Sometimes 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.