“This is a wonderful day, to know that we have a chance to get some sort of justice,” Monk said briefly to reporters gathered outside the courtroom.
Deja Morehead, one of Monk’s lawyers from Yale, said in a statement, “Mr. Monk and [National Veterans’ Council for Legal Redress] argued that they suffered emotional, dignitary, and psychological harms from being subjected to the VA’s racially discriminatory benefits system.”
Morehead continued, “And we hope that the court ultimately recognizes the legal duty that the VA owes to the Monk family, to generations of Black veterans, to administer benefits in a non-discriminatory manner.”
Gary Monk, Conley Monk’s brother, a veteran as well as the executive director of the National Veterans Council for Legal Redress, told NBC Connecticut, “I feel there’s a lot of guilt with the country with how they treated their veterans, and so the motion to dismiss doesn’t surprise me because they’re continuing to deny us as usual.”
The denial of Black veterans benefits stretches back to the GI Bills promised during WWII, according to History. The G.I. Bill was designed with benefits that effectively excluded Black soldiers from the rewards they expected for their service to the nation, critics say. Just as redlining emerged from the New Deal, the bill’s language, crafted by the Dixiecrats, was deliberately constructed to deny economic opportunities to Black soldiers, contradicting the promises made to them.
According to NBC Connecticut, Judge Stephan Underhill, an appointee of Bill Clinton, has indicated that he sees the case as a difficult one to decide. Despite this, the family of both Monks are hopeful that they will receive justice for the denials of their benefits as Conley Monk told NBC Connecticut, “We’ll continue to fight. We have a good team and I pray to God that we win this case.”
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Source: Black Enterprise