Beautiful MotorcyclesThe Port Jefferson, New York, Business Improvement District sent out a newsletter dated March 2010.  In the letter there are bullet points as to how their goals are “to promote the district as a good place to live, work and shop…to improve the overall appearance and quality through …..blah blah blah”.  Then it goes on to list points on how they will achieve their goals and two of the 14 are –  No Motorcycles and No unsightly presence of motorcyclists.  That’s right fellow bikers, according to the town of Port Jefferson, New York, we are unsightly.
This letter was forwarded to me in Los Angeles, California from Carmella Brown, owner of New York Rider Magazine.  Her slogan is ‘We’ll tell ya where to go!’  This usually means her magazine has the pulse on where to go for biker events but I bet when she heard about this newsletter she wanted to ‘tell them where to go!’
A few organizations have responded to this newsletter via the legal angle.  Bikers Against Discrimination, Henry McGrath, Executive Director
Charles DeCost, Admin. Director are on the ball and have written to the Port Jefferson Business Improvement District.  Their great letter hits on a  lot of incredible points and I have included some below.
“Continuance of this act and behavior by fellow citizens of the State of New York, against many of whom have defended this country and who are respectable tax paying, hard working citizens, would be in violation of the New York State Constitution, US Civil Rights Act of 1964, the equal Protections Clause of the US Constitution and the US Commerce Clause – all of which were enacted to disperse widespread disabilities placed upon citizens and to put a ban on perpetuated inferior accommodations, services, and treatment of American citizens.”
“B.A.D. {Bikers Against Discrimination} has prepared a formal complaint with the New York State Attorney Generals Office , the New York State Human Rights Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Civil Rights Branch requesting an investigation into your determination and sources used to derive your determination to openly discriminate against the American Biker and the American Biker culture. We wholeheartedly encourage you to immediately cease any official resolutions or determinations which may cause unjust stigmas, bias and discrimination against citizens who choose to drive a motorcycle, yet, abide by established laws. You are also advised to review the US Commerce Clause – since you are making such discriminatory determinations under
the guise of businesses which serve all types of citizens and as a business organization registered in your district and in the State of New York. Violations of this clause requires federal intervention. It is also both a state and federal offense to encourage wide-spread discrimination against any innocent
group of people who are citizens and based primarily upon the reasoning their culture is not like your own. That form of official-seeming behavior invites an unnecessary hardship on fellow citizens and is on the verge of hate-legislation.
Mayor Garant of Port Jefferson has spoken out against the flyer and explains on her web site that it was not an authorized letter and that one person released it not the Business Improvement District and that the Village apologizes for “the inconvenience and insult that this unofficial posting has caused.”
Carmella wrote a letter from her personal experience with bikers and I am including it here in full.
To Whom It May Concern:
Please allow me to introduce myself I am Carmella Brown, Owner, of New York Rider Magazine, a motorcycle magazine for all of New York State. I the 4 ½ years I have been doing New York Rider I have seen and heard some awful things about bikers. This ranks right up there with the motorcycle only traffic stop. My thoughts on this are going to me more on the personal side rather than the legal side I think others have that covered just fine.
Here are a few things I think you all need to know about motorcyclist!
Motorcyclist, do more for the fellow man/woman than any other organization in this country and they never look for a thank you!
I’ve personally witnessed in Washington DC a motorcyclist pull over to a WWII vet in a wheel chair and shake his hand and thank him for his service.
I’ve had a friend who was dying of cancer in Syracuse I called a motorcycle group in Albany and 3 of them drove 2 ½ hours on a work night to talk to him (It turned out to be his last conversation).
I witness at every motorcycle event I attend the respect that we all have for one another by the simple act of shaking a hand or giving a little hug to everyone there and if you don’t think this is significant stop by an event that has 600 people at it. By the end of that event you have either said hi to those you know or met those you didn’t know. I think every politician in our county could learn something from these as you put it unsightly motorcyclist.
I rode with 80 motorcyclists to see 400 TAPS kids, these guys and gals spent 3 hours with these kids and if you don’t know who the TAPS kids are, shame on you. Do take the time to find out who they are.
I’ve been seated at a dinner table with a Metal of Honor winner and almost everyone else in that room was an unsightly motorcyclist.
I have been in a motorcycle parade for our Wounded Worriers and before and after actually spoke to them. I make this statement because the general public treats these people like freaks because they are burned, disfigured, missing limbs, eyes and one man only have ½ a face. I’m sure if any of BID team saw them they would try to pass an ordinance to keep these unsightly people out of your town.
I could go on but I’m sure you don’t care about any of this but one thing you might care about and I hope our state in a whole will start caring about is the revenue that us unsightly motorcyclist bring to the communities across New York State and every other state in this country. Maybe you guys have done us a favor and this could turn into that thing that finally will bring all of us unsightly motorcyclist together to rise up against all of you that have the power to pass judgment on us and elect those who don’t see us as unsightly trash.
Please feel free to contact me. I’m sure none of you will have the guts maybe you should learn something from the unsightly motorcyclist you would like to ban from your town.
Carmella Brown
Owner New York Rider Magazine
I couldn’t have put it better Carmella!  And if anyone wants to go ‘toe to toe’ with her, contact her via New York Rider Magazine.  She’ll tell ya where to go.