not help them, since ultimately most laws in this country favor big business. Time is on the side of these larger and more industrialized farms that will simply slowly and irrevocably siphon away small farm market share. I see the only solution for their survival is to form a collective "industrial and real estate" fund to purchase large swathes of agriculturally rich property and advanced, efficient, high-capacity farm machinery. In addition, they must attract large numbers of field workers (possibly a new source of jobs for unemployed Blacks). In essence, these farms must obsolete themselves and take on a new structure of business or be obseleted and be vanquished forever.
Although Johnís analysis that larger more mechanized farms make more money is true in most cases, this begs the question of whether this "industrialization" of agriculture will continue to make our Black communities in the cities the recipients of the "least fresh, and least nutritious, of life-giving foods"? The issue here is that Mumia does not trust the white system to provide healthy food for Black people. I believe that if Black farmers were given $331 billion dollars in subsidies over a 10 year period from 1982 to 1992, as was given to white farmers, they could compete. The USDA using your tax money put them out of business, not economies of scale or size. And since these Black farmers are not "soldiers" for the "merchants of death" they would produce healthier food for our people.
I agree that a fund should be developed to save Black owned land and develop the capital base for a more efficient production, processing and distribution system controlled by Black people. We invite you to the "5th National Black Land Loss Summit" February, 7-9, 2003 outside Greensboro, NC where one such "fund" will be unveiled. For we know that the same government that took our tax money and gave it to white farmers have no intention of allowing Black farmers to get back into business. The goal of the USDA is to destroy the family farm on the planet Earth, PERIOD. We also know that this government which developed HIV/AIDS and "terminator gene" technology is continuing their efforts to destroy Black life with new and more effective biological and chemical weapons. We will have to finance our own survival.
If the Black farmer is "obsolete" then so are we, the Black eaters of white folksí poisons. The fact that some white people will also die as "acceptable causalities" in this war of genocide, does not numb my instincts and resolve for survival and self-preservation. We thank our brother Mumia, who even from prison, can see this.
Subject: Re: [TheBlackList] A Letter to Black Farmers
"I think Black Farmers should set up farms in countries on the Africancontinent. Rent out their land in the USA. They will make enough capital that they could buy some of the large agriculture companies in the USA or make trouble by paying off politicians. Or they can stay and farm in Africa or even countries in the Caribbean. White farmers are going to Brazil to do the same thing.
Black Farmer have been complaining for years, now they can do somethingabout it.
Martin V Burrows Jr."
Bro. Martin said, "I think Black Farmers should set up farms in countries on the African continent. Rent out their land in the USA." Unfortunately, most Black farmers are already renting out their land. As a part of the Black Land Loss Summit we will have representatives from African countries to present opportunities for farming in Africa. However, I have a friend that has lived in Zimbabwe for 2 years on 4500 acres of land. He has been able to farm only 5 acres of this land, because he does not have any capital or equipment. The government does not have any money to give him and non-profits like Ford and Kellogg Foundations will not give him any money.
I find it amusing how easy it is for people who do not own land to tell those that due own land to pack up and move to Africa. We say that we want to be more "African", while at the same time disregarding the deep roots that Africans have for tribal and family land. Black farmers feel more like "Africans" about their land than do most of us. Why donít more of our "professional" class that have been complaining about discrimination in Americaís work force since slavery pack up and move to Africa? They certainly need your expertise and the money that you have amassed in the "Bellie of the Beast".
Again, who will fund our survival here? When will we start "taxing" ourselves and then trusting ourselves with our own capital to invest in ourselves? We are the financial backbone for America. When will we get a "backbone" and use our wealth for self? Time is running out in the play pen. Break your chains of mental "house arrest".
If you want more information about what is going on with Black farmers, your food supply and what we do everyday to solve these problems please visit us at: http://www.muhammadfarms.com.
Peace, Dr. Ridgely Abdul Muímin