Back To ‘Whites Only’?: GOP Lawmaker Says It Should Be OK For Businesses To Deny Service To Blacks

March 19, 2014  |  

We have all see businesses that have signs that read: “We the reserve the right to deny service to anyone.” And of course this is the right of a private business owner as long as the business does not discriminate based on the race, sex, nationality, or religion of the patron But State Sen. Phil Jensen (R-S.D.) recently told the Rapid City Journal that private businesses should be able to pick and choose who they deal with even if it means discriminating against someone based on any of those criteria.

“If someone was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and they were running a little bakery for instance, the majority of us would find it detestable that they refuse to serve blacks, and guess what? In a matter of weeks or so that business would shut down because no one is going to patronize them,” he said.

Jensen moved to make this law recently but failed when he tried to push a so-called anti-LGBT legislation he introduced in January. Under the cloak of  freedom of speech, the bill, SB 128, wanted to give South Dakota businesses and residents permission to deny services to customers based on their sexual orientation.

Three weeks later, the state Senate Judiciary committee voted 5-2 to kill Jensen’s proposal, which state Sen. Mark Kirkeby (R) called a “mean, nasty, hateful, vindictive bill.”

Jensen told the Journal, he say his failed legislation as “a bill that protects the constitutional right to free association, the right to free speech and private property rights.”

Jensen has been on  a journey to reverse many  civil rights advances. “In 2011, Jensen, a staunch pro-life advocate, sponsored a bill to amend the state’s definition of justifiable homicide in a way that potentially would have legalized the killing of doctors who perform abortions,” reports The Huffington Post.

Just a few weeks ago, Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a bill in that state that would’ve allowed the same sort of discrimination.

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