Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Good Riddance to "Obama" Rodeo Clown!
Well, let's all celebrate that the mock "Obama" rodeo clown who donned an Obama mask at the Missouri state Fair is now history. While the NAACP denounced the clown's antics as a "hate crime" I'm not sure I'd go so far - but I would say it lacks racial sensitivity. It also lacks any semblance of civility, even in the atmosphere of clownish mockery and frivolity. However, it is also true that clowns of whatever breed or form can be funny and put events - e.g. such as bull riding - that can have serious repercussions, in a more favorable, less threatening light.
In this sense, conservative columnist Kathleen Parker is indeed correct in her recent column that: "Clowns are — clowns! It’s their job to poke the precious and touch the untouchable. They are inherently rude, irreverent, insulting, insensitive and sometimes salacious. Presidents, obviously, are fair game, and every modern president’s face has been made into a mask."
True, but we are talking about an African-American President here! We're talking about someone who embodies an entire racial identity for millions of fellow citizens. That identity includes: being heckled, spat upon and beaten at lunch counters in the Jim Crow South, being flayed with truncheons and sprayed with fire hoses (see the new movie, 'The Butler'), as well as set on fire and lynched by half-brained racist bigots. It includes being burned alive when buses they were on (or churches they were in) were firebombed. In this case, every single mock representation carries overtones of significance far beyond the immediate action or frivolity. It means, in essence, that putting a mock African-American in a rodeo ring with bulls has overtones of racism that echo the days of yore in Arkansas - for example- when blacks were run out of towns like Harrison, ARK (according to my dad) using vicious dogs. My dad as he retold such stories had tears in his eyes, opining that this was one major reason he chose to live and work in Milwaukee, than remain in Arkansas following his 1945 marriage.
If alive today, make no mistake that he'd instantly see the error of that Mizzou rodeo clown's antics, and how it wouldn't go over very well with families of those who were lynched or set upon by crazed animals - running for their lives to escape. He'd likely not see any 'joke' in it or interpret critics as exhibiting "political correctness". In this sense, columnist Parker is spot on when she also points out:.
"There’s something wrong with this clown act. It isn’t a hate crime, which is a ridiculous charge, but it is something we need to wrap our minds around."
The question is how many are prepared to do it? How many are prepared to alter their thought perspective in order to see exactly why the Mizzou rodeo clown was off base? Parker gives an excellent alter-example invoking a largely black audience, i.e. fitting a black rodeo clown with a white Bush Jr. mask and having him knocked all over tarnation on his butt, say by a bull. Would whities applaud that? More than likely they'd scream: "Black racism! Where are the 'libtards'? Why aren't they complainin'?" But as Parker puts it:
"This unlikely event would feel offensive for the same reasons the recent clown event did. The Missouri rodeo audience was mostly white, and the masked man in the ring was depicting a black man. This changes everything we think about humor, about clowns and about good old-fashioned fun. Just as N-jokes are no longer funny to almost anyone, placing a black man in the arena like an unarmed gladiator isn’t amusing."
That's the point - but how many will grasp it? Will anyone - say of the group that defends the clown and his antics - see that "a mob-inspired lynching of black men.....is what so many saw in the clown skit. Memory conquers humor."?
Probably not, because I warrant that too many in that white crowd haven't one damned clue of the notorious history of black lynchings, or what they endured in the Jim Crow South, say just to get a meal at a lunch counter. In this case, as I said before, they need to really see 'The Butler' to get a historical wake up call. But again, I certainly wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that. More than likely all you will hear is the bitching, moaning and pissing about how "libtards" took their lil clown away and hey....actually instigated his being sent for "sensitivity training". Hey! Worse things could have happened to him! If in Barbados trying that stunt, it wouldn't be "sensitivity training" he'd be sent to but a year at Glendairy - trying to dodge rats the size of small dogs as opposed to bulls!
As for those Jaspers that don't like anything coming from a "Libtard"- then don't take my words at all at face value, take those of the conservative Kathleen Parker:
"a civil society should find reprehensible even mock violence against a president, especially one who belongs to a minority that was once targeted for state-sanctioned violence."
Bingo! I couldn't have said it better!