‘No foreigners’: State declares war on Army vet’s sales pitch

By Bob Unruh


The state of Michigan is getting ready to drop the hammer of its government power and weight on an Iraq war vet who really doesn’t like the idea of selling his home to a foreigner.

That’s known because in front of James Prater’s house in Mason is a sign that says “Terms No foreigners Iraq vet.”

It’s next to a “for sale by owner” sign.

Fox News reported the state is working on a civil rights complaint against him, because the state says he can’t discriminate like that in the sale of a house.

A complaint was filed with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights which says not only is state law being violated, but so is federal law.

It wants the sign taken down.

“When an ad like this goes unchallenged, it sends a message to the community that such ads are legal and accepted,” Agustin Arbulu, the state civil rights chief, told Fox News.

“Not only may it encourage others to use similarly discriminatory language in advertising, the perception that a community accepts discrimination of this sort discourages potential purchasers from considering other properties in the area.”

Prater, a former Army sergeant who served two tours of Iraq in 2007 and 2008, told the Lansing State Journal there’s been no discrimination because he hasn’t gotten any offers.

While readers of the local journal explained the federal Fair Housing Act has an exemption for private sales of property by individuals, state officials claim that doesn’t cover the advertising – that sign.

The Journal said the homeowner referred questions to a lawyer, who wasn’t available for comment.

Carol Viventi, another one of the state civil rights department’s officials, said the remedies could include “training and/or monetary penalties.”

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