Racism and rodeo clown at Missouri State Fair

(KPLR) – In Monday’s Jacology, Charles Jaco looks at racism and the rodeo clown:

I’ve been having some nasty back-and-forth on twitter with a local right-wing talk radio host. Given that the other guy has the intellectual capacity of Elmer Fudd, it’s been a battle of wits with an unarmed man. But it has raised some interesting questions. Like most of the rest of the people in the conservative gasbag industry, he claims that the anti-Obama rodeo clown at the Missouri state fair was not racist, but was just political satire that only upset liberals.

To re-cap:  at the Missouri state fair last Saturday night, a rodeo clown named Tuffy Gessling dressed up in an Obama mask, with a broomstick appearing to be inserted in his rear. As an announcer egged on the cheering crowd, they roared their approval as the Obama clown was chased by a bull. One person who walked out said, it was starting to turn into a Klan rally.

Black folks were outraged, including Congressman Lacy Clay and the Missouri NAACP. Democratic senator Claire McCaskill called it disgraceful. Republican lieutenant governor Peter Kinder said something like that had no place at the state fair. The white house said it wasn’t exactly one of Missouri’s finer moments. But the anger over the incident’s been far from bi-partisan.

The right wing chattering class claims it’s simply political satire and that there was nothing racist about it. While it might have started out that way, it became pretty clear fairly fast that the whole thing had racial overtones. But whether you’re chief Supreme Court justice John Roberts or my talk show twitter opponent, if you’re a conservative in this country you seem to believe that racism doesn’t exist anymore in this country.

Most white people would like to believe that’s true. Most black and brown people know it’s not true. That’s a matter of personal experience and perspective. But calling the Obama rodeo clown a racist display isn’t perspective. That’s simply a matter of fact.

I’m Charles Jaco and that’s Jacology.

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Email: charles.jaco@tvstl.com
 

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