In a poor attempt at humor and political satire, the state of Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association (MRCA) has made itself, and the state of Missouri, look like nothing more than a bunch of racist bigots. Missouri is already home to one of the most segregated cities in America, St. Louis, and the event that happened at the Missouri State Fair, in Sedalia, MO, on Saturday night does not help the state’s image.
Over the weekend, during a rodeo at the Missouri State Fair, a rodeo clown wore a Barack Obama mask and stood target of a rodeo bull. The announcer babbled over the loudspeaker, “As soon as this bull comes out, Obama, don’t you move. He’s going to getcha, getcha, getcha, getcha.” The disgusting display occurred in what was supposed to be a wholesome, family atmosphere.
One attendee compared the event to what a Ku Klux Klan rally must be like. “It wasn’t clean; it wasn’t fun. It was awful; it was sickening,” said Perry Beam, who brought a Taiwanese guest to show him “a little piece of Americana.” Beam’s guest certainly got it. The MRCA has since issued an apology.
“The Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association would like to extend a sincere apology for the inappropriate act during the Bull Riding at the Saturday performance of the MRCA Rodeo,” said the apology. “The Sport of Rodeo is not meant to be a political platform.” If rodeo is not meant to be a political platform, then why engage in such a tasteless and offensive political commentary? What’s the narrative here? Obama is a clown and he needs to be charged by a bull? It’s unfunny and, many times over, unclever.
Even Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who is, himself, a Republican, admonished the actions of the MRCA. On Sunday, Kindler tweeted “The MoStateFair celebrates Missouri and people. I condemn the actions to POTUS (President of the United States) the other night. We are better than this.”
Racism is still a huge problem in America. The actions of MRCA only perpetuated it and make America, to the rest of the world, look like a pack of backwater hicks who are still fighting the Civil War.
Joshua de Leon is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.