But the reaction goes well beyond a mere clown purge. The Missouri branch of the NAACP has called for a federal investigation into the incident.
“I think that a hate crime occurred,” Missouri NAACP chapter President Mary Ratliff told KXNT Radio in Las Vegas. ”I think a hate crime occurs when you use a person’s race to depict who they are and to make degrading comments, gestures, et cetera, against them.”
It’s telling that the bulk of the outrage directed against the rodeo clown is coming from Democrats, whose fellow travelers mocked President George W. Bush mercilessly throughout his term in office. Bush was depicted as a chimp, as a murderer, as Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler — but this was when we were told “dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” Now, even gentle mockery is considered a “hate crime.”
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh compared the outrage to the Muslim fundamentalist reaction to the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. It’s an apt analogy.
Masks depicting presidents have been popular joke items at least since the days of Richard Nixon. Obama himself wore an Obama mask during the campaign in a 2007 appearance on “Saturday Night Live.”
The level of anger directed at a rodeo clown for an admittedly tasteless performance is ludicrous.
Congressman Steve Stockman, R-Texas, expressed the silliness of it all on Twitter.
“If you’re demanding a rodeo jester be thrown in the dungeons for mocking the king, don’t pretend you support a free country,” he wrote.