A disabled Wisconsin dairy farmer is suing the Biden administration over a COVID-19 loan forgiveness program – alleging it is racist because whites aren’t eligible.
Adam Faust, a white resident of Chilton who has two prosthetic legs, is among five Midwestern farmers who recently filed a lawsuit in Green Bay that accuses the federal government of violating their constitutional rights, WLUK reported.
“Were plaintiffs eligible for the loan forgiveness benefit, they would have the opportunity to make additional investments in their property, expand their farms, purchase equipment and supplies, and otherwise support their families and local communities,” the lawsuit states.
“Because plaintiffs are ineligible to even apply for the program solely due to their race, they have been denied the equal protection of the law and therefore suffered harm,” it says.
Faust, owner of Faust Farms, told the news outlet that the program is “out and out racist.”
“It was just out and out racist, and I really don’t think that there should be racism allowed in the federal government at any level,” the farmer griped.
“If somebody’s green, I think they should be allowed to participate, based on their actual qualifications for the program, and not just picking an arbitrary thing like race.”
The American Rescue Plan provides $4 billion to forgive loans for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, according to the lawsuit, which alleges that “socially disadvantaged” are only those who are black, American Indian, Hispanic, Alaskan native, Asian American or Pacific Islander, WLUK reported.
“I don’t see where they’re gonna be impacted any different than anybody else,” said Faust, who was born with spina bifida.
“I’ve never seen any government program based solely on that. I mean, if it would’ve been against any other race, everybody would’ve been onboard and would’ve been complaining immediately,” he added.
Deputy counsel Daniel Lennington of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty — which filed the suit on behalf of the farmers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota and Ohio — told the outlet: “If you’re not white, you get the benefit. If you’re white, you do not get the benefit.”
During a Fox News appearance Wednesday night, Faust said that “we can’t have a government picking and choosing who they are going to give any program to based solely on the color of their skin.”
“Everything that we have all learned growing up is racism is wrong, and now, all of a sudden, the federal government seems to think that racism is acceptable in certain ways. And it should never be acceptable,” he claimed.
Attorney Rick Esenberg, who appeared with Faust, called the situation “really disturbing.”
“We are all for laws that prohibit discrimination, but those laws have to apply across the board, to people like Adam, as well as to black and Hispanic farmers,” Esenberg said.“This really disturbing move we have about equity instead of equality of opportunity will not end well. It will lead … to a war against all, where we all are looking for our racial spoils and that is simply not what America is about.”
The US Department of Justice did not respond to a request for comment by WLUK.The US Department of Agriculture said in a statement to the outlet that it was reviewing the lawsuit with the DOJ, but that it plans to continue to offer loan forgiveness to “socially disadvantaged” farmers.
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