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Hysterical vs. historical

Rodeo clown's tasteless antics test our commitment to freedom

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There was quite a stampede of critics when a rodeo clown in Missouri recently wore a President Obama mask.

The herd is still on the move, too: The state’s NAACP wants the fellow, who’s already been banned for life by the Missouri State Fair, investigated by the federal government. For what, it’s unclear. The fair was also reportedly considering action against the state’s Rodeo Cowboy Association.

Having a rodeo clown wear a mask of the president was not the best idea. It’s one thing for a spectator to don one, but it takes on more overtly political tones when a performer does it. And it gives an air of institutional backing.

And let’s be honest: If they’d done the same thing with President George W. Bush – and some folks did a lot worse than that – the outcry would have been miniscule. This is different. With Mr. Obama being the first president of African ancestry, such shenanigans are an infinitely more sensitive issue.

Yet, part of assuming power, particularly in this country, is exposing oneself to ridicule and parody. Since the 1970s, every president has been skewered unmercifully on such television programs as Saturday Night Live. It’s a beloved national tradition, and Mr. Obama’s fate has been little different (though arguably, his treatment has likely been better than his predecessors’).

When it comes to mocking our presidents, this certainly isn’t the country’s first rodeo. Editorial cartoonists took aim at our earliest leaders, and have never stopped. They openly made fun of allegations that Grover Cleveland had an illegitimate child. The list of satire’s stooges is long and storied.

And not just in this country. Leaders have been pilloried throughout history. Despite a post-revolution air of freedom, 19th-century French artist and satirist Honoré Daumier was actually put in prison and confined in an asylum for his work, particularly his pointed caricatures of the king.

It would seem that in 21st-century America, some would consign the politically incorrect to the same fate. Long live the king.

The soft, sophisticated equivalent of the bastille, of course, is societal shunning and the ever-present “sensitivity training” – which, notably, the Missouri State Fair has announced will now be required of all rodeo clowns and even cowboys going forward. Notwithstanding the fact that, were cowboys all that sensitive, there would be no rodeo to begin with. As for clowns, they no doubt will be infinitely less entertaining while performing on eggshells.

Sensitivity training has already been taken to the absurd: A teacher in Portland, Maine, recently suggested to students that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich can be offensive to people of other cultures.

If we are dismayed by all this, we’re likewise disappointed in the White House’s response to the infamous rodeo incident – Mr. Obama’s spokesman observing unhelpfully that, “It was certainly not one of the finer moments” for Missouri.

Granted. But how about some leadership? How about some above-it-all magnanimity? Why not laugh it off as typical presidential lampoonery? Why not take the high road, deserved or not, and dismiss race as a factor in the incident? The president could have taken the opportunity to extinguish a totally unnecessary, trivial and likely bogus racial fire. Instead, the White House has let it burn on.

The result: Some are encouraged to want to lop off a head or two.

We don’t endorse being disrespectful toward this or any other president.

But neither do we want it outlawed.

Comments (79) Add comment
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carcraft
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carcraft 08/17/13 - 03:31 pm
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4
Dichotomy would it bother

Dichotomy would it bother Blacks if I onlyade fun of Obama's white 1/2?

t3bledsoe
14223
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t3bledsoe 08/17/13 - 03:46 pm
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4
Man, Sun. and / or Mon.

I am just hoping for something that liberals can debate about on Sun. and / or Mon. These LTE's and editorials about the scandles in Washington and related topics leaves us liberals WITHOUT any grounds for debating !!

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 08/17/13 - 03:49 pm
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4
carcraft @ 3:31

"Dichotomy would it bother Blacks if I onlyade fun of Obama's white 1/2?"

Since Obama claims to be an African American, I still believe he; and ALL of the Black community; would take offence.

carcraft
24343
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carcraft 08/17/13 - 03:59 pm
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2
So you all are discriminating

So you all are discriminating against his typical white family?

chascushman
6653
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chascushman 08/17/13 - 04:47 pm
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" I CAN NOT get over how
Unpublished

" I CAN NOT get over how conservatives don't seem to be able to acknowledge the past"
Bledsoe, we conservatives have acknowledged the past that is the reason we supported measures to correct the injustice. The policies supported by conservatives try help lift minorities up. The polices of the liberals, democrats and black leaders have broken up families and help keep minorities on welfare.

chascushman
6653
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chascushman 08/17/13 - 05:14 pm
4
3
"Since Obama claims to be an
Unpublished

"Since Obama claims to be an African American, I still believe he; and ALL of the Black community; would take offence."
Bledsoe, you are correct. Obama said he disclaimed his mother's race when he was 13. You are correct Obama would take offense because he is a lying RACIST who hates everything this country was based on.
By the way he "disclaimed' his mother's race not long after he began being mentored by Franklin Davis. Davis was a racist, communist, child molester from Chicago before moving to Hawaii. You are correct Obama would be VERY offended if someone referred to him as white.

Fiat_Lux
14853
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Fiat_Lux 08/17/13 - 05:24 pm
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@chascushman, 4:47

Absolutely on the money.

And summarized so succinctly as well.

carcraft
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carcraft 08/17/13 - 06:51 pm
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I wonder if I could get the

I wonder if I could get the NAANCP (National Association For Advancement of Non Colored People) to lobby Congress and the Supreme Court to fire Obama because I am offended he doesn't recognize his white 1/2? After all if it is good enough for a clown to be fired because some one got offended....

freeradical
1048
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freeradical 08/17/13 - 06:54 pm
2
2
The Man Can Multi-Task

Wowzer , One minute he is bragging about his fantastic " Flexibility "

to Vladimir Putin who is still anticipating his promised lap dance ,

and the next minute he is running with the bulls .

He is the most interesting man in the world .

carcraft
24343
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carcraft 08/17/13 - 07:05 pm
4
3
Yes free radical, He once

Yes free radical, He once parallel parked an economy!!!

KSL
122171
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KSL 08/17/13 - 07:39 pm
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bledsoe

I am debating as to whether or not this will be the last comment I make to you. Please, there should be no space between the end of a sentnce and the punctuation mark. mark ! Wrong. mark! Right

KSL
122171
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KSL 08/17/13 - 07:58 pm
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3
I am debating with myself, a

I am debating with myself, a worthy opponent.

And when did it become any of your business if I have been to Cobalt Park recently recently?

corgimom
28411
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corgimom 08/17/13 - 08:32 pm
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1
I have to laugh at all of you

I have to laugh at all of you that post the daily diatribes against Obama, he's going to be a massive multi-millionaire by the time that this is all done, and all of us will be still sitting at our puters on the AC blog.

Yes, incompetent all right, incompetent on his way to MULTI MILLIONS!!! He doesn't care what people in Augusta GA think of him, he doesn't care what anybody thinks of him, his only job now is to get the Democratic candidate elected President!

I only WISH I could have a portion of his incompentence!

I will bet anybody on here that after his first full year out of office, he and Michelle will rake in at least $50 million smackeroos.

CobaltGeorge
150917
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CobaltGeorge 08/17/13 - 08:33 pm
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KSL

Outstanding Question!!

chascushman
6653
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chascushman 08/17/13 - 08:46 pm
4
4
"I have to laugh at all of
Unpublished

"I have to laugh at all of you"
corgimom, "I have to laugh at you". You condemn CEOs that make a lot of money but you praise the lying, racist, Marxist/communist in the WH for getting rich while destroying the country.

carcraft
24343
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carcraft 08/17/13 - 09:01 pm
3
3
I don't know if he well leave

I don't know if he well leave office, I think he wants to be dictator!

CobaltGeorge
150917
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CobaltGeorge 08/17/13 - 09:18 pm
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3
Hey, Don't Laugh,

His next Executive Order he signs just may do that!

carcraft
24343
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carcraft 08/17/13 - 10:20 pm
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1
I have to laugh to keep from

I have to laugh to keep from crying! Read Krauthamer's article in The Augusta Chronicle today!

Bantana
2071
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Bantana 08/18/13 - 12:35 am
1
4
so much more than just wearing a mask

The clown had a broom handle symbolically stuck up his rectum, another clown was fingering the Obama-masked clown's lips while the public address system blared the words, "how would y'all like to see the bull run over Obama?" Some attendees interviewed afterwards stated that the crowd's response was obviously frenzied and had an angry tone while gleefully responding with a resounding yes to the public address system's question. Both republican and democrat state lawmakers banded together to denounce what they termed, "not one of Missouri's finest moments". I am quite familiar with the rural populace of upstate Arkansas and southern Missouri and for the most part I find the majority of them to be defensive, poorly educated folk lacking compassion or critical thinking skills, and looking to blame the "government" for their lot in life. Of course, they are more than willing to accept government assistance in the form of housing and farm subsidies, food stamps, free or reduced priced school lunches, free inoculations, Medicaid and on and on. The Arkansas/Missouri border town of Harrison, Arkansas is home to several particularly repulsive faith-based hate groups, as well as, being the national/international headquarters of the KKK. Salt of the earth people according to Tea Party-types and other delusional and disaffected groups. I find very little evidence of Christian values in many, if not all, of the people from that part of the country. They truly are people longing for better times. And I suppose those times were when a black man or family could go missing without much interest in discovering what befell them.

myfather15
50317
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myfather15 08/18/13 - 05:44 am
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1
Bantana

You're comment is a bunch of race baiting junk!! You say all this without providing a single reference where YOU got this information. I guess you're just special and have information we aren't privy too!!

carcraft
24343
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carcraft 08/18/13 - 07:21 am
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The broom handle was the fact

The broom handle was the fact the clown was representing a. Scare crow even If every thing Bantana said it is still protected political speech! Get a little thicker skin! I remember when Reagan was called an amiable dunce by a news reporter! I remember Hay hay LBJ how many kids did you kill today!

chascushman
6653
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chascushman 08/18/13 - 09:35 am
2
2
" The clown had a broom
Unpublished

" The clown had a broom handle symbolically stuck up his rectum, another clown was fingering the Obama-masked clown's lips while the public address system blared the words, "how would y'all like to see the bull run over Obama?"
I find it humorous that the supporters of the lying, racist communist in the WH are so upset. The reason is because the CLOWN FITS SO VERY WELL. Obama is a clown trying to be king and his wife a wanta be queen. It is quite funny.

Bantana
2071
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Bantana 08/18/13 - 02:21 pm
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1
Oh myfather...you're so angry

I get my information from a number of well established, internationally respected, legitimate news organizations. No bogus, web-based, miniscule outfits catering to fringe groups. It has been widely reported as to what was said over the public address system and the exact course of events. I am not race baiting. I've said it before...I am white, Christian, a native Augustan and over 60 years old.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 08/18/13 - 03:26 pm
1
2
" They truly are people
Unpublished

" They truly are people longing for better times. And I suppose those times were when a black man or family could go missing without much interest in discovering what befell them."
Bantana, your statement is 100% race baiting.

validPoint
982
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validPoint 08/18/13 - 05:55 pm
1
0
Amazing

@t3Bledsoe, the memory lapse amazes me as well.

On the flip side of the coin, sometimes things can be so ridiculous no one wants to identify with them. I am still wondering wher did all the "Black" people go. Skintone seems to have really changed down through the years. Guess it is largely due to co-mingling.

Bantana
2071
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Bantana 08/18/13 - 06:16 pm
1
1
chascushman

What does race baiting mean to you?

chascushman
6653
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chascushman 08/18/13 - 07:22 pm
1
2
'What does race baiting mean
Unpublished

'What does race baiting mean to you?'
race baiting
The act of using racially derisive language, actions, or other forms of communication in order to anger or intimidate or coerce a person or group of people.

Bantana
2071
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Bantana 08/18/13 - 08:05 pm
1
0
if that definition is acceptable to all..

...then this forum is littered with race baiting commentary from many of the more prolific contributors here. Race is an element in nearly every posting whether it be about crime, county commissioners, economic development, education, housing, government assistance programs and more. When people begin to understand that it's not so much about race, but rather economic power, then we can begin to evolve to a higher plane.

I'd love to continue this, but I've got an early flight in the morning. Good night and I look forward to more dialog when I can get back to it.

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