GOP South Dakota state rep. Michael Clark was forced to eat his words on Tuesday after he typed a message proclaiming the Supreme Court’s ruling a “win for freedom of speech and freedom of religion”— and then took things to another level by saying he believes businesses should have the right to turn away black people if they want to.
“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.”
Clark quickly took the post down, but it had already gone viral.
The Argus Leader published a story about the comment, and an hour later Clark issued an apology to the reporter who broke the story via email.
"I am apologizing for some of my Facebook comments," he wrote. "I would never advocate discriminating against people based on their color or race."
In an interview with the Argus Leader, Clark had said that business owners with “strongly based 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.”
Clark is running unopposed for reelection to represent District 9.