Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Jim Crow In South Dakota? Conservatives Have Plans


Phil Jensen, vicious Kansas GOP racist, brings the hate to South Dakota

South Dakota Republican Phil Jensen is proud to be widely considered the furthest right member of the state legislature and never tires of calling other Republicans in the state Senate RINOs. If you think Paul Ryan is a racist, Phil Jensen makes him look like Al Sharpton!
This session, Jensen sponsored Senate Bill 128, which would have allowed businesses to deny service to people based on their sexual orientation and not fear a lawsuit.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocates, and even some Republicans, decried the legislation as discriminatory. Sen. Mark Kirkeby, R-Rapid City, called it “a mean, nasty, hateful, vindictive bill.” It was killed in committee.

But Jensen remains a supporter of SB 128. He calls it a bill that would have ensured the freedom of businesses to choose their clientele.

"It's a bill that protects the constitutional right to free association, the right to free speech and private property rights," he said.

Jensen goes so far as to say that businesses should have the right to deny service based on a customer's race or religion-- whether that's right or wrong, he says, can be fairly addressed by the free market, not the government.

"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.

David Patton, president of the Black Hills Center for Equality, calls Jensen's argument deeply flawed.

He said that the bakery used in Jensen's example would have flourished a century ago, before the passage of civil rights legislation that helped protect African-Americans and other minority groups from discrimination.

"The free market didn't do away with slavery," Patton said.
The Democrat running for the South Dakota U.S. Senate seat, Rick Weiland, was as flabbergasted by Jensen's hate mongering as most political leaders in the state. He spoke out strongly before the bill was finally defeated in the legislature. “I normally would not weigh in on a bill in front of the State Legislature, but this bill is so offensive and so egregious to where we are as a state and a country, that I have to speak out,” Weiland said. “This is extreme legislation. Let's call it what it is, an attempt to legalize discrimination in South Dakota. It invokes memories of the old Jim Crow statutes from the middle part of the last century. I applaud our House and Senate Democrats here in Pierre who are vigorously opposing this bill. I know that two of my opponents support this legislation and I believe every candidate for the United States Senate should tell the people of South Dakota exactly where they stand on this bill. I oppose it. It weakens our state and moves us backward to an ugly chapter in American history."

Ironically, Guy Cecil, an openly gay, closeted conservative at the DSCC is blocking Rick Weiland from getting the DSCC's backing, even though a very strong majority of Democratic senators has endorsed him. Cecil wants a more right-wing candidate but the right-wing candidate isn't running… so Cecil should get over himself or be fired for actions that are threatening to turn the Senate over to the Republicans in November. If you don't want to wait for Harry Reid to force Cecil's hand--or, better yet, fire him-- you can contribute to Rick's grassroots campaign here.

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