The National Council of Clubs (NCOC), representing thousands of motorcycle club members across the country, has become increasingly concerned with the escalating reports of Veterans’ Organizations, like the American Legion, denying entry to individual members of Motorcycle Clubs over the last two years. While this discrimination is not new to members of the motorcycle community in general, the expanding number of Posts that are implementing “No Motorcycle Club Colors” policies targeting fellow Veterans is cause for alarm. Reported incidents of discrimination range from all across the Nation. The most recent reports including South Dakota, New Mexico, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The narrative is the same in all locations: “Legion Riders only, no Club colors.” This has proven to not be an isolated issue, taking place at a few reported locations. Several of the American Legion Posts, Post 22 in Rapid City, South Dakota for instance, have members of state law enforcement agencies making decisions and pressuring their Boards or Executive Committees to enforce veterans discrimination based on biases born from antiquated stereotypes perpetuated by Hollywood and local law enforcement fear mongering.
The American Legion’s ‘Constitution and By-laws’ state their first goal is “to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.” The denial of entry of Motorcycle Club members based on what they are wearing or their chosen method of transportation, which is a Constitutionally protected activity 1, is blatant denial of additional camaraderie many Veterans are seeking post-War but also serves as an example of discrimination of fellow Veterans. Many American Legions simply fall short even upholding their own Preamble;
FOR GOD AND COUNTRY WE ASSOCIATE OURSELVES TOGETHER FOR THE FOLLOWING PURPOSES: To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America; To maintain law and order; To foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism; To preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in all wars; To inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation; To combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses; To make right the master of might; To promote peace and goodwill on earth; To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy; To consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.2“
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