QUESTION: An incident at the Missouri State Fair has a sparked a lot of discussion across the state. The incident centers on a rodeo clown performer donning a mask with the likeness of President Obama and asking if the crowd would like to see Obama run over by a bull during the show. Most Missouri politicians from both parties called the act not representative of the state. Where do you weigh in on this situation?

QUESTION: An incident at the Missouri State Fair has a sparked a lot of discussion across the state. The incident centers on a rodeo clown performer donning a mask with the likeness of President Obama and asking if the crowd would like to see Obama run over by a bull during the show. Most Missouri politicians from both parties called the act not representative of the state. Where do you weigh in on this situation?

Incidents are all right or all wrong

I am of the opinion that any such actions are disrespectful of a sitting president and this was an incredibly dumb thing to do and also appalling.  I can, however, recall similar acts committed during George W. Bush's presidency with little or no murmur from the press.  This is hypocritical and just as appalling. These types of shenanigans are either right for all or wrong for all.  Anything else is hypocrisy, which apparently has no bounds.

Farrell Thompson

Honor the office

I was outraged and disgusted by the actions of the rodeo clown at the Missouri State Fair.  He was not alone in this farce. The announcer and the wranglers who handled that bull are also guilty of dishonoring our President and our country.  I don't care who our President is, we all should honor and respect the office and what it stands for.
This incident also had racial overtones to it that disturbed me.  We are not so far removed from segregated schools and white-only drinking fountains! In the 1950s, white men in this state were painting their faces black and performing in minstrel shows. Back in the early 1900s, some black folks were lynched in Springfield. This drove many of them out of town for fear of their lives. I thought that as a society we had gotten past all of that hate, bigotry, and lack of opportunity. Opportunity must be earned, but without education, opportunities are denied.
There has been some discussion about this being a matter of free speech.  We do have the privilege to disagree with our lawmakers and the President.   I do not think that privilege extends to having their likeness gored by a bull!  Those of you of faith know the words of the Lord Jesus when He said "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, but unto God what is God's."  That Apostle Paul addressed this also when he talked about honoring the king and praying for him because he bears the sword. That is a huge statement coming from a man who knew he would die at the hands of the Roman government for the sake of the gospel. We have no right to burn the flag or dishonor the President of this country.  Too many people have died to ensure our liberty and prosperity for us to take it lightly.

James Hall

Witch hunt against performer is shameful

I am outraged over the outrage spouted by the "politically correct" bunch in this country.  A certain divisive group is out in force to destroy this performers life and livelihood.  
They are pushing  the Secret Service and Holder's Justice Department to investigate this poor man who won't have the means to fight against the resources of (our) national treasury. He has already lost his job as a rodeo performer and banned for life and his superior has resigned over this clown's freedom of speech right to express his sense of humor, play a prank and joke about our first white/black president.  They are also pushing for him to be  fired  from his full time job with a school district.
This is the United States of America, not a communist country where anyone who is perceived to disrespect the dictator is punished and destroyed for any hint of opposition to the oligarchy.  I heard an actor on a late night TV show say that our then Vice-President Cheney should be stoned!
Perhaps hoping one of his rabid fans would do the deed? There was no public outrage by the PC bunch. President Bush and many other republicans were hung in effigy, ridiculed, threatened and defamed by this very bunch, but that was perfectly fine. And it will be interesting to find out if this citizen clown and gainfully employed bread winner will be turned down if he needs government assistance  after his life is destroyed. I think the "powers that be" would deny him any sustenance. I pray a group of civil rights and Constitutional lawyers will come to this mans defense pro bono and save him, and us.

Brenda Goodman

Different ways to express displeasure

The first Presidential election I was privileged to participate in was LBJ.  I have lived through nine Presidential terms in which their policies directly affected me. Some I agreed with and some I didn't.  I was always happy to discuss my position, either for or against, with anyone.  I feel I was able to put forth my position based on my knowledge of the policies and not just a gut reaction to what others were saying.
I have always respected the Office of the President and have only had two occasions to disrespect the person in the office. I didn't express my displeasure with such a stunt.  I'm personally a little ashamed that this somehow is a reflection on my character as a resident of Missouri.  

Brad Mitchell
Sunrise Beach

Sick attempt at humor

Anyone who can laugh at a suggestion of harm to our president must be too young to remember Nov. 1963 and the anguish we all lived through at that time.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of that horrific event. It’s a sign of the times that beset our country that any entertainer would resort to such a sick attempt at humor. What’s worse is the reaction of the crowd.

Francis Carr
Sunrise Beach

Issues is smoke and mirrors

I have watched shows where the Presidents of our country have been mocked and no one said a word. I even, in our own town, watched a local politician’s son dress like President George W. Bush and walk a Dogwood Parade. We laughed then and yes some people laughed at the State Fair Rodeo. The difference is simply the race card which is thrown out like an overzealous referee at a soccer game. It was a joke that was in a state that is dominately republican.
If a clown had made fun of George W. Bush at a Cubs game at Wrigley Field no one would care. All this is smoke, that distorts the view of the real issues. The looming government shutdown, the IRS scandals and the fact that video has been uncovered which clearly shows Lois Lerner was ordered by higher ups to focus on conservative groups.
Let’s not think about a 13-year-old white boy who was maliciously beaten by three 15-year-old black boys. We are not paying attention to the Benghazi hearing and Hillary's comment of ‘What does it matter?’ The fact that President Obama did not go through congress to delay a portion of the health care law, which he clearly broke the rule to enforce the laws of the land.  Let’s all pay attention to a clown that we a) couldn't pick out of a crowd, for a joke, put on a Obama mask, and b) in a rodeo where grown men jump on untamed bulls to get bucked off of — a truly "redneck" event that I personally like to watch.
Then call it a national tragedy really?   

Nancy Steward
Linn Creek

Violation of freedom of speech

People have forgotten how to enjoy life.  Everyone is so wrapped so tightly with PC (political correctness) they can hardly breathe.  It was a clown.  Clowns mock people, and who better to mock than the current failing president.  Presidents and high level politicians are in the public’s eye, they’re going to be mocked.  Half the people won’t like it, half will love it.  Doesn’t make it right or wrong.   If the politicians can’t stand the heat they should get out of the kitchen.  Has Obama complained about it?
This whole thing about Missouri’s elected officials investigating this rodeo clown’s activities as being disrespectful is a crock.  This is what our elected officials think is important?  This is how Missouri tax dollars are being spent?  
How many hungry kids would this ‘investigation’ feed?  How many homeless would receive temporary housing from these tax dollars?  How many kids could get a college grant instead.  No, let’s throw a whole bunch of money after a joke and see who we can blame and  throw under the bus.  I find it grossly disappointing.  And as far as respectful, well, while the Office of the President demands a certain level of respect, Obama has failed to earn any of mine.  And the politicians who support him, even less.  I’d vote for the clown in the next election.
And where does the Missouri State Fair Board get off banning this clown from ever performing there again?  What about his rights?  Anyone ever hear of this rapidly disintegrating document called the constitution?  What about the first amendment?  And I quote, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…..”  Isn’t this a form of Freedom of Speech?  He’s just demonstrating his belief.  And who knows  maybe the guy is a Democrat.  He certainly has room to criticize then.
And just one last comment.  Had the media let this go, not flagrantly displayed it on national news, not made a big deal about it, then it would have died the proper death.  But, no.  We had to sensationalize it, rub it in the noses of every American who wasn’t there.  And now you’ve got good people resigning their positions trying to save their jobs over one silly event.  It’s ridiculous.  

Scott Hagan
Lake Ozark

A true patriot would condemn the stunt

I found the incident dark, disgusting and beyond any boundary of humor.
The Kansas City Star quoted the Show Me Progress website which reported a Facebook account of this incident;
“The announcer wanted to know if anyone would like to see Obama run down by a bull,” the posting said. “The crowd went wild. He asked it again and again, louder each time, whipping the audience into a lather.”
Another clown then apparently joined the performance.
“One of the clowns ran up and started bobbling the lips on the mask and the people went crazy,” the posting said. “Finally a bull came close enough to him that he had to move so he jumped up and ran away to the delight of the onlookers hooting and hollering from the stands.”
What a sad reflection on the citizens of Missouri.
"Bobbling the lips"? Could anything be more racist?
A friend from across the country sent me the Washington Post's account of the same.
Evidently the clown has been banned from Missouri State Fair for life and action is also being considered against the contractor responsible.
Republicans and Democrats both have condemned the incident.
And all Missouri citizens with an ounce of patriotism should do so as well.
Despite how you feel about our president and his policies he is the leader of our country and the free world.
Criticize but do so with respect for the office, the institution and our democracy.
A shallow, racist depiction of running the president out of town has no place at our state fair and the onlookers that cheered should be ashamed of themselves.

Craig Bischof

More important issues

I, for one am glad to see this question come up, especially after reading the “My View” opinion in Tuesday’ s paper. It was a learning experience for me.   
 I have learned that this paper is as liberal-minded as the rest of the so called main stream media, I have learned that you cannot laugh at a joke about the President of the United States unless his name is Bush or Nixon, I have learned that anything that's said about Obama somehow becomes a race issue i.e. the reference in your article about the Klan.
I have learned that politicians on both sides of the aisle are hypocrites, oh wait!  I already knew that. I'm referring to the comment about Mo. politicians saying this does not represent the people of Mo., hell half the time they don't either.  
I wish that the media would learn to quit blowing things out of proportion that are really insignificant, and dwell more on the things that are really going on in this country, things much more important than a rodeo clown at a state fair.

Mike Donovan