August 19, 2013

Source: Shutterstock

After all the progress we’ve made as a nation, it’s depressingly obvious that Americans still harbor a deep-seated hatred and fear of clowns.

This shameful fact became evident in the wake of an incident at the Missouri State Fair when a rodeo clown wearing a Barack Obama mask was made the scapegoat for a national controversy. The event was captured on video by an attendee who expressed his outrage and horror after an announcer asked the enthusiastic white rural audience whether they wanted to see the clown run down by a bull.

Lost in the ensuing media outrage was the fact that it was the rodeo clown, not Barack Obama, who was risking his life in this incident.

This is because we live in an unjust world where the lives of the rich and famous are deemed far more valuable than those of the poor and unknown. It is my sincerest wish that America will one day be able to look in the mirror and do some soul-searching regarding this horrid and unacceptable inequity.

Perry Beam, who filmed the incident but did not share in the crowd’s unhinged bloodlust, saw racism in an incident that obviously reeked of rabid clown-hatred instead:

If you’re a white man in a black mask in a former slaveholding state with a broom lodged in your rectum and you’re playing with your lips, you will be confused with a racist. Had I been black, I would’ve been scared for my life.

Ahh, but you are not black, Mr. Beam. But the unspoken truth, the one that dare not speak its name in the modern mainstream media, is that neither are you a clown.

“€œAfter all the progress we’ve made as a nation, it’s depressingly obvious that Americans still harbor a deep-seated hatred and fear of clowns.”€

Last Monday rodeo announcer Mark Ficken, claiming he received several death threats, resigned from his post as president of the Missouri Rodeo Cowboys Association. His lawyer claims that Ficken had no knowledge that the president would be mocked in such a manner, blaming the entire debacle instead on a “rogue rodeo clown” who has yet to be named.

In America, no matter who’s responsible, the clowns always seem to get blamed. There is clearly not “liberty and justice for all””€”at least not if you’re a clown.

Professional rodeo clown Tuffy Gessling was originally thought to be the man behind the Obama clown mask. Instead, he offered “color commentary” from a microphone headset during the unfortunate incident with statements such as “Hey, I know I’m a clown. [Obama’s] just running around acting like one. Doesn’t know he is one.” He later made clear that “nothing racist was ever implied.”

In other words, he wasn’t insulting the clown by saying, “Hey, you’re just like Obama.” He was insulting the entire clowning community by telling the president that it’s bad to be a clown. This is naked, ugly clownism at its worst.

The Missouri State Fair Commission banned the rodeo clown for life and has made it mandatory for all future clowns to undergo sensitivity training before they ever dare mock the president or, by extension, all black people and half-black people again.

Lost in the madness was that the rodeo clown is now unemployed. His children may never grow up to be clowns themselves. There was no “sensitivity” accorded them whatsoever.

I think that a hate crime has occurred,” said Mary Ratliff, a spokeswoman for a Missouri chapter of the NAACP. This is true, but astonishingly she said the hate crime was committed against Barack Obama rather than against the rodeo clown:

The activities at the Missouri State Fair targeting and inciting violence against our President are serious and warrant a full review by both the Secret Service and the Justice Department.

Such utter disregard for the humanity and well-being of our men and women who labor behind the greasepaint is due in part to the undeniable fact that American culture is rife with hateful and disparaging stereotypes against clowns. From Bobcat Goldthwait’s alcoholic and foul-mouthed Shakes the Clown to the murderous Pennywise in Stephen King’s It to Batman’s nemesis the Joker to the violent and psychopathic “horrorcore” hip-hop group Insane Clown Posse, Americans are taught that clowns are a lazy, shiftless, and untrustworthy breed of malefactors and ne’er-do-wells.


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