A conservative Texas lawmaker has invited the embattled Missouri rodeo clown to perform in the Lone Star State.
The skit at the State Fair in Sedalia this past weekend ignited a nationwide controversy over race and free speech that continues to be a topic of conversation on social media. The now-banned clown created a massive uproar when he wore an Obama mask and reportedly asked the crowd if it wanted to see the President run over by a bull.
In the wake of Saturday’s performance, a number of political leaders and organizations condemned the clown’s behavior and called for action. Missouri Fair officials labeled the performance “inappropriate” and said it “does not reflect the opinions or standards” of the fair. They also ordered future performers to undergo sensitivity training. Mark Ficken, the President of the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association (MRCA), retained legal counsel and later resigned from the organization. The Missouri chapter of the NAACP called upon the United States Justice Department to investigate the clown for inciting violence against the President.
While the public outcry was deafening, one GOP lawmaker managed to have his opinion heard. In a statement released Wednesday, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Tex.) said the ousted clown was welcome to perform in his district, which borders Houston. In an interview with KMZU News Friday, Stockman said the government and American people are turning their attention to a rodeo clown instead of focusing on more important matters. Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade talk with Rep. Stockman:
According to Rep. Stockman, the unidentified rodeo clown and his colleagues have been unfairly targeted. “Rodeo clowns are historically known for making political statements and even jokes about this country’s leader,” Stockman stated. “It is sad that they have taken something that is entertainment and turned it into something other than that. Comedians make fun of the President. George Bush was in a movie in which they killed him and they said that it was an art form. One of the rock groups took a George Bush mask and stabbed it to death. This is actually something that is very minor and someone has blown it up into a major event.”
Ten years ago, the Dixie Chicks caused a massive stir when singer Natalie Maines said on a London stage they were ashamed that then-President George W. Bush was from Texas. The comment sparked criticism within the country music community and prompted a number of Texas radio stations to pull the group’s records from the air.
When asked if those reactions were an attack on free speech, Stockman said, “[The Dixie Chicks] have a right to say that and you have a right to boycott them. If people want to boycott the [Missouri] rodeo, that’s fine. But what they don’t have a right to do is push the clown into sensitivity training, to ridicule and destroy his livelihood. [Political correctness] has gone so far out of control. I defend the right of [the Dixie Chicks] to say they don’t like Bush and I also defend the people who boycotted them.”
Press Release from the Office of Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Tex.)
WASHINGTON — Congressman Steve Stockman Wednesday invited the rodeo clowns who performed at the Missouri State Fair, and were banned or ordered into “sensitivity training” when one clown mocked President Barack Obama, to perform at a rodeo in Texas’ 36th District.
Fair officials did not reveal the clown’s identity.
“Liberals want to bronco bust dissent. But Texans value speech, even if its speech they don’t agree with,” said Stockman, “From Molly Ivins to Louie Gohmert and every opinion between Texans value free and open political speech. I’m sure any rodeo in Texas would be proud to have performers.”
“Disagreeing with speech is one thing. Banning it and ordering citizens into reeducation classes for mocking a liberal leader is another,” said Stockman. “Liberals have targeted this man for personal destruction to create a climate of fear.”
“The liberal reaction is straight out of Alinsky. They want to crush dissent by isolating and polarizing anyone who questions Obama, even if it’s a rodeo clown with a harmless gag,” said Stockman. “The idea to create a state of fear and make people afraid to trivialize Obama. No one tried to personally destroy the rodeo clown who wore a George H.W. Bush mask.”