South Dakota State Rep. Michael Clark had a strong reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case: Not only did he celebrate the Court’s narrow ruling that a Colorado commission went was hostile to the baker’s faith, he said all business owners should have the right to discriminate, even if we’re talking about bakers refusing to sell cakes to black customers.
“He should have the opportunity to run his business the way he wants,” Clark wrote. “If he wants to turn away people of color, then that(‘s) his choice.”
In an interview with the Argus Leader, Clark said that business owners with strongly-held beliefs should be able to turn away customers.
“If it’s truly his strongly based belief, he should be able to turn them away,” Clark said. “People shouldn’t be able to use their minority status to bully a business.”
And if the community doesn’t support a store or restaurant that bars customers for that reason or others, it will put them out of business.
“The vote of the dollar is very strong,” he said.
And if the community doesn’t put them out of business? Then, Clark implied, racism is acceptable.
It didn’t take long for Clark to apologize for his comments, later saying to a newspaper, “I would never advocate discriminating against people based on their color or race.” (Even though that’s quite literally what he said.)
He issued another apology last night on Facebook:
He says, “Of course, I was wrong, all business should serve everyone, equally.” But does that mean he thinks the baker in Colorado should’ve made a cake for the same-sex couple? He doesn’t tell us.
And to add insult to bigotry, Clark had no GOP opposition in last night’s primary. He’ll have challengers in November, but this is South Dakota. A Republican in certain House races is all-but-assured victory.