Polls show most Americans support the federal COVID-19 relief bill. But if they knew what’s in it, they might feel differently. The bill is an affront to the American ideal of equal treatment under law — and a slap in the face for people who want everyone helped fairly.
Section 1005 of the bill offers “socially disadvantaged” farm owners total debt forgiveness of up to hundreds of thousands of no-strings dollars per farmer. But white men needn’t apply. The bill’s definition of “socially disadvantaged,” drawn from elsewhere in federal law, limits aid to racial groups who faced historic discrimination.
Newly elected Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), who proposed the measure, says it will make up for years of discrimination. Sorry, senator, but this is discrimination.
Discrimination likewise mars the bill’s aid to restaurants. It grants restaurant owners up to $5 million per facility to offset losses caused by lockdowns. That’s a lifeline for restaurants barely hanging on.