Over break and during my senior project I worked for the American Farmland Trust, a non-profit that works to save farmland and make existing farmland more sustainable. Agricultural history is fraught with racism in this country. One could say it is a cornerstone of American racial inequality. Slaves were brought here to work until death in agriculture. Black people were forced through economic reasons to then stay working that land for little to know profit after emancipation. Do to the high percentage of black agricultural laborers (roughly 80%), southern dixie democrats made sure that agricultural workers were excluded from the certain New Deal benefits, such as unemployment insurance.
Anyways, during my senior project I spent a lot of time going federal senate and house hearings for the next Farm Bill. In the first hearing I sat in on a black representative was the ranking member to the subcommittee. I was shocked. Given the history of America, a black man being a representative serving on the agriculture committee is amazing. This man wakes up every day and goes to work and in doing so challenges the history of this country. It’s inspiring to me. It’s amazing that the committee that negatively affected this man’s chances in life, he now is now the ranking member on one of its subcommittees.
I’m glad I had this experience. I’m glad I’m taking this class. I would never have noticed Representatives Scott’s triumph. Here is to him.