South Dakota Republican Says Businesses Should be Allowed to Refuse Service to “Blacks”

phil_jensenSometimes I feel like writing a weekly feature titled something like “This Week in Republican Racism” where I just detail all of the stories where a Republican politician said (or did) something racist.  It’s almost comical how Republicans claim to not be the party of racists while constantly having members of their own party say or do things that are racist.

Case in point, South Dakota lawmaker Phil Jensen supported a bill that would essentially make it legal for businesses to go back to the pre-civil rights days where they refused service to “blacks,” as he calls them.

Jensen said, “It’s a bill that protects the constitutional right to free association, the right to free speech and private property rights.”

But it’s okay, because he defends his stance by saying, “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.”

So, let me break down that logic.  He feels we should remove government regulations that prevents discrimination because he feels the “free market” would punish businesses who chose to discriminate.  But – the law successfully prevents businesses from doing that anyway.  Still, we should repeal it so the free market can do it?

Basically we should allow businesses to discriminate, so that we can (through the “free market”) do what the laws are already preventing anyway?

The only thing this asinine bill would have done is allow businesses to discriminate – that’s it.  Would some have closed due to their discrimination?  Of course.  But not all.  And it wouldn’t have stopped at race.  People could have discriminated based on religion, gender, sexual orientation.

Luckily this bill died in committee.  But the fact that it was brought up at all just goes to show you how out of touch some of these “more conservative” members of the GOP really are.  Essentially this was the same kind of nonsense we’ve seen other Republican controlled states trying to pass.

Because you know, nothing says, “We’re not the party of racists” quite like having anti-civil rights legislation constantly being supported by members of your own party.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • James Worcester

    Hey, Allen, looks like there’s lunkhead, Redneck bigots up North, too.

    • Naysayer

      Speaking as someone who has lived both in the north and the south I have seen both sides of it. You would think with a much larger black and Latino population down south that there would be more tolerance there but from what I have seen this is quite the opposite. We have it in the north but it seems to a much lesser degree and seems to stay out of our Legislatures a bit more

      • Sandy Greer

        Years ago I had a black friend move her family from San Francisco back home to Georgia.

        I thought she was crazy.

        But she said Racism in the North is more insidious: They’re nice to your face, work with & go to lunch with you…but don’t have you into their homes, as friends.

        She said at least in the South, you can see it coming.

      • James Worcester

        Naysayer, my point is this. There is racism and bigotry everywhere, but every blog posting I read from the left puts 100% of the blame for it in the South. Bigots here are much more vocal about it, but its insidious thread is throughout the country. I would consider myself a progressive, because I believe in social progress. I will, however, call “bullshit” when I see it, and bigotry where it exists, be it against blacks, gays or the South. It is totally unacceptable, or should be, to a Progressive. I spend most of my online political time calling “bullshit” on the Teabillies, but will not hesitate to extend the courtesy to the radicals on the left.

  • William Knowles

    What this dunce does not understand, is what if the business was a pharmacy, or a doctor, or private hospital hundreds of miles from another one. What do you think the locals will do?

  • ltneid

    I guess it beats the vetoed Arizona plan. In that one, a person had to be sincerely religious to be a bigoted asshole. This guy lets everyone be a bigoted asshole.

    • Gary Menten

      The GOP has lately been trying to be more inclusive for assholes. For instance, they are willing to give non-Christians a special dispensation to join the party as long as they hate some visible minority.

      They will even allow small numbers of African-Americans into the party as long as they know their place (Clarence Thomas) believe in torturing prisoners of war (Allen West), or believe in cutting corporate and personal income taxes beyond what any white guy would advocate (Herman Cain).

      • Veritas vos Liberabit

        Tennessee Ernie Ford made reference to what you’re referring to in his song “I owe my soul to the Company store”….

  • Gary Menten

    If some white-supremacist bigot wants to keep African-Americans out of his store, he doesn’t need any law to do this; he just needs to hang a Confederate flag in his window. But that’s the sort of thing that COULD drive someone out of business, at least in some places because it calls attention to them as being racists.

    That’s why these pukes want a law to back them up, since the moment the government legitimizes this sort of behavior and says it’s okay to discriminate, then the chances of the market regulating this fall to just about zero. We know because we’ve been there before. What these “small-government” advocates are asking for, is in effect, for the government to put that Confederate flag in the window for them.

    What I don’t get, is why anyone with at least half a brain should think a law that violates the Federal Civil Rights Act would not be immediately struck down by the courts? What fantasy world do these retards live in?

    • ltneid

      ‘Half a brain’ is the operative phrase. Plus, it’s an election year. You gotta have some red meat for the base. “I tried, but those activist judges legislated from the bench to destroy our rights. Vote for me”

      • Naysayer

        “If they each had half a brain, they would still only have half a brain”

  • Veritas vos Liberabit

    Let me exercise my Constitutional right to do some self-Freudian free association. I’ll say what first come to my mind spontaneously:
    “Phil Jensen”…Nazism…

    • Jim Bean

      “Knockout game” . . .Violent Racism

      • Andy Kinnard

        Knockout Game: Wildly over-hyped

      • Jim Bean

        Just like with every other black-community problem. The goody-two-show Left wing apologists respond by closing their eyes and putting their hands over their ears.

      • thinker5

        and what a IGNORANT RACIST BASTARD YOU ARE, JIM…..COMPLETELY CLUELESS—why not go back to High School and learn your lessons instead of being a troll???

      • Jim Bean

        Yup. Whenever a white man and a black man argue, the white man is a racist.

      • Cat Marcuri

        No, Jim. Just you. But you’re a special kind of douchenozzle, aren’t you?

      • Andy Kinnard

        Jim, prove me wrong: Prove that it is a wide-spread sociological phenomenon.

      • Jim Bean

        Its on par with mass shootings and more racially tilted than instances associated with stand your ground incidents where shooter and shooted are frequently both black or both white. And now, your chance to prove me wrong. Give me some anecdotal evidence indicating that if whites were knocking out blacks for kicks there wouldn’t be people on rooftops screaming it was racially motivated.

      • Andy Kinnard

        I’m not disputing racial motivation (though I don’t see that having been proven either). I AM disputing your unsupported claim that “the Knockout Game” is a wide-spread sociological phenomenon. You STILL haven’t supported that contention.

      • Jim Bean

        Do you think it remotely possible that I haven’t supported a contention that its ‘a wide-spread sociological phenomenon’ because I never made any such contention and that the notion that I did is a product of your overactive imagination?

      • Andy Kinnard

        So you agree that it’s a problem of insignificant scope. Got it! I think that was my original point.

      • gmartini

        Stand Your Ground—Violent and deadly Racism.

      • Jim Bean

        How so? In FL, for example, blacks make up only 16.6% of population but they account for 31% of the instances where stand-your-ground is used as a defense. If you take away stand your ground a duty to avoid and flee automatically fills the void. Then every self defense case, including battered women cases, will come down to (in court) “is there any possible way the person defending him/herself could have escaped or avoided the confrontation in the first place. You really, really, don’t want to go there.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        let them try me—
        we love ya jimbo!!! keep to the topics at hand!!
        jimbo will be voted in somewhere at a tea party convention!

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      don’t forget “religion” VOODOO/superstition

  • shutdafrtdoor

    Boy…you just can’t make this shit up!

  • hdusey

    It amazes me when Republicans/Tea Party folks get all up in arms screaming that they aren’t racists…. I know not all are, but when you hear what actually comes out of so many of their mouths… it’s pretty obvious many are…. come on folks it’s the 21st century.

  • Kevin Daugherty

    Where do these jokers come from ?

  • Pipercat

    These guys keep handing the Democrats raw meat; and yet, they fail to capitalize on these gifts.

  • FD Brian

    How much stuff would have been sold before we all knew the owner was racists? Stupid law. If you want to be racist, fine, but have the balls to wear a sign so I don’t have to buy shit from let alone talk to you or even hold a fucking door open for your ass.

  • SluttyMary

    You don’t have to be racist to be republicans, but if you are a racist, chances are you are a republican.

  • kd92mesa

    They refuse to learn from the mistakes of others. Arizona’s HB 1070 set the state back financially, but at least the Idiot Governor learned from that mistake and vetoed HB 1062. Bigotry is not a money maker for any state! “An Idiot is a genius, only to another Idiot” Another embarrassing “Red State” so financially independent that they can afford to loose money to these kind of statements.

  • suntrana

    I see, the actual spelling should be “South Dickota”, all better now.

  • Sadie

    What? I think I’m going to vomit !

  • rossbro

    Jackoff Jenses lives in La-La Land, dreamin’ of ‘the ol’ days’]

  • moe/larry & curly keys

    vote tea party!!!! we love the shaking OUR heads in disbelief!!
    (NOTE: as with “top 40” radio,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, the repubs do keep the hits a ‘ comin’ !!!)

  • Cat Marcuri

    Yeah, well, for what it’s worth, the hubby went to South Dakota for a military exercise while he was still in service. He discovered that the SD people LOVE to treat the Native Americans there like shit. Take advantage of them in every way they can, to include STILL trying to steal parts of their reservations away. The courts back them up, too, because Indians apparently have no rights in that state. Bunch of worthless racist assholes up there. I’ll never go there, and hubby says he’ll never go back.