Saturday, March 18, 2017

Picking Cotton, And The Government's Pocket

One of the leading agitators for white nationalism and separatism, Richard Spencer, has seen his stock rise among the far-right mouthbreathers who support master con man and bigot Donald "Rump" Trump.  Infamously, after Rump's "election," Spencer and his supporters indulged in a celebratory quasi-Nazi rally in a Washington, D.C. restaurant, where his audience responded to his celebration of Rump's victory with Nazi salutes. His front organization, the National Policy Institute, exists on murky finances and was just stripped of its non-profit status by the IRS last week. Not surprisingly, the "Institute" is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

It appears that a source of Spencer's income is from a family-owned, 5,200 acre cotton farm in Louisiana, in a predominantly African-American area. Moreover, his family received some $2 million in farm subsidy payments from 2008 to 2015, making Spencer a recipient of Government assistance. The cotton farm has been in the family for generations, and his roots in the South go deep:
"Although Spencer grew up in an affluent neighborhood of Dallas and now splits his time between Montana and Washington, DC, his family lived in the South for generations. Records show his mother attended segregated schools as a girl in the small northeast Louisiana city of Monroe. Later, Spencer's mother inherited farms in northeast Louisiana from her late father. Today, her two children are her business partners. [snip]  
The region that is home to the Spencers' farms has a history of slavery and racism. Through the civil rights era, the Ku Klux Klan targeted black residents there with lynchings, cross burnings, and other violence. In Tensas Parish, where the Spencers own 3,000 acres of farmland, blacks didn't win the right to vote until 1964, according to Elvadus Fields Jr., mayor of the town of St. Joseph."
What's galling is that this bigot, who has embraced a career of denigrating minorities for their dependence on public assistance, is himself a recipient of Government farm subsidies. While Rump's busy proposing cuts to Meals-on-Wheels and nutrition programs for low income women and children, one of Rump's advocates is feeding at the Federal trough. That, along with funds for Rump's weekly $3 million a pop trips to Mar-A-Lago, should be the first items zeroed out.

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