Snookered by Fox again

Elinor Tatum | 4/12/2011, 5:29 p.m.

"So, I took him to a white lawyer that we had that had attended some of the training that we had provided, 'cause Chapter 12 bankruptcy had just been enacted for the family farmer. So, I figured if I take him to one of them, that his own kind would take care of him.

"That's when it was revealed to me that, ya'll, it's about poor versus those who have, and not so much about white--it is about white and black, but it's not--you know, it opened my eyes, 'cause I took him to one of his own..."

In mid-sentence the screen goes to black, and the cable television stations, led by Fox News, went on a frenzy saying that this so-called racist needed to be removed. But then on further examination, we found that the whole story had not been told and the greater story was actually a parable with a far different outcome that those who were quick to judge could not have expected. The speech continues below:

"...and I put him in his hand, and felt, 'Okay, I've done my job.' But, during that time we would have these injunctions against the Department of Agriculture and so, they couldn't foreclose on him. And I want you to know that the county supervisor had done something to him that I have not seen yet that they've done to any other farmer, Black or white. And what they did to him caused him to not be able to file Chapter 12 bankruptcy.

"So, everything was going along fine. I'm thinking he's being taken care of by the white lawyer, and then they lifted the injunction against USDA in May of '87 for two weeks, and he was one of 13 farmers in Georgia who received a foreclosure notice. He called me. I said, 'Well, go on and make an appointment at the lawyer. Let me know when it is and I'll meet you there.'

"So we met at the lawyer's office on...on the day they had given him. And this lawyer sat there. He had been paying this lawyer, y'all. That's what got me. He had been paying the lawyer since November, and this was May. And the lawyer sat there and looked at him and said, 'Well, y'all are getting old. Why don't you just let the farm go?' I could not believe he said that, so I said to the lawyer--I told him, 'I can't believe you said that.' I said, 'It's obvious to me if he cannot file a Chapter 12 bankruptcy to...to stop this foreclose, you have to file an 11.'

"And the lawyer said to me, I'll do whatever you say--"whatever you think"--that's the way he put it. But he's paying him. He wasn't paying me any money, you know. So he said--the lawyer--said he would work on it.

"And then, about seven days before that man would have been sold at the courthouse steps, the farmer called me and said the lawyer wasn't doing anything. And that's when I spent time there in my office calling everybody I could think of to try to see...help me find the lawyer who would handle this. And finally, I remembered that I had gone to see one just 40 miles away in Americus with the Black farmers. So, I...