by American Legion Post 198 Commander Samuel Patterson Jr.
Commander Samuel Patterson of American Legion Post 198 will address the War Memorial Commission about the discriminatory practice of not allowing African American Legion Post 198 to hold a benefit for veterans in one of the rooms in the War Memorial Building, which was built for veterans’ use. Commander Patterson, representing Post 198, first raised objections to the denial when he met with the War Memorial Commission on Nov. 12, 2015.
This is an open letter to all African American veterans. Please read what we are having to go through to use the building built for all veterans to use. This letter was sent to the War Memorial Board of Trustees:
“Dear Ms. Jennifer E. Norris and the War Memorial Board of Trustees: On Nov. 12, 2015, American Legion Post 198 was on the agenda under Miscellaneous Correspondence for information. Now we want to continue the matter for discussion and action on Dec. 10, 2015.
“The Post requests the opportunity to present its documents to prove that we are following the rules for hosting workshops and fundraisers. We would like to present the Four Pillars of the American Legion. Our first pillar speaks on employment and business, the GI Bill and help for homeless veterans.
“We would like to present documents that show we have been working in our communities for 35 years with integrity. We would like to present our Free Veterans Financial and Social Empowerment Workshops for credit repair, financial literacy and home buying, as well as workshops on how to open up a small business. We would like to present our international program for jobs in Solar for Veterans and fundraisers for the youth in our community.
We would like to present our Free Veterans Financial and Social Empowerment Workshops for credit repair, financial literacy and home buying, as well as workshops on how to open up a small business. We would like to present our international program for jobs in Solar for Veterans and fundraisers for the youth in our community.
“We want to present our document showing that Post 198 paid the insurance on the building so all veterans could meet and hold events. We would like to present our documents showing our work with the VA (Veterans Administration) to secure veterans benefits for service-connected and non-service connected injuries, illnesses and PTSD.
“Working with Chase Bank, Wells Fargo and US Bank, the veterans can purchase income property and rent it out to low income individuals or purchase foreclosed homes to live in with our certificate of eligibility. We are working with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s constituent services representative to explain the process.
“Commander Nelson Lum lied to the board when he stated our post was suspended. There were no documents filed on Post 198, no hearing, no notice. Commander Lum was upset because we African American veterans stood up for our human and civil rights with the Federal Reserve and won the case.
We want to present our document showing that Post 198 paid the insurance on the building so all veterans could meet and hold events.
“Mr. Lum stated that he put a fight for our post during that time. Yet he can’t present any emails or letters to back up that statement. It took Mr. Lum seven months to give our African American post a key to an office in the War Memorial Building when we opened our post.
“Commander Lum dislikes a member of our post who has his own businesses. This veteran is hiring veterans who want to improve their life through hard work. His racism and that of Mr. Paul Cox of Veterans for Peace has to be stopped. Commander Lum cannot make up his own rules, and neither can Mr. Cox.
“They have no paperwork – just their lies and racism. Commander Lum stated on the tape on Nov. 12, 2015, that our dinner for the Physicians Organizing Committee was a fundraiser for their committee. The dinner was free to the public.
“As a member of the committee, I am making sure we hold workshops for veterans to purchase income property for affordable housing for them. Members from the Physicians Organizing Committee want to present their documents to your board on Dec. 10. We would like to present members from Post 875 to speak about the racism that this African American Post had to suffer under the leadership of Commander Lum and Mr. Cox.
“American Legion Post 198 is working with the local banks to receive Community Reinvestment Act funds, which are designed to encourage commercial banks to lend in low and moderate income neighborhoods so they can grow. Commander Lum’s and Mr. Cox’s racism are in violation of the Housing and Community Act, FDIC Section 802(b) and 804(1) of the Federal Reserve System, and CFR Parts 25, 228, 345 and 563(e) of federal law.
We hold workshops for veterans to purchase income property for affordable housing … Post 198 is for employment and will rent out the War Memorial to create jobs for San Francisco citizens.
“Post 198 is for employment and will rent out the War Memorial to create jobs for San Francisco citizens. But the post has the right to use the War Memorial for events held for veterans and the public, as long as we follow the rules. Post 198 would like to tape this trustees meeting on Dec. 10, 2015, with your permission. The Superior Court wants us to work this matter out with the Board of Trustees before a lawsuit is filed.
“(Signed) Commander Samuel Patterson Jr.”
PS: Post 198 is following the rules, but the racism of Mr. Lum and Mr. Cox is stopping us from receiving our veterans’, civil and human rights.
Commander Samuel Patterson can be reached via multi-media expert and veteran community activist Ken Johnso, at email@example.com.