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NAACP: Obama Clown Stunt Warrants Investigation by Secret Service, DOJ

SEDALIA, Mo. -- The incident occurred during the The Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association finals. Someone asked the enthusiastic spectators if they wanted to see "Obama run down by a bull." The crowd was also told, "We're gonna stomp Obama."
They are subsidizing the Missouri State Fair to the tune of $400,000; we are calling for the subsidy to stop.
SEDALIA, Mo. -- The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) issued a statement Tuesday in response to the Obama rodeo clown stunt at the Missouri State Fair.

The incident occurred during the The Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association finals. Someone asked the enthusiastic spectators if they wanted to see "Obama run down by a bull." The crowd was also told, "We're gonna stomp Obama."

"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," says NAACP State President Mary Ratliff, who lives in Columbia. "Incidents involving individuals acting out with extreme violent behavior in movie theaters, schools, churches, political appearances, and outdoor events in general speaks volume to the irresponsible behavior of all the parties involved with the incendiary events at the Missouri State Fair."

Late Monday, rodeo announcer Mark Ficken resigned as president of the Missouri Rodeo Cowboys Association. He also serves as superintendent of the Boonville School District, which has launched an investigation into the stunt last Saturday.

Ficken's lawyer says Ficken stepped down because the association is still letting the clown remain a member. Lawyer Albert Watkins says Ficken resigned after a tough day of criticism and personal attacks that left him shaken. He says Ficken felt he was in the "cross hairs of virtually everybody for something he was not responsible for." 

He says the day's experience left him badly shaken. "He was, in fact, shaking like a small dog passing razor blades," he says.

Watkins says many people who circulated erroenous information about the incident on the Internet apologized when they learned the truth that the person who made disparaging remarks about President Obama was not Ficken.

Also Monday, the Missouri State Fair permanently banned the mask-wearing clown who mocked the president. Tuffy Gessling, the man behind the mask, wrote the following message on Facebook.

"I am sorry. I never meant to offend anyone. I meant no disrespect to anyone for the joke or jokes I may have said at the rodeo. Once again, I never meant to offend or hurt anyone's feelings."

Watkins says, "That takes lot of the sting out of it for my client."

He says Ficken is now focusing on his school district work. School starts Wednesday. The school board is meeting Tuesday evening to discuss the situation. Ficken met with district teachers Monday. Watkins says the teachers gave him a unanimous show of support.

NAACP State President Mary Ratliff continued Tuesday, "our Legislature has failed to support Medicare Expansion in Missouri, has consistently attempted to dismantle our Human Rights Commission, fail to adequately fund urban schools -- (who) are predominately African American -- yet they are subsidizing the Missouri State Fair to the tune of $400,000; we are calling for the subsidy to stop...[Governor Nixon's] planned Pancake Breakfast for Thursday should be his 'Last Supper' at the Missouri State Fair in response to the racially intolerant attacks on his Commander in Chief."
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