Among the many elements of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed by Congress to stimulate the economy in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic was a provision to provide debt relief to socially-disadvantaged farmers. The policy was designed to help Black, Hispanic, Asian American, and Indigenous farmers who have historically faced discrimination when it comes to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding and programs.
Before the relief could start rolling out, a number of white farmers took legal action against USDA, and the program is now tied up in the courts. It’s uncertain how long it will take for these lawsuits to be resolved or if debt relief will ever reach these farmers as intended. To help recap the situation and preview where things might go next, we’ve enlisted graphic journalist Nhatt Nichols to break it down in illustrated form.
Check out the comic below to understand what’s at stake in this ongoing story.