The Missouri State Fair was established as a showplace for Missouri’s agricultural products, industrial advances and natural beauty. It has functioned as such for the past 111 years, proudly displaying the best of Missouri.
That proud tradition was broken Saturday night when a rodeo employee performed a stunt mocking the president of the United States in a way that was both childish and disrespectful.
The Sedalia-Pettis County Branch of the NAACP vigorously denounces the person who performed this stunt and who, while attempting to ridicule the president, brought disgrace on himself, the Missouri State Fair, and the people of the state of Missouri. We applaud the statements of State Fair personnel and of the rodeo organization that condemned the stunt.
Our Constitution allows for political disagreement and freedom of speech.
If one disagrees with the policies of a particular administration, there are many appropriate methods of dissent — speeches, letters to editors, letters to members of Congress, posters, and protest demonstrations.
All of these can be done within the bounds of the law in ways that show respect for the office of the presidency while expressing disagreement with specific policies.
Engaging in rude and outrageous antics as a substitute for intelligent political dialogue reveals far more about the mentality of the perpetrator than about the president or his policies.
It is a shame that such an event took place at the Missouri State Fair and embarrassed our state, its institutions, and its citizens.
Rhonda Chalfant, President
Sedalia-Pettis County Branch, NAACP