Remember When Trump Asked Blacks “what Do You Have To Lose”?

A few Blacks have cozied up to Donald Trump and have made a com­plete ass of them­selves by wear­ing his cheap Chinese-made (MAGA) caps, which of course are just anoth­er sym­bol of hatred as the Confederate flag is.
Some have even gone as far as to con­front anti-Trump demon­stra­tors in the streets mak­ing an even more ridicu­lous spec­ta­cle of them­selves.
Then, of course, there are the Black Pastors, how could we ever for­get those imposters?
Donald Trump encour­aged his man­ic sup­port­ers to beat up peo­ple who demon­strat­ed at his ral­lies, Black demon­stra­tors were assault­ed in the process.
At the time he was telling Africa-Americans how bad­ly their schools and com­mu­ni­ty sucked, how poor they are, how hor­ri­ble their neigh­bor­hoods are, he was ask­ing “what do you have to lose”?
He was telling police simul­ta­ne­ous­ly not to be gen­tle with sus­pects, they are arrest­ing.“When you arrest them and put your hand o top of their heads while putting them in the car, you can pull that hand away”, Trump tells cops.
What Trump did not know was that those hands nev­er exist­ed for Black sus­pects in the first place. So while he was goad­ing cops into abus­ing peo­ple, (wink, wink, black peo­ple) he was open­ing a Pandora-box of police abuse which would not be con­fined to black sus­pects but whites as well, gen­der would not be a fac­tor either.

My per­son­al dis­dain is reserved for the pas­tors, how­ev­er. Not because of any per­son­al pow­er they pos­sess to influ­ence intel­li­gent mem­bers of the Black com­mu­ni­ty. But because of the inno­cent naïveté‘ of poor reli­gious folk who put their faith in these pseu­do- men­di­cants, believ­ing they are tru­ly sent by God Almighty, when they are agents of the Devil.
After using them to cre­ate a façade of inclu­sion before steal­ing the 2016 elec­tions, the con artiste Trump pre­dictably dumped them like the garbage trucks dump New York City’s garbage over there on the west side of Manhattan.
There may yet be a resur­gence of this recy­cled garbage as the 2020 elec­tion cycle rolls around. After all, get­ting a hand­shake or a pat on the back is more than enough for some of these house slaves.

Despite my aver­sion to these pas­tors, what I real­ly want­ed to bring to your atten­tion was real­ly an answer to Trump’s ques­tion of “what do you have to lose”?
In addi­tion to the fact that the lives of African-Americans have got­ten worse under Trump’s poli­cies, a‑la increased police abuse, stag­nant wages, etc.
There is much more that does not read­i­ly meet the eyes.
And so we will intro­duce an awe­some Article writ­ten by Isaac Arnsdorf of ProPublica, titled How a Top Chicken Company Cut Off Black Farmers, One by One.

After years of work­ing as a sheriff’s deputy and a car deal­er­ship man­ag­er, John Ingrum used his sav­ings to buy a farm some 50 miles east of Jackson, Mississippi. He planned to raise hors­es on the land and leave the prop­er­ty to his son. The farm, named Lovin’ Acres, came with a few chick­en hous­es, which didn’t real­ly inter­est Ingrum. But then a man showed up from Koch Foods, the country’s fifth-largest poul­try proces­sor and one of the main chick­en com­pa­nies in Mississippi. Koch Foods would deliv­er flocks and feed — all Ingrum would have to do is house the chicks for a few weeks while they grew big enough to slaugh­ter. The com­pa­ny rep­re­sen­ta­tive wowed Ingrum with pro­jec­tions for the stream of income he could earn, Ingrum recalled in an inter­view.

What Ingrum didn’t know was that those finan­cial pro­jec­tions over­looked many real­i­ties of mod­ern farm­ing in the U.S., where much of the country’s agri­cul­tur­al out­put is con­trolled by a hand­ful of giant com­pa­nies. The num­bers didn’t reflect the debt he might have to incur to con­fig­ure his chick­en hous­es to the company’s spec­i­fi­ca­tions. Nor did they reflect the risk that the chicks could show up sick or dead, or that the com­pa­ny could sim­ply stop deliv­er­ing flocks. And that grow­ing con­cen­tra­tion of cor­po­rate pow­er in agri­cul­ture would only add to the long odds Ingrum, as a black farmer, faced in the United States, where just 1.3% of the country’s farm­ers are black. The shad­ow of slav­ery, share­crop­ping, and Jim Crow has left black farm­ers in an, espe­cial­ly pre­car­i­ous posi­tion. Their farms tend to be small­er and their sales low­er than the nation­al aver­age, accord­ing to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. While white farm­ers ben­e­fit­ed from gov­ern­ment assis­tance such as the Homestead Act and land-grant uni­ver­si­ties, black farm­ers were large­ly exclud­ed from own­ing land and accu­mu­lat­ing wealth. In recent decades, black farm­ers accused the USDA of dis­crim­i­nat­ing against them by deny­ing them loans or forc­ing them to wait longer, result­ing in a class-action law­suit that set­tled for more than $1 bil­lion. Along with these his­tor­i­cal dis­ad­van­tages, black farm­ers say they have also encoun­tered bias in deal­ing with some of the cor­po­rate giants that con­trol their liveli­hood. In com­plaints filed with the USDA between 2010 and 2015, Ingrum and anoth­er black farmer in Mississippi said Koch Foods dis­crim­i­nat­ed against them and used its mar­ket con­trol to dri­ve them out of busi­ness.

After the com­plaints by the farm­ers, an inves­ti­ga­tor for the USDA, which is respon­si­ble for reg­u­lat­ing the indus­try, looked into Koch Foods’ deal­ings with those farm­ers and found “evi­dence of unjust dis­crim­i­na­tion,” accord­ing to a 700-page case file obtained by ProPublica. The inves­ti­ga­tor con­clud­ed that Koch Foods vio­lat­ed a law gov­ern­ing meat com­pa­nies’ busi­ness prac­tices. The Trump admin­is­tra­tion has cut back on enforc­ing this law, with the USDA now con­duct­ing few­er inves­ti­ga­tions and impos­ing few­er fines, as ProPublica has report­ed. Koch Foods hasn’t faced any penal­ty. Koch Foods declined to pro­vide an inter­view with any of its exec­u­tives or to answer detailed ques­tions about its deal­ings with black farm­ers in Mississippi. A lawyer for the com­pa­ny said it denies wrong­do­ing. The five largest chick­en com­pa­nies now make up 61% of the mar­ket, com­pared with 34% in the hands of the top four firms in 1986. As the biggest com­pa­nies expand­ed their con­trol, they raised farm­ers’ aver­age pay by a mere 2.5 cents a pound from 1988 to 2016, while the whole­sale price of chick­en rose by 17.4 cents a pound, accord­ing to data from the USDA and the National Chicken Council.

Mississippi is the fifth-largest poul­try-pro­duc­ing state, with more than 1,300 chick­en farms. In a state where the pop­u­la­tion is 38% black, only 96 of those farms were oper­at­ed by African Americans in 2012, the most recent USDA data avail­able. From 2009 to 2017, Koch Foods went from hav­ing con­tracts with four black farm­ers in Mississippi to zero. Koch (pro­nounced “cook”) Foods is based out­side Chicago and sup­plies chick­en, often sold under oth­er brands, to major restau­rants and retail­ers such as Burger King, Kroger, and Walmart. The com­pa­ny, which is pri­vate­ly held, is not part of the busi­ness empire of the con­ser­v­a­tive bil­lion­aires Charles Koch and David Koch. The own­er of Koch Foods, Joseph Grendys, has a for­tune that Forbes esti­mates at $3.1 bil­lion

After Ingrum signed his con­tract to grow chick­ens for Koch Foods, in 2002, dif­fer­ent com­pa­ny rep­re­sen­ta­tives kept com­ing with lists of expen­sive mod­i­fi­ca­tions they want­ed Ingrum to make, accord­ing to an affi­davit he pro­vid­ed to the USDA inves­ti­ga­tor. After Ingrum met all the spec­i­fi­ca­tions, the next rep­re­sen­ta­tive went back on what the pre­vi­ous one said and want­ed things done a dif­fer­ent way, Ingrum said in the affi­davit. Chicken com­pa­nies usu­al­ly say they update their spec­i­fi­ca­tions to improve ani­mal wel­fare or respond to con­sumer pref­er­ences like avoid­ing antibi­otics. But Ingrum couldn’t find much log­ic in the changes Koch Foods want­ed him to make. One ser­vice tech­ni­cian direct­ed Ingrum to install lights in one place, the next one some­place else. Another time, the com­pa­ny want­ed Ingrum to move a pow­er line, even though it was out of the way of the feed trucks and bins. That cost him $6,000.

Under Ingrum’s con­tract with Koch Foods, the com­pa­ny sup­plied the flocks and feed but penal­ized him if his birds were sick or underfed.(Annie Flanagan, spe­cial to ProPublica)

According to Ingrum’s affi­davit, when he met with a man­ag­er about the shift­ing demands, the man­ag­er said, deri­sive­ly, “I had a cou­ple of y’all when I was at Sanderson,” anoth­er big chick­en com­pa­ny. Ingrum asked the man­ag­er, who was white, what he meant by that. The man­ag­er didn’t answer Ingrum. Reached by ProPublica on his cell­phone, the man­ag­er hung up. Ingrum sus­pect­ed that the truck dri­vers who deliv­ered feed were short­chang­ing him, so he installed sen­sors to alert him when the dri­vers arrived. In 2007, accord­ing to his affi­davit, Ingrum caught a dri­ver fail­ing to fill a whole feed bin. The com­pa­ny brushed it off as an hon­est mis­take. But Ingrum had heard of dri­vers ask­ing farm­ers for pay­offs to get more feed, accord­ing to the affi­davit.
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