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Discrimantion against veterans

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by capnsandwich, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. I read this and I am appalled!


    A veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is suing a Boston-area landlord, alleging that he was passed over for a rental apartment because of his combat service.

    Joel Morgan, 29, filed a complaint with the Suffolk Superior Court against Janice Roberts, 63, on May 25. Morgan claims that Roberts said she was a member of a grassroots organization opposed to the Iraq war and "would have problems renting to him," according to the complaint. Morgan served at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2003, was deployed twice to Iraq between 2007 and 2009, and completed a final tour in Afghanistan last year.

    Though federal housing law does not prohibit discrimination against veterans, Massachusetts state law forbids owners from refusing to rent to someone because he or she is a veteran or member of the Armed Forces.

    Morgan told msnbc.com that the alleged incident, which occurred in early April, increased his anxiety and worsened the symptoms of his post-traumatic stress disorder, including sleeplessness and panic attacks. He also worried about admitting his veteran status to other potential landlords. "It made me feel confused, disgusted," Morgan said. "I couldn't believe that it was happening."

    Attempts to reach Roberts were unsuccessful. She told the Boston Herald that Morgan was among 30 people who asked about the apartment. "We had to choose somebody," she said.

    Morgan contacted Roberts after seeing an ad for the two-bedroom unit, in the Savin Hill neighborhood, in a local newspaper. Upon meeting Roberts, the former sergeant explained that he would pay the monthly rent of $1,220 with Army disability benefits. Morgan has received a 100-percent disability rating due to physical injuries and PTSD related to his service.

    Morgan took home a lease agreement and was told to return it the following week, but according to the complaint, he then received voice messages from Roberts stating her discomfort about having him as a tenant. In the first voicemail, Roberts allegedly said that Morgan's service posed a "conflict of interest." She also cited concerns about a remark Morgan made regarding noisy neighbors, whom he described as black.

    Morgan left a message with Roberts trying to clarify his remarks, emphasizing that "he did not mean that he had disliked his neighbors because they were black," according to the complaint. Roberts allegedly left a second message, responding that she didn't care about that particular incident, but that her concerns involved several issues.

    "We are very adamant about our beliefs, so I just want to let you know this is a whole compilation of things," Roberts said, according to the complaint. "It just is not going to be comfortable for us without a doubt ... It probably would be better for you to look for a place that is a little bit less politically active and controversial."

    It is unclear if Roberts lives in the building.

    When Morgan contacted Roberts about the apartment, she reportedly told him to call her "Ms. Monroe." Her legal name was unknown to Morgan until he wanted to file a complaint and contacted a lawyer.

    Morgan is seeking compensatory damages for emotional distress, punitive damages and attorneys' fees, though Morgan and his lawyer, Joseph Sulman, declined to name the specific amount they are seeking.

    Morgan decided to pursue the claim after speaking with fellow veterans and soldiers who encouraged him to expose the alleged discrimination. "People need to know this still happens," Morgan said.

    Sulman said he hadn't encountered a case like this before, but said housing discrimination likely happened without veterans or service members reporting it or filing a suit.

    Morgan has since rented a one-bedroom apartment in the Dorchester neighborhood for $1,235, but still doesn't understand why Roberts cared so much about his background.

    "She was basically putting words in my mouth that I was as against her as she was against me," Morgan said. "I didn’t care – I just wanted to give her a check."
  2. colcifer

    colcifer Esteemed Nitpicker Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    A Galaxy Far, Far Away
    I have a family member who served in Korea. When he came back, he went to Mexico to avoid this sort of thing.
  3. He really shouldn't have had to though. He did his job just like anyone else in their respective lines of work. It just so happens that he was a soldier who fights so we can have conversations like this without the risk of being put in jail.
  4. It's really too bad this kind of garbage happens to the brave, honorable people in the military.
  5. Curmei


    Dec 29, 2008
    Savin Hill seems to have changed a lot since I lived there thirty years ago. Back then, it seemed to be full of vets - a couple of VFWs right down the street that always had things going on.
  6. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I have no problem with people who have a pacifist agenda and respect them for remaining steadfast in their beliefs, even if reality sometimes shows that pacifism doesn't always work. I consider myself fairly anti-war when it can be avoided. However, this is a classic case of someone not being able to separate the difference between war and those who are called upon to fight it - much like a lot of the kids who stayed at home during the Vietnam era and then disrespected those who weren't fortunate enough to get out of service duties.

    I suspect that the case is gonna hinge on whether or not the federal law supersedes the state law.
  7. I agree. No matter what your political beliefs or agendas are, you should not make a business decision that discriminates against anyone.
  8. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    Yeah I agree. I was going to post some long rambling post at how this is wrong etc but your post is right to the point. I couldn't agree more.
  9. What if the soldier fought in a war that was waged to secure resources that domestic corporations can exploit for profit?

    A lot of people think that's exactly what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that soldiers who went there are no different than the mercenaries employed by Blackwater, except they were paid a lot less.

    The topic "Discrimantion against veterans" is inescapably a political one, by the way. I do not think it is possible to express an opinion on the topic without finding yourself on one side or the other of a political debate.
  10. Gopherbassist


    Jan 19, 2008
    I really can't stand this kind of stuff. "You were part of something that I find politically incorrect, so f*ck you." I hope the old lady loses.
  11. It has nothing to do with what the war was fought for in anyone's opinion. Discrimination is wrong. I just find it personally upsetting when it happens to a fellow veteran.
  12. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    See the bolded word.
    "think" and "know" are two different things. Discriminating on "think" is not good and more than a wee bit ignorant IMO
  13. So you claim to "know" what actually happened? I suppose you're not at liberty to disclose your sources. :rolleyes:

    There's plenty of documentation to support the notion that every US military action since Korean war, was done for resource acquisition and geopolitical machinations, not national security reasons. This is especially true of the actions against Iraq and Afghanistan, since those countries were manifestly incapable of attacking the US, or resisting our occupation in any meaningful sense.
  14. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    Hmmm.. I don't recall saying that I "know" Do you?

    oops, there you go again :)
  15. Not on TB you're not. This thread was not meant to be a political one so please don't make it one.
  16. It is not possible to praise or criticize a soldier's work without taking a political stance. Soldiers follow the directions of the political establishment. The topic is inherently political. If this topic is permitted, then so is my opinion about it.
  17. colcifer

    colcifer Esteemed Nitpicker Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    A Galaxy Far, Far Away
    Careful not to put them on a pedestal.
  18. The topic is about discrimination, not on whether the soldier should be praised or hated.
  19. Then others had already broached the politics of it before I did. In fact, your reply to the second post was one of them.

  20. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    It certainly is. There is a difference between whatever reasons our country goes to war, and those who are upheld to fight in said war.

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