A sign excluding black people from a future Abbotsford, Wisconsin business is enraging some people in the small town. It's a sign generations of people may have never seen, yet Mark Prior says it's his right to discriminate. "If I've got a problem with you it's going to be on the front of my store," says Mark Prior.
Prior posted his 'No Negros Allowed' sign after he says he had some problems with black people in the past and needed to make a policy against them. Federal and State law says if the business is open to the public, prohibiting people based on race is illegal. If the man's proposed gentlemen's club was going to be a private club, then an African American historian says he could discriminate.
"I'm going to stick to my guns because I think I have the right as a business owner to reject service to anyone. It's not all the black people there are just a few bad ones," Prior says of his problems in the past. Prior wants to open a gentlemen's club in a building next to the Abbotsford city hall and library. He says he moved his sign inside after someone with the city asked him to remove it.
"Our mistake is sometimes we look for logic in something that is just plain stupid," says Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, an African American historian at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Ducksworth-Lawton says she feels Prior is out to get attention. She says the second he opens his business, he'll be in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.