White supremacist and disgraced ex-congressman Steve King made a recent appearance on The Hake Report, where he claimed the U.S. government would seize farmland owned by white Americans and give it to Black people. He also appeared to promote false claims of a “white genocide” taking place in South Africa.
King criticized Pigford v. Glickman — a class action lawsuit brought by Black farmers who alleged that the USDA engaged in racial discrimination in its issuance of farm loans between 1981 and 1996. The case was settled in 1999, and as of Dec. 31, 2011, approximately $1.06 billion had been paid to eligible class members.
Later, the Senate passed the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 which provided an additional $1.15 billion for late claims as a result of a second case: In re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation, otherwise known as Pigford II.
King described the Pigford cases as a “shakedown” and said that “billions of dollars” were handed to people who “had never seen a farm” and “never wanted to farm.” King claimed that one of the people designated to administer the funds presented him with a box of applications and told him 75% of them were fraudulent.
Hake told King that “They’re still doing this favoring of Black farmers, I’m hearing.” Presumably Hake was referring to the Biden administration’s plan to provide debt relief to “socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers” as part of the American Rescue Plan. The loan payments were recently halted by a federal judge.
“Pigford Farms 2.0 is what they’re conducting right now under the Biden administration,” King said. “And it’s worse, because now they wanna go in and take land — they don’t think there’s enough land in the hands of Black farmers so they wanna transfer land into the hands of Black farmers. And of course we know who that’s coming from.”
King compared this nonexistent problem to South Africa’s ongoing program to return farmland to Black farmers whose land was stolen from them since at least the early 20th century. According to Africa Check, 72% of farms and agricultural holdings are owned by South Africa’s white minority.
White supremacists, however, consider plans to expropriate land and place it in the hands of Black South Africans to be a form of persecution against white people. They also often falsely connect land expropriation with violent attacks against white farmers, claiming that there is an ongoing (or forthcoming) “white genocide.”
“If you watched what happened, post-apartheid, in South Africa, you could see a preview of what they’re trying to set up here in the United States,” he said.
“And I’m talking to South Africans who have had their families killed, they’ve been run off their land, and I’ve seen the — there’s a drone photo of all the crosses along the roadway in South Africa that they put up for the white farmers that’ve been killed by Blacks that were taking them off their land.”
There is no evidence connecting farm attacks with efforts to force white farmers from their land. Available data suggests that the motivation behind most of these attacks is robbery.
Hake replied that “this regime change that took place in, I guess, the ’90s” — referring to the end of apartheid and white minority rule — “has left South Africa much worse today than maybe it ever was. What a terrible shame.”
King then pivoted to a rant about demographic changes, calling it the “crux of all of this.” King explained that the Mexican government encouraged Anglo-Americans to settle Texas in the 1820s and 1830s. (Settlers were awarded land grants through Mexico’s empresario policy.) He added that Mexico eventually “lost Texas because of demographics.”
“Demographics are destiny,” King declared. “And [Mexican President] Santa Anna didn’t seem to understand that. And the Anglos outnumbered the folks from Mexico. And today Texas is a part of the United States. You can look at South Africa [and] put the same formula in. … And we should know what we’re doing to America right now.”