Published August 15, 2013
Calls by the Missouri chapter of the NAACP for a federal investigation into a rodeo clown who donned a President Obama mask at the state fair last week are misguided and hypocritical, a Texas Republican congressman told FoxNews.com on Thursday.
U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, who has invited the clown who wore the mask to perform in Texas, said the request for probes into the incident by the Justice Department and Secret Service are “silly” and should be ignored.
“A rodeo clown is really a nominal thing and it hurt no one,” Stockman told FoxNews.com. “They didn’t speak out when George Bush was being portrayed as a murderer. To become relevant again, they need to become more of an honest broker and not have contrived anger.”
Stockman said the NAACP would better serve its constituents by focusing on ways to decrease unemployment among the black community. He also noted that the national civil rights group was silent after a July incident on a Florida bus where three black teens beat a fellow white student. Though Gulfport Police Chief Robert Vincent told Fox News the attack did not appear to be racially motivated, former Florida Rep. Allen West, who is black, chided Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, noting they condemned Florida's laws in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting yet remained mum on the bus attack.
“It’s really patently false that they’re angry at this, but not angry at other issues,” Stockman continued. “There has to be some consistency.”
Stockman said he thinks it’s unlikely federal officials will investigate the matter.
“We can’t get the Justice Department to look at Benghazi, so it would be ironic that the Justice Department would investigate a clown,” he said. “They should focus on their member’s needs rather than theatrics.”
Still, the rodeo clown has been widely condemned for his off-color act.
On Wednesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the rodeo clown incident was “not one of the finer moments” for The Show-Me State.
“I haven’t heard about the president’s reaction or if he had one,” Earnest told reporters. “I can tell you as a native Missourian, it was certainly not one of the finer moments for our state and not the way I like to see our state depicted in the news.”
Stockman said widespread reports of Saturday’s bull riding event at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia was an example of what he calls “pop news,” distractions from serious issues facing the country.
The performer, meanwhile, has been permanently banned from future state fair events and subsequent performers must undergo sensitivity training.
Messages seeking comment from Justice Department and NAACP officials were not immediately returned Thursday.
Jehmu Greene, a Fox News contributor and Democratic strategist, said she agreed with Stockman’s take that the call for a federal probe was unwarranted. It’s far from the first time a sitting commander-in-chief has been mocked, she said.
“Absolutely it is misguided,” she said during an appearance on Fox News. “The NAACP has jumped the shark on this one.”