According to Mary Ratliff, president of the Missouri chapter of the NAACP, Tuffy Gessling, the rodeo clown who donned an Obama mask before being chased by bulls, committed a hate crime, The Blaze reported Friday.
“I think that a hate crime has occurred,” she said during an interview on KXNT Radio in Las Vegas. “I think a hate crime occurs when you use a person’s race to depict who they are and to make degrading comments, gestures, et cetera, against them.”
“We are taxpayers in the state of Missouri,” Ratliff added, “and when taxpayer money is utilized to discredit and be disrespectful to our president, whether he be black, white, Hispanic, Latina…it is an outrage.”
But the Daily Caller noted that Ratliff’s idea of a hate crime “stands in stark contrast to the actual federal hate crimes statue, which would require rodeo clown Tuffy Gessling to ‘willfully cause bodily injury’ to President Barack Obama with ‘fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device.’”
The NAACP has demanded that Eric Holder’s Justice Department and the Secret Service investigate the incident and Gessling’s feelings toward President Obama.
“With all of the hateful and mean things that are happening and happened in Missouri here at the rodeo, we believe that the Justice Department should look into the discriminatory practices against our sitting African-American president,” she said. “In this country, discrimination is still illegal.”
Ratliff, however, said nothing about a 2007 “Saturday Night Live” skit in which then-candidate Obama wore an Obama mask.
Gessling’s supporters have since started a Facebook page that has attracted over 71,000 supporters and a White House petition has received just over 1,800 digital “signatures.”
Gessling has been banned from performing at the Missouri State Fair, but Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, invited him to perform in his home state.
“Liberals want to bronco bust dissent. But Texans value speech, even if its speech they don’t agree with,” Stockman said in a statement. “Texans value free and open political speech. I’m sure any rodeo in Texas would be proud to have performers.”
“Liberals have targeted this man for personal destruction to create a climate of fear,” he added.
- Flashback: Obama wore Obama mask in 2007 SNL skit, NAACP silent
- St. Louis treasurer: Disagreement with Obama is racist
- Thousands join Facebook page supporting rodeo clown Tuffy Gessling
- NAACP demands DOJ, Secret Service investigate rodeo clown incident
- Mo. State Fair bans clown for wearing Obama mask, mandates ‘sensitivty training’
- Liberals, politicians explode over rodeo clown in Obama mask chased by bulls (Video)
- Video shows child praying to Barack Obama (Video)
- The case against re-electing Barack Hussein Obama, part 3
- Newsweek cover calls Obama’s inauguration ‘The second coming’
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