Man posts "No Negros Allowed" sign on future business

By: Mary Rinzel Email
By: Mary Rinzel Email

A sign excluding black people from a future business is enraging some people in a small town. Now, the man who put it up is speaking out.

It's a sign generations of people may have never seen. Yet a Clark County business man says it's his right to discriminate.

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. Legalities aside, his is a sign that many say is appalling.

“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.

“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.

"It's insulting to think that someone automatically sees your skin color and thinks that you're inferior and that you're not fit to be around. On the other hand, if they’re of this kind of intelligence, I’m not going to worry about it too much,” says Ducksworth-Lawton.

People in Abbotsford say it's a sign they don't welcome in their town

“It does bother me a lot that he has something like that up. My whole family lives here. All my kids, and what if my kids see it?” says a woman named Ashley who lives in Abbotsford.

But, Prior says it's his right as an American and as a business owner to decide who's welcome; a right he says he'll take all the way to court if he has to.

“That's the policy. I’m going to stick to my guns,” Prior says.

Prior told WEAU he feels people are making too big of a deal out of his sign. He says this is America and he's entitled to his opinions.

He also said it’s not just black people he’s going to ban from his future establishment. He says he has a problem with certain white people as well, but he couldn’t just put a lengthy list of names on his building so he felt ‘No Negros Allowed’ was the best policy.

Prior says he hopes to have his gentlemen's club open to the public by Friday. His previous plans to open a grocery store and his own sheriff's department haven't worked out.

Our phone call to the mayor of Abbotsford was not immediately returned.


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  • by mike Location: gilman on Sep 7, 2011 at 06:42 PM
    are you kidding me! this man seems to be a few more than a few bricks short of a full load. His own sherrifs department? . whos going to man this department? guys that wear white robes and pointy hats that like to run around burning crosses?. this man should use his money" if he really has any that is" for some much needed therapy instead of paying for paint for such rediculous signs as this one that just irratates people. this is obviously a cry for help and attention and if we don't give it to him maybe he will just relax and live a nice quiet life as it should be. he needs to realize that being a troublemaker is a direct result of whats between your ears and not the color of your skin. there are rowdies of all shapes,colors and sizes and if you weed out the troublemakers everyone else can take it easy and enjoy themselves. thanks.
  • by Walter Location: St. Louis,Mo. on Dec 21, 2010 at 11:18 PM
    This is a sad and lonely person who need to be accepted by any means.In this day and age when all you have to do is be bold and ignorant to attract attention there are many takers,why would he say not all blacks,plus some whites.This man is truely confused and inferior to those around him.This is America when we go to war,we all go,black ,white,hispanic,gay,straight,man,woman,baptist,catholic,name it Americans.When you hear news from around the world that an American has been killed do you say was he /she white or black ,no they were an American.I pray for you son.
  • by T Location: Eau Claire on Dec 18, 2010 at 08:38 PM
    This isthe most redicoulas thing I have ever heard. I think that Prior is lost in the olden days. This is 2010. Get real. I'm married to an wonderful Black Man who is the most respectful person you'll ever know. This has made my husband very upset, not that he would go to a stripe club it's just the fact people are so blind and so racist in this day and age. I told him, that this man is a nasty hick. I hope his business fails.
  • by Jeff Location: Marshfield on Dec 16, 2010 at 03:55 PM
    This man has been kicked out of Loyal,Wi for his stupid antics. He isn't a business owner from what I understand he's getting use of the building for a few months and he was trying to open a grocery store but no vendors would get involved with him because of his past. From what I can tell he's just a guy who likes attention and feeds on people getting disgusted with him. He'll never open anything at this location because he has no money to get any business off the ground. Check his Wi court access and see how much trouble he has been in. Just another trouble maker just out to make everyone angry. Ignore him and he'll go away! Stop feeding him with attention!
  • by Sara Location: Eau Claire on Dec 14, 2010 at 06:23 PM
    I would like to add one more thing, I can't believe all of you (well not all, but a majority) would actually think that this could become a real legitmate business. Do you see the building, or even see the man that is supposedly starting these businesses? Use your heads!
  • by Sara Location: Eau Claire on Dec 14, 2010 at 06:21 PM
    To KW Wow, you make yourself sound not-so-intelligent as well. Everyone goes on and on about righting the wrongs...how long will we have to do this? I have never personally owned a slave, or forced a Native American to move to a reservation. Why must we still be paying for these mistakes? You want equality, then the "minorities" need to not be given special treatment anymore...
  • by Ed Location: Eau Claire on Dec 14, 2010 at 04:14 PM
    "I'm praying for all the ignorant racist people on here find Jesus" And replace one set of ignorant beliefs for another? The vast majority of racists in this country are Christians, and christians have used the bible to justify racism for 2000 years. Its time we got beyond superstition. This man needs to find humanity and common sense, not another superstition.
  • by dave Location: clark co on Dec 14, 2010 at 04:11 AM
    why is evetyone talking about housing? this has nothing to do with housing or education.
  • by Patrick Location: Eau Claire on Dec 13, 2010 at 08:45 PM
    I am a handicapped Black man. I work instead of depending soley on your tax dollars to support me. Infact, I pay taxes. I do not sell drugs or beat my wife. I am a degree holder who struggles to live check-to-check like many, many others. I also try to give back to society by helping the next man who needs it if I can. Even so, I still have to fight the stigma of being Black with those who do not know me expecting the worst out of me soley on the color of my skin. Racism will NEVER die off as long as we have people who are afraid of those whom are different than they are.
  • by Shorty Location: Eau Claire on Dec 13, 2010 at 05:16 PM
    Mark is obviously a mentally unstable man that is looking for attention.Why let him insult your intelligence? His business will not last in this area. So why fret? Mark simply has issues and is looking to put the blame on black people. I am married to a black man and my neices and nephews are black. My husband is a hard working man and a good provider and would not even waste his time with such drama. We will pray for Mark Prior.
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