Evaline Taylor remembers the old days of Jim Crow and said if she ever forgets, Senate Bill 43 will jog her memory.
“Nothing has really changed. This system does it in a different way,” Taylor said.
Taylor is one of dozens attending the latest NAACP news conference. Organizers are taking a strong stance against the bill that’s passed both houses of the Missouri Legislature.
Local NAACP President Rev. Rodney E. Williams is urging everyone to call Gov. Eric Greitens's office and ask him to veto SB 43.
“If this bill is signed by Governor Greitens, it would protect discrimination. Yes I’m saying it again, it would protect discrimination and foster a new era of Jim Crow in the state of Missouri," Williams said.
Under this bill, anyone discriminated based on race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion would have to prove discrimination was the main reason for termination. Prior law states discrimination only needs to be a contributing factor.
Attorney Paul Bullman is backing the NAACP’s request that Greitens veto this bill.
“What this does, it takes a giant leap back," he said.
Bullman said if you think North Carolina’s bathroom bill was bad, this could be worse.
“This makes it easier to discriminate based on disability, based on religion," Bullman said.
Williams and NAACP members said this bill has a far reaching impact, beyond the workplace.
“If our governor is serious about eliminating violence in Kansas City, St. Louis and the urban cause throughout this state, then he is going to have to prove it by vetoing this bill," Williams said.
Missouri Sen. Gary Romine is the sponsor of this bill. His business, “Show-Me Rent to Own” is being sued by a former employee for racial discrimination. That employee said he was the subject of racial slurs by store management.