Michael Clark, a Republican lawmaker in South Dakota, has apologized for his blatant racism after arguing on Facebook that businesses should be allowed to turn away customers based on the color of their skin.
"I made some comments here on Facebook, defending a Colorado Baker decision not create a cake for a Homosexual [sic] wedding," he wrote in a post on Tuesday. "The comments I made were very racist. I would like to apologize for those comments. Businesses should not be able to discriminate solely based on race, sex, national origin, age, or handicap."
Clark’s apology post came just hours after facing backlash for his response to the Supreme Court’s decision to side with a Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.
“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.”
It’s unclear why he singled out people of color, specifically, to make his point about people running their businesses how they see fit, but it seems he may be unfamiliar with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on a person’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Nevertheless, he was quickly brought up to speed by constituents and social media users who blasted his unwarranted endorsement of racial inequality.
#SouthDakota might want to rethink State Rep #Dirtbag Michael Clark & get someone to run against him. He’s advocating that businesses should be able to refuse service due to a person’s skin color. I guess he’s never heard of the Civil Rights Act that prohibits discrimination. pic.twitter.com/TOkK5Uri9Y— ALD9119 (@ALD9119) June 5, 2018
State Rep. Michael Clark needs to step down immediately or @SDGovDaugaard or should call for his resignation. Discriminatory, racist views shouldn't be tolerated in the South Dakota State Legislature. https://t.co/eAmpSVCfMB— Andy Howes (@_AndyHowes) June 5, 2018
South Dakota State Representative Michael Clark (R). I don't want to think about "vote him out." He needs to be removed or he needs to resign immediately. https://t.co/fcp2ZcJV5z— JE McManus Hall (@ruraldogs) June 6, 2018
Hey, South Dakota, you might want to check up on Rep. Michael Clark and ask him to further clarify his beliefs on whether businesses are “bullied” into serving minorities.😡— Caryn - lie, lie smoky eye (@CarynLonz) June 6, 2018
"My comments were made in haste, with the belief that businesses should be able to operate with fewer constraints of a heavy-handed government," Clark wrote in his apology. "Of course, I was wrong; all business should serve everyone, equally."
It is highly likely that Clark's true beliefs still align with his original statement. The apology was simply a damage control strategy to save his own skin in the face of scrutiny. However, at least he cares about his image enough to offer an apology as opposed to many of his fellow Republicans who are loudly and proudly racist.
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