February 13, 2023
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Prejudice Is the Problem
|I once was a racist but now at age 85, I can't even walk fast.||.....|
As I searched the internet today for the topic of racism, I found my way to a large number of links pointing to Tuffy. Remember him? You might remember him as the Obama Rodeo Clown, Thomas (Tuffy) Gessling.
I remember the ranting rhubarbs arising from him performing at the 2013 Missouri State Fair wearing an Obama mask.
In my mind, ten years later, I believe as I did then that the media unfairly crucified him. Tuffy was even banned from ever performing at the Missouri State Fair. All he did, in my opinion, was expressing his First Amendment right. However, I quickly admit I might not understand all the nuances that are in play.
Tuffy finally spoke about his performance. It turns out Tuffy might not have been wearing a mask.1
Even the Missouri chapter of the NAACP (Hey, I thought we were not supposed to call colored people colored people) was in on the act. So were numerous individuals and other organizations who, as troublemakers, call the performance one of race baiting.
Mary Ratliff, president of the Missouri NAACP chapter, called the performance a hate crime (Yeah, I ain't putting you on) and said in a radio interview the chapter is asking the Department of Justice and the Secret Service to investigate.2
My position is one of so what? Yes, so what? Why all this talk about racism?
What on Earth is wrong with racism? What on Earth is wrong with having racists among us? Think about it for just a minute.
Racism is a belief, not an action. It is the belief that one's race is superior to another race. Nothing wrong with that in itself. Racism is no more harmful than "footballism”, my word for the belief that football is superior to baseball. Problems arise when we act upon that belief with a show of disrespect and prejudice.
There is no problem 'til football fans and baseball fans stage a fight with riots in the streets or 'til a football-fan boss denies a promotion to a baseball fan just because he or she is a baseball fan.
It is the same for race problems: Disrespect and prejudice are the culprits, not racism.
Prejudicial actions bring many of problems we have in our country. Racists can keep their belief to themselves and if they do not show prejudice in any way, then there is no problem.
Anyway, Tuffy will survive. Down in Texas a different attitude prevails. The Mesquite Rodeo will have an Obama clown as a special guest according to Eric Nicholson writing for the Dallas Observer (The article has been removed from the Internet).
I remember Nicholson saying similar to: Tuffy will get more invitations than he can handle.
Often bad publicity is better than no publicity.
Pot-stirrers will continue doing what they do best: Stir.
Again, I ask: Racism? So what?